Help needed for my A-Level Coursework - Hawker Hunter

Discuss all things 'aviation' that do not fit into a more appropriate forum
Post Reply
PeterR
Posts: 4810
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 12:43 pm

Help needed for my A-Level Coursework - Hawker Hunter

Post by PeterR »

Hello Everyone,

As some of you may be aware for my A2 Product Design piece I am designing a commemorative piece of furniture inspired by the Hawker Hunter - it being it's 60th anniversary last year. I'm well into the design and construction stages now but the guidance I've been given on my coursework for my research is I need to show why the Hunter is to special to people and why it's such an important and advised aircraft.
So this is where your help could come in please,

If people could just spare a few minutes to post anything they feel about the Hawker Hunter; why it's special to them. And stories or personal connections. Or why they think it's such a famous and successful aircraft. And if you don't mind adding your age to the post to as it's all part of my product research and should hopefully add alot of marks to my project.


Many Thanks,
Peter Reoch :biggrin:

User avatar
bennysdad
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon 08 Sep 2008, 11:23 pm

Re: Help needed for my A-Level Coursework - Hawker Hunter

Post by bennysdad »

Here goes. I am 60 years old and the hunter was in service at Leuchars when I was a child. It was the first swept wing jet I saw regularly in the skies and I am sure that until I knew better every jet noise had to be a Hawker Hunter. In the fifties and into the sixties am lot of major airshows like Farnborough were very well covered on the television and again the Hunter was to the fore with teams like the Black Arrows. These were exciting times for a young plane spotter and I think as a nation we were proud to be producers of a world class jet fighter. It was superseded by the Lightning which was the last front line interceptor designed and built by a British manufacturer and in its day it would beat the pants off any opponent. We produced a very good interceptor in the Sea Harrier but that was a much more specialised role rather than a QRA airspace defender. After that everything has been American or built in collaboration with European partners. Personally the lightning is my favorite but the chance to see one in the air again is slim in this country. There are however plenty Hunters still being seen flying and the evoke a lot of nostalgia for a time when our air force was a dominant force.

There is one more thing about the Hunter. It looks right and sounds right much like a Mosquito. I think people like an aircraft that looks like it flies into the sky rather than an angular lump that is kept aloft by sheer power. Nobody who has heard the Hunter blue note coming out of a cloudless summer sky could fail to look up and be proud of what British engineers could design and build.

User avatar
Seahornet
Posts: 901
Joined: Tue 02 Sep 2008, 1:55 pm
Location: Shropshire, Severn Valley

Re: Help needed for my A-Level Coursework - Hawker Hunter

Post by Seahornet »

Hi Peter, I hope I can help. I'm 55, and the Hunter is one of my favourite memories of the Finningley airshows of my childhood years.

There are lots of technical reasons why the Hunter was and is such a successful aircraft, often due to being the right aircraft at the right time. It's a relatively simple design (meeting any aircraft designer's two most important principles - Add lightness, and simplicate!), and has been able to excel in a wide range of roles: fighter, interceptor, strike attack, recce etc.

However, the love of aircraft is a more intangible, emotional, and aesthetic thing. To me, the Hunter has a style, beauty, and elegance, which transcend mere functional engineering. There's something quite indefinable about that combination of simple curves, the symmetry, and the flow of the design. Along with the unique collection of sounds that accompany it's various marks, and modes of flight, the Hunter is probably the epitome of the old adage, "if it looks right, it'll fly right". If a bird was made of aluminium and rivets, instead of flesh and bone, I think it might look a lot like a Hawker Hunter.

I'm sorry that this piece is full of words like 'intangible' and 'indefinable', which aren't too helpful when you're trying grasp and define something! But that's perhaps why the Hunter is so admired, because we tend to view it more with our hearts than with our heads.


Terry
And as the smart ship grew,
In stature, grace and hue,
In shadowy silent distance grew the iceberg too....

F-22 Raptor A
Posts: 418
Joined: Tue 08 Jun 2010, 5:00 pm

Re: Help needed for my A-Level Coursework - Hawker Hunter

Post by F-22 Raptor A »

Hi, I'm a 15 year old GCSE student.

The Hawker Hunter is so special and loved by me because it represents when Britain was a truly great power, at the pinnacle of technology and that something can be truly a piece of art and a weapon of war.

When at airshows it is one of the aircraft that people, old and young, those who love aircraft and don't, recognise and enjoy looking at.

User avatar
toom317
UKAR Supporter
Posts: 1852
Joined: Tue 02 Sep 2008, 11:02 am

Re: Help needed for my A-Level Coursework - Hawker Hunter

Post by toom317 »

Apart from the fact that it looks good, it has the blue note, which has to be one of the most distinctive aircraft sounds. I was lucky enough to work in Oman at Thumrait where the Omani Hunters were based, and hearing that was a regular thing, and the fact that they were tear arseing down the taxiways at warp 7 and under 20ft only made it better. Another of their party pieces was to flick the airbrake off and on, which made the note flutter. Only heard that once, but I'll never forget it.

