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Rebel21

E.E Lightning F2.a Wpns loadout

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Posted (edited)

Hi Peeps,

Just looking for some info on Standard weapon fits for the E.E Lightning F2.a stationed at RAF Gutersloh in the mid 1970`s Cheers in advance.

Quick add on when was the refuelling probe added to Lightnings?

 

Edited by Rebel21
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2 Firestreak and 4 30mm cannon two above and two below the nose. I understand the 30mm was really the primary weapon

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2 X upper cannon, sometimes with 2 X lower cannon, and a pair of Firestreak missiles. I'm not sure, but I think Red Top missiles came in around 1976.

 

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2 minutes ago, Scimitar F1 said:

2 Firestreak and 4 30mm cannon two above and two below the nose.

Since the Firestreak weapons pack replaced the lower pair of cannon - either four cannon, or two cannon and a pair of Firestreak.

 

( Or if you feel adventurous, you can build XN733 as she appeared at Farnborough in 1970, with four nose cannon plus two more in an F.6-style belly tank.)

Cheers,

 

Andre

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2 minutes ago, 71chally said:

I'm not sure, but I think Red Top missiles came in around 1976.

Firestreak only on the F.2/2A, AFAIK - Red Top could be carried from the F.3 on.

 

Cheers,

 

Andre

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Ah, did wonder, read an account of an F.2A undertaking Red Top trials in '76, but must have remained as trials.

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The Red Top required the AI23B AIRPASS, the F.1/2/2A and T.4 retained the earlier AI23.

 

Red Top capable marks (F.3/6 and T.5) could emply the Firestreak as well, but not vice versa.

 

Cheers,

 

Andre

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Scimitar F1 said:

Apparently the F2A was the best of all the Lightning versions 

But without RedTop, no?

Apparently it was not possible to have everything at once back then! Compromises.... but that is still true today as well of course!

Edited by exdraken
Spelling....

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Regarding your second question, provision for the refuelling probe to be fitted was introduced with the F.1A which entered service in 1961.

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8 hours ago, exdraken said:

But without RedTop, no?

Apparently it was not possible to hsve everything at once back then! Compromises.... but that is still true today as well of course!

This was primarily around fuel. The F2A had the less thirstier engines and the increased tankage as well as the revised wing and cannons that did not eat into the ventral tank. Agreed Red Top would have been a useful addition but if

it was a game changer why did they not make the necessary upgrades?

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6 hours ago, Scimitar F1 said:

Apparently the F2A was the best of all the Lightning versions 

Ian Black's "Last of the Lightnings" describes the F.2A as being more fuel efficient than the F.6 due to its smoother exterior.

 

Cheers,

 

Andre

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I understand that the reason F2A did not have Red Top was that Gutersloh Squadrons were tasked with low level air defence, and the Firestreak was (alledgedly) better performing in the low level scenario than the Red Top.

 

Selwyn 

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53 minutes ago, Selwyn said:

I understand that the reason F2A did not have Red Top was that Gutersloh Squadrons were tasked with low level air defence, and the Firestreak was (alledgedly) better performing in the low level scenario than the Red Top.

 

Selwyn 

That does make sense. It is quite hard to find good descriptions of the performance of British Missiles. Firestreak and Red Top are much larger than Sidewinders with a much greater explosive charge. I understand that they performed better with Red Top having the same performance in the late ‘60s that the AIM-9L had in the late ‘70s

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2 hours ago, Scimitar F1 said:

 I understand that they performed better with Red Top having the same performance in the late ‘60s that the AIM-9L had in the late ‘70s

Not really! The "all aspect" capability of the Red Top meant that the missile sensor was capable of acquiring an aircraft flying at supersonic speed at high altitude thanks to the heat generated by friction. All above a certain altitude and with clear sky. That is something very different from what the AIM-9L sensor could achieve.

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Hook said:

( Or if you feel adventurous, you can build XN733 as she appeared at Farnborough in 1970, with four nose cannon plus two more in an F.6-style belly tank.)

On that occasion XN733 only had two cannon fitted, the two in the front of the belly tank.

It was set up for display as an 'export type' Lightning with an array of weapons that the F.2A wouldn't carry, including the belly tank cannon, being mounted with underwing pylons with rocket pods, the undernose retractable rocket launchers, and surrounded by other stores/weapons options.

My guess is that BAC used an airframe that happened to be in their hands at the time.

I've never seen a six cannon mount, but would love to be proved wrong.

 

Re the missiles, what Selwyn says makes sense to me, also I can't now find reference to Red Top being tested on F.2A, so that is probably something that has evolved in my mind.

 

One interesting thing for us modellers, though the fuselage weapon pack only allowed a choice of either the two lower cannon, or the two Firestreak missiles to be fitted, F.2As were occasionally pictured with the missiles and the the lower cannon ports (interchangeable panels, either ported or flush panels) fitted. The cannon ports panels were usually finished in a very dark gun-metal and are easy to identify.

