Thunder & Lightnings

Hawker Hunter - Survivor C-GHHR (ex G-FFOX, WV318)

T.7A C-GHHR - International Test Pilots School (flyer), London, Ontario, Canada

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Hunter T.7A C-GHHR at Bruntingthorpe, 29th March 2014; Damien Burke

Originally built as an F.4, WV318 was delivered to 5MU at RAF Kemble on 16th June 1955. She served with 14 and 93 Squadrons, and an accident in March 1956 saw her returned to Hawkers for repairs. While with them she was instead converted to a T.7 and reissued to the RAF on 1st June 1959, seeing service with 111 Squadron and the Central Flying School before being converted to T.7A in 1964. Used as a trainer and hack by 74 and 5 Squadrons (both Lightning units), she began her Buccaneer days with 12 Squadron in February 1970 and went on to perform similar duties with 15 and 16 Squadrons RAFG, before ending up at Lossiemouth with 208 Squadron.

When put up for disposal she was one of the last Hunters to serve with the RAF and just before she was retired she was painted black along with the other three Hunters at Lossiemouth to commemorate 40 years of the type and carried the 111 Squadron (Black Arrows) crest. Purchased in early 1996 by Delta Jets she was flown to Kemble and then underwent a complete overhaul back to airworthiness, returning to the air on 2nd May 1996.

From then, with a break for another complete overhaul during 2006/2007, she was a regular airshow performer and was the backbone of Delta's operational Hunter collection. After Delta's collapse circa 2012, she changed hands depressingly often and despite the attentions of at least a couple of less than professional wannabe jet jockeys, survived to become a museum exhibit at Västerås Flygmuseum in Sweden in May 2014.

Happily since then she has returned to flying, leaving Sweden for Canada in May 2019. She's gained a gold stripe on her tailcone and a complete cockpit upgrade and now flies with the International Test Pilots School in London, Ontario.

Information on this page current as of 20/09/2023, last updated by Damien

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