Bear Chasing- English Electric Lightning

More from Chris French FGAvA

English Electric Lightning Painting - 23 Squadron Aviation Art Print by Aviation Artist Chris French FGAvA


For nearly thirty years the English Electric Lightning formed the first-line defence of the U.K and was renowned for its exceptional climb rate and sheer speed. 


With the Cold War in full swing, the Lightning were called upon often to turn back intruders, the most common of which was the Russian Tu-95 Bear. Though tensions could run high in the Cold War, it was more usual for the crews of the opposing aircraft to exchange a friendly wave before the Bear returned to the Soviet Union and the Lightning to its base.


These particular Lightnings come from 23 Squadron, based at Leuchars. 23 Squadron operated the aircraft from 1963 to 1975 before reforming with the other great Cold War fighter, the Phantom.

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