The Hawker Hunter

 

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Hawker Hunter Mk58
Sukhoi SU 22
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The Hawker Hunter Mk58

If greatness in a combat aeroplane equates with outstanding service longevity and extreme operational flexibility the Hunter is indeed truly great and one of the classic fighter designs of all time. It is aesthetically beautiful and a thoroughbred aircraft in every sense. This was almost to be expected, given that it's design was penned by Sir Sydney Camm who's other major masterpieces included the Hurricane and the Harrier.

 

Originally designed as an air superiority fighter in the 1950's, the Hunter went on to become the most successful post-war British Military aircraft with almost 2000 being produced. Of these, about one third were later rebuilt by the manufacturer to zero time standard, the last leaving the Dunsfold factory in 1976. Aided by its high power to weight ratio, inherent strength and adaptability, the design evolved from the pure fighter in to a superlative ground attack aircraft, the pinnacle of the design being the Swiss MK58 Hunters. This version was continuously updated to accommodate the latest weapons systems prior to being prematurely retired in the mid 1990's as a direct result of the end of the Cold War.

 

The Hawker Hunter is a transonic single seat fighter / ground attack monoplane, with swept-back wings, variable incidence tail plane, powered flying controls and cabin pressurisation. It is powered by a fifteen stage axial flow Rolls-Royce Avon MK 207 turbine engine developing 10,150 lbs thrust. The fuselage is of monocoque construction and manufactured in three main sections. The swept-back wings are two spar stressed skin structures covered with heavy gauge skin thereby ensuring a perfectly smooth finish and providing for the necessary stiffness of the internal structure. The tail is a multi spar swept back structure built in one  piece

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HHA's fleet consists of ten ex Swiss Air Force MK58 aircraft, and, whilst being an "old" platform, have a performance capability in excess of many more modern ground attack aircraft. Furthermore, they are equipped with Radar Warning Receivers (RWR), Chaff and Flare dispensers and are capable of carrying the latest ACMI and Electronic Warfare (EW) pods. Usually configured with up to four external fuel tanks and / or EW pods, these fuel loads permit between one and two-and-a-half hours on-station flying time. Maintained with the usual Swiss precision, the aircraft have very low flying hours, the fleet leader having reached approx only half its projected life.

 

Augmenting our single seater fleet, three twin-seat T7 / T8 trainers have been acquired to provide pilot continuity training. Visually these differ from the MK58 by nature of their extended nose and wider cockpits to accommodate the side-by-side seating arrangement. The other major difference is that they are powered by a "little" Avon MK 122 engine, developing 7750 lbs thrust. But that's more than enough for their training role, especially when compared to modern equivalents such as the 5200 lbs thrust available to the Hawk aircraft.

 

The Hunter is an aircraft admired by both its pilots and the spectator alike, combining a robust, timeless and graceful design with flawless handling and superlative performance.

Technical Data (MK58)

 Wing Span

33ft 8in 10.24 m

 Length

45ft 10.5in 13.95 m

 Height

13ft 2in 4.02 m
 Engine

1 x RR Avon 207  10,150 lbs st

 Weight

24,500 lbs 11,110 kg

 Max Speed

  620kts no mach limit, supersonic in shallow dive

 Cruise

360kts:
Low Level

0.85 Mach:
High Level

 Max Range

  1,200 NM with reserves

 Max Operating Height

51,500 ft

 

 Take Off Distance @ MAUW

3,580 ft 1090 m

 Landing Distance with Chute

2,650 ft 795 m

 G Limits

+7.5g  -3.75g

 No. of Hardpoints

6


© Michel Ansermot.

© Olivier Borgeaud.

© Militärflugdienst, Dübendorf.

© Paul Johnson

© Michel Ansermot.

© John Dibbs. Plane

Picture Company

© Katsushiko Tokunaga.

© Paul Johnson

© Paul Johnson

© John Dibbs. Plane

Picture Company

© HHA

© Erwin Mueller, Fliegerstaffel 21

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