English Electric Lightning F.2A - "Top Of The World"

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Powered by two Rolls Royce Avon turbojet engines arranged in a unique vertical, staggered configuration the Lightning was known for its exceptional rate of climb, service ceiling and speed. Capable of Mach 2 speeds, the Lightning was also known for its incredible rate of climb. The Lightning was designed to reach high altitude as quickly as possible in order to intercept enemy bombers. It excelled at this quality and was a superb interceptor aircraft. In a zoom climb Lightnings could reach altitudes in excess of 80,000 feet. During the cold war they successfully intercepted the venerable U-2 in exercises. This artwork depicts the Lightning at high altitude.