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English Electric Lightning F2 Aircraft Data

Photo ID 181741 by Alex Staruszkiewicz. UK Air Force English Electric Lightning F2, XN768
The Lightning F.2 followed the F.1 and F.1A into RAF service and was the first variant to be equipped with a CRT attack display, making the F.2 the first 'all-weather Lightning'. With a further improved A.I.23 radar, revised cockpit and instruments, the F.2 had also a liquid oxygen breathing system installed. Externally the F.2 differed only slightly from an F.1A, the F.2 featuring a steerable nose wheel. The other recognition feature was the small intake scoop on the aircraft's spine, leading air to cool the DC generator. As in the F.1A this version was also armed with two 30mm Aden cannon.
The new Avon Mk.210R producing 11,250lbs (5,103kg) in military power, featured a fully variable reheat system giving the F.2 a maximum thrust of 14,430lbs (6,545kg). In all, the performance of the F.2 was superior to the F.1A.

Production, construction numbers and serials
An inital order for the production of 50 F.2 aircraft was received in December 1959, but was reduced to 44 examples built at Samlesbury. Final assembly took place at Warton from where the Lightnings made their first flights. The first Lightning F.2 XN723 (c/n 95096) took to the air on 11 July 1961.

The RAF-serials for F.2 Lightnings were divided into two blocks:
XN723 to XN735
XN767 to XN797
The 6 cancelled machines had been allocated serials XN798 to 803.

A total of 31 F.2 aircraft were converted to F.6-standard under the designation F.2A: XN724, XN726 tot 727, XN730 to 733, XN735, XN771 to 778, XN786 to 793 and XN795.
Lightning F.2 XN725 was converted to Lightning F.3.
Lightning F.2 XN734 was converted to Lightning F.3A.
Five Lightning F.2s were converted to F.52 standard for the Royal Saudi Air Force: XN729 (to RSAF as 52-659 and later re-serialled 612), XN767 (RSAF 52-655, later 609), XN770 (RSAF 52-656, later 610), XN796 (RSAF 52-657) and XN797 (RSAF 52-658, later 611). The Saudi Support Unit set up at Warton to train RSAF personnel received a Lightning F.2, but XN734 was only used as a ground instructional airframe. This aircraft was later acquired by Aces High and registered G-BNCA in 1987 only to be scrapped in 1994.

Only two operational RAF units, Nos. 19 and 92 Squadrons at RAF Leconfield were destined to receive the Lightning F.2, both having been former Hunter operators. By the summer of 1963 both squadrons had received their full complement of aircraft. In 1965 the two units were assigned to RAF Germany, with No.92 Squadron heading for RAF Geilenkirchen, one of the Clutch airfields on the Dutch-German border. No. 19 Squadron deployed to RAF Gütersloh on 23 September 1965, where it was joined by No.92 from 24 January 1968. In that same month the first new F.2As for No.19 arrived at the German base. The Cobras got their first F.2As in August 1968.
  • Country of Origin: United Kingdom
  • First Flight: 11 July 1961
  • Initial Service Date: 14 November 1962
  • No. Built: 44
  • No. In Service: 0
  • No. of Hardpoints: 2
  • Crew: 1


2 Rolls Royce RA.24R Avon Mk.210R at 11,250 lbf


Two De Havilland Firestreak air-to-air missiles.
Two 30mm Aden cannon.


Length: 55 ft 3 in.
Wing Span: 34 ft 10 in.
Wing Area: 458,5 sq.ft
Height: 19 ft 7 in.
Empty Weight: 27,000 lbs
Max. Weight: 34,500 lbs



United Kingdom
The Royal Air Force had two operational units equipped with the Lightning F.2:
No.19 Squadron
No.92 Squadron

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Photo ID 181741 by Alex Staruszkiewicz. UK Air Force English Electric Lightning F2, XN768
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