Why this 1950s British fighter was still serving in 2014

Why this 1950s British fighter was still serving in 2014 | Frontline Videos

YouTube / Imperial War Museum


Britain’s Own Transonic Jet Fighter

The RAF had a big problem in the 1950s. The Gloster Meteor, considered to be the first generation of jet fighters, was coming up short against the MiG-15s operated by North Korea. 

As a result, the RAF decided to buy the F-86 Sabre to serve as a stop-gap while they rush to build and design a brand new second-generation jet fighter into service. Today, that aircraft is known as the Hawker Hunter.

A year before it entered service, the Hunter prototype broke the world air speed record by achieving 727.63 mph on September 8, 1953.

When the jet entered service in 1954, it replaced the Meteor, Sabre, and de Havilland Venom. It was also the first jet plane equipped with radar and fully-powered flight controls within the RAF.

Nowadays, the Hunter is still in service with the Zimbabwe Air Force. It has also been under contract with various military groups all over the world – typically used as aerial targets and threat simulations.


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