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Technical Data

Variant

Engines/Thrust

Weights

Dimensions

Distinguishing Features

P.1A

2 x Armstrong-Siddeley Sapphire Sa5, 7,500lb each: later replaced by Sapphire 5R 9,200lb with reheat

22,221lb Empty
27,077lb Loaded

Span: 34ft 10in
Length: 49ft 8in;
Height: 17ft 3in;
Wing area: 458.5sqft

Original prototypes to F23/49 Max speed Mach 1.53 (1,011 mph) at 36,000 ft

P1.B

2 x Rolls-Royce Avon 200R (later 210R) 14,430lb Each with reheat

24,816lb Empty;
31,831lb Loaded;
34,140lb Max loaded;

Span: 34ft 10in;
Length: 55ft 3in;
Height: 19ft 5in;
Wing area: 458.5sqft

Fighter Prototype,
Max speed Mach 2.1 1,390mph) at 40,000ft

Lightning
F.1

2 x Rolls-Royce Avon 200R

25,753lb
Empty

As P1.B Except
Height: 19ft 7in

First production version AI 23 radar, VHF radio (Later replaced by UHF) 2 x 30mm Aden cannon in nose 2 x Firestreak missiles or alternative weapons pack Mach 2.2 approx

Lightning
F.1A

2 x Rolls-Royce Avon 210R with revised, four position reheat throttle control

25,737lb Empty

As F.1

First version with in-flight refuelling UHF radio, external cable ducts to missile pylons

Lightning F.2

2 x Rolls-Royce Avon 210R with fully variable
reheat control

27,000lb
Empty

As F.1

Revised cockpit including partial OR946 specification, liquid oxygen breathing system, standby turbo generator for DC electrical supply identified by small scoop on dorsal spine

Lightning
F.2A

2 x Rolls-Royce Avon 211R

27,000lb
Empty

As F.1 except wing area:
474.5sqft

F.2 rebuilt to incorporate some F.6 features: kinked, cambered wing square cut fin, enlarged ventral fuel tank 2 x Aden
cannon (in upper nose) 2  x Firestreak missiles

Lightning F.3

2 x Rolls-Royce Avon 301R, 12,690lb thrust (dry) and 16,360lb thrust (reheat)

26,905lb
Empty

as F.1

Square cut fin of 15% greater area deletion of in-built cannon more advanced radar AI 23B which allowed either Red Top collision course missiles or Firestreak. Full OR946 integrated flight system

Lightning
F.3A
(Interim F.6)

2 x Rolls-Royce Avon 301R, 12,690lb thrust (dry) and 16,360lb thrust (reheat)

28,041lb
Empty
41,700lb Loaded

As F.3 Except wing
474.5sqft

Kinked, cambered wing for greater area and enlarged ventral tank

Lightning T.4

2 x Rolls-Royce Avon 210R

27,000LB
Empty

As F.1

Two seat, dual control trainer version of F.1A; deletion of cannon from upper nose

Lightning T.5

2 x Rolls-Royce Avon 301R

27,000LB
Empty

As F.3

Two seat, dual control trainer version of F.3 with capability of carrying either Red Top or Firestreak missiles

Lightning F.6

2 x Rolls-Royce Avon 301R

28,041LB Empty
41,700LB max loaded

As F.3A

Full production version of F.3A with provision to carry over-wing fuel tanks and some small improvement to equipment

Lightning F.53

2 x Rolls-Royce Avon 302C

Similar to F.6

As F.3A

Export version of F.6 with the capability to carry a wider range of ordinance from over or under wing pylons AI 23S radar (export version of AI 23B)

Lightning T.55

2 x Rolls-Royce Avon 302C

Similar to F.6

As F.3A

Export version of T.5 with the enlarged ventral tank, kinked
cambered wing and AI 23S

In the course of its long RAF service, most versions of Lightning were subject to the incorporation of many modifications, mostly without significant external evidence of change.  Many were concerned with improving the fire prevention integrity of the engine bays and jet pipes, where the high incidence of fires caused the loss of a high proportion of the Lightnings which were written off in flying accidents.

Modifications to operational equipment were relatively few, because they were not considered cost-effective in an aircraft which was not expected to remain in service for more than a decade!  However, limited improvements were made to the AI 23B radar, resulting in the AI 23C and finally AI 23D versions.

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