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John R

Hawker Hunter 3 - World speed record holder questions

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Hawker Hunter 3 - World speed record holder underwing serial colour and now some queries about symbols where the ejector seat warning should be and also original colour

 

I was about to apply the WB 188 underwing decals supplied with the Pavla mod kit which converts the Revell Hunter into the Mk 3 when I realised that they are white whereas those on the actual a/c  at Tangmere are black.

Which is the correct colour? I can find no photographs in which these serials are visible. Interestingly the WB 188 on the fuselage side is white...

There is, or was, a Wolfpack mod kit which had black serials.

Also, whilst on the subject of this a/c, did it have standard size roundels on the upper surfaces or did it have the oversize ones it had when it first flew?

Can anyone please help?

John

Edit.

There are some symbols on the cockpit sides where the ejector seat warnings should be. Port and starboard appear to be different. Can anyone please enlighten me as to what these were?

(There are some very useful answers much later)

This topic has drifted to a discussion about the original colour of WB188. See the later posts.

Edited by Julien
massive title reduced

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Hello John

White serials on lower surfaces and standard size roundels. Check this British Pathe video at about 17th second (parts of white serial on undercarriage doors) and at 42nd second (WB188 taking off). Cheers

Jure

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Brilliant! Thank you. How did you find something like that? I wonder how it ended up with black serials in the museum. As John Adams once remarked 'Museum aeroplanes are funny things'.

However one answer begets another question. On the fuselage where one would expect to see the ejector seat symbol there is this

Clips%20from%20video_zpsy9vqiwb9.jpg

Do you, or does anyone, know what it is, what it represents and what colour it was?

Thanks again

John

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It looks like a (male) lion's head to me, but that's just a fuzzy first impression.  I notice that it is only on the starboard side.

 

Note (if you don't already have it under control) that the hood, and corresponding "hump" are a bit different from a production Hunter.  Most obvious is the "notched" back edge of the hood.  Also, the video shows the modified windscreen, but somebody ( @StephenMG ?) has said that it wasn't actually fitted for the record flight.

 

There's a pretty good walkaround of this airframe in the museum online, which I bet you've already found.

 

bob

Edited by gingerbob

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The actual a/c is only a few miles away from me and I had a good look at it.

There is some confusion about whether or not it was actually fitted for the flight. I have seen a photo of it captioned 'Taking off for the record flight' which I reckon shows that it was. A pity I did not look into this matter earlier as Neville Duke, the pilot', lived not far from here.

I had another look at the film and there is another, different, symbol on the port side. Curiouser and curiouser

John

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This from a good friend.

Regarding the symbol on the fuselage, the brief answer is no. But making further enquiries about that.

Turn to Neville Duke’s autobiography Test Pilot in the Grub Street pb reprint of 2003 and look at photo no. 30, There is a picture of WB188 taking off, shot from the starboard side. Although it’s not pin-sharp, the b & w photo shows the conventional ejector seat inverted triangle beneath the canopy and not the strange ?lion’s head apparently shown in the Pathé clip. True, there’s nothing to show that this pic in the book was taken on the same day as the record attempt; but the serial ‘WB188’ is clearly visible, as is the pointed nose. I treasure Duke’s caption: ’The red Hawker Hunter WB188, in which we set the world speed record for a closed circuit, in September, 1953.’ Note the ‘we’. Those were the days when men with the DSO, DFC and 2 Bars and AFC were modest and part of a team, rather than grandstanding celebs with nothing to their names but hot air… (Forgive the rant, but Duke remains a hero of mine: a thoroughly decent man as well as a superb pilot). (Me too. Chris)

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Alas, I only have the Corgi edition, circa 1955,

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13 hours ago, gingerbob said:

It looks like a (male) lion's head to me, but that's just a fuzzy first impression.  I notice that it is only on the starboard side.

 

Note (if you don't already have it under control) that the hood, and corresponding "hump" are a bit different from a production Hunter.  Most obvious is the "notched" back edge of the hood.  Also, the video shows the modified windscreen, but somebody ( @StephenMG ?) has said that it wasn't actually fitted for the record flight.

 

There's a pretty good walkaround of this airframe in the museum online, which I bet you've already found.

 

bob

I believe the extra windscreen was in place for the record attempt but was removed soon after as it was prone to misting. It appears it was fitted prior to the aircraft being painted red as there is an area of the original green visible in photos after its removal.

 

For info, WB188 had a couple of designs of airbrakes fitted to the rear fuselage, but they were removed and faired over for the actual record attempt.

 

Thanks for mentioning the different hood bob! I've been banging on about that for ages but it rarely seems to get noticed. The hood on the first two prototypes was around 10-12" shorter than the production hood - the longer production-style hood was fitted from the third prototype onwards and the spine aft of the cockpit was shortened and slimmed down. I believe this was modified following criticism of rear visibility during early flight tests.

