Air International 1995-09
R.Braybrook - The Hunter two-seater
Hawker Hunter T.8
A shock wave may be seen over the cockpit canopy as Hunter T.68 J-4204 'pulls g' through the Alps. Initially procured for pilot training and assessment. Switzerland's T.68s were later modified by Emmen Aircraft Industries for ‘special operations’. Among the electronic equipment fitted were radar warning receivers on the nose and tail.
One of RAF Lossiemouth’s Hunter T.8Bs at low level over the Firth of Forth, prior to the type's retirement from service with the RAF in April 1994. The hole above the nose is a camera aperture and fresh air scoop.
Recognisable as a T.8 by the Harley light in the nose (fitted to enable ships to visually track the Hunters during affiliation and radar calibration exercises with the Fleet), G-BVWG is one of several airworthy Hunters on the civil register. Formerly XL598, it was auctioned a Sotheby's in November 1994 and has been prepared by Barry Pover for delivery to Beachy Head Aviation in South Africa.
Sweet nostalgia! Six Hunter T.68s of the Swiss Air Force in formation over the Alps.
India was the first country to place a production order for the RA.28 powered two-seat version of the Hunter and is now the sole remaining Air Force operating the type. It is believed that all of the remaining Hunter T.66s are serving with 20 Sqn. BS488, photographed in 1990 when it was serving with the TTF at Kalaikunda, is one of 41 Hunter T.66s supplied to the Indian Air Force for use as advanced trainers.
Controversy surrounds the Hunters supplied to Chile, it being alleged that 12 aircraft delivered during 1982 were in part payment for the use of Chilean bases during the Falklands conflict. Hunter T.72 736 is seen here during pre-flight checks; the final Chilean Air Force Hunters (two two- seat and two single-seat) were retired from service at the end of April this year.
Only three two-seat Hunters remain in UK operational service - two with the Empire Test Pilots School and one with the DRA, all at Boscombe Down. ETPS Hunter T.7 XL612 is seen taking-off from RAF Fairford at the close of IAT '94. Note the partially retracted undercarriage.
Two Hunter T.8s (XL580 and XL603) were converted to T.8M standard for Ferranti Blue Fox radar (as fitted to the Sea Harrier FRS.1) development and later used by 899 NAS to train Sea Harrier pilots. Note the modified nose, in comparison with the Fleet Requirement and Air Direction Unit T.8 in echelon port.
Hunter T.8 prototype WW664 fitted with four unfinned drop tanks. One of the most noticeable differences between this naval variant and the T.7 is the inclusion of an arrester hook under the rear fuselage for use with naval airfield emergency arrester gear.
First prototype P1101, XJ615, prior to a brake parachute being fitted. The dark panel forward of the windscreen indicates the limit of a temporary raked Perspex shield intended to smooth the hood airflow.
This plan view of T.7 XL571 illustrates the sleek, classic lines of the Hunter. Of particular note are the saw-tooth wing planform and side-by-side seating arrangement. The aircraft is seen here in natural metal with yellow bands around the fuselage and wings - the colour scheme adopted for training units of the day. It later went on to fly with the Blue Diamonds RAF aerobatic display team, 92 Sqn, receiving the team's gloss blue scheme.
Resplendent in scarlet and white, the company demonstrator Hunter T66A, G-APUX, was constructed from a seriously damaged licence-built Belgian F.6, rebuilt with a standard two-seat nose taken from the Indian production line.
Four of the 20 Hunter T.7s purchased by the Royal Netherlands Air Force, the first ten being diverted from an Air Ministry contract. In addition to their training role, one of the two-seaters was used to accompany operational intercept sorties with a senior staff observer, lest guns be fired in anger.
Arguably one of the most attractive Hunters ever built, XL580 was the first production aircraft for the Royal Navy and was mainly used as an Admiral's Barge by the Flag Officer (Flying Training) at RNAS Yeovilton.
Cockpit of the T.7. The great advantage of the Hunter Two-seater over most trainers was that the instructor had exactly the same field of view as the student for weapons instruction.
Hawker Hunter T.7
Three-view drawing of the Hawker Hunter T.7.