(Variants/Other Names: See History
Hunter FR.71A/J-735, of the Chilean Air Force and
based at Group 8, Cerro Moreno, Antofagosto, Chile. Thanks to Major Jaime Pinto.
History: The Hunter was
the most successful of the British postwar fighters, and is remembered as a delightful,
capable airplane in every respect. The prototype was first flown on 20 July 1951, and the
single-seat Hunter F1 entered service with the Royal Air Force
in July 1954. A two-seat variant, the Hunter T7, entered service
in 1958. Deliveries of the Hunter continued until 1966, and during its life, the airplane
was continually modified and improved, resulting in over 25 variants, including export
versions for over 22 foreign nations. All versions were supersonic, and most variants
featured increases in armament, power and fuel quantity.
Major variants included the F4
(Avon Mk 115 engine, increased fuel capacity from earlier versions); F5
(Sapphire Mk 101 engine); F6 (Avon Mk 203 engine, increased fuel
capacity); T8 (Two-seat Navy version); FR10
(RAF reconnaissance version); GA11 (Royal Navy single-seat
attack version; and FGA9 (Greater weapons capacity, increased
thrust, strengthened fuselage for ground-attack role.)
Until just a few years ago, almost 20% of all Hunters built
were still in service (mainly with the Swiss Air Force, RAF and Royal Navy), but as of
1998, only Zimbabwe's Hunters are still in front-line service. At least 30 are still
airworthy in private hands, including over a dozen Hunters operated by
government contractors in the USA.
Specifications (Hunter F6):
Engine: One 10,150-pound thrust
Rolls-Royce Avon Mk207 turbojet
Weight: Empty 14,120 lbs., Max Takeoff
Wing Span: 33ft. 8in.
Length: 45ft. 10.5in.
Height: 13ft. 2in.
Maximum Speed at
Sea Level: 650 mph
miles in ferry configuration (Combat radius 230 miles)
Four 30mm Aden
pylons for 500 or 1000-pound bombs, 24 76-mm rockets, or fuel tanks.
Number Built: 1,985
Number Still Airworthy: At
30 in private ownership.
[Hunter Pilot Report]
AeroGroup, Inc., Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA --
Contract aircraft available for training, testing, and movie work, including Hunters.
USA -- US-based government contractor that operates Hunters.
-- Belgian organization that operates two Hunters.
Classic Jet Aircraft Company (UK)
CNAPG Hunter Page
Everett Aero --
A UK-based company specializing in the sale and support of
British ex-military jets, including Hunters.
FRADU Hunters Site
Hawker Hunter Aviation, Ltd. --
UK-based contract-aircraft corporation with a large fleet of Hunters and
Hunter Flight Pty Ltd. -- Australian
Obersimmental -- Swiss group that flies a single-seat F.Mk58 Hunter. (German-language
Hunter T.8 WV322 -- UK-based Hunter operator offering rides, ownership shares
and airshow appearances.
Kiwi Aircraft Images:
Hunter Page -- Excellent detail photographs of the Hunter.
Northern Lights Combat Air Support Team
-- Canadian Hunter team.
Hunters" Photoessay -- Photos of abandoned Hunters in Somalia.
Swiss Hunters --
Detailed histories and photos of former Swiss Hunters.
and Lightnings" Hunter Page
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