Fly a Hawker Hunter Fighter Jet

Fly a Hawker Hunter

Overview: Hawker Hunter

Developed in early 1950s, the Hawker Hunter fighter jet is British transonic aircraft with a swept wing design and a Rolls Royce Avon turbofan engine. In 1953, the Hawker Hunter broke the first air speed record with a top speed of 727.63mph. Design as a manoeuvrable day interceptor aircraft, the Hawker Hunter replaced the first generation of fighter jets used by the British RAF including the Gloster Meteor and the de Havilland Venom. Used by 21 forces, the Hawker Hunter was exported to many countries and even used by aerobatic display teams including the Black Arrows and the Blue Diamonds, favoured for its speed and agility.

Later in the 1960s, the supersonic English Electric Lightning took over the interceptor role due to its higher top speed, so the Hawker Hunter was given fighter bomber and reconnaissance roles instead. Used as a two seat trainer up until the 1990s, the Hawker Hunter had a successful role in British aviation before it was finally replaced by more modern planes such as the Harrier and the F-4 Phantom II.

Hawker Hunter at a glance

Mach 0.94

Hawker Hunter Armament

Heavily armed, the Hawker Hunter was extremely versatile offering four hardpoints with a maximum load of 3,400kg. It featured four 30mm cannons and could be equipped with either four Mantra rocket pods each holding 18x 68mm rockets, 32x 80mm rockets, four air-to-air missiles (either Sidewinders or Mavericks), a variety of unguided bombs or two drop tanks for extended range or loitering time.

Rivals to the Hawker Hunter

Comparable aircraft, in terms of era and capability, to the Hawker Hunter include:

   • English Electric Lightning
   • Dassault Mystère IV
   • Mikoyan MiG-19
   • North American F-100 Super Sabre

In the 1950s, the RAF placed ordered for  both the Hawker Hunter and the Supermarine Swift right off the drawing board during the outbreak of the Korean War. It was apparent but this time that jet engines and swept wingers were the future of aircraft and having two orders with separate companies ensured the RAF would receive at least some jets if one project were to not work out. At the time, the Hawker Hunter set numerous aviation records including speed. It was quick, agile and cost-effective, even though the Supermarine Swift had initially been favoured.

Hawker Hunter Vs British Electric Lightning

The British Electric Lightning eventually replaced the main interceptor role of the Hawker Hunter. It was capable of supersonic speeds, where as the Hawker Hunter was not, so it was instead modified and given the roles of ground attack and reconnaissance. The only British-designed-and-built fighter jet capable of Mach 2.0, the Electric Lightning is something of an exceptional achievement, where as today most jets are produced in partnerships with other countries.

Compared to the Hawker Hunter, the Lightning was faster, had an exceptional rate of climb and ceiling height. It featured two 30mm cannons and four hardpoints for missiles or additional fuel tanks. The Lightning eventually retired in the late 1980s after more modern aircraft made it surplus to the RAF.

Hawker Hunter Vs Dassault Mystère IV

This 1950s French fighter bomber followed the same swept wing design as most jets of the era although slightly smaller than the Hawker Hunter. It was also fairly comparable in terms of speed with a top speed of 690mph at sea level. Although the Dassault had a different role to the Hawker Hunter, it was equally as well armed with two 30mm cannons and 55 air-to-air rockets, it could also carry up to 1,000kg of bombs across four hardpoints.

However, only 411 Dassault Mystère IVs were ever produced compared to the Hawker Hunters 1,972.

Hawker Hunter Vs Mikoyan MiG-19

The MiG-19 is a second generation twin-engined Soviet fighter produced around the same time at the Hawker Hunter. It was the first Soviet aircraft capable of supersonic flight and was a direct opponent to the American F-4 Phantom II and F-105 Thunderchief. Featuring a snub nose, swept wing design, the MiG-19 was marginally smaller than the Hawker Hunter although much faster for a fighter jet at the time, capable of Mach 1.35 compared to the Hawker Hunters Mach 0.94.

In terms of armaments, the MiG-19 could only carry 500kg of weapons or external fuel compared with the Hawker Hunters 3,400kg. Although the MiG had four hardpoints, two were for external fuel only. It featured three 30mm cannons and could carry either two bombs or two 32-round rocket pods.

Hawker Hunter Vs F-100 Super Sabre

Also introduced in the 1950s, the North American F-100 Super Sabre was a supersonic fighter capable of Mach 1.4. It was marginally larger than the Hawker Hunter and was built in similar numbers. The F-100 featured many variation over its lifetime for export and to serve varying roles including training, reconnaissance as well as increases in armaments.

The F-100 had six hardpoints as apposed to the Hawker Hunters four, although it could carry slightly less with a maximum weight limit of 3,190kg. It featured four 30mm cannons as well as either 4x Sidewinder missiles, two or four unguided rocket dispensers or a range of bombs.

Hawker Hunter Variations

Over its lifetime, a range of Hawker Hunter variants were created, some for enhanced roles, others for improvement or exports. Notable models include the Hawker Hunter MK3 that carried no weapons, but was modified in order to reach the air speed record of 727mph. The Hunter FR.10 which was modified for reconnaissance and featured cameras, droptanks and a brake parachute, and the Hunter GA.11 which was used for weapons training.

Fly a Hawker Hunter

You can experience the iconic Hawker Hunter for yourself with a flight with Jetify. Take to the skies in an authentic Hawker Hunter with an experienced pilot and see just what this legendary plane is capable of. Not only that, but you’ll have the option to take the controls and fly the Hawker Hunter for yourself with guidance from your on-board instructor. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience and one that guarantees fond memories that will last for many years to come.

All Jetify flights are unique and tailored to the individual. When airborne, you decide what you want to do, whether that be certain manoeuvres or to learn how to fly the jet yourself. Jetify are dedicated to ensuring your flight is nothing short of exceptional, which is why hotels, flights and transfers are all offered as part of the service. Should you require anything additional, simply book your flight and your very own Account Manager will be in touch to finalise your booking dates as well as any requests, no matter how big or small, to ensure you have the best flight possible.

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