The swept wing Lightning is a design classic and icon of British aerospace heritage. Conceived to defend the UK from cold war bombers it possessed an unprecedented speed and rate of climb - becoming the only all British Mach 2 fighter.
The characteristic side profile of the Lightning was due to the stacked configuration of it's two Rolls Royce Avon turbo jets. The lightning could achieve a rate of climb of 20,000 feet/minute - it's party piece being to tail stand and climb almost vertically just after take off.
The Lightning first entered service with the RAF in 1960 and continued operations through multiple variants until 1988.