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224 Peter

BAC Lightning F2A History

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Back in July 1968 I was in the Air Training Corps and lucky enough to spend a week ay RAG Guttersloh, Germany.

There were 40 or so of us from Surry Wing squadrons. 

The Group photograph was taken in front of one of 19 Squadrons BAC Lightning F2As, XN789, Squadron Letter J

At that time the aircraft was in overall natural metal, very clean and tidy had cannon but didn't appear to have an IFR probe. 

I have the 1/48th Airfix Kit and plan to make a model of 789, but because I hate natural metal finishing I would like to know if this A/C carried the dark green upper surface scheme. 

Indeed it would be good to know what happened to the aircraft. 

 

Does anyone know any more? 

 

I'll scan the photo and post it here...

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Hi Peter 

Have a look through  www.raf.in.combat  you will see two photos of 789 one of them in camouflage green top surface it was relegated to a decoy aircraft after retirement  after WFU.  

 

Geoff Arnold

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Just "google images" XN789 .

Edited by Darth Vader

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John, 

 

thanks a million.

Interesting that in the underside photo the A/C has the kinked wing: my photo 10 years earlier shows the broader fin but straight wing L/E. 

Nice photo though. 

Is that fire damage from an afterburner area fire and possibly the end of the airframe. 

Reading books about the Lightening it seems that these fires were quite common and usually resulted in the loss of control and ejection. 

 

Peter

Edited by 224 Peter
second question

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Over the years there was speculation as to the green used on the F2As with everyone sort of agreeing it was standard RAF dark green but somehow it looked different to that used on the grey/green a/c then in service. Dick Ward stated it was RAF dark green on one of the Modeldecal sheets - and even that was questioned.

 

A couple of years ago I did an experiment with an Airfix F2A and a Fujimi Phantom FGR2; made both and used a brand new, well stirred pot of Humbrol 163 to paint them side by side. Same paint, same number of coats and the Lightning green still looks different to that on the Phantom - I can only speculate that it's how the light falls on the slabbier side of the Lighting that causes the effect.

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Next question: does anyone know of a source of a 1/48th version of the 19 Squadron fin badge?

 

Here she is on 29 July 1968, I'm in the middle row, 7th from the right.

The negative number is A7608G, and the image is Crown Copyright Reserved

 

XN789-29-July-1968-RAG-Guttersloh.jpg

 

F2A tail, cannon, difficult to see if it has the broad wing, which from the previous photo it did later in life. 

 

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7 hours ago, 224 Peter said:

Next question: does anyone know of a source of a 1/48th version of the 19 Squadron fin badge?

 

Here she is on 29 July 1968, I'm in the middle row, 7th from the right.

The negative number is A7608G, and the image is Crown Copyright Reserved

 

XN789-29-July-1968-RAG-Guttersloh.jpg

 

F2A tail, cannon, difficult to see if it has the broad wing, which from the previous photo it did later in life. 

 

It will have the  broad wing, it was part of the F2A modification along with the square topped tail.

Selwyn

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10 hours ago, 224 Peter said:

John, 

 

thanks a million.

Interesting that in the underside photo the A/C has the kinked wing: my photo 10 years earlier shows the broader fin but straight wing L/E. 

Nice photo though. 

Is that fire damage from an afterburner area fire and possibly the end of the airframe. 

Reading books about the Lightening it seems that these fires were quite common and usually resulted in the loss of control and ejection. 

 

Peter

No problem Peter, I've had a quick look at the history, her first flight was 11/3/63 (the day before my 3rd birthday) To 92 Sqn 'G' 26/4/63, To Warton 5/9/66 for conversion to F,2A first flight after conversion 12/10/67. To 19 Sqn, 'J' first F.2A for 19 Sqn. 30/9/71. First F.2A to enter major servicing program, back to 19 Sqn 'J' in with Dark Green top 13/3/72 (day after my 12th birthday!)  struck of Charge  1/1/77, then to Bruggen 11/1/71,  scraped around 17/4/91. I think the fire damage was down to a fuel leak, ironically she had been back to Warton for fire integrity mod's in April 1971

 

John

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John, 

 

fascinating: much appreciated. 

Now all I need is a 1/48 kit of an F2a / F6....

 

I have the Airfix F1, F2, F3 with the small fuel tank. 

I need A 09178! 

 

Over to the buy/sell section!! 

 

 

Edited by 224 Peter
Correction

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Peter

 

You may well be aware of the cockpit of Lightning F2a XN726 on your doorstep that lives at the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection up at Old Sarum.

 

Hugh Trevor, it's owner, and I had the exact same discussion about which green it should be, and I know he went to great pains to get as near as possible to what was originally there on the airframe... some weathering dictated an amount of research but with a fine result I feel. It is displayed with images of it's service life from AFDS F2 through both 19 and 92sqn schemes NMF and Green.

 

They're open everyday now bar Mondays for summer... but then you may have already visited!

 

All the best with the Lightnings... I know how addictive they are!

 

Rob

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Rob, 

 

I see it very often as I'm part of the team at BDAC. I work in the ship every Thursday and help out in the hangar on busy days.

 

Hugh has allowed me to climb into the cockpit and we discussed the Guttersloh aircraft I was photographed against. At the time I hadn't fully identified the A/C, so there was a possibility it was that A/C. I now know it is not. 

 

I've sourced a kit..so I'll be getting on with it. 

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On 2/18/2019 at 9:32 AM, 224 Peter said:

Next question: does anyone know of a source of a 1/48th version of the 19 Squadron fin badge?

