Thunder & Lightnings

Hawker Hunter

Survivor 'XG194' (really WT723, G-PRII)

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XG194 - Interactive Dynamics Ltd. (flyer), RAF St. Athan, Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales

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Hunter PR.11 XG194 at Kemble, 18th June 2011; author

Built as part of the first production batch of the F.4, WT723 first flew on 16th February 1955 and was delivered to 5 MU the next month. Serving with 54(F) and 14(F) Squadrons plus 229 OCU, she was returned to Hawkers and converted to a GA.11, being delivered to the FAA on 17th August 1962. She served with 764 NAS and was converted to a PR.11 with the fitment of nose cameras during that time. In 1973 she joined FRADU at Yeovilton and spent the next 20 years with them before being retired in 1993. After 3 years as a ground handling airframe at Culdrose she was sold to a US buyer, and overhauled by Exeter-based Classic Jets. The plan to fly her in the US never came to anything so she became G-PRII and was then purchased by Belgium-based Classic Fighters who briefly operated it on the airshow circuit in Europe. WT723 is now the only remaining flyable example of the PR.11, but sadly with the demise of Classic Fighters around 2002, she was grounded for several years. Eventually rescued by a new owner and returned to the air in 2008 by Hunter Flying Ltd. at Exeter, she has also gained a new paint scheme - Black Arrows colours - not awfully appropriate to her history, but marking the 50th anniversary of the famous 22-Hunter loop. She appeared at the 2008 Farnborough show to mark the anniversary and wore the short lived serial of 'XG164' before having it changed to 'XG194'. Since then she's moved on again, becoming part of the all too short-lived Team Viper display team. She's now based at Hunter Flying's new St. Athan base.

Information on this page current as of 25/01/2012

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Site contents copyright © 2016 Damien Burke/Handmade by Machine Ltd.
This page last updated on Wednesday 4th April 2012

Visitor Comments

3 people have commented on this page. This is comment section 1 of 1.

Andrew M. Ockenden from NOTTINGHAM

Postd at 5:36pm on Monday, January 17th, 2011

Sadly the colour scheme on this aircraft, whilst it represents the overall colour of the Black Arrows aircraft, includes inaccuracies that were not part of the authorised paint scheme. No letter code was ever painted on the tail fin. The size of the outer white circle on the fuselage roundel, was not so wide as the one shown. The Union flag was only ever painted on the port side of the nose fuselage of the aircraft, and not quite in the position shown. Nevertheless the intention and sentiment of rekindling ... read more »read more »

Ian Stark from Hampshire

Postd at 8:23am on Monday, October 18th, 2010

I thought your readers may be interested to learn of a documentary I am making about the Black Arrows featuring interviews with Roger Topp, who flew the original XG194 in the Black Arrows famous 22 aircraft loop in 1958. There is also a strand on the restoration of XG194 as well as footage of WT723 close up and in the air at Leuchars this year (2010) and at its home in Exeter. More info at

Maggie Aggiss from Wattisham

Postd at 10:02pm on Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Orignal xg194 now arriving home to Wattisham Station, Suffolk. Huge cosmetic restoration project, desperately need a new nose for her. Original pilot, Air Comm Roger Topp now involved.
Very exciting. Can you help us in any way? So glad you have a replica up and running.
Best Wishes,
Maggie Aggiss, Chair, Wattisham Museum (army air corps/Bflt SAR

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