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Richard E

BAe Sea Hawk T Mk. 2 - 803 NAS HMS Hermes 1979

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I'll throw my hat into the ring and see if I can get this one finished in time.

The "Back Story"

After the Royal Navy successfully commissioned the fourth of seven planned CVA-01 “Queen Elizabeth” class aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Victoria, in late 1977 they were finally able to withdraw the ageing carrier HMS Hermes from the front line fleet.

Mirroring the growth of the Navy’s “flat top” fleet the Fleet Air Arm also expanded in size, operating three different types of fast jet from Queen Elizabeth carriers: the US built Phantom FGR1, the veteran Blackburn Buccaneer S2 and new Anglo-French Jaguar FRS1 alongside different marks of the idiosyncratic Fairey Gannet and ubiquitous Sea King and Wessex helicopters. These aircraft were based at four shore stations: Culdrose and Yeovilton in the South West, Honnington in Suffolk and Lossiemouth in Scotland. Despite the size of the conventional fixed wing fleet their Lordships were also developing a healthy interest in a proposed fighter version for the RAF’s VSTOL Harrier which would eventually operate alongside the Sea King helicopters on the new Invincible Class Anti Submarine Warfare carriers that were then on the drawing board.

As the front line fleet expanded the Fleet Air Arm recognised the value of operating their own training squadrons rather than relying on the RAF’s overstretched training fleet and acquired two versions of the junior service’s new Hawk trainer: The first to enter service, the Sea Hawk T Mk. 1 was a land based aircraft which was essentially identical to the RAF’s Hawks, however a growing number of training accidents led to the development of a carrier capable version, the Sea Hawk T Mk. 2. This type was operated by two training squadrons and was used to teach ab-initio pilots to operate a fast jet from the unforgiving deck of a carrier before they graduated to the front line types.

Although HMS Hermes was initially earmarked for disposal the Admiralty soon realised that it could easily be converted to operate as a dedicated training vessel, freeing up the valuable Queen Elizabeths for frontline operations.

Like its land based cousin the Sea Hawk T2 enjoyed some export success after it was selected by the French, Canadian, Australian and Brazilian navies and a modified version of the aircraft was adopted by the US Navy as the T-45A Goshawk.

The Kit

In many respects this is quite a simple build.

I’m planning to modify Airfix’s new Hawk T Mk. 1A as a carrier capable aircraft with new undercarriage, arrestor hook, repositioned air brakes and a few tweaks to make it look subtly different from an operational RAF Hawk or the US Navy’s T-45 Goshawk. If it does get finished it will probably be painted in the same white and EDSG scheme used by the FAA’s Phantoms and Sea Harriers.

Wish me luck :)

Edited by Richard E

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Another one on my "to do" list.

However, mine is to be an operational anti shipping aircraft, armed with Martel/Sea Eagle. Due to it's small size, they are quite hard to pick up on search radar.....especially at very low level!

I watch with interest!

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Welcome to the GB with a cracking idea and great back-story Richard. Look forward to watching your progress on this one. Do you have decals set aside for it yet?

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Welcome to the GB with a cracking idea and great back-story Richard. Look forward to watching your progress on this one. Do you have decals set aside for it yet?

Thanks Col, what was intended to be quite a short back story quickly evolved as soon as fingers touched keyboard and I fear it offers a rich seam of future "WHIFFERY", 801 NAS Jaguar FRS1 anyone?

Decals will probably be courtesy of Modeldecal's generic sheets for the national markings and serials and Fantasy Print Shop solid colour for the 803 squadron yellow and black check markings..

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Hey copy cat!

I did a similar thing but set later 'in time'.

http://www.britmodel...c=234925811&hl=

Great minds and all that....

I did think about going into the near future and producing a carrier capable version of the current Hawk T2 but the option of completing it in EDSG and white rather than overall black won the day.

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Thanks Col, what was intended to be quite a short back story quickly evolved as soon as fingers touched keyboard and I fear it offers a rich seam of future "WHIFFERY", 801 NAS Jaguar FRS1 anyone?

Funny how that happens :D

Yes a FAA Jag M has plenty potential as well! Something for What-if GB III perhaps? ;)

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Like the idea, and the simple grey/white scheme should look good on it

Dan

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Close but no cigar.....

The end of the year and I have a half built Hawk sitting on my desk, unfortunately it was built in "fits and starts" so I didn't manage to create a work in progress thread. An interesting exercise and I'll try to get it finished in the New Year and post some pictures when it's completed.

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Yes please let us see the finished article or any updates you care to share Richard.

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