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The prototype of the Hawker Hunter, P.1067, first flew on the 20th of July 1951 at RAF Boscome Down.

The P.1067 was designed by Sidney Camm around the new Rolls Royce Avon turbojet which had a smaller engine diameter than its predecessor, the Rolls Royce Nene allowing for smaller size but providing greater thrust.

Due to the increased performance of the Rolls Royce Avon, P.1067 was able to be fitted with a single engine and yet still give the same power output as the Gloster Meteor which was fitted with two Rolls Royce Derwent engines.

The prototype evolved to the now familiar shape of the Hunter with modifications from an original 'T'-tail to a more conventional swept tail, a single air intake was changed to two air intakes at the roots of each wing which made room for radar and weapons in the nose of the aircraft.

A second prototype was fitted with production avionics, armament and powered by a Rolls Royce Avon 107 turbojet and first flew on the 5th of May 1952.

As an alternative, a third prototype was fitted with a Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire 101 axial turbojet which flew on the 30th of NOvember 1952.

The Hawker Hunter was ordered by the Ministry of Supply with the F.1 first flying on the 16th of March 1953. It featured an all metal, monocoque construction with retractable 'tricycle' landing gear and had a removable rear section to allow access to the engine for maintenance purposes.

The wings are mid-mounted and have a leading edge sweep of 35 degrees. The aircraft was controlled in a conventional manner and had a single air brake located under the rear fuselague. The pilot was seated on either a Mk 2H or Mk 3H Martin-Baker ejector seat with the 2-seat trainer version using Mk 4H ejector setas.

The Hawker Hunter F.1 was the first high-speed jet with radar and powered controls to enter service with the RAF, which it did in July of 1954. The Hunter replaced the Meteor, the Sabre and the Venom in service.

The Hunter was fitted with four 30mm Aden cannon, each with 150 rounds of ammunition, which were housed in a single removeable pack that could be reomved for the aircraft for rapid re-arming and maintenance as necessary.

Hunters' 30mm Cannon Pack (wikipedia)
Hunters' 30mm Cannon Pack - Wikipedia

The Hawker Hunter served with the Royal Air Force for over 30 years with hundreds still being active arounbd the world as late as 1996.

Specifications: -
Crew:1 (2 in Trainer)
Length:45ft 10.5in (13.98m)
Wingspan:33ft 8in (10.26m)
Height:13ft 2in (4.01m)
Empty Weight:14,400lb (6532kg)
Max. Weight:24,600lb (11158kg)
Engine:RR Avon RA.28 Mk 207
producing 10,150 lb st.
Max. Speed:620 mph (978 km/h)
Range:1840 miles (2961 km)
Armament: -
Cannon:4 x 30mm
Rockets:18 x 68mm (Matra Pods)
Variants: -

First production version - fitted with Avon 113 engine, 139 built.

Fitted with Sapphire 101 engine

Modified protoype fitted with Avon RA.7R with afterburner, air brakes and revised windscreen, 1 built.

Additional bag-type fuel tanks in the wings, provision for underwing fuel tanks, Avon 115 engine, blisters under the nose for ammunition links, 349 built.

F.4 with Sapphire 101 engine, 105 built.

Single-seat clear-weather interceptor fighter, 384 built.

Modified F.6 with brake parachute and 230 gallon inboard drop tanks.

Two-seat trainer built for the RAF

T.7 modified with the Integrated Flight Instrumentation System (IFIS).

Two-seat trainer for the Royal Navy. Fitted with an arrestor hook.

Used by the Royal Navy as a Blackburn Buccaneer conversion training aircraft.

T.8 with TACAN fitted.

T.8 fitted with the Sea Harrier's Blue Fox radar, used by the Royal Navy to train Sea Harrier pilots.

Single-seat ground-attack fighter version for the RAF.

Single-seat reconnaissance version, 33 rebuilt F.6.

Single-seat weapons training version for the Royal Navy, 40 converted F.4s.

Single-seat reconnaissance version for the Royal Navy.

Two-seat test aircraft for the Royal Aircraft Establishment, 1 converted from F.6.

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Hawker Hunter
©Nigel Key Hawker Hunter (Old Warden 2009)

The Hawker Hunter is a subsonic British jet aircraft which was developed in the 1950's.

The single-seat Hunter entered service as a manoeuvrable fighter aircraft, and later operated in fighter-bomber and reconnaissance roles in numerous conflicts.

The Hunter was also widely exported, serving with 21 other air forces.
Photographs © Nigel Key, Click thumbnail to enlarge.
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