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RAF Hunter underwing loads?


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I'm building the 1/32 scale Revell FGA 9, finished as XE 552 "M" of 54 Squadron at RAF West Raynham sometime between 1963 and 1969 when the squadron received Phantoms. 

I chose that aircraft because I wanted an aircraft in grey/green uppers and silver under and the history of 54 Squadron is interesting. 

XE552 was delivered on 18 December 1956 and written off on 23 February 1981. I wonder what happened to the A/C between 1969 and 1981. 

 

Every photo I can find shows the 54 Squadron Hunters with either 1 or two under wing tanks, nothing else. 

The kit includes the tanks, but also Matra 155 rocket pods. 

Can anyone advise if this load would ever have been seen on a 54 Squadron Hunter in the early 60s, with a silver underside? 

I can fit the tanks, but a pair of tanks plus rocket pods would be more interesting! 

 

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To partly answer my question, 

XE552 was lost at sea. 


Date:    23-FEB-1981
Time:    afternoon

Type:    Hawker Hunter FGA.9
Owner/operator:    2 TWU (79 Squadron) Royal Air Force (2 TWU (79 Sqn) RAF)
Registration:    XE552
MSN:    41H/679926
Fatalities:    Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:    0
Aircraft damage:    Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:    20 miles NE of RAF stn Lossiemouth, Grampian, Scotland -    United Kingdom
Phase:    En route
Nature:    Military
Departure airport:    RAF Lossiemouth (LMO/EGQS)

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XE552 was delivered to 5MU, Kemble, as an F6 on 26/3/1956, and subsequently issued to 65 Sqn at Duxford, where it was coded "U".  It later went to 263 Sqn, then back to Hawker Siddeley Aviation in 1960 for conversion to FGA9.

 

It went to 208 Sqn as "D" 31/10/61 - 23/2/64, then to 19MU at St Athan (storage?  or what?) before going back to 208 Sqn briefly, then to 54 Sqn as "M".   Later it went to 1TWU (234 Sqn) at Brawdy, then 2TWU, until its crash.

 

Source: The Hawker Hunter: a Complete History, Tim McLelland (Crecy, 2008).

 

I'm afraid I can't answer the load question, but hope this is useful.

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There was a similar thread a few weeks ago regarding 45 Sqn. Hunters  -  

  -  and information from a few years later (1974) than the period you are interested suggested that both 45 and 58 Squadrons carried tanks inboard both sides with Matra Pod on port outer and CBLS on starboard outer as a typical training load.

 

No problem to forward the images I passed to Speedy on that occasion if they would be of any use.

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6 hours ago, 224 Peter said:

Every photo I can find shows the 54 Squadron Hunters with either 1 or two under wing tanks, nothing else. 

The kit includes the tanks, but also Matra 155 rocket pods. 

I can fit the tanks, but a pair of tanks plus rocket pods would be more interesting!

 

I have a general comment to make. I'm researching RNLAF F-84F stores, but the majority of photos shows just tanks fitted. That makes no sense if you are used to modern military aviation. A former Streak pilot probably had the answer: they few quite a lot of general navigation missions. In a time where nav-aids were minimal, you had to learn the area you operated in. I guess it also applies to RAF Hunters in the sixties and seventies.


Rob

Edited by Rob de Bie
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10 hours ago, Dave Fleming said:

Yes they could carry the Matra pods. This is 1968, can’t recall offhand when the Matra type pods came in.

 

Hawker_Hunter_FGA.9_XJ642_L.54_ABIN_15.0

The 60mm SNEB pods came into service in the late 1960's. Before that they used 3" rockets.

 

Selwyn

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18 hours ago, Des said:

There was a similar thread a few weeks ago regarding 45 Sqn. Hunters  -  

  -  and information from a few years later (1974) than the period you are interested suggested that both 45 and 58 Squadrons carried tanks inboard both sides with Matra Pod on port outer and CBLS on starboard outer as a typical training load.

 

No problem to forward the images I passed to Speedy on that occasion if they would be of any use.

 

Thanks for the replies, I think the mixed load would look good. Onward with the final push! 

 

Peter

 

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Buz

 

I was talking to a couple of ex fast jet pilots today, at BDAC, about the crash. The consus was "loss of horizon" in bad weather. They suggest the pilot would have become disorientated and didn't realise quickly enough and go on to instruments. It can happen in seconds over a grey north sea under grey skies. A sad loss...

 

Thanks for the photo, much appreciated. 

 

Peter 

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On 4/27/2022 at 3:45 PM, 224 Peter said:

I chose that aircraft because I wanted an aircraft in grey/green uppers and silver under and the history of 54 Squadron is interesting. 

I am no real expert here but I always though that by that time and all FGA.9 would have grey ( LAG) undersides..

 

Also the above picture makes mw believe so...!

Am I wrong here?

thanks!

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8 hours ago, exdraken said:

Am I wrong here?

There may have been exceptions, but I'd have thought most in service aircraft would have been repainted in the polyurethane paints by then, which meant light aircraft grey undersides as high speed silver wasn't available at the time in this finish.

The new polyurethane paints had a high gloss finish when applied, and there was a change from a dividing line on the leading edge of wings and tailplanes with the HSS undersides to a wraparound of the upper surface colours onto the underside with LAG undersides. The high gloss polyurethane finish with upper surface wraparound onto LAG undersides is clearly illustrated in @Dave Fleming's photo above.

Again, there may have been exceptions with the wraparound indicating underside colour, but it's a good guide if the colour isn't immediately obvious.

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On 30/04/2022 at 08:22, Dave Swindell said:

There may have been exceptions, but I'd have thought most in service aircraft would have been repainted in the polyurethane paints by then, which meant light aircraft grey undersides as high speed silver wasn't available at the time in this finish.

The new polyurethane paints had a high gloss finish when applied, and there was a change from a dividing line on the leading edge of wings and tailplanes with the HSS undersides to a wraparound of the upper surface colours onto the underside with LAG undersides. The high gloss polyurethane finish with upper surface wraparound onto LAG undersides is clearly illustrated in @Dave Fleming's photo above.

Again, there may have been exceptions with the wraparound indicating underside colour, but it's a good guide if the colour isn't immediately obvious.

 

That was what prompted my question earlier about when the MATRAs came into service - LACG came in in 1966, but it's not going to have propagated immediately so there may have been some crossover

 

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