The English Electric Lightning is a British fighter aircraft that served as an interceptor during the 1960s, the 1970s and into the late 1980s. It remains the only UK-designed-and-built fighter capable of Mach 2.
This English Electric Lightning F1/P1B was suspended from the ceiling of the Cold War exhibition at RAF Cosford.
Following the successful demonstration of supersonic flight by the two P1 research aircraft WG760 and WG763, English Electric was contracted to develop the P1B fighter aircraft. It was known as the Lightning and was capable of supersonic interceptions of enemy aircraft; it remained in front line service for nearly three decades. The first P1B Lightning flew on 4 April 1957, the day the Government published a White Paper forecasting the end of manned aircraft and their replacement with missiles. As a result, several British military aircraft projects were cancelled, but the Lightning survived.
The Lightning was designed, developed, and manufactured by English Electric, which was later absorbed by the newly-formed British Aircraft Corporation.