Hawker Hunter at 70

On the 70th anniversary of its first flight, Bertie Simmonds reflects how the graceful, elegant and deadly Hawker Hunter was the greatest aircraft to come from the pen of Sir Sydney Camm

 

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Hawker Hunters of 111 Squadron's The Black Arrows seen here going through their display at Farnborough Air Show on September 13, 1959
STAFF/MIRRORPIX/GETTY IMAGES

If it looks right, it will fly right’ is an adage almost as old as aviation itself and applies perfectly to the Hawker Siddeley Hunter.

This was Sir Sydney Camm’s masterpiece: a machine that was sleek, svelte and, above all, graceful. Yet, despite it ‘looking right’ the Hunter would suffer its fair share of delays, issues and problems before it matured into one of the finest jet fighters of its – or any other – era.

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