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1/48 - Hawker Hunter F.6/F.6A by Airfix - schemes+3D renders+test model+sprues - release October 2018

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Source: https://www.airfix.com/uk-en/news/workbench/new-tooling-announcement-to-start-raf-centenary-year/

 

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Hawker’s first jet aircraft for the RAF

Entering RAF service in July 1954, the Hawker Hunter F.1 continued a proud company tradition of supplying the Royal Air Force with ground-breaking new fighter aircraft, following on from such classics as the Fury, Hurricane and Tempest over the previous two decades. The RAF now had their capable high speed interceptor fighter and could begin to replace the several first generation jets which were currently in service, such as the Meteor, Venom and the American designed Sabre, all of which were unable to match the Canberra bomber for speed. The Hunter proved to be highly manoeuvrable, possessed exceptional performance and was a relatively easy aircraft to both operate and keep serviceable. This first Hawker designed jet aircraft for the Royal Air Force included a number of notable firsts for the RAF, such as being the first high-speed jet aircraft to be equipped with radar and fully powered flight controls to enter service, along with the ADEN gun pack, which was fully removable from the aircraft to aid serviceability and speed of operational turn-around. Despite its impressive credentials as an interceptor, the Hunter was also a beautiful, graceful looking aeroplane and is still thought of by many aviation enthusiasts and historians as the most handsome jet aircraft to see RAF service and very much following the tradition of elegant looking Hawker designed fighters that had preceded it.

 

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The unmistakable lines of the beautiful Hawker Hunter in the static aircraft park at last year’s Scampton Airshow. This former Swiss Air Force machine is still operated in the UK by Hawker Hunter Aviation

 

Representing the very latest in aviation technology, although the Hunter was clearly an extremely capable fighting aeroplane, there were problems during its service introduction and the aircraft was subject to almost constant development and various upgrades throughout its lengthy service career. The thirsty Avon engines and relatively low internal fuel capacity restricted the flight endurance of the initial aircraft, which saw early examples used more as a point defence fighter, as opposed to mounting long-standing defensive patrols, however, an aircraft possessing the pedigree of the Hunter was certainly worth the perseverance and most issues were addressed over time. Arguably, the definitive version of the Hunter proved to be the F.6 Fighter which incorporated a number of significant improvements and highlighted the adaptability of the basic Hawker design. The constant desire for greater speed and fuel efficiency resulted in Rolls-Royce developing the Avon 203, almost a complete re-design of the earlier engine and yielded an additional 33 percent greater thrust for the Hunter pilot to access. The F.6 also incorporated an improved fuel management system and tank layout, as well as introducing the distinctive outer-wing leading edge extension, which gave the wing a saw-tooth appearance and was developed to improve high speed stability. The Hunter F.6 was a thoroughbred fighting aeroplane, with the design changes only serving to enhance its reputation and certainly not detracting from its aesthetic appeal.

The Hawker Hunter went on to have a distinguished service career with both the Royal Air Force and the Fleet Air Arm, as well as becoming an extremely successful export aircraft for the British aviation industry. With RAF examples remaining in service until around 1994 and the civilian FRADU operating Hunters until the following year, the aircraft has also been a regular performer at Airshows across the world, in both military and civilian hands, introducing this enigmatic aircraft to millions of aircraft enthusiasts over the years. The Hunter was also used by two RAF aerobatic display teams during its service life, the ‘Blue Diamonds’ and the ‘Black Arrows’, both of which would regularly fly an impressive sixteen Hunters in tight formation. Indeed, at the 1958 Farnborough show, the ‘Black Arrows’ performed an awe-inspiring loop with 22 Hunters in close formation, a world record achievement which still stands to this day. Commanding a significant position in the history of British aviation, the Hawker Hunter is certain to be a popular addition to the Airfix model range and is news that will be welcomed by many Workbench readers.

 

New Airfix Hawker Hunter F.6 in 1/48th scale

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Computer rendered 3D planform image of the new Hawker Hunter F.6

 

The entire Airfix team are excited to start 2018 by bringing you news of a spectacular new model tooling in 1/48th scale – the magnificent Hawker Hunter F.6. We have already seen why the Hunter occupies such a significant place in the history of British aviation and it will come as no surprise that the aircraft is always amongst the front runners in any poll of suggested new Airfix tooling requests on modelling websites, forums and our ideas box at Scale ModelWorld each year. Joining our growing range of 1/48th scale model kits, the new Hunter will bring the classic shape of Hawker’s first RAF jet to this slightly larger scale and complement the previously released Gloster Meteor, one of the aircraft the Hunter went on to replace in RAF service.

