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.
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.
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.
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Military Aviation Authority Approval
MAA DAOS Mil 0.406
MAA MAOS P145, 1402
MAA CAMO 0056, MAA CFAOS (Incorporating Flight Test) .0009
Civil Aviation Authority Approval
DAI9825/02 A23 (M1); A25 (C5); CAP 632