Hawker Hunter in Color (Fighting Colors 6506)
By Robie Robinson
Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications 1987 48 Pages
PDF 24 MB
The Hunter was undoubtedly one of the most beautiful aircraft to have served with the Royal Air Force. It served with the majority of FighterCommand Squadrons, at home in the United Kingdom, with the Second Tactical Air Force in Germany, and in the Near and Far East.
The Hunter was designed and directed by Sir Sidney Camm in 1948 as a replacement for the Gloster Meteor. There were several prototype aircraft undergoing tests and experiments, however, the most remembered was the Scarlet prototype flown by Squadron Leader Neville Duke. This aircraft Hawker PI067 was the first prototype and had originally been painted in overall Light Green. It made its first flight on 20 July 1951 and was serialed WB 188. This prototype was later updated to F Mk 3 standards and re-engined with a Rolls-Royce Avon RA7R. with a special reheat to enable the Hunter to engage in attacks on the world speed records. With Squadron Leader Neville Duke at the controls, the aircraft was flown over a 3 kilometer course off the south coast of Rus-tington. establishing a new world speed record of 727.63 mph on 7 September 1953.
The second prototype. WB195. also powered with the Avon engine, was armed with four 30MM Aden Cannons, would serve as the basis of the production Hunter F Mk 1. On 16 May 1953 the initial production Hunter FMk 1 (WT 555) flew for the first time at Dunsfold. although the Royal Air Force would not receive production deliveries for at least another year.
Fighter Commands other interceptor, the Supermarine Swift F Mk 1. had entered service with No 56 Squadron at RAF Waterbeach in February of 1954. However, it did not live up to expectations and encountered severe problems which caused several fatal accidents. The situation did not improve with the introduction of the Swift F Mk 2 variant into the Squadron. All Swift fighters were withdrawn from service. However. Swift FR Mk 5s were used in the Reconnaissance role and served with the Second Tactical Air Force in Germany.