This is an English Electric Lightning, and it is the coolest fighter aircraft ever made.
Firstly, because it’s called the English Electric Lightning and secondly, because it was powered by two Rolls-Royce Avon axial-flow jet engines stacked vertically, one atop the other.
Such immense power a gave the Lightning a top speed in excess of Mach 2, making it the only fighter of the time able to catch Concorde, and it is to this day still the only U.K designed and built interceptor to achieve twice the speed of sound.
It was also capable of an exceptional rate of climb, reaching 33,000ft from take-off in under three minutes, with an operational ceiling well in excess of double that – an important ability given its brief to intercept Russian nuclear bombers during the Cold War.
This brilliant Lego recreation of the English Electric Lighting comes from previous bloggee Dread Pirate Wesley, who has constructed a 1:55 F.3 series aircraft as operated by RAF Squadron 56.
This particular Lightning is a preserved surviving example available to see on display, but if you can’t get to RAF Bruntingthorpe you can check out the next best thing via Wesley’s photostream. Click the link above to get to Mach 2 very quickly indeed.
Lightning is always cool. OK, not always; this guy took some liberties. But other than that it’s cool. One of fastest and most terrifying forces in nature, lightning also makes a for a great aircraft name. It’s been used twice that we know of, the second being the unhinged English Electric Lightning and the first being this; the glorious Lockheed P-38J Lightning. The Lockheed P-38’s usual (and we think quite beautiful) twin boom design makes it an oddity in the aircraft world, and even more so considering it first entered service in 1941.
Deployed as a bomber, a long range escort fighter, a ground attack craft, for photo reconnaissance, and as a night fighter, the P-38 flew throughout the entire American involvement in World War Two in a vast array of theatres, with over 10,000 produced in just 4 years.
This colourful mini-figure scale version of the iconic warbird comes from previous bloggee John C. Lamarck of Flickr, who has done a wonderful job recreating the P-38 Lightning in lego form. The hand-drawn decals add to the cartoonish nature of the build too, and there’s more to see at John’s photostream by clicking here.