Blackbird From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2811 times:
I remember hearing that one of the interesting characteristics of the English Electric Lightning was it's use of HOTAS and a side-stick. In regards to this, did the English-Electric Lightning utilize FBW technology, or did it use ordinary mechanical-set-up?
If it did feature a mechanical set-up, why couldn't such a side-stick controller use FBW signalling and have a mechanical-signalling back-up for use on say a transport-category plane?
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 12951 posts, RR: 79 Reply 3, posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2635 times:
HOTAS is all about ergonomics, easing the task of pilots flying highly complex machines in operations that are often 'swing role'.
Lightning was built in a previous era, for one thing, to scramble then reach the missile range of the Soviet bombers attacking UK airspace, as fast as possible.
By missile range, meaning a few miles, for the two Firestreak tail chase, or later semi all-aspect Red Top, IR guided missiles.
Range, payload, were very low priorities.
That said, it was a fine aircraft, blunted like so many other post war UK military aircraft, by lack of development.
It only survived the 1957 Defence Review, that axed most military aircraft programmes for an intended nuclear deterrence orientated force of SAM's and IRBM's, because as the paper put it unfortunately it is too advanced in development.'
Development meaning the stage from essentially technology demonstrators, to P.1 prototypes.
But the '57 review axed the planned P.8, it's area ruled rear fuselage accommodating a new main landing gear, not retracting into the wings like the Lightnings built, hence more fuel and potential for weapon pylons.
As the '57 review was slowly rescinded after the real damage was done, BAC by the mid 60's, was designing upgraded Lightnings wing swing wings, further from that, swing wings with a new 'solid' nose and side intakes.
But by then, it was too late, the RN had picked the F.4, the cancellation of the over ambitious P.1154 supersonic VSTOL, meant F-4's were heading the RAF's way too.