The English Electric Éclaire (French for Lightning) was the French version of the RAF’s Lightning interceptor. Only one was loaned to the French Air Force and it was vital in the development of the Concorde supersonic airline.

The Lightning served with the Royal Air Force from 1957 to 1988.

One from the first batch of Lightnings was loaned to the French Air Force so the French government could evaluate Britain’s ability to contribute to the joint French/British Concorde supersonic airliner project.

The British also hoped that the Armee de l’Air would adopt the Éclaire for French service as it met the specifications for France’s next generation fighter.

However, French pilots refused to fly such a ‘Brutish’ (perhaps they meant ‘British’) aeroplane.

This model represents Éclaire XM134, the sole Éclaire, in September 1964

Airfix 1/72 kit with Modeldecal, Xtrascale, and Carpena decals.


MODEL: English Electric Eclaire C.1

ROLE: supersonic all-weather interceptor

TIME PERIOD: 1957-1961

ENGINES: two Rolls Royce Avon 201 turbojet engines of 50.06kN thrust dry and 64.2kN reheat thrust each

WING SPAN: 10.62m

LENGTH: 16.84m


MAXIMUM SPEED: 1,815km/h


ARMAMENT: two 30mm Aden cannon and two Firestreak missiles

SCALE: 1/72


DECALS: Modeldecal, Xtradecal, Carpena

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