Hawker Hunter in Action (Aircraft 121)
By Glenn Ashley
Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications 1992 50 Pages
PDF 9 MB
There is currently a trend toward designing mulli-role aircraft that can carry out a number of different missions and roles. This trend is mainly due to the fact that most countries cannot afford the research and development costs associated with designing separate aircraft for each mission. In the years immediately following the Second World War this was not the case. Most countries designed aircraft to meet specific missions and roles Multi-role jet aircraft with few exceptions, did not really exist until the advent of the Hawker Hunter.
The Hunter can be classed as the world's first multi-role jet combat aircraft. It was used as an air superiority fighter, ground attack aircraft, photo reconnaissance aircraft and trainer. The cost of producing an aircraft today that could fill these same roles, with the longevity of the Hunter, would be considerable and for most countries such a project would be cost prohibitive.
During 1945. many of the aircraft in front line RAF service were past their prime and in desperate need of replacement to meet a new threat the Soviet Union and the WARSAW Pact. By 1948. Britain had introduced two jet fighters into service, the Gloster Meteor and the dcllavilland Vampire. Both were good aircraft in their day. but that day had been three to four years earlier. This was a period of rapid advancement in military jet aviation. In the United States, the USAF was developing new types like the l-H4and F-86 and the Soviet Union was putting the MiCi-15 into service. The MiCi-15 was powered by an engine based upon the British Nene which has been sold to the Soviets with British government approval.
Faced with these developments, the RAF sought replacements for the Vampire and Meteor. Two new designs were put forward as possible contenders: one from Super-marine (the Swift) and one from Hawker (the P 1067). As an air superiority fighter the Swift was destined to be nothing short of a disaster. It ended up as a reconnaissance fighter, equipping only two squadrons. This left only one design available to fill the gap. the Hawker P. 1067