Lightning Legend by Michael Rondot

Lightning Legend by Michael Rondot

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A magnificent limited edition print of the English Electric Lightning. Each print is signed by three legendary Lightning test pilots.

Size: 27x20ins. (690x500mm)

No other jet fighter has ever been more sorely missed since the Lightning retired from RAF service and the Counter Aviation Authority (CAA) set about keeping surviving examples grounded. However, not all old fighters die, and some Lightnings did not fade away either. They lived on because there were people willing to spend time and fortunes lavishing TLC on them until in 1999, against all odds and officialdom, Lightnings are back in the sky.

The return of the Lightning is celebrated in Michael Rondot's brilliant new portrayal of a Lightning T5 in the markings of No.226 OCU/145 Squadron taking-off in full reheat for a maximum performance rotation climbout. This outrageous, extravagant display of scorching performance is just one of the heady delights of the gloriously overpowered Lightning. It is an aircraft of which legends are made. Stories abound about this special aircraft and the pilots who flew it but none were more deserving of legendary status than the test pilots who first flew the Lightning.

The Signatures

Collectors of aviation art will immediately recognise the significance of the three signatures on this limited edition print:

'Bee' Beamont flew Hurricanes in the Battle of Britain and went on to command 609 Typhoon Sqn and the first Tempest wing, ending the war with 10 victories and accounting for 32 V-l flying bombs. After the war he became one of the best-known British Test Pilots, first flying the Lightning, Canberra and TSR 2 and was Panavia Tornado Director of Flight Ops.

Jimmy Dell joined the RAF in 1942 and after the war flew F-86Es and the first radar-equipped F-86Ds with the USAF. He was the first RAF Lightning Project Test Pilot and later became Chief Test Pilot at English Electric/BAC test flying the Lightning, TSR 2 and Jaguar.

Johnny Squier flew Spitfires in the Battle of Britain and flew many aircraft types before joining English Electric as a Test Pilot. He was the second pilot to fly the Canberra prototype and became Lightning Chief Production Test Pilot. Following a structural failure at Mach 1.7 over the Irish Sea, he ejected from XL628, the prototype T4, famously surviving 28 hours at sea .

Gleaming like polished silver, the Lightning left an indelible mark on those who flew it, were associated with or simply loved it. LIGHTNING LEGEND is a collector's gem to keep those memories alive.

The Editions

650 signed & numbered, with 50 artist's proofs.
Published price: Signed & numbered print:59. Artist's proof:59. Remarqued print or AP:114

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