Specifications for the
English Electric / BAC Lightning
Focus Model: English Electric / BAC Lightning F.Mk 6
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Manufacturer: English Electric Company / British Aircraft Corporation - UK
Initial Year of Service: 1960
Length: 55.25ft (16.84m)
Width: 34.84ft (10.62m)
Height: 19.59ft (5.97m)
Weight (Empty): 28,036lbs (12,717kg)
Weight (MTOW): 41,991lbs (19,047kg)
Powerplant: 2 x Rolls-Royce Avon 301 engines generating 16,360lbs of thrust with afterburn.
Maximum Speed: 1,312mph (2,112kmh; 1,140kts)
Maximum Range: 802miles (1,290km)
Service Ceiling: 55,020ft (16,770m; 10.4miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 50,000 feet per minute (15,240m/min)
2 x 30mm ADEN cannons in nose
2 x de Havilland Firestreak infrared air-to-air missiles OR 2 x Hawker Siddeley Red Top infrared air-to-air missiles
8 x Matra rocket pods (18 x SNEB 68mm rockets) OR 4 x Matra JL-100 rocket pods (19 x SNEB 68mm rockets)
Conventional Drop Bombs
Conventional Drop Tanks
"Overwing" Fuel Tanks
5 x Vinteen 360 70mm cameras
Up to 6,000lbs of external ordnance.
SB.5 - Short Brothers smaller scale developmental airframe for testing various wing sweep and tailplane designs.
P.1 - Full-Scale Prototype; Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire engines 8,100lb thrust engines; three prototypes produced including a static test airframe.
P.1B - Revised Operational Prototype; three examples produced leading to 20 pre-production aircraft and an order for 30 production F.Mk 1 fighters.
F.Mk 1 - Initial Production Model Designation; 19 examples produced plus one static test airframe; fitted with 2 x Rolls-Royce Avon 200R engines; Ferranti AI-23 AIRPASS radar system; VHF radio system; provision for 2 x Firestreak missiles; 2 x 30mm ADEN cannons; appearing in 1960.
F.Mk 1A - Fitted with 2 x Avon 210R series engines; in-flight refueling probe; UHF radio system; 28 examples produced; appearing in 1961 under BAC label.
F.Mk 2 - Based on the F.MK 1 model; fitted with improved electronic systems; variable afterburner control; steerable nose wheel; liquid-oxygen breathing system; improved avionics; autopilot; 44 examples produced with 5 more later as the F52 for Saudi Arabia.
F.Mk 2A - Improved standard; fitted with 2 x Avon 211R series engines; up to 4 x 30mm ADEN cannons; increased ventral fuel tank; arrestor hook; improved endurance; 31 examples converted from F.Mk 2models.
F.Mk 3 - Fitted with Avon 301R-series MK 300 turbojet engines of 16,360lb; sans cannons with improved AI-23Bradar system; revised tailfin with increased surface area; cleared for Red Top missile use; 70 examples produced; sans ADEN cannon systems.
F.Mk 3A - Improved range; cambered wings; 16 examples produced; later production models became F.Mk 6 models.
F.Mk 6 - Revised wing with cambered leading edge; increased ventral fuel tank; 2 x 30mm ADEN cannons; improved range; new AI-23S radar system
T.Mk 4 - Two-Seat Side-by-Side Trainer Model; based on F.Mk 1A production models; appeared as two prototypes leading up to 20 production examples; two examples eventually becoming T54 Saudi Arabian exports.
T.Mk 5 - Two Seat Side-by-Side Trainer Model; based on F.Mk 3 production models; 22 examples produced.
T.Mk 6 - Improved range; revised wings and increased fuel storage; "overwing" fuel tanks; increased ventral fuel tank; 30mm cannon armament brought back; 2 x Red Top missiles; 39 examples produced; final production variant.
F52 - Saudi Arabian Export Conversion Model of F.Mk 2 fighter.
F53 - Export Model based on the F.Mk 6 production model; provision for unguided rocket pods and bombs; 46 examples produced; 34 delivered to Saudi Arabia.
F53K - Kuwaiti Designation of F53 export model; 12 delivered.
T54 - Saudi Arabian Export Model; Two-Seat Trainers based on the T.Mk 4 production model.
T55 - Two-Seat Trainer Export Model based on the T.Mk 5 production model; 6 delivered to Saudi Arabia.
T55K - Kuwaiti designation of T55 export trainer model.
Kuwait; Saudi Arabia; United Kingdom; South Africa (civilian); United States (civilian)