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Hello

Could the lion's head be just a remains of peeled off ejection seat sticker? On this page there are three photos of port side of WB188 nose with remains of ejection seat sticker as well as the fourth ¨lion head˝ photo showing the same area from the starboard side. However, the video in my previous post actually showed high speed record trials. Here is the video of the actual event. New, white ejection seat triangles on both sides, white serials on lower wing surfaces and standard size roundels are apparent.

Bob and StephenMG, thank you for the information about the additional windshield. There are post-record photos, both colour and black and white like the second one on the BAe webpage here, which show WB188 without the windshield and with now exposed duck egg blue area underneath. Note that parts of serial on starboard main undercarriage leg doors are now in black. Cheers

Jure

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Thank you. I'm glad that has been cleared up. It also confirms that the conical windshield was used for the record attempts.

Another difference between the a/c as flown and its current condition at Tangmere is that the rear of the canopy is clear at the time of the record and painted red at Tangmere.

John

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One other detail I just thought to notice- when first flown WB188 had an aerodynamic/mass balance on the rudder, but it appears to have already gone by the time of the record flight.  In other words, more-or-less production configuration for the fin/rudder.

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Bob - Agreed.

I knew about the shorter hood before starting the build but what I learned from the video was that the hood was transparent at the rear whereas in its current state at Tangmere the rear is painted red

John

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To me that marking looks like it was the original ejection seat warning in the process of being removed and the paint in that area being rubbed back through various layers in preparation for a new marking to be applied.

Pictures purporting to be during the record attempt seem to show a reinstated warning marking.

https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-test-pilot-neville-duke-in-the-cockpit-of-a-hawker-hunter-jet-fighter-20441832.html?pv=1&stamp=2&imageid=2FFBB02B-2438-4CD6-A6F8-C4D12AB99E3C&p=62486&n=1&orientation=0&pn=1&searchtype=0&IsFromSearch=1&srch=foo%3Dbar%26st%3D0%26sortby%3D2%26qt%3Dneville%20duke%26qt_raw%3Dneville%20duke%26qn%3D%26lic%3D3%26edrf%3D0%26mr%3D0%26pr%3D0%26aoa%3D1%26creative%3D%26videos%3D%26nu%3D%26ccc%3D%26bespoke%3D%26apalib%3D%26ag%3D0%26hc%3D0%26et%3D0x000000000000000000000%26vp%3D0%26loc%3D0%26ot%3D0%26imgt%3D0%26dtfr%3D%26dtto%3D%26size%3D0xFF%26blackwhite%3D1%26cutout%3D%26archive%3D1%26name%3D%26groupid%3D%26pseudoid%3D%26userid%3D%26id%3D%26a%3D%26xstx%3D0%26cbstore%3D1%26resultview%3DsortbyPopular%26lightbox%3D%26gname%3D%26gtype%3D%26apalic%3D%26tbar%3D1%26pc%3D%26simid%3D%26cap%3D1%26customgeoip%3D%26vd%3D0%26cid%3D%26pe%3D%26so%3D%26lb%3D%26pl%3D0%26plno%3D%26fi%3D0%26langcode%3Den%26upl%3D0%26cufr%3D%26cuto%3D%26howler%3D%26cvrem%3D0%26cvtype%3D0%26cvloc%3D0%26cl%3D0%26upfr%3D%26upto%3D%26primcat%3D%26seccat%3D%26cvcategory%3D*%26restriction%3D%26random%3D%26ispremium%3D1%26flip%3D0%26contributorqt%3D%26plgalleryno%3D%26plpublic%3D0%26viewaspublic%3D0%26isplcurate%3D0%26imageurl%3D%26saveQry%3D%26editorial%3D1%26t%3D0%26edoptin%3D

 

Some nice detail shots here, I especially like the one showing the instrumentation revealed by the removed nose cone, 