Ooops forget to add age, 53.
"Nice pics mate" comments only! No criticism please.

Equipment: Camera, Lens, Goretex Y fronts.

User avatar
Mad Dan
Posts: 2521
Joined: Mon 01 Sep 2008, 5:06 am
Location: Somewhere in England

Re: Help needed for my A-Level Coursework - Hawker Hunter

Post by Mad Dan »

My abiding memory is of the "Black Arrows" (111 Squadron) and "Blue Diamonds" (92 Squadron) aerobatic display teams at Farnborough in the late 1950s and early 1960s - nobody did it better!!! Then - or since...

It was also a time when the Hunter was likely to be encountered almost anywhere in Europe - Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland all operated it, in addition to the RAF and Fleet Air Arm. Plus, of course, frequent visits to Dunsfold provided opportunites to see examples from all sorts of exotic countries, as the remanufacturing programme was in full swing...

Edited to add observation about Neville Duke spinning G-APUX at Farnborough. The sight of that red machine rotating and descending while trailing smoke for the benefit of us spectators was truly awesome...

It just looked so right - in single and two-seat form. In my opinion, the most elegant jet fighter of them all (although the F-106 Delta Dart comes close).

(64 and counting down to 65 - aaarrrggghhh).
Last edited by Mad Dan on Thu 26 Jan 2012, 8:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
I am not a loony... I used to be, but I think I am better now...

RoverDriver
Posts: 772
Joined: Sun 26 Apr 2009, 9:05 pm

Re: Help needed for my A-Level Coursework - Hawker Hunter

Post by RoverDriver »

k
Last edited by RoverDriver on Sun 08 Jul 2012, 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Martin the Martian
Posts: 704
Joined: Sat 28 Feb 2009, 8:28 pm
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Help needed for my A-Level Coursework - Hawker Hunter

Post by Martin the Martian »

Gosh, where do I start? says this 40-year old aviation enthusiast.

I shall let Robert Prest speak for me, in his superb book 'F4 Phantom: A Pilot's Story' (one of the finest books on aviation ever written- seek it out if you can and enjoy).

"Graduate with wings and on to the Hunter at Tactical Weapons School. Hawker Hunter. To the man in the street, 1950s, Farnborough Air Show, hot summer days, Neville Duke and Hunter, sleek of frame, shiny silver and occasionally virgin white, here and gone in a Doppler wave of howling Avon (the famous 'Blue Note'), or perhaps just a pencil thin trail of white vapour bisecting the heavens, from one horizon through the zenith and on to the other, swift silent mysterious man-machine remotely godly way up there in the sky. Or maybe sixteen of the breed, black and 'Treble One', masters of the art of mass formation aerobatics wheeling in a diamond wedge, toylike, cohesive, graceful above the popcorn-munching crowds gazing up in admiration at those magnificent men in their magnificent machines.

"To me, 1972, Hawker Siddeley Hunter, obsolescent, ergonomic nightmare of haphazard instrumentation, illogical positioning of booster pump switches, UHF radio set, G4 compass, inverter circuit breakers, temperamental starter motors, oil- and hydraulic-streaked dirty grey belly, bug spattered windscreen and flaking paintwork. Yet it is functional and purposeful, an ageing lady no longer beautiful but still unique, retaining its nostalgic charisma and reminiscing on past glories as steely new breeds thunder overhead, vaunting their afterburners and steeling all the limelight."

More personally, the blue note, the whoosh of the starter cartridge, Miss Demeanour, the Patrouille de Suisse and that beautiful, graceful shape do it every time. In 1993, I visited FRADU at Yeovilton as part of an Air-Britain Branch tour. Walking into that hangar on the south side of the airfield (now occupied by light aircraft) and seeing wall to wall Hunters, shining under the lights, would have been a road-to-Damascus style conversion if I hadn't already been a big fan. Every marque of Hunter looked just right, no matter if it is single seat, two seat, radar nose, dogtooth wings, loaded with stores or clean. Sir Sydney Camm designed some superb, wonderful aircraft but, by God, he saved his best for last.
50 Shades of Grey: sounds like a paint chart for modern jets

En0
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon 28 Feb 2011, 12:28 am

Re: Help needed for my A-Level Coursework - Hawker Hunter

Post by En0 »

AAAHHHH!!!

Some common sense hear folk please!

The Hunter was indeed a beautiful aeroplane, but it never 'led the world' wasn't a 'huge increase in technology' and it is no more or less British than the Supermarine Swift, Short Sperrin or the Avro Ashton!

