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EE Lightning T5 XS422 ETPS


Filler
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I picked up the Sword 1/48 T5 kit and was planning a late LTF camo scheme, but I then stumbled across the BBC series Test Pilot on YouTube (Lightning excerpt here). So now I really fancy trying to build it as XS422, but I suspect that as if often the way that there will be some issues that make it somewhere between difficult and impossible.

 

Other than the not so sharp TV footage, I have found around 7 or 8 photos of her from the mid eighties. Between it all, I think my barriers are the fancy pitot with the crossy thing and some of the rather unique markings. She appeared to have an ETPS crest on both sides and then on the port side a tiny union jack with possibly a crown above it and a small circle with a maybe three bladed thing within it below. Also on the port side there was a small Sooty (the yellow hand puppet bear) painted. So the non existence of some decals will be the most obvious problem and the pitot looks tricky. Is there anything else that I don't know about that makes a decent replica of XS422 difficult?

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Yep, she is very much alive and well at the Stennis Airport in Mississippi. My dear late friend, Group Captain Hans Neubroch, flew her, as he sent me the Lightning entries from his logbook, and XS422 was one of the T5's he flew while at Wattisham- I will definitely be doing her one day as a tribute to a real gentleman and RAF airman who flew everything from a Tiger Moth to a Lightning during his storied career. Can't wait to see your RFI photos!

Mike

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I would be pretty surprised if they would be allowed to have a Lightning flying in the US, particularly considering the fate of the Thunder City one. Having said that, I wish them all the best in their endeavours. The EE Lightning is one of my "bucket list" airframes to see flying - seems very unlikely now. 

 

Chris.  

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The US is probably the only place a Lightning will fly.

 

Seen XS422 many times - mostly going straight up! IIRC the Binbrook Lightnings in later years were limited from doing the abrupt climb on take-off but the ETPS aircraft weren't.

 

I think I have a photo of her taken at Binbrook and will check later. I don't recall many unique markings on her aside from the red tail.

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Thanks for the replies all. It would be amazing to see a Lightning in the air again, but it has to be a long shot for anyone anywhere.

 

@72modeler, it's always wonderful to listen to the tales of the people who had these amazing careers and flew these machines. My cousin has also flown in XS422 when he was taken for an air experience flight. He told me they went straight up, out over the Bristol channel, hit mach 1 and came home again. Lucky sod!

 

@Sabrejet, any photo reference you might be able to lay your hands on would be appreciated. Wish I'd seen them in flight, but by the time I was old enough to go to and remember airshows etc, they were gone and so was Binbrook.

 

Regarding the extra markings it carried, it is these that can be seen in this shot that is heavy crop of photo taken by Timothy P Smith. This was taken since it has been in the States, and I understand that the ETPS crest and Sooty are faithful reproductions. I guess I could get them custom made, but the ones forward of the roundel are a bit of a mystery to me.

 

XS422-Boscombe-port-side-cockpit-marking

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Spent 5 years at Binbrook on 5 Sqn, Prior to leaving for Germany I had the pleasure of a 50 min flight in the Sqns Tbird. Sortie profile was supersonic head on attack against a F6. Take off wasn't the vertical affair we all love (main reason was fuel for the supersonic phase) and we sped away from Binbrook the F6 in close formation. After a short period of time and at 32'000 feet, the F6 split from us to gain 50 miles separation. We accelerated to Mach 1.15 and the F6 to Mach 1.6. with 2000 feet height separation the F6 below us. it was all over in a flash all I saw of the F6 was a black streak below us. The F6 joined back up with us but had to head home due to fuel. We had a bit left so we rolled inverted dropping down 250feet and 550 knots over the sea as we headed back home....now that's when you got a sensation of speed. In to the circuit for landing but we overshot parallel to the runway with the gear tucked away and that's when he rotated and climbed vertical...back in for a straight landing... two sensations I remember from the landing the bang as the gear hit the runway and the tug when the Brake chute deployed.  I serviced the beast before and after the flight too. 

Edited by tweeky
typo
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That sounds an incredible experience and that closing speed? Hard for me to imagine. I've only occasionally caught glimpse of another aircraft heading kind of opposite from the window of a holiday flight and even at that much slower speed and with huge separation, it looks pretty fast.

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That’s great thanks. Excellent to see another photo of a rarely photographed aircraft and interesting to know it got out from Boscombe sometimes. It also confirms that all the markings seen on it at the Boscombe photo event in 1988 soon after being retired were there as far back as early 85. So no dodging those markings it seems.

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I was at Boscombe in 85/86 during the filming of Test Pilot. I’ve got photos and if I remember correctly I just don’t recall those forward of the roundel, all I remember is the ETPS ensign. I’ll see what I’ve got. I did the 1/32 conversion which is currently in the BD museum in the cabinets.

Edited by speedy
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Thanks speedy. If you have any photos of your model I’d like to see them too.

 

Were you there just 86/87? My uncle was there but I’m not sure exactly when.  It must have been pre 88 for my cousin to have got his Lightning ride, but I can only be certain of 1990 as that’s when we were his guests at the Battle of Britain 50th air show.

 

Back to those markings forward of the round. Looks like they may remain a mystery. Maybe I could contact the current owners and ask them.

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I built this one many years ago, a Matchbox T55 and an Airfix F1a cut 'n shut, it's a bit of a dull aircraft visually, it's like they started the process of red white and blue 'raspberry ripple' scheme but never finished it! had they, it would have been super cool!! Once it was done I converted it to 145sqn T4 with it's striking red and white tail and spine with trainer yellow fuselage and wing bands! 

