In this paper, we compare five engineering return stroke models, extended to include the presence of an elevated strike object, namely the Bruce-Golde (BG) model, the transmission line (TL) model, the traveling current source (TCS) model, and the two modified TL models (MTLL and MTLE). The model-predicted current profile along the channel and along the strike object, as well as radiated electric and magnetic fields at different distances are presented and discussed. The comparison is made assuming the same 'undisturbed current' (that is the idealized current that would be measured at the tower top if the current reflection coefficients at its both extremities were equal to zero) and the same return-stroke speed. Except for the case of very close (50 m) electric field, it is found that the computed electromagnetic fields associated with a strike to a 168-m tall tower are less model-dependent than those corresponding to a strike to flat ground. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.