Hunter F.58s ZZ191 and G-HHAE/ZZ190

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Thanks to some inside information from Hawker Hunter Aviation and lady luck, I was able to be at Bournemouth on Thursday when Hunter G-HHAE/ZZ190 arrived from Scampton... The weather was bad with overcast skies and poor light, so photography was very difficult. Soon after I arrived at the Bournemouth Museum, ZZ191 was towed from FRA's hangar to the flightline... http://fradu.dyndns.org/2006/zz190/zz191.jpg Back to ZZ190, I had been informed that the aeroplane was now finished in military colours. Therefore, I believed the rumours and expected a black aeroplane to arrive. It wasn't black. It was even better... Apologies if the photos appear dark. http://fradu.dyndns.org/2006/zz190/zz190a.jpg http://fradu.dyndns.org/2006/zz190/zz190b.jpg http://fradu.dyndns.org/2006/zz190/zz190c.jpg On the flightline... http://fradu.dyndns.org/2006/zz190/zz190d.jpg Comments welcome, good or bad... Mark If 'HHA Eng' is reading this, and would like the images removed please let me know.
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If they are going to resort to military serials on them it might have been nice to have put original service period roundels on them. OK, so I'm being picky. Why do they want Hunters anyway? why not use more modern machines? The case for more modern machines has some points in its favour, namely: 1) better spares availability. 2) more people with current engineering expertise to maintain them. 3) not using up airframe life on historic machines.

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What were the orginal Swiss serials?

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I believe the aircraft are being used in connection with a BAe Systems need for fast moving targets. HHA have always courted work of this nature and I am sure if HHA were not doing it Northern Lights would be. If BAe Systems needs this kind of facility they will approach the Mod and other operators and choose the package and price that suits them best. The requirement to use military serials means that the aircraft can be operated for reward and it's less restrictive in the type of flying that can be carried out. What people need to realise is that U.K air display work wouldn't keep large numbers of Hunters in the air - the generocity of their owners and other types of flying keep them in the air. As for the markings they have - what colour they fly in is irrelevant - these Swiss Hunters have no great historical connection with the U.K.
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What were the orginal Swiss serials?
ZZ190 was J-4066 G-HHAE/G-BXNZ ZZ191 was J-4058 G-HHAD/G-BWFS

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I believe the aircraft are being used in connection with a BAe Systems need for fast moving targets. HHA have always courted work of this nature and I am sure if HHA were not doing it Northern Lights would be. If BAe Systems needs this kind of facility they will approach the Mod and other operators and choose the package and price that suits them best. The requirement to use military serials means that the aircraft can be operated for reward and it's less restrictive in the type of flying that can be carried out. What people need to realise is that U.K air display work wouldn't keep large numbers of Hunters in the air - the generocity of their owners and other types of flying keep them in the air. As for the markings they have - what colour they fly in is irrelevant - these Swiss Hunters have no great historical connection with the U.K.
I take your point about keeping Hunters on the airshow circuit. Actually you raised a few points which I had overlooked. HHA are obviously going to go for something that keeps the aircraft flying and brings money into the coffers rather than taking it out, that is sound commercial sense. As to their historic significance in the UK were they new build aircraft when they went to the Swiss or refurbished ex-RAF machines? If the latter they have a certain meaning in terms of UK aviation history (probably as one of the last decent export stories)