Wasn't this ETPS T5 one of the few lightnings never to serve in the RAF being transferred from Warton to Boscombe?

 

spacer.png

 

If you want an 'interesting' T5, how about this one. .

 spacer.png 

 

There's an Xtradecal set for this one, As I understand it, it was flown to Akrotiri with 56sqn and became the station flight aircraft because it  needed further Victors K3 IFR tankers to get home having a lower fuel capacity than the F6,. .  .and. . . I 'think' this one made it's way to Thunder City in SA 

 

 

Miko (long term lightning builder living on the flightpath into RAF Binbrook)

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On 21/07/2021 at 18:07, Sabrejet said:

Well so much for my memory: no red tail! And the photo is not much good either, apologies: this was taken at Binbrook on a snowy 18 March 1985:

 

85 03 18 Binbrook (4)

 

 

You're thinking of 5sqn F6 XR770 'AA'

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On 21/07/2021 at 11:13, Filler said:

Thanks for the replies all. It would be amazing to see a Lightning in the air again, but it has to be a long shot for anyone anywhere.

 

@72modeler, it's always wonderful to listen to the tales of the people who had these amazing careers and flew these machines. My cousin has also flown in XS422 when he was taken for an air experience flight. He told me they went straight up, out over the Bristol channel, hit mach 1 and came home again. Lucky sod!

 

@Sabrejet, any photo reference you might be able to lay your hands on would be appreciated. Wish I'd seen them in flight, but by the time I was old enough to go to and remember airshows etc, they were gone and so was Binbrook.

 

Regarding the extra markings it carried, it is these that can be seen in this shot that is heavy crop of photo taken by Timothy P Smith. This was taken since it has been in the States, and I understand that the ETPS crest and Sooty are faithful reproductions. I guess I could get them custom made, but the ones forward of the roundel are a bit of a mystery to me.

 

XS422-Boscombe-port-side-cockpit-marking

I believe it's the old A&AEE Fighter Test Squadron badge - the later one had the Phantom vertically, over two crossed missiles. Not sure why Sooty is there, unless it was applied by the engine techies (known as Sootys).

 

Steve

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Before the T5 XS422 the ETPS had a T4 XL629. That had the red on the spine continue up the forward edge of the tail. https://www.thunder-and-lightnings.co.uk/lightning/survivor.php?id=171

 

@BritJet, when I read your post I thought of course. However, I am still struggling to find any images of these markings online and I did find this about the A&AEE http://www.rafht.co.uk/index.php/2016/06/24/aeroplane-armament-experimental-establishment-aaee/. So it still seems a bit of a mystery. Looks like three different elements to me, the middle one being the union flag.

 

@Miko, that's a great story about that T5 at Akrotiri.

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6 hours ago, Filler said:

Before the T5 XS422 the ETPS had a T4 XL629. That had the red on the spine continue up the forward edge of the tail. https://www.thunder-and-lightnings.co.uk/lightning/survivor.php?id=171

 

@BritJet, when I read your post I thought of course. However, I am still struggling to find any images of these markings online and I did find this about the A&AEE http://www.rafht.co.uk/index.php/2016/06/24/aeroplane-armament-experimental-establishment-aaee/. So it still seems a bit of a mystery. Looks like three different elements to me, the middle one being the union flag.

The T4 XL629 didn't fly in the scheme that it's now displayed in, still looks good though and the only T4 to survive.

 

The A&AEE was split up into squadrons, each with a specialism for testing - 'A' was the Fighter Test Squadron, 'B' Heavy (bombers), 'C' Naval, 'D' Rotary Wing, 'E' Transports - I think that's right but it's all just off the top of my head!. Over the years some of these were merged and the names changed due to the smaller numbers of new types to be tested. It's quite common to see the A&AEE or ETPS crests but the individual squadrons didn't often display their own identity - 'C' Squadron being the big exception, as seen on the Sea Balliol at Cosford and several Buccaneers.

 

I've never seen a good image of the old 'A' Squadron badge but is likely to be on the Lightning as it was shared with ETPS as neither could really justify having their own aircraft.

 

Steve

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Thanks Steve. That’s wonderful knowledge and I appreciate you sharing it. Boscombe was a fascinating place in its day.

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Just to pick this up again. I haven’t left you in the lurch, I’ve asked one of my nerdy mate to ask his circle of knowledge, so waiting on his reply.

Edited by speedy
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Does the Jaguar or TSR2 decal sheets not have the A Sqn badge? I know that the TSR2 sheet has full ETPS decals that could be used on the T55- think Xtracrylix did it in 1/72

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18 hours ago, darthspud said:

Does the Jaguar or TSR2 decal sheets not have the A Sqn badge? I know that the TSR2 sheet has full ETPS decals that could be used on the T55- think Xtracrylix did it in 1/72

From what I can make out from images of the sheet online, it does have the ETPS crest, but this other mystery crest or whatever it is is not on there. Incidentally, even Hannants don't list that decal sheet any more., never mind have stock.

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I have at least 2 copies of both whif sets in 1/72 scale. 

As they are soo big , i use them for my various F16 builds. The scale looks right to me.

The A Sqn marking may be on the ETPS/Boscombe set that was released by Hannants some time ago. I may have parts of it in my decal bank.

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If you get chance to take a look and take some rough measurements of any ETPS markings in your 72nd sets I would appreciate it.

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Looks like I only have the rest of the sheet. I've got a pic of one on the tail of my raspberry ripple F-16. Gimme a few secs and I'll try and send it

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