As you would expect, the Airfix design team will be working hard to ensure they produce a faithful scale representation of this classic British aircraft, using all the modern development technologies they have at their disposal. For such a high profile project, the Airfix team could not only call upon their extensive collection of research materials and original design drawings, but also had the opportunity to perform a LIDAR scan of a preserved example of a Hawker Hunter. Once again calling upon our good friends at the Imperial War Museum Duxford, the team were allowed access to Hawker Hunter F.6A XE627 in one of the display hangars, with this detailed scan data affording the designer responsible for this project a valuable additional level of reference information. This particular aircraft made its first flight on 13th June 1956 and was later delivered to No.45 Maintenance Unit at RAF Kinloss – it went on to see RAF service with Nos 1, 54, 65 and 92 Squadrons, as well as spending time with both No.229 Operational Conversion Unit and No.1 Tactical Weapons Unit, before retirement in the early 1980s. The aircraft is now preserved at Duxford wearing the markings of one of its former operators, RAF No.65 Squadron, but this aircraft is unusual in that it is currently on loan to the IWM from the United States Air Force.

 

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The team were able to obtain a LIDAR scan of Duxford’s Hunter F.6A XE627. Image from Creative Commons belonging to Alan Wilson

 

When bringing our readers news of any new model tooling, we always attempt to speak to the individual designer(s) overseeing the project, to get their educated opinion on the project which has been dominating their working day for some weeks. With regard to the new Hunter, we wanted to ask some direct questions around the LIDAR scan technology and whether access to this kind of information makes a big difference – does it ensure a more accurate model and does it cut down on the time they will need to spend developing the model tooling? The answer we received was rather surprising. It seems that the majority of new tooling projects all follow a very similar path, relying heavily on drawings, plans, books and research materials, along with the undoubted skill of the designer (we added this bit ourselves). All this information has to be assimilated into the powerful design software used by the team to produce the model in its kit form - the data received from any LIDAR scan is clearly of huge benefit, even though this does not actually cut down on the amount of work the designer has to do on the project. In essence, the scan data acts more like an extremely reliable (and rather expensive) insurance policy for the designer.

 

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A selection of Hunter LIDAR scan data images, captured at the Imperial War Museum Duxford in 2017

 

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As you can see from some of the Hunter scan pictures we have included, whilst this scan data accurately captures the beautiful shape of the Hunter, there are certain areas that do not scan quite so well and require significant additional work, such as the area around the cockpit canopy. This raw data also needs to be tidied up in powerful software before it can be used effectively, but significantly for the designer, once he has access to this information, it can be used to check the shape and dimension details of the computerised drawing and CAD data they have for the aircraft. It is used as an incredibly accurate shape trace for the designer, against which he can base all his CAD development work, bearing in mind he is working on the production of a model kit and will need to reduce this shape information into large numbers of individual components and highly detailed sections. Although the LIDAR scan provides the designer with a significant amount of additional project reassurance, it will not necessarily reduce the time spent working on any new tooling project.

 

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A montage of computer rendered 3D Hunter images

 

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The selection of images we are exclusively bringing Workbench readers show some of the early computer rendered 3D images which have been produced to support the model’s entry in the recently released 2018 model range and show details for both the Hunter F.6 and F.6A variant. We also have some of the first detail images, showing cockpit and undercarriage areas, as well as the air intake detail which will all benefit this impressive kit once it is released. The designers will undoubtedly face some challenges as this model advances through the development process and we hope to bring you these details and how the designer overcame them, as this project progresses. We will also be looking to report on any areas they are particularly proud of or detail they feel is deserving of special note.

 

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Workbench readers are always keen to see the computer rendered 3D images produced to showcase any new tooling announcement

 

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The new Hawker Hunter F.6 is still relatively early in the design and development process, however, we very much look forward to bringing you many more updates from this exciting project in the weeks and months to come, as this heavily requested model advances towards its currently scheduled October release date. We also intend to go back and look at some of the very first CAD images as the Airfix designers transform this iconic British aircraft from a series of detailed files on a computer to the latest highly anticipated model release in the Airfix range.

 

That’s all we have for you in this latest edition of Workbench, which we hope you found an interesting read. We have devoted the entire edition to the fantastic news regarding the new Hawker Hunter F.6 tooling, even though the latest Airfix model range has now been announced – we will look more closely at the new range in our next edition.

 

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A final look at a computer rendered 3D image from the beautiful new 1/48th scale Hawker Hunter F.6

 

V.P.