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This was the reply we had from HHA when we enqiured as the reasoning behind these two aircraft being allocated 'new' miltary serials. When the serials were first published on our sister site 'www.ukserials.co.uk' there was a high degree of scepticism within the spotter community as to the accuracy of our info, when an enquiry was made to clarify the situation, here's the response we had:
Hawker Hunter Aviation is one of the largest operator of ex military jets, certainly in Europe.Our main goal is to provide assets for military contract to undertake many of the tasks that were previously carried out in-house by our armed forces. Other income streams are through corporate advertising, display jet sponsorship, pilot training/conversion, film and tv work amongst other things. HHA have been awarded AvP67 status to undertake this kind of work on behalf of the MoD. The two aircraft now on the military register are essentially miliatry aircraft, operating under COMA (Civil Owned Military Aircraft). AvP67 is the publication under which aircraft on COMA are regulated. This means that HHA as an operator and maintenance facility are controlled, inspected and audited under military regulations and in order to achieve the status the company underwent some serious investigation and inspection. Aircraft on the military register must be marked as military aircraft and have military registrations, this is the law and not a badge of convenience to get fuel at military airfields. This has been a major achievement for HHA and is unique for a company of this type and size to be awarded such status and is testament indeed to the professionalism and high regard the company is held in by the CAA and military regulators alike. Have a look at the HHA website at www.hunterteam.com to gain an insight into this fast growing and somewhat unique aviation company. I hope this goes someway to allaying any speculation on this subject.
Essentially the operation is similar to that of Northern Lights in Canada, or any number of operators in the USA. The difference being whereas they can do it whilst still being on their respective National civil register, the rules in place at the CAA mean they have to be military registered. HTH
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As to their historic significance in the UK were they new build aircraft when they went to the Swiss or refurbished ex-RAF machines? If the latter they have a certain meaning in terms of UK aviation history (probably as one of the last decent export stories)
These two were new-build machines. There are a couple of F58As based in the UK that were formerly RAF aeroplanes. Miss Demeanour for instance started out as RAF F.4 XF947, but was bought back and converted to F-58A specification as J-4104.

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ZZ190 was J-4066 G-HHAE/G-BXNZ ZZ191 was J-4058 G-HHAD/G-BWFS
Many thanks!

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These two were new-build machines. There are a couple of F58As based in the UK that were formerly RAF aeroplanes. Miss Demeanour for instance started out as RAF F.4 XF947, but was bought back and converted to F-58A specification as J-4104.
OK that's a fair one then. Thanks Jagx204. That has made it much clearer for me. I now understand even better why the decision was made. Long may HHA continue to thrive as it's nice to see work going to, rather than away from, British organisations.

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Perhaps not a question for a historic forum but what will happen to the next aircraft once ZZ999 has been allocated??? Roger Smith.

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Perhaps not a question for a historic forum but what will happen to the next aircraft once ZZ999 has been allocated??? Roger Smith.
A valid question none the less, even if it does really belong on modern military rather than historic.
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If they are going to resort to military serials on them it might have been nice to have put original service period roundels on them.
Nothing wrong with the roundels - they're perfectly appropriate to the "original service period". If one really wanted to be picky then they seem to have been painted too far aft - but who cares? It's a real treat to see these beauties working for a living again!

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Aye, earning their owners some money instead of soaking it up. And aircraft last longer if they are kept operating, rather like cars in that respect.

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off topic: UK Serial batches
Perhaps not a question for a historic forum but what will happen to the next aircraft once ZZ999 has been allocated??? Roger Smith.
Roger I think that will be a long way off - certainly I doubt it will happen in my lifetime. The ZZ range seems to be being used for the COMA aircraft, with a degree of 'personalisation' based on the aircraft type in certain areas. The 'in sequence' numbering is only now entering the ZK range, so theres a few hundred slots still to filled before ZZ999 is reached. Theres an article just been uploaded to our aviation group site on 'personalised serials' its available to view at: http://www.wolverhamptonaviationgroup.co.uk for anyone interested and the full rundown is available at: http://www.ukserials.com

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serials are allocated and de-allocated, I imagine that serials are recycled.
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hunter repaint I dont see anything wrong with her paint scheme? She looks a sexy beast to begin with and having roundels on her again influences that!

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Who'd have thought that, so many years after they retired from RAF service, hunters would come back into service? I certainly would never have thought that a '50s design(sorry 40s design, in service 50s) would be brought back into service in the 21st century. Can you imagine something designed now being brought into service in 60 years time?

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It's not back in military service - it's being operated on contract work for a specific requirement.

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serials are allocated and de-allocated, I imagine that serials are recycled.
UK military serials are issued for a speciifc airframe and I am not aware of any examples (at least in recent times) of re-allocation to a second aircraft. The use for many years of the system of "black-out" blocks of unused serials, supposedly to make it harder to assess the number of aircraft of a given type acquired, surely contributed to the rate at which the available numbers were used up.

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It's not back in military service - it's being operated on contract work for a specific requirement.
It's operating under military serials for a military contract-to me that is back in service just not in the conventional sense of the word and not in the role it was intended for.