Hawker Huntress F1. 1963.

Started by dwomby, October 15, 2016, 04:17:13 PM

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I hope it's OK to post this here.  I built it for a  Whif GB at UAMF.

The Story

In 1953, the UK cancelled a supersonic Hunter successor.  The Hawker P.1083 would have been roughly in the same class as the F-100. It would have had an after-burning Avon and a new, more swept and thinner wing. The logic for the cancellation was that a new class of Mach 2 fighters were already in development, so a slower aircraft would have been just a short-lived interim solution.

Hawker had several other design studies in the early 50s for evolving the Hunter too. Most notably: the P1090 with P1083 wings and a Gyron engine, the P1091 delta wing, the P1100 with original planform Hunter wings but thinner and a reheated Avon, and the extreme P1097. They also had a design for trainer Hunter with tandem seating.

In 1957, the UK Defence review, believing ground to air missiles would soon provide all UK air defence, cancelled all supersonic aircraft projects including the EE Lightning despite its advanced stage of development. Worse, the MoD ordered the destruction of all prototypes, tooling and mock-ups. In one fell swoop, the UK was left with no new fighters in the works and reliant on subsonic Hunters and Javelins for air defence.

The US government was appalled at this action by its main ally but the US aerospace companies rejoiced because by early 1959, the RAF had won the battle to convince their masters that reliable ground to air missiles were at least a decade away and a supersonic interceptor was required for UK air defence. McDonnell quickly proposed the F-101, Lockheed offered the F-104 and North American proposed the F-100. It looked like the UK would soon be flying one of the US Century jets when suddenly Sterling fell dramatically against the US dollar ruling out any large foreign expenditures.

All their early 50s studies proved to have been a valuable investment when Hawker grabbed their chance and proposed a relatively inexpensive supersonic development of the Hunter using much of their earlier design work.

Hawker needed to minimize modifications to the Hunter tooling so as to keep down costs, risks and also to provide for a short development timeframe. This eliminated the P.1091 delta and the P.1090 which would have required a significant redesign of the Hunter rear fuselage to take the larger diameter Gyron engine. Fortunately for Hawker, the Avon had evolved considerably since the original 1953 P.1083 design and was producing over 15,000lb with reheat. To get the power they needed, Rolls Royce reverse licenced the Svenska Flygmotor RM6B afterburner design used in the Draken, improved it a bit, and that took the engine to 16,000lb with reheat. This required Hawker to fit a wider rear fuselage and small extension. So they adapted the rear fuselage planned for their P.1083 design.   To reach the higher speeds planned, the P.1083 wings and larger, more forward intakes similar to those for the P.1090 were were needed.   In addition, Hawker lengthened the fuselage  behind the cockpit to add fuel tankage, eliminated two cannons and designed sleeker Sabrinas.   A larger nose radome was needed for the Ferranti Airpass radar neede for the two Firestreaks. The longer fuselage required a larger fin and a more sloped windscreen was fitted.   The final design proposed was designated the Hawker P.1083B.

After an acrimonious debate in the House, the government passed the Emergency Defence (Air) 1959 Act and, after a Herculean effort by Hawker and its suppliers, the prototype Hawker Huntress made a spectacular debut at Farnborough 1962.

The first RAF batch of 200 started reaching squadrons in September 1963. As the 60s passed, the Huntress was also ordered by several smaller NATO countries and others air forces who had previously acquired Hunters. It was a major export success for the UK air industry. The RAF started to transition the Huntress to a ground attack role as the F-4 Phantom came into service in the late 60s and the final RAF Huntress left service in 1982. The Huntress soldiered on in front-line service with smaller air forces around the world until 1999.

Hawker Huntress F1 XP773 , 74 Squadron, RAF Coltishall late 1963.

The build

First, I must thank my friend Cammnut, who posts his wonderful creations here,  for his patient advice and encouragement thoughout this build.  He actually worked at the old Hawker design offices but a few years after the backstory is set!

This is the Frog Hunter FGA 9 converted for a Whif GB over at UAMF.  The fin and Sabrinas are from the original Airfix A-4 Skyhawk.   The wings are from the Maintrack P.1083 conversion.  They are designed for the Airfix Hunter but not too bad a fit.  I did not use the Maintrack resin exhaust as i wanted to make the rear fuselage longer and I didn't like the slanted end to the fuselage. The rear fuselage was extended with plastic tube and exhaust is from a spare resin piece for a CAC-31 and has a piece of brass tube as the nozzle.   The windscreen is the rear half of the original Airfix Typhoon canopy.  The radome is off the TSR2 (I think) and the front fuselage extension and the intakes are scratch built.   Decals are from the Mbox Lightning with the serial 'R' changed to a 'P', so my apologies to the real XP773 which was a noble DH Beaver!  The Firestreaks are from the Frog Javelin and are rather nice representations.

Here's a couple to show the contrast to the Hunter (this is the old Frog F1).

Hope you like it.  Comments/criticisms are welcome.


The Rat

"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives." Hedley Lamarr, Blazing Saddles

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comrade harps

That's so neat.  :thumbsup:

I was expecting to see a F-104 somewhere there (nose/fuselage). A seamless kitbash and a beautiful thing.  :wub:


Quote from: comrade harps on October 15, 2016, 05:24:08 PM
That's so neat.  :thumbsup:

I was expecting to see a F-104 somewhere there (nose/fuselage). A seamless kitbash and a beautiful thing.  :wub:

Yes when I was building it, I kept thinking how much the canopy/nose looks like the F-104.




That's the prettiest hunter I've ever seen, very well done  :thumbsup:  :wub: :wub:
Needs to be entered into the whiffies!
Don't let ageing get you down, it's too hard to get back up


Very nice Sir, it's a very sleek looking bird, and yes there is something of the F-104 about the nose

Reminds me I must do something with my Hunter conversion kits (so many kits, so little time!)
Oh to be whiffing again :-(


Remember, if the reality police ask you haven't seen us in ages!
When does "old enough to know better" kick in?


Faultless...all points tweaked correctly for that faster look :thumbsup:. How I would expect a Reno Hunter to look :wub:.


Very pretty. a pointed nose turns a Hunter into something very different, and the wings are a good match, too. Remarkably elegant.  :thumbsup:


Brilliant and inspired work there.  :thumbsup:

I'd confirm the radome is ex-TSR2 as I used one on my tandem 2 seat Hunter T12 a year or so ago, and I recognise the nose profile.
Kit's Rule 1 ) Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage
Kit's Rule 2) The backstory can always be changed to suit the model

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)




This is a lovely thoughtful build. The conviction of a whif is often in the little details and this has it in spades. Thank you!

Captain Canada

That is gorgeous ! Love the shape of her. Great job on this one.

CANADA KICKS arse !!!!

Long Live the Commonwealth !!!
Vive les Canadiens !
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Very good bit of kit bashing, I like that  a lot   :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
If I'm not building models, I'm out riding my dirtbike


That's a stunning build, looks gorgeous  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Quote from: dwomby on October 15, 2016, 04:17:13 PM
I hope it's OK to post this here.  I built it for a  Whif GB at UAMF.

Of course it is, more then wellcome

Decals my @r$e!