The Hawker Hunter is a transonic aircraft that was developed by the Hawker Aircraft to serve for the RAF (Royal Air Force); this is one of the earliest jet fighter aircraft that were developed for the RAF during the late 19840s and 1950s for RAF. The aircraft was designed to be equipped with the newly built Rolls Royce Avon turbojet engine along with the swept wing design for air superiority.
The aircraft was the first ever jet fighter o be developed by the Hawker Aircraft for the RAF. The aircraft flew for the first time ever back on September 7th 1953 and on its first flight broke the speed record as it flew at a speed of 727 mph.
For our readers today we have gathered a bunch of the amazing facts about the Hawker Hunter which are as follows.
Production and design:-
The Hawker Hunter is the product of the ingenious designs from the Hawker Aircraft that built this, their first jet fighter to serve for the Royal Air Force. The production of this aircraft was inspired from the RAF’s first jet fighter Meteor Gloster.
The designing and manufacturing for the aircraft started back in the late 1940s and ended by the early 1950s. The result for the decades for hard work and finances was a single seat fighter jet that easily surpassed the first generation fighter jets in speed.
Surpassing its predecessors:-
Hawker Hunter was the second generation of the fighter aircraft to be surviving in the world. It was actually one of the first aircraft that surpassed the first generation Gloster Meteor and de Havilland Venom fighter jets in terms of both speed and maneuverability.
The aircraft with its single seater design was an excellent replacement for the early fighter jets as it could be used as day interceptor.
The first prototype of this aircraft was ready by the September of 1953 and the first flight took off back on September 7th, 1953.
The Hawker, being a second generation fighter jet was equipped with state of the art jet engine technology that allowed the Hawker Hunter to break the speed record on its very first flight. The aircraft on this flight reached a speed of 727.63 mph.
The Hawker Hunter was only made possible after the designing and manufacturing of the Rolls Royce Avon Turbojet engine. However, over the years many variants of this aircraft were developed that were equipped with better jet engines to reach the standard of the modern jet fighters.
Part of RAF Display team:-
The Hawker Hunter has been the part of the RAF’s display team and has been used by the following two.
- Black Arrows; who on one formation flight flew a record-breaking 22 Hawker Hunters in formation.
- Blue Diamonds; they flew a formation of 16 Hawker Hunters.
The transition of roles:-
The Hawker Hunter unit 1960s was used by RAF as the Interceptor aircraft. However, with the introduction of the first supersonic English Electric Lightning aircraft, the role of interceptor was taken from Hawker Hunter. Instead of serving as an interceptor Hawker Hunter was given the roles of operating as a fighter bomber and an aerial reconnaissance aircraft.
Many of the two-seat variants of Hawker Hunter were used by RAF either for training or for other secondary roles.
The Hawker Hunter, being one of the earliest second-generation aircraft were largely exported to other countries as well. The aircraft served the role of being an interceptor for nearly 21 of the world air forces.
Served in various conflicts:-
Over its long course of 60 years of service for various world air forces, the Hawker Hunter saw combat in the following conflicts around the globe.
- Suez Crisis
- the Aden Emergency
- the Sino-Indian War
- the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
- the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
- the Rhodesian Bush War
- the Second Congo War
- the Six-Day War
- the War of Attrition
- the Yom Kippur War
- the 2007 Lebanon conflict
Hawker Hunter was initially produced by the Hawker Aircraft and then its production was handed over to its successor the “Hawker Siddeley”. Since the time it was manufactured and the day it retired from service, nearly 1972 of these aircraft were manufactured.
The aircraft was also manufactured in overseas under the license.
Retirement from RAF:-
The Hawker Hunter served its purpose for RA as an interceptor, fighter bomber, practice aircraft, and aerial reconnaissance aircraft until the early 1990s. The aircraft was replaced for its principal roles by many of the following aircraft.
- the Hawker Siddeley Harrier
- the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II
Retirement from Foreign Service:-
The Hawker Hunter last served in the Lebanese Air Force and finally retired allotter form service back in 2014.
Nowadays there are only 100 of these aircraft surviving in the world. Many of these are displayed at the museums and Gate Gardens while some are held in private ownership.
This fighter jet was one of the earliest second-generation fighter jets to be developed by the RAF’s contractor the aircraft was widely renowned and was also exported to many countries to serve in their air forces for the principal role of an interceptor aircraft. The aircraft served forth RAF until the 1990s which in its own self is a testament to its various abilities despite their being many state of the art third and fourth generation fighter jets. The last of the Hawker Hunters even served in the Lebanese Air force until 2014. Nowadays only 2100 operational Hawker Hunter aircraft remain. Many of them are being kept either at museums or at the Gate Garden while some being in private ownership of collectors.