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Fighter / Attack:
   Bell P-39 Airacobra
   Bell P-63 Kingcobra
   Brewster Buffalo
   Chance-Vought F-4U Corsair
   Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
   Curtiss SB2C Helldiver
   Douglas A-1 Skyraider
   Douglas A-26 Invader
   Douglas SBD Dauntless
   Fairey Firefly
   Focke-Wulf Fw 190
   Grumman F4F Wildcat
   Grumman F6F Hellcat
   Grumman F7F Tigercat
   Grumman F8F Bearcat
   Grumman TBF Avenger
   Hawker Hurricane
   Hawker Sea Fury
   Lockheed P-38 Lightning
   Messerschmitt Bf-109
   Mitsubishi A6M Zero-Sen
   North American P-51 Mustang

   Polikarpov I-16
   Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
   Supermarine Spitfire
   Yakovlev Yak-3
   Yakovlev Yak-9

Beechcraft AT-11 Kansan (C-45)
   Beechcraft T-34 Mentor
   Boeing / Stearman PT-17

   Commonwealth CA-25 Winjeel
   Commonwealth CA-1 Wirraway
   DeHavilland DHC-1 Chipmunk
   DeHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth
   Fairchild PT-19 Cornell
   Hunting / Percival Provost
   Meyers OTW
   Nanchang CJ-6
   Naval Aircraft Factory N3N
   N. Am. BT-9 / BT-14 / Yale
   N. Am. T-6 Texan / SNJ / Harvard
   N. American T-28 Trojan

   Piaggio P149
   Ryan PT-22 Recruit

   Scottish Aviation T1 Bulldog
   Vultee BT-13 Valiant
   Yakovlev Yak-11
   Yakovlev Yak-18
   Yakovlev Yak-52

   Avro Lancaster
   Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
   Boeing B-29 Superfortress
   Bristol Blenheim / Bolingbroke
   Consolidated B-24 Liberator
   Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer

   Douglas A-3 Skywarrior
   DeHavilland Mosquito
   Fairey Swordfish
   Heinkel He-111 / Casa 2.111

   Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon / Ventura
   Martin B-26 Marauder
   North American B-25 Mitchell

   Beechcraft C-45 (AT-11)

   Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter (KC-97)
   Curtiss C-46 Commando
   Douglas C-47 Skytrain / Dakota
   Douglas C-54 Skymaster

   Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar
   Fairchild C-123 Provider
   Grumman C-1 Trader (S-2)
   Lockheed C-60 Lodestar
   Lockheed C-69 Constellation

Utility / Observation / Special Duty:
   Aeronca L-3 Grasshopper
   Aeronca L-16 Grasshopper
   Antonov AN-2 Colt
   Auster AOP 6/9
   Avro 652 Anson
   Avro Shackleton
   British Taylorcraft I-V
   Cessna L-19 / O-1 Bird Dog
   Cessna O-2 Super Skymaster
   Cessna T-50 / UC-78 Bobcat
   Consolidated PBY Catalina

   DeHavilland U-6A / L-20 Beaver
   Fairey Gannet
   Fairey Swordfish
   Fieseler Fi156 Storch
   Grumman S-2 Tracker (C-1)
   Grumman HU-16 Albatross
   Grumman OV-1 Mohawk
   Junkers Ju 52/3m

   Lockheed P2V Neptune
   Max Holste M.H.1521 Broussard
   Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun

   Noorduyn UC-64 Norseman
   North American L-17 Navion
   N. Am./ Rockwell OV-10 Bronco
   Piper L-4 Grasshopper
   Stinson L-5 Sentinel
   Taylorcraft L-2 Grasshopper
   Westland Lysander

   Aero L-29 Delfin
   Aero L-39 Albatros
   Aermacchi MB-326
   Avro Vulcan
   BAC Strikemaster
   Blackburn (BAC) Buccaneer
   Canadair Tutor
   Cessna A-37 Dragonfly
   DeHavilland Vampire
   DeHavilland Venom
   English Electric Canberra
   English Electric Lightning
   Folland Gnat
   Fouga CM-170 Magister
   Gloster Meteor
   Grumman F9F Panther
   Hawker Hunter
   Hispano HA-200 Saeta
   Hunting Jet Provost
   Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
   Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star
   McDonnell-Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
   McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom
   Messerschmitt Me-262
   Mikoyan MiG-15
   Mikoyan MiG-17
   Mikoyan MiG-21
   N. Am. F-86 Sabre / FJ-4 Fury
   N. Am. F-100 Super Sabre
   N. Am. / Rockwell T-2 Buckeye
   Northrop T-38 Talon / F-5
   PZL / WSK TS-11 Iskra
   Saab J35 Draken
   Soko G-2A Galeb
   Temco Pinto & Super Pinto

