Re: The real Lightning
I recall an incident when one of the test Typhoons came up to RAF Leuchars in the early 2000s. The test pilot did a show and tell with a bunch of the old and bold aircrew from the base, which included an ex-Lightning mate. The ex-Lightning pilot asked how fast the Typhoon could get from a standing start to 30000ft, to which the Typhoon guy immediately came back with, "how fast could your Lightning do it". The Lightning pilot proudly proclaimed 2 minutes (IIRC). The Typhoon pilot replied, "We can do it in 1 minute 40s". He then paused for dramatic effect, "in dry heat".
The original Lightning was a beautiful aircraft, with incredible ability for the day. But remembering the fact that once you've hit 60000ft you are almost out of fuel and looking to make a quick landing, I know what I would prefer to be fighting in today.
The F35 might be much maligned, but it is still an incredible aircraft.