Hasegawa 1/72 Lightning F.6
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The last supersonic single seat fighter developed by the British and put into unit service was the BAC/E.E. Lightning. Though not built in large numbers, the type has etched itself into the consciousness of aviation fans all throughout the UK. A maintenance nightmare according to those who worked on it, the aircraft was, nevertheless, quite capable and extremely fast. In fact, its speed was a major plus for an interceptor in the UK when the warning time was minimal. It was also quite fuel thirsty and was often seen with its somewhat unique over-wing fuel tanks. This odd arrangement has been used on a few other aircraft for weapons, but to my knowledge, no other aircraft has routinely carried them in this fashion. Though the type was withdrawn from service in the late 1980s, several still operate in the UK doing fast taxy demonstrations and I believe at least one is airworthy in South Africa. The British aviation authorities will not allow private flying of the Lightning due to the ease at which the control surface hydraulic lines could easily be switched by accident and the lack of manual back-up. Then there is the problem with general maintenance, but the flight control deal that has kept them grounded.
The F.6 is basically an upgrade of earlier variants. The major difference is the enlarged belly tank that includes the cannon armament, removing that from the nose where it was in earlier versions, and a larger, square-tipped fin. Also added to this version were the ability to carry over-wing fuel tanks. These aircraft operated the Red Top missiles. Along with the F.3 versions, that were modified F.1A/F.2 aircraft with smaller belly tanks, the F.6 was the last of the Lightnings to serve with the RAF and the only ones to be camouflaged in the greys scheme.
Those wanting a modern kit need to look elsewhere. Those who want a nice Lightning model without a lot of fiddling around, might want to consider this old soldier. Beside, at under $10 retail, it is a bargain amongst what you normally find on the shelves.
July 2009 If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Back to the Main Page Back to the Previews Index Page
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the
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