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Folland Fo.141 Gnat

(Variants/Other Names: Gnat Mk II "Ajeet")

History: The Fo.141 Gnat was a British all-metal fighter and trainer designed by Folland to be small and economical, yet capable of high performance. Derived from the even-more-diminutive Fo.139 Midge prototype, the Gnat possessed outstanding performance features including a 10,000 foot-per-minute climb rate, and a roll rate in excess of 360 degrees per second.

The prototype first flew in 1955, when it demonstrated performance impressive enough to warrant the manufacture of six test aircraft for the Ministry of Supply. These aircraft were used in a variety of configurations, including the fitting of one with two 30mm cannon to test the aircraft's effectiveness in the ground attack role. However, the British government subsequently lost interest in the Gnat as a possible fighter, deciding instead to employ it as an advanced two-place trainer.

For that role, Folland made significant changes to the aircraft, installing a second seat, a larger engine, a different wing and tail, and revised control-surface installation. The plane entered production with the RAF as the Fo.144 Gnat Trainer (later renamed the Gnat T.Mk1) but not until Folland was taken over by Hawker Siddeley at the insistence of the British government, which preferred to deal with a select few large, industrial groupings, rather than small, private-venture companies like Folland.

In the meantime, however, Folland sold 13 Gnats (the last two of which were reconnaissance versions) to the Finnish government, which kept them in service until 1974. (An interesting side note: The day after the first two Gnats were delivered to Finland, Finnish Air Force Major Lauri Pekuri exceeded the speed of sound in a Gnat, the first time this speed had been achieved by the Finns.) Two Gnats were also sold to Yugoslavia, but the bulk of sales went to India, which purchased 40 airframes in various stages of completion and, under license, built 175 of the aircraft at the Hindustani Aircraft facilities at Bangalore as the Gnat Mk.II "Ajeet."

The Gnat was used by the British Yellowjacks / Red Arrows aerobatic team from 1964 through 1979, when it was replaced by the British Aerospace Hawk T.Mk.1. It was with the Indian Air Force, however, that the Gnat came into its own as a fighter aircraft. During the 1965 war with Pakistan, the Gnat is credited with downing seven Pakistani F-86 (Sabre) aircraft.

In their training role in the UK, Gnats were effective training aircraft for several generations of student jet pilots, and were a common sight in the skies above RAF Valley, UK before their retirement in November 1978. In the USA, a handful of Gnats enjoy continued life as privately-owned sport jets.

Nicknames: Pocket Fighter; Sabre Slayer (India)

        Engine: One 4,230-pound thrust Bristol Siddeley Orpheus 100 turbojet
        Weight: Empty 5,140 lbs., Max Takeoff 8,630 lbs.
        Wing Span: 24ft. 0in.
        Length: 31ft. 9in.
        Height: 9ft. 7.5in.
            Maximum Speed at 31,000 ft: Advertised at 636 mph/Mach 0.95, but the aircraft is capable of approximately Mach 1.3.
            Ceiling: 48,000 ft.
            Range: 1,151 miles with two 300-liter underwing tanks
        Armament: None

Number Built: 105

Number Still Airworthy: Approximately 8 in private ownership.

Gnat Display Team -- North Weald, UK
Greg Goebel's Gnat Page
JetPhotos -- Gnat photos
Photovault -- Gnat Photo Page
Red Arrows Folland Gnat Gallery
Thunder and Lightnings: Folland Gnat History
Virtual Aviation Museum Gnat Page
Wonderful World of Vehicles: Gnat FR Mk. 1

Special Feature:
"Red Jet Over Lincoln Land" -- Associate Editor Job Conger describes an air-to-air photo mission with Dean Cutshall's Gnat.

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All text and photos Copyright 2011 The Doublestar Group, unless otherwise noted.
You may use this page for your own, non-commercial reference purposes only.

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