Hawker Hunter

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Hawker Hunter

A privately-owned Hawker Hunter, photographed in England in 2003.
Rolemulti-role fighter (FGA.9)
First flight20 July 1951
Entered serviceJuly 1954
Length45 ft 11 in14.00 m
Wingspan33 ft 8 in10.26 m
Height13 ft 2 in4.01 m
Wing Area349 ft²32.42 m²
Empty13,010 lb5,902 kg
Loaded18,000 lb8,165 kg
Maximum takeoff24,600 lb11,158 kg
EnginesRolls-Royce Avon 207
Thrust10,150 lbf45.15 kN
Maximum speed710 mph1,144 km/h
Combat radius443 miles713 km
Ferry range1,840 miles2,961 km
Service ceiling50,000 ft15,240 m
Rate of climb8,000 ft/min2,438 m/min
Wing loading51.6 lb/ft²251.9 kg/m²
Thrust/weight0.56 lbf/lb (5.6 kN/kg)
Avionicsranging radar
Guns4x 30 mm ADEN cannon, 135 rpg
Bombs7,400 lb (3,357 kg)
MissilesAIM-9 Sidewinder, AGM-65 Maverick
RocketsSNEB 70 mm rockets in 18 round pods

The Hawker Hunter was a British jet fighter aircraft of the 1950s. Considered by many to be the finest transonic fighter, the Hunter served for many years with the Royal Air Force, and was widely exported, serving with 19 air forces. A total of 1,927 Hunters were produced by Hawker Siddeley and under license.



The Hunter was developed in response to an Air Ministry specification issued in 1948. The P.1067 first flew on 17 July 1951, entering service as the Hunter F.1 in 1954. Extensive teething problems led to a succession of variants, leading to the definitive F.6' with a much more powerful Rolls-Royce Avon engine and revised wing. The F.6 and the subsequent FGA.9 fighter bomber were the basis for most exports.

The Hunter had a swept wing with a 35° sweep, a single turbojet engine with intakes in the wing roots, and a high-mounted tailplane. It was armed with four 30mm ADEN cannon in a detachable pack in the nose, with underwing fittings for bombs and rockets. Later variants had improved wing design and more powerful engines. A trainer version with side-by-side seating for instructor and pupil was also produced. The Hunter is prized for its handling ability, and in mature versions is a versatile, robust, and reliable aircraft.

The Hunter F.6 was retired from the fighter role in the RAF in 1963, with ground-attack versions serving through 1970. Some remained in use for training and secondary roles through the early 1990s.

Hunter users included Abu Dhabi, Belgium, Chile, Denmark, Iraq, India, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Netherlands, Oman, Peru, Qatar, Rhodesia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Sweden, and Switzerland. Belgium and Netherlands produced the Hunter under license.

Perhaps the most enthusiastic Hunter user was Switzerland, which used the type from 1958 through 1994, upgrading it repeatedly in service and often choosing to retain it in lieu of newer aircraft.

Combat History


The Hunters played an important role in the military coup that overthrew the socialist president of Chile, Salvador Allende, on September 11, 1973. Hunters of the Squadron No 7 of the Chilean Air Forces bombarded the presidential palace, Allende's house in Santiago and radio stations loyal to the government.

Indo-Pakistan Wars


Hunters attacked Pakistani armoured units destroying many Patton tanks


Four Hunters of the Indian Air Force destroyed many Pakistani T-59 and Sherman tanks in the Battle of Longewala. Hunters also attacked oil installations at Karachi, and engaged PAF aircraft over Dhaka.

Units Using the Hunter

Royal Air Force

Missing image
Sixteen Hunters of the RAF Black Arrows perform aerobatics at the Farnborough Air Show, England.
Missing image
A privately-owned Hawker Hunter F.58 in England
  • Black Knights aerial display team, 4 aircraft of No 54 Squadron
  • Black Arrows aerial display team, all black aircraft of No. 111 Squadron
  • The Blue Diamonds aerial display team 16 blue-painted Hunters of 92 Squadron

Related content

Similar aircraft: Dassault Super Mystère - F-86 Sabre - MiG-17

Lists of Aircraft | Aircraft manufacturers | Aircraft engines | Aircraft engine manufacturers

Airports | Airlines | Air forces | Aircraft weapons | Missiles | Timeline of aviation


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