Airfix English Electric Lightning 1/48 kit A09178

Airfix English Electric Lightning 1/48 kit A09178


Model Scale
Number of Parts
Dimensions (mm)
L350 x W220
Skill Level
Flying Hours
Requires Painting

In Store Price £29.99

Delivery £4.99 UK mainland only, Excl Highlands/Islands
Mail Order Price £34.98

Entering RAF squadron service in 1960, the Lightning represented a quantum leap in capability and performance over the RAF's previous interceptor jets, offering Mach 2+ performance as well as a phenomenal rate of climb. Until its retirement in the 1980s, the Lightning has few rivals for outright speed and climbing ability, however, it did have some shortcomings, most notably its lack of range as well as its limited armament of just two air-to-air missiles.

The F3 Lightning introduced an enlarged ventral tank with later versions also being equipped with over-wing tanks, improving the range of the Lightning further. These versions deleted the nose guns of the earlier variants, thus reducing the ability of the Lightning pilots to get in close to their opponents. They also did nothing to overcome its missile deficiency, with the Lightning still having to rely on just two missiles.

The Lightning was eventually replaced in 1988, superseded by the more capable and more heavily armed Tornado, but a number survive today in museums, a reminder of one of the RAF's fastest fighter jets of all time.