|Type||Fighter and ground attack|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|First flight||20 July 1951|
|Numbers built||1,972 units|
|Unit costs||Approx. USD 20 million-estimated if sold new at present (2011)|
|Max speed||Mach 0.94, 620 kn (715 mph, 1,150 km/h) at sea level|
|Max range||Combat range: 385 nmi (445 mi, 715 km)
Ferry range: 1,650 nmi (1,900 mi, 3,060 km) with external fuel
|Dimensions||Length: 45 ft 11 in (14.00 m)
Wingspan: 33 ft 8 in (10.26 m)
Height: 13 ft 2 in (4.01 m)
|Weight||Empty weight: 14,122 lb (6,405 kg)
Loaded weight: 17,750 lb (8,050 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 24,600 lb (11,158 kg)
|Powerplant||1 × Rolls-Royce Avon 207 turbojet, 10,145 lbf (45.13 kN)|
|Armament||Guns: 4× 30 mm (1.18 in) ADEN cannons in a removable gun pack with 150 rpg
4 underwing with a capacity of 7,400 lb (3,400 kg) and provisions to carry combinations of:
4× Matra rocket pods (each with 18 × SNEB 68 mm (2.68 in) rockets) or
24× Hispano SURA R80 80 mm (3.15 in) rockets
4× AIM-9 Sidewinder Air-to-air missiles
4× AGM-65 Maverick Air-to-surface missiles
Bombs: a variety of unguided iron bombs
Other: 2× 230 Gallon drop tanks for extended range/loitering time
|Operators||Current operator: Lebanon
Former operators: Abu Dhabi/United Arab Emirates, Belgium, Chile, Denmark, Iraq, India, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Netherlands, Oman, Peru, Qatar, Rhodesia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Zimbabwe
The Hawker Hunter was firstly developed in 1950s but until early 1990s, the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy had been using the two-seat variant for training purpose. Even reportedly that the Lebanese Air Force still operates the Hawker Hunter 50 years after the jet fighter entering production.
The Hawker Hunter was massively produced and widely exported to 21 countries all over the world. The military of Abu Dhabi, Belgium, Chile, Denmark, Iraq, India, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Netherlands, Oman, Peru, Qatar, Rhodesia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Zimbabwe ever operated this agile subsonic fighter. The Black Arrows and the Blue Diamonds, both were the Royal Air Force display teams, were also the operators of the Hawker Hunter. The fact is a proof that the Hawker Hunter was a reliable jet fighter to be the air guardian.
Design and development
Jet propulsion technology was under development soon after the Second World War. Aircraft manufacturers prepared for the new technology, one of them was the Hawker Aviation. The manufacturer developed new airframe design for jet propulsion. On 7 September 1953, the Hawker Aviation successfully flew the first prototype of the Hawker Hunter; even the new aircraft reached the speed of 7,171.01 km/h (727.63 mph), the fastest aircraft speed at the time.
The Hawker Hunter was designed and developed based on Hawker Sea Hawk, a straight-wing carrier-based fighter. The Hawker Sea Hawk was originally offered to fulfill the need of the Royal Air Force. Unfortunately, the Royal Air Force was not interested in the proposed fighter. The manufacturer was lucky as the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy then took the aircraft to operate from aircraft carrier. Later, the Hawker Aviation made some changes on the Hawker Sea Hawk until it became the Hawker Hunter which could meet the Royal Air Force’s requirements.
The Hawker Hunter was a common all-metal monoplane equipped with a retractable tricycle landing gear. In the cockpit, the Hawker Hunter used a Martin-Baker 2H or 3H ejector seat and for the two-seat trainer version the aircraft used Mk 4H ejection seats. By using monocoque construction for its fuselage and a removable rear section for making engine maintenance easier, the aircraft took the air through triangular air intakes in the wing roots and with a single jetpipe in the rear of the fuselage.
For armament, the single-seat fighter version of the Hunter was armed with four 30 mm (1.18 in) ADEN cannon, with 150 rounds of ammunition per gun. The cannon and ammunition boxes were contained in a single pack that could be removed from the aircraft for rapid re-arming and maintenance.
The Hawker Hunter in actions
The Hawker Hunter had been showing its ability in some conflicts in the world. Some of notable operations were during Suez Crisis in Egypt, Borneo Revolt in Brunei, Sino-Indian War in 1972 between India and China where the Indian’s Hawker Hunter met the Chinese’s MiG, the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 where the Indian’s Hawker Hunter were pitted with the Pakistan’s F-86 Sabre. In other conflicts in Africa, Middle East and other regions, the Hawker Hunter proved to be a great dogfighter then.
Civilians Hawker Hunter
Some aviation enthusiasts also fly the Hawker Hunter to fill in their desire. Anyone who wants to fly this legendary fighter can experience being the Hunter’s pilot in some countries such as Switzerland and South Africa.
Some millionaires also own the Hawker Hunter privately.
Hawker Hunter videos
Stunning passenger Hawker Hunter flight in the Swiss mountains
Swiss Air Force Hawker Hunter