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Details about  Aviation Art - Lightning F1A 'Thundering Lightning' Artist & Test Pilot signed

Aviation Art - Lightning F1A 'Thundering Lightning' Artist & Test Pilot signed See original listing
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Item condition:
22 Jul, 2014 16:28:40 BST
£3.90 Economy Delivery | See details
Item location:
North Home Counties, United Kingdom


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Last updated on  21 Jul, 2014 11:49:57 BST  View all revisions

Item specifics

New: A brand-new, unused, unopened and undamaged item. See the seller's listing for full details. See all condition definitions- opens in a new window or tab

Art Print

Aircraft Type:


Organisation Type:



Royal Air Force

'Thundering Lightning'

A limited edition (500) lithographic print of an original painting by Brian Petch

This print portrays a BAC Lightning F Mk 1A of 56 Squadron 'Firebirds' during a low and fast run across water. 

This print is hand signed and numbered (in pencil) by the renowned aviation artist, Brian Petch (GAvA) and also hand signed by the legendary English Electric / BAC test pilot Roland 'bee' Beamont CBE, DSO*, DFC*, DL, FRAes.

Roland Prosper "Bee" Beamont was a fighter pilot and test pilot for the RAFduring the WWII and the years that followed. Born in Chichester, Sussex, he was educated at Eastbourne College. Shortly before the outbreak of war he joined the RAF.

His operational flying career began in 1939, flying Hawker Hurricanes with 87 Sqn, stationed at Lille in France with the air contingent of the British Expeditionary Force, scoring 3 'kills' against German aircraft. With the withdrawal of British forces from the continent following the fall of France, he took part in the Battle of Britain, claiming 3 more 'kills', after which he was involved with nightfighting trials with the Hurricane. He was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross in June 1941, and was posted to 79 Sqn.In December 1941 he was attached to Hawker Aviation at Langley, Slough as a Production and Experimental Test Pilot. In July 1942 he was back on operational flying, joining 609 Sqn. flying Hawker Typhoons and subsequently promoted to Squadron Commander. As Commanding Officer of one of the first Squadrons to operate the new and technically troublesome Typhoon, Beamont was instrumental in arguing for keeping the aircraft in RAF service against increasing establishment resistance while he assisted Hawker's in resolving the type's airframe and engine problems. His confidence in the Typhoon was vindicated as the aircraft eventually became the RAF's most successful ground-attack aircraft during 1944-5.

In 1943 he returned to Hawker as a test pilot, performing experimental testing of the Hawker Tempest alongside the Hawker test pilot, Bill Humble. In 1944, prior to D-Day he again resumed operational flying, this time forming the first Tempest Wing  with the rank of Acting-Wing Commander. The Wing accounting for three Me 109s over the invasion beaches shortly after D-Day without loss - two ‘kills’ credited to Beamont. At this time the Wing were switched to intercepting V-1s over Kent, shooting down a total of 638 - Beamont accounting for 32 of the unpiloted-flying bombs himself. On October 2nd 1944, now based on the continent at Volkel, Holland, he achieved his ninth and final kill of the war when he shot down a Fw 190 near Nijmegen. On October 12th, while attacking a heavily defended troop-train near Bocholt, on his 492nd operational mission he was shot down, becoming a Prisoner of War. Confined firstly to Stalag-III at Sagan, near Breslau, then to Stalag III-A t Luckenwalde. He remained a PoW until the end of the war in Europe, finally repatriated in May 1945.

With the end of hostilities his planned transfer to the Far East in command of a Wing of Tempest IIs was cancelled and he applied for a permanent commission. The eventual offer of a permanent commission coincided with his being offered a position as a test pilot; he resumed his career as a test pilot, performing the initial test flying of many notable aircraft, including the Canberra and Lightning as well as the later-cancelled BAC TSR-2. He subsequently went on to become a director of the Warton division of BAC, (later BAe) as Director of Flight Operations. In 1979 he retired, devoting himself to writing and contributing to various aeronautical publications. He died on 19th November 2001 at the age of 81.

Beamont has the distinction of being the first pilot to make a double-atlantic crossing by jet, when on 26th August 1952, flying Canberra B.5 VX185, he flew from Aldergrove to Gander and then back again to Aldergove, in 10 hours 3 minutes.

Roland Prosper "Bee" Beamont, CBE, DSO*, DFC*

August 10th  1920  -  November 19th 2001

Reproduced on high quality art card, this  print has an overall size of 630 x 427mm (approx 25 x 17 inches), with an image size of 530 x 330mm (approx 21 x 13 inches)

Will be posted rolled and in a protective mailing tube


P & P (signed for)  to a UK address is just £3.90

P & P to an address in Europe is £4.95

P & P to an address anywhere else is £5.90

See my other auctions for more limited edition prints

I do combine P & P for multiple wins

The small print;

  • I try to provide an accurate and honest description of everything that I am auctioning, however if there is something that is important to you that I've not covered or you are unsure of, please make use of the 'Ask  A Question' button at the bottom of this page - I'm always happy to respond.
  • Where appropriate, I usually post items to successful bidders who live in the UK via Royal Mail 2nd class (small parcel) - I've yet to be convinced that sending them first class gets them to their destination any quicker. If you would like to use any other service, including recorded delivery, please notify me before you pay! If you are bidding from outside of UK please contact me for details of options available. For most items I am able to get them into the UK mailing system within 48 hours of payment being cleared.
  • Should you choose to pay by cheque, note that I can only accept cheques drawn on a UK bank account. In most cases I will wait for a cheque to clear through my bank before dispatching items.
  • I do not charge a hefty fee on top of actual mailing service charges to cover packaging costs. However, having been the recipient of some extremely poorly packed items from others, I try to ensure that goods I dispatch are reasonably well protected from the regular handling that we would expect from our mail service providers. I cannot be held responsible in the extremely unlikely event of items being lost or damaged on their journey through the 'postal system' , however I always obtain a UK 'Certificate of Posting' or Electronic Postal Receipt and will make that available should anyone wish to initiate a claim for compensation against the postal service provider.
  • I expect a transaction to be completed no later than 3 days after the end of the auction. If there's any reason that prevents this - PLEASE COMMUNICATE - sending a message through eBay costs nothing and prevents unnecessary angst!  Non Paying Bidders will be reported to the eBay team.








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