Lightning strikes twice at aero site

Lightnings past and present
Lightnings past and present
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Lightning has struck twice for workers at one of Lancashire’s biggest aircraft plants.

A full-size model of the latest F-35 Lightning II warplane has landed at BAE Systems in Samlesbury alongside its 58-year-old ancestor of the same name. BAE make the rear fusilage of the Anglo-American F-35 which will be able to land on Britain’s latest generation of Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers when they become operational, starting in 2020.

“The arrival of the F-35 Lightning II represents the present and bright future of advanced manufacturing at the Samlesbury site,” said site general manager Simon Bee. “And it is fitting it should sit alongside the Lightning which represents our proud heritage. We have more than 4,000 employees on site, around 1,200 of whom ensure we are delivering on our commitments to the programme, and I hope that coming to work each day past these icons of our past, present and future will make them feel proud.”

The first Lightning aircraft made its maiden flight from Samlesbury in 1959.