So, from a modelling perspective it is possible to depict an F.2A with what appears to be four cannon and the missiles.  Something I'm halfway through with a 48th example at the moment.

Edited by 71chally

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21 hours ago, Hook said:

Since the Firestreak weapons pack replaced the lower pair of cannon - either four cannon, or two cannon and a pair of Firestreak.

 

( Or if you feel adventurous, you can build XN733 as she appeared at Farnborough in 1970, with four nose cannon plus two more in an F.6-style belly tank.)

Cheers,

 

Andre

I remember reading about this but haven't since been able to find which airplane, where or when it was seen. From another discussion I understand the F.2A could mount the belly cannon but couldn't utilize them as it wasn't wired for it. Would you recall what markings XN733 carried at Farnborough?

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23 minutes ago, SAT69 said:

Would you recall what markings XN733 carried at Farnborough?

She is depicted at p.18 of the Martin Derry / Neil Robinson Flightcraft volume on the Lightning - only serial, roundels and fin flash.

38 minutes ago, 71chally said:

So, from a modelling perspective it is possible to depict an F.2A with what appears to be four cannon and the missiles.

The AirDoc volume on RAFG Lightnings has a few pictures of this configuration, ie. p. 61.

 

Yes, I like having lots of reference books. 😎

 

Cheers,

 

Andre

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, SAT69 said:

Would you recall what markings XN733 carried at Farnborough?

If you Google 'XN733 Farnborough' you should find plenty of images of it, it really looked like most of the company demonstrators shown at the SBAC shows.

If it wasn't for the serial you would never know it was an F.2A as it's not displayed with any of its standard weapons fit.

 

As standard, the F.2A wouldn't mount the belly cannon, and without wiring there wouldn't be the option to use them. The Farnborough set up on '733 was purely for display.

 

Edited by 71chally

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1 hour ago, 71chally said:

I can't now find reference to Red Top being tested on F.2A, so that is probably something that has evolved in my mind.

Perhaps you're thinking of XN734? She was an F.2 (not F.2A) used in the F.3 programma and tested the Red Top (as well as the squared off vertical tail, Avon 301 engines and overwing tanks. 

 

Photo on p.27 of the Osprey Lightning book by Bruce Barrymore Halpenny.

 

Cheers,

 

Andre

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1974/75 all Lightning F.2A'aware fitted with two Aden cannon & two Firestreak. The lower gun ports were fairer over and the blanking plates were painted a dark metallic red.

 

XVTonker

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5 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

Not really! The "all aspect" capability of the Red Top meant that the missile sensor was capable of acquiring an aircraft flying at supersonic speed at high altitude thanks to the heat generated by friction. All above a certain altitude and with clear sky. That is something very different from what the AIM-9L sensor could achieve.

Not so sure about that. The all aspect element of the AIM-9L was broadly similar. Very different to the scanned arrays of later models.

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1 hour ago, xvtonker said:

1974/75 all Lightning F.2A'aware fitted with two Aden cannon & two Firestreak. The lower gun ports were fairer over and the blanking plates were painted a dark metallic red.

I've never seen pictures of the blanking panels painted red, appearing in the same aluminium finish as the undersides, but certainly the upper gun ports obtained a very deep reddish brown colour (nothing as vibrant as the East Fortune jet) for a period.

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On 5/22/2020 at 3:56 PM, 71chally said:

2 X upper cannon, sometimes with 2 X lower cannon, and a pair of Firestreak missiles. I'm not sure, but I think Red Top missiles came in around 1976.

 

The F2A could only be armed with Firestreak missiles and 2 x ADEN cannon.

The second lower set of cannon would by necessity have displaced the missile package.

Red Tops may have been fitted for static display though even that's unlikely as there wouldn't be any on an F2A base.  They were certainly never fitted operationally.

Red Top capable Lightnings were distinguishable by the extended cable duct impinging on the nose roundel, so only the F3, T5 and F6 carried it.

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Posted (edited)

Just had a quick flick through Ian Blacks' outstanding Last Of The Lightnings book again and in it he mentions that there were problems with Red Top that dogged it for a long time.  Interestingly many of the Lightning F.3/F.6s pictured in the book right towards the end of their service lives in the mid to late 1980s are carrying Firestreaks - something I hadn't noticed before.

I don't know how the Navy got on with Red Top as the Sea Vixen FAW.2 (from 1964 on) couldn't use Firestreak.

 

Noting the missile info earlier, and knowing little about them, I always thought that FIrestreak/Red Top was a different sort of weapon to Sidewinder, it being more of a large bomber attack missile more akin to Sparrow?

 

Coincidently, reading on an unrelated subject and it states that BAC used XN773 from June to October 1970, which would explain their use of it displaying at SBAC Farnborough.

Edited by 71chally

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