 

 

Model Alliance do an RAF Germany decal sheet in 1/48 including a 19 Squadron Lightning in the green scheme, available from Hannants here:

https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ML48188

 

Edited by AMB

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Hi Peter

 

Yes of course, thought I recognised you!

I'm on the team too, so many volunteers and not enough time to be there at mo, we pass like ships in the night, was last in painting the Meteor engine bays which is pretty well near finished now.. how's that for a quick kit construction!

In the meantime modelling Lightnings too... all for reference for my artwork I tell the lady... catch up soon.

Rob

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Rob, 

 

I'll be in every Thursday manning the shop this season!! 

 

Peter

18 hours ago, AMB said:

Model Alliance do an RAF Germany decal sheet in 1/48 including a 19 Squadron Lightning in the green scheme, available from Hannants here:

https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ML48188

 

Ordered, many thanks! 

 

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Some of the 'scrap' Lightnings ended up as decoys at the runway threshold at Laarbruch in the mid to late 70's. Not sure if this was one of them but all were painted green. If memory serves correctly there were 6-8 of them lined up, although to be honest I don't think they would have fooled anyone.

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3 minutes ago, Matt P said:

Some of the 'scrap' Lightnings ended up as decoys at the runway threshold at Laarbruch in the mid to late 70's. Not sure if this was one of them but all were painted green. If memory serves correctly there were 6-8 of them lined up, although to be honest I don't think they would have fooled anyone.

No she end up at Butgen, she also got repainted with dark sea grey dark grey topside.

John

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If ‘789 is the jet I think she is the fire was down to the engine tail cone becoming detached and lodging in the afterburner ring, diverting some of the exhaust gas sideways.  This quickly burned through the jet pipe, hydraulic lines and fuselage skin.  The pilot did it “by the book’ and, as there was no indication of the controls stiffening elected to take the jet home, rather than park her in a field, much to the consternation of those in Air Traffic who were advocating the Martin Baker option.  A safe landing was made and the jet brought to a stop and shut down at the end of the runway surrounded by the crash crews.  By the time the pilot had vacated the cockpit and walked round the SEngO was up a ladder at the back end desperately trying to stem the flow of hydraulic fluid still pouring from the severed lines.  It was estimated that when she came to a halt XN789 had less than two minutes flying time remaining before the controls seized and ejection would have been the only option.

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On 18/02/2019 at 20:10, canberra kid said:

No problem Peter, I've had a quick look at the history, her first flight was 11/3/63 (the day before my 3rd birthday) To 92 Sqn 'G' 26/4/63, To Warton 5/9/66 for conversion to F,2A first flight after conversion 12/10/67. To 19 Sqn, 'J' first F.2A for 19 Sqn. 30/9/71. First F.2A to enter major servicing program, back to 19 Sqn 'J' in with Dark Green top 13/3/72 (day after my 12th birthday!)  struck of Charge  1/1/77, then to Bruggen 11/1/71,  scraped around 17/4/91. I think the fire damage was down to a fuel leak, ironically she had been back to Warton for fire integrity mod's in April 1971

 

John

 

Was 789 built as an F2 and modified, or as an F1?

I think I'll have to use my F1, F2 and F3 kit to represent her as built, in 92 Squadron markings. 

I have located a F2A/F6 kit and I'll build her in the dark green colours. 

 

Peter 

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John, 

 

many thanks: I'm trying to tie down her colours in 92, the photos I have of other A/C show a blue spine and fin and the squadron Red and yellow colours as an Arrow Head round the roundel. 

Other, possibly later, photos show 92's aircraft with a red/yellow chequer board. 

I have the arrow head transfer in the Airfix kit sheet: the question is "can we find evidence that 789 had this, rather than the chequer board?"

 

It looks as though I'll end up with 2 models of 789, one as an F2 with 92 Squadron in blue and silver, the second in 19 Squadron in Green over silver.  

 

Discovering the history is almost as much fun as making the models and this one is special as I was, in a small way, part of 789's history! 

 

Peter

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Peter I’ve just done a quick and dirty web trawl and found one image of’789 wearing blue fin, individual letter “G” and arrowhead squadron markings undergoing deep maintenance (upper engine at least appears to be out) at Leconfield in late 1963.  Go fill your boots!👍😎😎ki

 

Trawling further finds a black n white image of ‘789 outside with blue fin, unpainted spine and four-gun weapons fit but still wearing the arrowhead squadron markings before the changeover to the rectangular  chequered bars.

Edited by stever219

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35 minutes ago, 224 Peter said:

John, 

 

many thanks: I'm trying to tie down her colours in 92, the photos I have of other A/C show a blue spine and fin and the squadron Red and yellow colours as an Arrow Head round the roundel. 

Other, possibly later, photos show 92's aircraft with a red/yellow chequer board. 

I have the arrow head transfer in the Airfix kit sheet: the question is "can we find evidence that 789 had this, rather than the chequer board?"

 

It looks as though I'll end up with 2 models of 789, one as an F2 with 92 Squadron in blue and silver, the second in 19 Squadron in Green over silver.  

 

Discovering the history is almost as much fun as making the models and this one is special as I was, in a small way, part of 789's history! 

 

Peter

I have had a quick look at Royal Air Force Germany by Bill Taylor and Lightning Squarons of the RAF. I can only find pictures of F.2s with the arrowhead marking while the NMF F.2As had the larger checker board marking which was reduced in size when the move to green was made.

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