Thunder & Lightnings

Hawker Hunter - Survivor N345AX (ex G-PSST, J-4104)

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F.58 N345AX - Lortie Aviation (flyer), Quebec, Canada

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Hunter F.58 N345AX at Kemble, 18th June 2011; Damien Burke

Originally built as an F.4 for the RAF, XF947 was delivered to 5MU in 1956 and served with 3(F) Squadron at RAF Geilenkirchen in Germany as part of 2 ATAF. She ended her short RAF careeer with 229 OCU at Chivenor, and became a ground instructional airframe (numbered A2568) with the FAA at Arbroath (HMS Condor) before being sold back to Hawkers in 1971 and converted to an F.58A for the Swiss Air Force, entering service with them in February 1972 as J-4104 and spending most of her new life as a target tug.

She was retired in 1996, sold to a new UK owner and ferried to Dunsfold. Jonathan Whaley then bought her in 1997 and ferried her to Hurn as G-PSST (Personal Super Sonic Transport) where she was completely restored by Jet Heritage. By mid-1998 the job was done and it was time for a new paint job. Carried out in December/January of 1998/99, Jonathan wanted to go with an unusual civilian scheme rather than keeping the military markings and this 're-entry' paintjob was truly something to behold and made her a firm favourite with airshow audiences for many years. Miss Demeanour, as she was then known, was on the circuit nearly non-stop from 1999 to 2015, and was probably the single most active of the privately owned airframes in the UK.

Sadly she was put up for sale in 2014, as her engine was time-expired, and then the Shoreham air disaster resulted in Hunters being grounded for a while and then hit with extra maintenance headaches; operation of the type has become near impossible and so no buyer in Europe could be found. She was deregistered in 2017, bought by Canadian firm Lortie Aviation and shipped to Canada.

As of May 2019 she has now lost her amazing paint scheme and been repainted in a two tone grey camo scheme, but she has been returned to the air. She is now in regular use providing tactical combat training to the Canadian, US and French military, at locations all over the world - so if you catch her out and about anywhere, throw me a photo!

Information on this page current as of 10/01/2021, last updated by Damien

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