As one pilot said, a Lightning was a fuel emergency from take off. Which is why it got a bigger belly tank and the overwing tanks. No point in being the fastest kid on the block if you can't actually sustain the mission when you get there. Nice to fly, provided it didnt set itself on fire or run out of fuel but too much down time lost because it was so hard to work on. It tried to be what the F-4 actually achieved. Apart from that, it's ugly. A Mirage III,now there's a classy gal...They weren't designed for range, or ease of maintenance. They were designed as very, very fast interceptors. They were very good at it. The UK needed something that could react very fast to threats. They weren't beaten in time to altitude until the Mig 25 and F15 came along. They could still intercept aircaft that the F15 could not, like Concorde and the 'untouchable' U2 at max altitude, which they liked to come down on...
They did their design mission pretty well. It was not lazy touring...
Performance figures were kept secret, so we only have delayed anecdotes to go on.
My neighbor had 2 Yak 3 projects with 4 allison engines at one time several years ago. It's a hotrod, I really like it. Its really a small fighter compared to most others. Top speed is 401 mph. Turn the sound up for the video.
Love that video. Put my best headset on!
How about the Italian Piaggio-Pegna PC.7 ?? Often described as "the most beautiful airplane that never flew", it was built to compete in the 1929 Schneider Trophy race for seaplanes.
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For increased speed, the designer eliminated the bulky floats as seen on other racing seaplanes. At rest, it floated on its fuselage. To take off, the clutch to the rear (water) prop was engaged, and the aircraft would rise out of the water on its hydrofoils. When the front (air) prop was clear of the water, its clutch was engaged and the aircraft would lift off.
However, many attempts to fly the aircraft ended in failure - it could not get off the water. There were two fundamental design faults - one minor and one major - that made this concept unworkable. The side view below gives a strong hint... let's see if anyone can guess what these design faults were...
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