Hawker Hunter is a transonic British
jet-powered fighter aircraft "1951"

Role Fighter
Fighter-bomber/Ground attack
Reconnaissance aircraft
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Hawker Siddeley
First flight 20 July 1951
Introduction 1954
Retired Retired from military service 2014
Status Active as a warbird and contractor aggressor aircraft
Primary users Royal Air Force Swiss Air Force 
Number built 1,972

Hawker Hunter is a transonic British
jet-powered fighter aircraft "1951"

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Hawker Hunter

The Hawker Hunter is a transonic British jet-powered fighter aircraft that was developed by Hawker Aircraft for the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the late 1940s and early 1950s. It was designed to take advantage of the newly developed Rolls-Royce Avon turbojet engine and the swept wing, and was the first jet-powered aircraft produced by Hawker to be procured by the RAF. On 7 September 1953, the modified first prototype broke the world air speed record for aircraft, achieving a speed of 727.63 mph (1,171.01 km/h; 632.29 kn).

The single-seat Hunter was introduced to service in 1954 as a manoeuvrable day interceptor aircraft, quickly succeeding first-generation jet fighters in RAF service such as the Gloster Meteor and the de Havilland Venom. The all-weather/night fighter role was filled by the Gloster Javelin. Successively improved variants of the type were produced, adopting increasingly more capable engine models and expanding its fuel capacity amongst other modifications being implemented. Hunters were also used by two RAF display teams: the “Black Arrows“,


During 1945, the Second World War came to a close and a new postwar Labour government, headed by Clement Attlee, came to power in Britain. The incoming Attlee government’s initial stance on defence was that no major conflict would occur for at least a decade, and thus there would be no need to develop or to procure any new aircraft until 1957. In accordance with this policy, aside from a small number of exceptions such as what would become the Hawker Sea Hawk for the Royal Navy, the majority of Specifications issued by the Air Ministry for fighter-sized aircraft during the late 1940s were restricted to research purposes. Aviation author Derek Wood refers to this policy as being: “a fatal error of judgement which was to cost Britain a complete generation of fighters and heavy bomber aircraft”.

As the Cold War arose in the late 1940s, the RAF came to recognise that it would urgently require the development and procurement of fighters equipped with features such as swept wings. By this time, it had also become apparent that newly developed jet propulsion would form the future of fighter aircraft development. 

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Hawker Hunter is a transonic British fighter aircraft "1951"

  • The Hunter F.1 entered service with the Royal Air Force in July 1954. It was the first high-speed jet aircraft equipped with radar and fully powered flight controls to go into widespread service with the RAF. The Hunter replaced the Gloster Meteor, the Canadair Sabre, and the de Havilland Venom jet fighters in service. Initially, low internal fuel capacity restricted the Hunter’s performance, giving it only a maximum flight endurance of about an hour. A fatal accident occurred on 8 February 1956, when a flight of eight Hunters was redirected to another airfield owing to adverse weather conditions

Crew: 1

Length: 45 ft 10.5 in (13.983 m)

Wingspan: 33 ft 8 in (10.26 m)

Height: 13 ft 2 in (4.01 m)

Empty weight: 14,122 lb (6,406 kg)

Gross weight: 17,750 lb (8,051 kg)

Max takeoff weight: 24,600 lb (11,158 kg)

Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce Avon 207 turbojet engine, 10,145 lbf (45.13 kN) thrust

Maximum speed: 623 mph (1,003 km/h, 541 kn) at 36,000 ft (11,000 m) 

Maximum speed: Mach 0.94

Combat range: 385 mi (620 km, 335 nmi)

Ferry range: 1,900 mi (3,100 km, 1,700 nmi) maximum external fuel

Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,000 m)

Rate of climb: 17,200 ft/min (87 m/s)

Wing loading: 51.6 lb/sq ft (252 kg/m2)

Guns:30 mm (1.18 in) ADEN revolver cannon in a removable gun pack with 150 rpg

Hardpoints: 4 underwing (7 hardpoints on Singaporean FGA/FR.74S,  with a capacity of 7,400 lb (3,400 kg),with provisions to carry combinations of:


4× Matra rocket pods (each with 18 × SNEB 68 mm (2.68 in) rockets) or

32× Hispano SURA R80 80 mm (3.15 in) rockets


Aircrafttoaal encyclopedia

The Belgian Air Force received 112 Hunter F.4s between 1956 and 1957 to replace the Gloster Meteor F.8.[110] The aircraft were built under licence in both Belgium and the Netherlands in a joint programme, some using US offshore funding.[110] SABCA and Avions Fairey built 64 aircraft in Belgium and a further 48 were built in the Netherlands by Fokker