A welcome addition to a very popular series by a leading aviation historian. The Hawker Hunter was not only one of the most elegant jet fighters ever built, but a significant export success – Very Highly Recommended
NAME: Images of War, The Hawker Hunter, Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives FILE: R3255 AUTHOR: Martin W Bowman PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: soft back PRICE: £14.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: RAF, Cold War, Dash from Empire, Middle East wars, day fighter, jet fighter, single seat fighter, ground attack aircraft, reconnaissance aircraft, Sydney Camm, Hurricane, Tempest, Typhoon, Swiss Air Force, advanced trainer, combat trainer, Middle East Air Forces, aerobatic display aircraft, Black Arrows ISBN: 1-53670-560-5 PAGES: 119 IMAGE: B3255.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y8bnvy2c LINKS: DESCRIPTION: A welcome addition to a very popular series by a leading aviation historian. The Hawker Hunter was not only one of the most elegant jet fighters ever built, but a significant export success – Very Highly Recommended
Sydney Camm headed the Hawker design office, creating the Fury biplane, the battle winning Hawker Hurricane of the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain, its successors, the Typhoon and the Tempest, the Fleet Air Arm’s Sea Fury, the Hunter and finally that superlative VSTOL fighter the Harrier/Sea Harrier.
The Hurricane could not be described as beautiful but it was workman like, a very good gun platform and a relatively low development risk because it employed the same basic structure as the Fury biplane to produce a thick winged monoplane that could take much punishment and provide plenty of space for armament in the wing. The slightly later Spitfire was the beauty with outstanding performance and a long production life, but its complex hand-built structure and narrow undercarriage track presented many challenges. Together the two aircraft won the Battle of Britain. The Hurricane was then applied to ground attack and adapted to carrier operation. Its dependable structure meant it could adapt to carry bombs and tank-busting cannon. By the time it was ready for service, the Hurricane’s successor, the Typhoon, was applied eagerly to ground attack and’ with its cannon and rockets, it proved a formidable aid to the Allied force landing at Normandy. These two aircraft firmly established a reputation for providing close support to land forces.
By the time the Hunter was ready, as a second generation jet fighter, it began as a fighter, before following on into ground attack and reconnaissance. It might have arrived earlier had it not been for the RAF determination to move on from 4 x 20mm cannon to 4 x 30mm cannon. These heavier guns were certainly an advance for tackling large bomber formations, which was an early Cold War preoccupation, but they did present a series of problems and required the addition of blisters to collect spent shell casings to avoid them damaging the aircraft.
The Hunter was loved by its pilots and hugely successful as a military export. It also made an outstanding display aircraft, most famous as the Black Arrows Team which was succeeded by the even more famous Red Arrows.
The author has made a fine job of recounting the Hunter’s history and successes. The photographic collection is outstanding as readers have come to expect from this very popular series.