Folland Gnat

Profile picture for user cabbage

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8 years 7 months

Posts: 315

Hi Guys,
Have recently got the new Airfix 1/48 Gnat, and intend finishing it in the silver / dayglow CFS scheme.

My question is this. Looking at the fairing / bulge on the fuselage, where the tailplane joins the fuselage, on some aircraft thefairing is painted Dayglow eg. XS105.

On other aircraft. the fairing is clearly painted silver eg. XP501.

Can anybody confirm which is correct for XM709 as featured in the kit ?

Thanks in advance.

Cabbage

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Profile picture for user jeepman

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15 years 9 months

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Your model: your choice - and if you can't be sure, it's likely that nobody else can be either - so you're not wrong whichever route you go as you have seen examples finished either way.

On the strength of this quickly googled b & w image though I would say silver - based on the reflectivity of that fairing compared with the day-glo areas

http://www.abpic.co.uk/photo/1256908/

Profile picture for user cabbage

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8 years 7 months

Posts: 315

Thanks guys. I had almost convinced myself that the fairing was painted silver.

I must admit that each time I look at pictures of the scheme I interpret the colours differently. Must be something to do with my eyesight.

Member for

16 years 5 months

Posts: 8,505

Your model: your choice - and if you can't be sure, it's likely that nobody else can be either - so you're not wrong whichever route you go as you have seen examples finished either way.

On the strength of this quickly googled b & w image though I would say silver - based on the reflectivity of that fairing compared with the day-glo areas

http://www.abpic.co.uk/photo/1256908/

I'll go along with that and think that whichever way you go there's a good chance it wore both styles during its service.
Profile picture for user lothar

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12 years 5 months

Posts: 52

Is this any help?

[ATTACH=CONFIG]235050[/ATTACH]

My other Gnat photos all show the same paint treatment of the fin base. This was taken in 1968.

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Member for

13 years 10 months

Posts: 249

That's interesting.

It looks like the main airframe is painted Light Aircraft Grey ,which was only used on a few Gnats before the Red and White scheme was introduced - if my memory serves me correctly. Prior to that they were silver, of course.

Nice shot.

DD

Profile picture for user TwinOtter23

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13 years 11 months

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cabbage - a few years ago a couple of forumites were very helpful to NAM re Gnat schemes from that era.

Inkworm did an excellent colour illustration of NAM’s Gnat from that time.

This was followed up by AMB, who kindly sent through two colour photographs; one shows XR534, in 1967 when it was silver and dayglo, then the following year, 1968, at Little Rissington after it was repainted into the grey scheme.

If you PM through an email address, I’ll send through PDF files of two museum newsletters that show colour photographs of the schemes.

Profile picture for user cabbage

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8 years 7 months

Posts: 315

Right, after further investigation I think I have an answer.
Looking closely at the various pictures of dayglow marked Gnats, the tailplane fairings were painted silver, on the silver painted aircraft, and painted dayglow on the gray painted aircraft.

The interpretation of the pictures has been complicated by noticing that the gray painted aircraft, also have a gray panel behind the fuselage serial number.

No doubt somebody will prove me wrong, but thanks all of you for your help and advice.

Cabbage

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8 years 9 months

Posts: 390

At risk of a 'rap over the knuckles' for copying directly from a 'Mini-Monograph' book: "Hawker Siddeley Gnat" by Paul A. Jackson, pub. by Alan W.Hall (Publications) Ltd - an 'Aviation News Production', no ISBN, no Pub. date (circa 1980), 32 pages. ... actually the Mods should let me get away with it (this time) as the book does not include any copyright logo!.

Don't know about XM709 but the answer regarding the silver/natural metal & day-glo scheme is not straightforward. On XM706 the day-glo included the tailplane fillets while in silver/natural metal - providing the graphics artist is correct! The photo of XM706 is a pixel print, so is not as clear as the original, and is earlier than the artwork (4.62 -c.4.65) - while the tailplane fillets are day-glo, the registration is on a patch of silver/natural metal (tail and underwing), so a clear difference. Hopefully enough clues to satisfy your need for accuracy. Several Gnats of the CFS wore the code '92' at different times, including both XM706 and XM709.