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I can see this selling by the container load. The likes of Xtradecal only have to reissue their sheets to make everyone happy.

 

So what else apart from the ‘Troom and Hunter were in that Duxford hangar when Airfix rocked up?!

 

Trevor 

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2 hours ago, Max Headroom said:

I can see this selling by the container load. The likes of Xtradecal only have to reissue their sheets to make everyone happy.

 

So what else apart from the ‘Troom and Hunter were in that Duxford hangar when Airfix rocked up?!

 

Trevor 

 

Sea Fury

 

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I fished out a couple of Cutting Edge decal sheets for the Hunter last night and there's enough markings options to justify buying 10 kits. I would reckon that the aftermarket guys Freightdog, Alleycat will have an FGA.9 conversion very soon after release and there'll be a few new Xtradecal sheets.

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I see that we are already running off at a tangent again, speculating as to "What if ?" (such as - the Sea Fury is going to be next?)  You know what happened at Telford, dont be surprised if it happens again..........................suggest you add your speculation to the 2019 Airfix thread

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On 1/11/2018 at 7:58 AM, Denford said:

The above referring to the choice of F6 and with reference to FGA 9

This surely wasn't by chance.  It must have taken hours of research, extending over years to decide which variant to choose: those who have repeatedly asked 'why no Hunter?' please note!  The same goes for other types of which the Venom\Sea Venom come to mind.

Though a 'serious modeller' ie the top 20% of kit buyers, to me it's pretty much a case that a Hunter is just a Hunter.  So with the possible exception of a 2-seater, only 15%? would buy (and that's what really matters) other variants as well.  Careful tooling may enable other single-seat variants to be built with aftermarket help but the extra sales would surely be minimal.

Going back 2 generations, I'm sure that's why Airfix are most unlikely to tool a tin wing Hurricane, ditto a Spitfire XlV and quite a few others.

Weep not: there are still many, many other subjects which are 'in need' of (re)tooling.  I'm still hoping for an Avenger with folding wing.

I'm pretty sure there will be a Spit XIV in 2019 just based on the abortive announcement this year.

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4 minutes ago, rayprit said:

I see that we are already running off at a tangent again, speculating as to "What if ?" (such as - the Sea Fury is going to be next?)  You know what happened at Telford, dont be surprised if it happens again..........................suggest you add your speculation to the 2019 Airfix thread

 

The Sea Fury can't be the next announcement, simply because was already announced before the Hunter :D

 

 

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1 minute ago, Dave Fleming said:

There was a Mig 21 next to the Phantom

Nice as the Eduard kit is, it doesn't make money for Airfix. There were so many operators and colour schemes for the MiG-21 it actually seems illogical for Airfix not to do one.

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17 hours ago, Col. said:

So they've released an F.6 with what will most likely be the parts to build an F.6a but in what some people think boring schemes. To my mind this means there will be an FGA.9 boxing soon and then most likely plenty others in the future. The Sea Fury already has an export boxing announced so perhaps two or three of those could be milked from the Hunter in both F.6 and FGA.9 flavours. How about a display team boxing in the same way Academy did (which I'm claiming as my idea by the way since a few months after I posted a list of possible decal options on the relevant thread it appeared with each of those schemes <_< ) or do a few with a mix of one RAF, one display, and one export scheme in each release?

 

So you are responsible for my wanting 4 Italeri kits (to add to my 2 Academy ones). Now I have more than enough Hunters for my needs. Somehow I doubt I need an Airfix Hunter now.

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35 minutes ago, Charlie Hugo said:

So you are responsible for my wanting 4 Italeri kits (to add to my 2 Academy ones). Now I have more than enough Hunters for my needs. Somehow I doubt I need an Airfix Hunter now.

You need to look again. A man can NEVER have too many Hunters, and I'm THE one who doesn't rate it the most beautiful jet ever. (Concord and F4D Skyray if you think I'm still mad :D  )

 

I'll be buying several and I won't be alone.

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Well, a F6 just suits me because of this

 

190890-12192-44-pristine.jpg

 

Now, who said F6 = boring scheme?

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How about an Aerobatic Hunter boxing with options for the Black Arrows, Blue Diamonds and Patrouille Suisse?

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Hi,

 

So based on the renders above it's not possible to do a FGA9 out of this boxing based on what we know thus far?? Given the flaps don't have the notch. So is an F6A possible then? I thought that had the Parabrake housing and notched flaps to clear the 230 gallon inboard tanks??

