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Название: English Electric Lightning
Автор: Darling K.
Lightning. The sheer mention of the aircraft evokes images of immense power, reheat shock cones, and a mighty noise to its many aficionados. To others it represented a fighter pilot's craft and is mentioned with reverence and awe. To one final group, however, it was an engineering nightmare. For reasons best known to themselves, they still show great loyalty and affection to the slab-sided beast that caused such frustration and problems.
Born in the final days of the Second World War, the Lightning, Britain's only true supersonic fighter, managed to survive many traumas. Most were of a political nature, with politicians and senior officials seemingly determined to block development of the aircraft at every turn. This was to come to fruition with the 1957 Defence White Paper, which was later described in typical British fashion as "misguided," although in private stronger language was used.
Eventually, English Electric and its successor ВАС spawned six variants of this truly great aircraft for the Royal Air Force. They provided air defence of the UK, with aircraft scrambling to counter the latest Soviet incursion.