https://www.alamy.com/search.html?blackwhite=1&pn=1&ps=100&qt=neville duke&qt_raw=neville duke&pl=&cbstore=1#BHM=foo%3Dbar%26st%3D0%26pn%3D1%26ps%3D100%26sortby%3D2%26qt%3Dneville%20duke%26qt_raw%3Dneville%20duke%26qn%3D%26lic%3D3%26edrf%3D0%26mr%3D0%26pr%3D0%26aoa%3D1%26creative%3D%26videos%3D%26nu%3D%26ccc%3D%26bespoke%3D%26apalib%3D%26ag%3D0%26hc%3D0%26et%3D0x000000000000000000000%26vp%3D0%26loc%3D0%26ot%3D0%26imgt%3D0%26dtfr%3D%26dtto%3D%26size%3D0xFF%26blackwhite%3D1%26cutout%3D%26archive%3D1%26name%3D%26groupid%3D%26pseudoid%3D%26userid%3D%26id%3D%26a%3D%26xstx%3D0%26cbstore%3D1%26resultview%3DsortbyPopular%26lightbox%3D%26gname%3D%26gtype%3D%26apalic%3D%26tbar%3D1%26pc%3D%26simid%3D%26cap%3D1%26customgeoip%3D%26vd%3D0%26cid%3D%26pe%3D%26so%3D%26lb%3D%26pl%3D%26plno%3D%26fi%3D0%26langcode%3Den%26upl%3D0%26cufr%3D%26cuto%3D%26howler%3D%26cvrem%3D0%26cvtype%3D0%26cvloc%3D0%26cl%3D0%26upfr%3D%26upto%3D%26primcat%3D%26seccat%3D%26cvcategory%3D*%26restriction%3D%26random%3D%26ispremium%3D1%26flip%3D0%26contributorqt%3D%26plgalleryno%3D%26plpublic%3D0%26viewaspublic%3D0%26isplcurate%3D0%26imageurl%3D%26saveQry%3D%26editorial%3D1%26t%3D0%26edoptin%3D

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On 11/12/2019 at 7:35 AM, John R said:

Brilliant! Thank you. How did you find something like that? I wonder how it ended up with black serials in the museum. As John Adams once remarked 'Museum aeroplanes are funny things'.

However one answer begets another question. On the fuselage where one would expect to see the ejector seat symbol there is this

Clips%20from%20video_zpsy9vqiwb9.jpg

Do you, or does anyone, know what it is, what it represents and what colour it was?

Thanks again

John

Looks like paint de-lamination to me and it's been blended

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Does anyone know of any colour photos of WB188 taken in 1952 / 53 when in the duck egg green finish? And I mean the original WB188, not later aircraft masquerading as WB188.

Thanks

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Chris, you might be better off using a new thread for this

John

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7 hours ago, Chris Royle said:

Does anyone know of any colour photos of WB188 taken in 1952 / 53 when in the duck egg green finish? And I mean the original WB188, not later aircraft masquerading as WB188.

Thanks

Hawker Hunter by Francis Mason, (publisher PSL, 1981, has several photos on pp 19 and 21.

Aeromilitaria-Spring 2007, article by Phil Butler, has similar shots with better reproduction.

I do not want to infringe copyright by posting scans here. If you PM me with your email, I should be able to help.

Peter M

Edited by Magpie22
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Thanks Magpie"" PM sent

Chris

 

John R

If Magpie's info. provides what's needed, then job done.

Otherwise I'll take your advice and start a new thread

Thanks

Chris

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My copy of Francis Mason's book has only B&W photos

John

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The strange mark thingy is definitely a removed sticker being repaired

 

I am basing this on two separate things

 

I used to be a printer making such stickers back in the sixties and those big stickers were plastic based over an Evo-stik printable adhesive

(Butcher's Tell The World Who made It, Moseley. We made the huge stickers on milk floats and those street furniture Milk vending machines. When the vandal kids struck paint was always torn away too.)

 

When they were removed collateral damage happened, not just occasionally but always

 

Modern wrap type stickers are far more 'base friendly' (and I still wouldnt want one on me thanks fellows) causing less damage

 

Having spent thirty years in the motor game I promise the paint degradation is typical of the situation.

 

That Hunter must be one of the most beautiful pieces of art ever to fly

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18 hours ago, John R said:

My copy of Francis Mason's book has only B&W photos

John

Correct. Mea culpa!!! Read the post too quickly. :banghead:

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John R

Many thanks for the pm and the advice. I shall ponder before contacting any further sources.

I came across a book today, entitled "The Hunter Story" by Martin Bowman published by The History Press in which there appears to be a colour photo of WB188 taken at Dunsfold. However, it may be a b and w photo that has been "colourised". It was difficult to tell in the artificial light of the shop.

Colour photos of WB188 in duck egg green do seem to be elusive, and possibly non-existent.

An interesting thread. I'll post any further information if I find any.

Thanks again

Chris

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I must admit that I thought I have seen a nice air to air study colour image of WB188 in one of the 'Camera Above The Clouds' books, I have just checked Vol3 which is the most likely candidate but no picture in there.

 

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You might be thinking of the one of the P1052 which appears in Vol. 2 which appears to be under exposed given the colour of the green fields below.

John

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Just been looking at this in one of the magazines I was junking.  The aircraft does appear very light in the photo, though still clearly duck egg blue of some variety.  However I have seen a Hawker memo calling for Sky, if not for that particular aircraft?.

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