Test pilot Neville Duke on Hawker Hunter flight testing

To commemorate the Hawker Hunter’s 25 years in service, the September 1976 issue of Aeroplane Monthly offered a portfolio of classic Hunter pictures, and Sqn Ldr Neville Duke recalled some of the problems encountered and over-come during the flight testing of the first of the breed, the P.1067 WB188.

The Hawker Hunter prototype flight-test programme generally proceeded without undue snag or delay, and the aircraft was being demonstrated to more than 700mph within a month of its first flight on July 20, 1951.

The main lines of development soon centred on improvement in longitudinal control in the high subsonic Mach Number range, progression to trans- and supersonic speeds, airbrake development and gun firing.

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