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Hawker Hunter

In my opinion the Hunter is one of the best looking aircraft around: the swept back wings and thin fuselage are nicely proportioned. It is also an impressive example of early (it was developed in the 1950s) jet design and is still being used today!


The Hunter set the world air speed record on 7 September 1953 flying at 1,171.01 km/h (727.63 mph). The runway at Wanaka is too short for it to land or take off but it doesn't matter because the journey from Queenstown (about an hour by road) can be done in two and a half minutes - or 4 minutes at a comfortable cruise!


The photo above shows the nicely swept back wings (35°) and tailplane. Pilots loved this plane and it was thought by many to be te best fighter of the 1950s. Many rated it the jet equivalent of the Spitfire. Could you get higher praise from the British?

Crew: One
Length: 45 ft 11 in (14.00 m)
Wingspan: 33 ft 8 in (10.26 m)
Height: 13 ft 2 in (4.01 m)
Wing area: 349 ft^2 (32.42 m^2)
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 x Rolls-Royce Avon 207 turbojet, 10,145 lbf (45.13 kN)
Maximum speed: Mach 0.94, 620 kn (715 mph, 1,150 km/h) at sea level
Combat range: 385 nmi (445 mi, 715 km)
Ferry range: 1,650 nmi (1,900 mi, 3,060 km) with external fuel
Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,240 m)
Rate of climb: 17,200 ft/min (87.4 m/s)
Wing loading: 51.6 lb/ft^2 (251.9 kg/m^2)
Thrust/weight: 0.56
Guns: 4 x 30 mm (1.18 in) ADEN revolver cannons in a removable gun pack with 150 rpg
Hardpoints: 4 underwing, capacity of 7,400 lb (3,400 kg).
4 x Matra rocket pods (each with 18 x SNEB 68 mm (2.68 in) rockets) or
32 x Hispano SURA R80 80 mm (3.15 in) rockets
4 x AIM-9 Sidewinder Air-to-air missiles
4 x AGM-65 Maverick Air-to-surface missiles
Bombs: a variety of unguided iron bombs
Other: 2 x 230 US gallons (870 l; 190 imp gal) drop tanks for extended range/loitering time

Sources: Wikipedia, Warbirds Over Wanaka 2012 Programme, Warbirds Around the World (ISBN: 1-877186-72-4).

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