To add a touch of realism here it must be remembered that the Hunter was entering service as the US was introducing the F-102 Delta Dagger, when it entered service after a much delayed and problematic development programme (which is why the UK had to take over 400 F-86 Sabres as stopgaps) it suffered real problems with engine surging and stalling at height, was not initially able to fire it's guns without the engine stopping, had airbrake positioning problems and suffered from chronic lack of endurance and range.
It was replaced as the RAF frontline fighter with undue haste by the Lightning and was gone from the frontline of the RAF as an interceptor by 1962, hardly "the greatest fighter in the world" as someone claims Hawker Siddeley stated it was in 1962!

As for it being "British through and through" the majority of its production was funded by the USA as a part of their off shore procurement funding programme.

As to it becoming a legend, the actual legend is the fact that it was an outdated design and was a superb replacement for the Spitfire or the Meteor F8 as a short ranged, visual day only, non supersonic, fair weather fighter in an age where level flight supersonic/allweather performance and capability with radar guided air to air missiles was what was required and needed.

But it was very VERY pretty...

Dragon Rapide
Posts: 3363
Joined: Tue 06 Sep 2011, 10:01 am

Re: Help needed for my A-Level Coursework - Hawker Hunter

Post by Dragon Rapide »

Worringly close to 70 years old, so I grew up with the Hunter, amongst others of course, but the Hunter and Neville Duke were the iconic teenage pairing. And I echo a previous poster's memories of the spinning red record breaker, and the later Roger Topp formation displays at Farnborough. I still have some of my Corgi and Dinky models as well as some later diecasts.

For me the Hunter was, at the time, the "perfect fighter aircraft", whatever its deficencies, which I was unaware of then. It looked stunning from any angle, it flew beautifully and it sounded fantastic......and still does thanks to Flapjack!! :biggrin:
Listen to that Gipsy music.....

Dragon Rapide

9arrow
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 10:19 am

Re: Help needed for my A-Level Coursework - Hawker Hunter

Post by 9arrow »

Sorry to be picky but it was Bill Bedford that did the famous spins in the Mk. 66a G-APUX.

Dave

Dragon Rapide
Posts: 3363
Joined: Tue 06 Sep 2011, 10:01 am

Re: Help needed for my A-Level Coursework - Hawker Hunter

Post by Dragon Rapide »

Actually, yes, you are quite right!! :oops: :smile:
Listen to that Gipsy music.....

Dragon Rapide

User avatar
Seahornet
Posts: 901
Joined: Tue 02 Sep 2008, 1:55 pm
Location: Shropshire, Severn Valley

Re: Help needed for my A-Level Coursework - Hawker Hunter

Post by Seahornet »

You've gone very quiet, Peter, is any of this any use to you...? :question:
And as the smart ship grew,
In stature, grace and hue,
In shadowy silent distance grew the iceberg too....

PeterR
Posts: 4810
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 12:43 pm

Re: Help needed for my A-Level Coursework - Hawker Hunter

Post by PeterR »

Yes thanks, sorry for the delay, I've in fact been doing the write up of my research over the past few days. Thank-you to everyone who has responded. I'll post some photos of the finished model of the furniture later on in the year.

:clap:

Dragon Rapide
Posts: 3363
Joined: Tue 06 Sep 2011, 10:01 am

Re: Help needed for my A-Level Coursework - Hawker Hunter

Post by Dragon Rapide »

Good for you - look forward to seeing the results later. :smile:
Listen to that Gipsy music.....

Dragon Rapide

duxfordhawk
Posts: 968
Joined: Sat 04 Oct 2008, 11:32 am
Location: South London/Croydon
Contact:

Re: Help needed for my A-Level Coursework - Hawker Hunter

Post by duxfordhawk »

Not sure if I am too late to add anything to your coursework project but here goes.
I'm 37 and grew up near Biggin Hill airport at this time Biggin Hill was still part of the RAF and was used for training so it was not that uncommon to see a Hunter T7 flying in or out of there. All of which was exciting for a young boy.

For me the reason the Hunter is so Iconic is much the same as why the Spitfire is iconic, Both have beautiful sleak designs, the kind of designs that even on the ground feel like they are moving. I would agree with Eno that is was far from a perfect aircraft and would argue its beauty makes it more iconic than anything else,Much like the Spitfire trumps the Hurricane although the Hurricane holds more kills in the Battle of Britain.

Having done airshows since 1982 I have to say its one of the best performers on the curcuit and in the hands of pilots like Johnathon "Flapjack" Whaley or the late great Mark Hanna it becomes a star performer. I remember on occasion at Biggin Hill a memember of the crowd asking me how old the design of the Hunter was, He was really shocked when I told him go back to the 1950s. So I guess its aged well too.

I always dreamed that if I had the money I would form a duo of Hunter and Spitfire for the diisplay curcuit, Probably with a Griffon engined Spitfire rather than a Merlin one though. All the same the nearest I have got so far is a couple or airfix models :lol:

Good luck with the work mate.
Martin
To see my Photos go to
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dxhawk/

Post Reply