To provide the airframe history, from the same 'Mini-Monograph':

Initial production order of 14 aircraft, Contract 15434, XM691-XM709.

XM709, C/no. FL514 (14th production Gnat T.1), first flight 5th January 1962. Ready for collection 26.1.62.
Accepted by CFS at RAF Little Rissington on 2nd February 1962 and coded '95'
Cat.3 flying accident 28.2.63, to HSA for repair and modifications 26.6.63-1.10.64. Returned to CFS, and re-coded '92'
in early 1970 re-coded 'C', still with the CFS
With HSA for modifications and re-conditioning 14.4.71-27.10.71
From HSA direct to No.4 FTS at RAF Valley, and coded '09'
Cat.3 unserviceable 27.2.74, repaired on site by 71 MU 7.3.74 to 25.7.74 and returned to No.4 FTS service
Retired to No.5 MU at RAF Kemble 7.11.78
SOC 4th March 1979
Allocated to No.1 S of TT at Halton for instructional use with 'maintenance' serial 8617M, with their code of '67'.
Subsequent disposal is beyond the publication date of the book!

[ATTACH=CONFIG]235070[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH=CONFIG]235071[/ATTACH] Click over to enlarge

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Profile picture for user lothar

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12 years 5 months

Posts: 52

Two more photos for you to mull over:
[ATTACH=CONFIG]235084[/ATTACH]
[ATTACH=CONFIG]235085[/ATTACH]

The first shows what looks to be the silver/dayglo scheme and the second shows a comparison. '21' in the top LH corner is in the old scheme (note the faded tatty dayglo) and the other three have been upgraded. However both show the fairing in question as dayglo not silver. Again, these were taken in 1968. Have I spoiled the party?!

Lothar

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Profile picture for user cabbage

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8 years 7 months

Posts: 315

Sorry Lothar but Iinterpret these pictures differently.
"21" inthe first picture clearly has the silver fairing (look closely at where the tailplane meets the fuselage)

In the second picture, the furthest away Gnat has the same silver fairing, while the other three, in the later gray/dayglo colours, have dayglo coloured fairings.

Cabbage

Profile picture for user lothar

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12 years 5 months

Posts: 52

Cabbage,

My abject apologies. I completely misread the original question and was working on the fairing where the tailfin meets the fuselage not the tailplane. Nevertheless I hope that my photos have been of some use.

Lothar

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14 years 2 months

Posts: 2,810

Great photos, I was at 4FTS Valley from 73 to 75 and recall a variety of schemes,some of the Dayglo was in the form of sticky back panels made by 3M. The Hunters had at least 4 schemes including a white painted spine and tail. Gradually they appeared in the red white and grey scheme and the Gnats followed.

Profile picture for user lothar

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12 years 5 months

Posts: 52

Two more photos - quality not so good I'm afraid

[ATTACH=CONFIG]235172[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH=CONFIG]235173[/ATTACH]

Both taken in 1968.

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Profile picture for user topspeed

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10 years 11 months

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It was amazingly small;

General characteristics
Crew: 1
Length: 28 ft 8 in (8.74 m)
Wingspan: 22 ft 1 in (6.73 m)
Height: 8 ft 1 in (2.46 m)
Wing area: 136.6 ft² (12.69 m²)
Empty weight: 4,800 lb (2,175 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 9,040 lb (4,100 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Bristol Siddeley Orpheus 701-01 turbojet, 4,705 lbf (20.9 kN)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folland_Gnat

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Posts: 384

Two more photos - quality not so good I'm afraid

Both taken in 1968.

That's how I remember the colour schemes at Valley late 1960's. As I remember it they changed to Strike command. The Hunters at CFS, very smart livery but boy were they ear blowingly noisy.