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PostHeaderIcon Andrew Hammond

I have always been a lightning fan since I moved to a village a few miles away from RAF Binbrook in 1981. As a child growing up with lightnings flying over everyday they became etched in my memory.

The sound and feeling of a pair of lightnings scrambling directly over our house will never be forgotten, I first sat in a lightning at the last last lightning show and never thought I would get the opportunity some 23 years later to climb the ladder, strap in and be given the honor of flicking the switches and pressing the start buttons.

The atmosphere was fantastic, the smell, sound and feeling of the static re-heat was out of this world, what then followed, the taxi out to the threshold, line up, full throttle, re-heat and we're off, I am lost for words. I cannot describe the experience, it will live with me forever , I would give anything to do it again..

Thanks for a wonderful day.


PostHeaderIcon John Stiles

A group of transport photographers based all over the country, including members of the “Battle of Britain Locomotive Society” owners of the ex Southern Railway Bullied pacific No 34081 92 SQUADRON met at Cranfield for a day with XS458 (In 92 Squadron colours of course) Blessed with unbroken sunshine and the wonderful hospitality of the Lightning team a fantastic day was had by all including some wives and girlfriends that also attended.

The photo shoot included one of our member’s 1960 Austin Healey 3000 posed next to XS458 by kind permission of the airport security, with John Brookes the owner/driver in a borrowed RAF uniform.  Several members of the group had worked on English Electric Lightnings during their RAF service so knowledgeable discussions were had with the current service team before a successful engine run and static re-heat test took place.

The attached selection of photographs by John Stiles and Tim Stevens show what a successful day it was.









PostHeaderIcon John Lightfoot

I had dreamt of experiencing the thrill of sitting in the cockpit of a Lightning with the engines roaring ever since one scared me as a child at an air show.  After actually experiencing a fast taxi run in the only Live T5 Lightning in the country I can't thank Russell and his whole team enough, they really make sure you get the most out of your day with them and it is obvious how much dedicated hard work they put into XS458 as she is in beautiful condition.

After being suited up and strapped in your ready, you actually get to start the engines and she's taxied to the end of the runway ready for your run.

The atmosphere is electric when the two Rolls Royce Avon's are throttled up to maximum power and the brakes are released, then the re-heat kicks in and your thrown into your seat the noise is fantastic and the sheer power is awesome, it is one of the most  exciting things I have ever done and one I will never ever forget"..