The English Electric Lightning was a fighter far ahead of its time and the prototypes spent years in development resulting in a fighter aircraft capable of Mach 2 and with an unforgettable appearance. The prototype Lightning first flew in August 1954, with the first production prototypes flying in October 1959. No 74 Squadron was the first RAF Squadron to receive the Lightning F1 in 1960.
This cover shows a F3 Lightning of No 111 Squadron on the apron at RAF Wattisham, to reflect the RAF's crackdown on the bright colour schemes we have chosen the polished paintwork scheme with some typically drab British weather. The cover bears 1s Royal Air Force 1918-1968 stamp showing SE5 and three Lightnings in formation the background cancelled with 50th Anniversary of the English Electric Lightning cachet.
Hand signed by Air Vice-Marshal Peter Collins CB AFC
111 Signed, Numbered and Certified
Peter Collins was Commanding Officer of No 111 Squadron from 1970-1972 flying Lightning F3/F6s. Prior to that he was a Flight Commander with Nos 11 and 23 Squadrons on Lightnings as well as also flying ther Lightning with the RAF Handling Squadron and the Air Fighting Development Squadron during the tactical trials.