Aviation Historian 8
N.Helmo-Larsen - Who needs a pilot?
Hunter 47-415 over the flat Danish farmlands. Like Sweden’s J 34s, Denmark’s F.51s were fitted with Rolls-Royce Avon 115s, which later had to be modified to overcome surge problems during gun firing. On completion the new-build Hunters were flown from the Hawker airfield at Dunsfold to Vaerlose, deliveries being completed in 1956.
Hunter 47-415 in service with the Royal Danish Air Force before the ejection incident in January 1960. All 30 Danish Hunters were built at Hawker’s factory at Kingston.
In the snug cockpit of the Hunter, there was little room for error when it came to ejection. Seen here is the largely complete cockpit of Hunter F.51 E-421, which served with Esk 724 of the Royal Danish Air Force during 1956-74. It is currently on display at Brooklands Museum (www.brooklandsmuseum.com).
Hawker Hunter F.51 serial 47-415 of the Royal Danish Air Force on the runway at Skrydstrup after its pilotless landing on the morning of January 19, 1960. The radar equipment in the nose has been removed and the canopy has been shattered in the ejection, but otherwise the aircraft shows minimal damage.
The furrow created by the Hunter when it landed itself beside the runway at Skrydstrup. It slid along the snowy grass beside the runway, eventually sliding on to the tarmac, which slowed it down. RIGHT The Hunter in its final position on the runway. Note the squadron badge on the forward fuselage beneath the canopy.