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fatalbert

Hunter F4 and F5

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Does anyone know if any straight winged Hawker hunter F4 or 5's were still in RAF service into the 1960's and if so,what unit.

Many thanks 

Neil

 

Edited by fatalbert
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If you're interested in frontline units, then the answer is no. The F.6 replaced the previous variants between 1956 and 1958 and a large number of F.4 equipped units in Germany disbanded in 1957-58 so that by 1960 there was no F.4 or F.5 in squadron service. Most of these aircraft went back to Hawker to be converted in other variants.

A number of earlier Hunters may have survived with other units and for example F.4 XF970 was with ETPS in 1966, before returning to Hawker to be converted into a T.75.

 

 

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I second what Giorgio has said. Bear in mind this was about the time that Hawker were kicking themselves for scrapping so many early Hunters (with very few hours) as they realised there was a significant market worldwide for refurbished Hunters and they had now figured out a way of converting existing centre fuselages to take the 200 series Avon. Also remember that a good dose of T.7s (and all GA.11 and PR.11s) were converted from F.4s so Hawker were keen to get them back so they could sell them all over again!

 

Even the F.6 was coming out of RAF day-fighter service by 1963 so the earlier marks were well gone by then.

 

Having said that, there were even F.1s still in service with OCUs as late as 1957 so there were F.4s knocking about with odd second line or trial units for a little while after that.

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Thanks for the replys chaps,i was wondering if any were used second line for anything,like sqd hacks or  fighter training,that ETPS one sounds interesting Giorgio,will have to try and find out more about that one.Thanks again🙂👍

Neil

Edited by fatalbert

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There's also F.4 XF940 that was used by the ETPS for the testing of an auto-land system. Ironically it crash landed on Tweseldown Racecourse near Farnborough in 1961 although, to be fair, it ran out of fuel so it wasn't the auto-land system's fault!

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Thanks Stephen,i found an interesting  picture of that airframe where it came to rest on the racecourse.👍🙂

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18 hours ago, fatalbert said:

Thanks for the replys chaps,i was wondering if any were used second line for anything,like sqd hacks or  fighter training,that ETPS one sounds interesting Giorgio,will have to try and find out more about that one.Thanks again🙂👍

Neil

 

Glad to help Neil !

Regarding the ETPS aircraft, unfortunately this was nothing special in terms of markings, standard camouflage with small "Empire Test Pilots School"  in small white lettering on the nose and a large "25", again in white, on the fuselage between roundel and serial. There are several pictures on the web of this aircraft if you want to check them yourself.

 

I did some more digging in my library and found another potential F.4 with ETPS in 1962 in a picture in Peter Cooper's "Forever Farnborough". This however is a bit of a mistery. This aircraft carries a large 26 as individual number and is equipped with a long probe on the nose. The caption says this is F.4 XF949, but I've seen this aircraft listed as lost due to fire in 1957 when serving with 3 Sqn. in Germany, so the caption is likely wrong.

Now XF969 did serve with ETPS for a long time and was indentified as 26, so the aircraft shown in the picture could well be this one. Now I've seen several other pictures of XF969, none with the probe. Of course the probe could have just been a simple addition used for a short time. More of a problem is that I'm having problems in identifying the variant... again it may just be a matter of incorrect captions in pictures. This because I've seen this aircraft described as an early F-6, that is with straight leading edge but Avon 200 engine. The serial number however belongs to a batch built as F.4, so the question is: was she an F.4 while in service with ETPS ? Or had she been already modified to the F.6 standard ? I tend to believe that XF969 was an F.4 until bought back by HS in 1971 and later converted to the FR.74 standard and sold to Singapore. She was later sold to an Australian with other Hunters. Don't know the current status though

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XF969 was definitely an F.4 so any captions that say F.6 are incorrect. The aircraft was damaged (Cat 4) when with 3 Sqn but was returned to Hawker, repaired and then delivered to the ETPS in October 1956. As you say Giorgio, it returned to Hawker again in February 1971 and was converted to an FR.74B for Singapore, delivered December 1972. It's still in Australia I believe with very few airframe hours consumed.

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This is fantastic stuff,many thanks for your research and answers chaps,its very much appreciated.I find the history of airframes fascinating,the ETPS story also.👍🙂.The test airframes make a nice change from the normal Squadron ones.

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Have just found a lovely colour picture of XF970 taken around 1966 in Britains Military Aircraft in colour 1960-1970 by Martin Derry.I think this fits my needs perfectly,just need to sort out some decals for the Empire test pilots school markings.

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On 11/6/2019 at 3:18 PM, StephenMG said:

There's also F.4 XF940 that was used by the ETPS for the testing of an auto-land system. Ironically it crash landed on Tweseldown Racecourse near Farnborough in 1961 although, to be fair, it ran out of fuel so it wasn't the auto-land system's fault!

Auto-land system default setting is "Running out of fuel"! 🤣 

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