 

I think you can see the flap notch on the LIDAR scan of the Duxford F6A but it's not obvious on the CAD render. 

 

Thoughts...

 

Plasto

Edited by Plasto

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4 hours ago, john224 said:

How about an Aerobatic Hunter boxing with options for the Black Arrows, Blue Diamonds and Patrouille Suisse?

...and the Indian Air Force scheme: overall blue with white lightning flash along the fuselage sides.

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1 hour ago, Plasto said:

Hi,

 

So based on the renders above it's not possible to do a FGA9 out of this boxing based on what we know thus far?? Given the flaps don't have the notch. So is an F6A possible then? I thought that had the Parabrake housing and notched flaps to clear the 230 gallon inboard tanks??

 

I think you can see the flap notch on the LIDAR scan of the Duxford F6A but it's not obvious on the CAD render. 

 

Thoughts...

 

Plasto

 

... My thoughts -

The Revell 1/72 kits have common wing parts and there is a curved channel along the inside lower wing flap section to allow the modeller to cut this notch out if making the FGA.9.  

Perhaps Airfix will take a similar approach as it seems to work OK with these kits.

 

Cheers.. Dave  

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Perhaps it’s pertinent to note Airfix are calling the release a Hunter F6 which makes the Flaps as shown in the CAD render (notch-less) correct. 

 

The Parabrake housing on the profile of XF418 is where things get a bit confusing. At that point in its operational life it should have it as its converted to F6A standard.

 

The question is did all F6A’s have notched flaps?  If Airfix include em in the box then your that much closer to a FGA 9 / FR10.

 

Its early days but I wonder if all F6A had the notched flaps?? Anyone know?

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Probably best to stock up with this kit and then Airfix will release an FGA9 12 months later so I imaging the likes of Alleycat will be very reluctant to issue a conversion which might become obsolete after 12 months. But then again, they might just make hay until their leading edge extensions are no longer required? The bigger issue will be how Airfix deal with the changes in vents and scoops that occurred as the design evolved. And of course its not a cheap kit. Same series and price as the Blenheim 1f but with that you get a gun turret as well as a cockpit and two visible engines. Airfix can include rocket pods, drop tanks, rockets and other stores but maybe they'll have to have a fuselage split and a full engine - like the Meteor - to justify the price? Same series as the Meteor so we can expect a similar parts count?

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1 hour ago, Rabbit Leader said:

 

... My thoughts -

The Revell 1/72 kits have common wing parts and there is a curved channel along the inside lower wing flap section to allow the modeller to cut this notch out if making the FGA.9.  

Perhaps Airfix will take a similar approach as it seems to work OK with these kits.

 

Cheers.. Dave  

 

I'd imagine they would - or it's not a difficut task to scribe the cut out and fill the existing line (Hunters of course always having their flaps raised on the ground)

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Im a hawker Noob since i’ve never built one, and am looking forward to adding one to my collection. I know there a quite a # of RAF Squadrons to pick from and for me that will be the challenge. 

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OMG!! OMG!! Thank you Airfix!
Whenever I can get to my storage. I will be getting rid of my Academy kits, Every conceivable bit of aftermarket for them. My Aeroclub Vacuform as well.
I will keep my Meteor productions decals though for the Airfix kit. Well I might also hang on to some bits to make it into the FGA.9.

 

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16 hours ago, Max Headroom said:

I can see this selling by the container load. The likes of Xtradecal only have to reissue their sheets to make everyone happy.

 

So what else apart from the ‘Troom and Hunter were in that Duxford hangar when Airfix rocked up?!

 

Trevor 

Looks like the Big H has 50+ of both their hunter sheets, maybe they knew...............

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12 hours ago, Plasto said:

Perhaps it’s pertinent to note Airfix are calling the release a Hunter F6 which makes the Flaps as shown in the CAD render (notch-less) correct. 

 

The Parabrake housing on the profile of XF418 is where things get a bit confusing. At that point in its operational life it should have it as its converted to F6A standard.

 

The question is did all F6A’s have notched flaps?  If Airfix include em in the box then your that much closer to a FGA 9 / FR10.

 

Its early days but I wonder if all F6A had the notched flaps?? Anyone know?

XF418 certainly did and I'm sure it was one of the changes required to create an F.6A. Perhaps there'll be two sets of flaps in the box.

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Some nice pictures on the Airfix website.

 

https://www.airfix.com/uk-en/news/workbench/new-tooling-announcement-to-start-raf-centenary-year/

 

Can I have mine now please?  :bounce: 

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