Walkaround #1027

Hawker Hunter Mk.58

These photos were taken by Nicola Tresin at a parking lot in the outskirts of Pordenone (Italy) on 5 May 2005.  

This Hunter, flown by the Swiss Air Force from 1959 until 1994, is coded J-4068 and is one of the aircrafts for which Revell supplies markings in the European boxing of its fine 1/32 kit.

It's an example of the latest modifications made to the Hunter Mk.58, which is the Swiss (upgraded) version of the F.6, externally similar to the FGA.9. This particular aircraft was capable of carrying the US Maverick missiles on the outboard wing pylons, and was also modified for night operations, the most obvious additions being the EL tape lights on the fuselage and fin. This aircraft changed owner many times after it was dismissed, and the current owner had it partially dismantled for transport (the wings are stored separately and could not be photographed).

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Starboard general front view of the fuselage. Starboard general rear view of the fuselage Port blast deflectors for the 30mm Aden cannons. Note also the ground lock for the front landing gear leg. A close up of the electro luminescent tape light fitted on the port side of the nose. The thickness of its frame is about 5mm (0.2").

 

Port collector blister for spent cannon links. The two short tubes are the chutes for the spent cannon shells. Swiss Hunters were fitted with enlarged blisters, and in the later years of service the blisters were modified to mount flare/chaff dispensers. The faired housing for the flare dispenser is visible beneath the shell chutes. Note that the rear panel has been fitted the wrong way round, the fairing should be facing front. A close up of the flare dispenser housing, with electrical connectors for the cartridges. General view of the port blister. Port air intake, showing also the wing attachment point.

 

Close up of the port intake. Note the splitter plate and the small rectangular vent in the upper intake lip. Port air duct. The duct is painted in camouflage colours, with an inverted pattern. Port wing attachment point. The internal air duct is visible between the panels. Port wing attachment point, showing some of the plumbing and wiring connectors.

 

This placard, located inside the wing root, shows the fuel switch positions corresponding to the different available configurations for the Flunts (drop tanks). Port wing root. Port wing root close-up. The stenciling reads (in French, German and Italian) "Weapons safety pins". Rear port fuselage.

 

 
Ventral airbrake close-up. The bottom part of the fuselage is dotted with numerous studs, the purpose of which is unknown to me. Position and shape of the a/c serial number. Tape light on the vertical fin. J-4068 was fitted with experimental night flying equipment, which included "slime lights" usually not seen on Hunters. Close-up of the tape light and of some inspection panels on the vertical fin. Note the asymmetrical shape of the tape light frame. A small instrument face (likely a pressure gauge) is just visible behind the clear inspection window.

 

 

The paint has been applied with mixed hard and soft demarcations. This aircraft is painted in the older camouflage style (upper surfaces in semi-gloss colours, underside painted in aluminium). Later paint schemes were applied with matt  paints and light grey underside surfaces. Side view of the braking parachute housing over the tailpipe. Fuel vent tube and tail protection skid, which actually contains a small wheel. The large hex nut locks the wheel axle and is present only on this side. Some damage is apparent on the port elevator.

 

Tail fairing with clear navigation light on the tip. The two side bulges house the rear RWR antennas. Similar bulges are applied to the aircraft nose as well. Rear view of the ventral airbrake. Tail cone, bottom view. The sheet metal in the exhaust pipe is a piece of scrap which has nothing to do with the aircraft. Close-up of the engine exhaust pipe. Note the small rods protruding from the pipe, likely exhaust temperature probes. Two couples of similar probes should also be in the bottom part of the exhaust.

 

Exhaust pipe. Exhaust pipe. The pivot end of the large hydraulic actuator for the airbrake is barely visible in its housing. Rear fairing of the parachute housing. Note the different types of metal sheet used for this assembly.

 

Starboard rear fuselage. The fuselage has been partially disassembled, and a gap remains between the front and rear section, just behind the wing fillets. Starboard elevator, undamaged. Close-up of the parachute housing. Close-up of the elevator pivot point. Note the black alignment marks on the removable panels.

 

Tail protection skid, starboard side. The inspection panels on the vertical fin show a different arrangement on the two sides. Detail of the rudder actuator and position of the Swiss roundel. Starboard inspection panels on the vertical fin. Note again the shape of the tape light frame.

 

Ventral airbrake. Starboard wing root detail. The gap left between fuselage halves after disassembling and reassembling. The round vent bleeds hot air to the outside. Rear fuselage.

 

Starboard wing root. Some panels on the underside of the wing fillet have been removed as well. The studs on the fuselage bottom are apparent in this view. Starboard wing root detail. Starboard wing root underside, lacking some panels.

 

Starboard link collector blister. One of the spent shell chutes is missing, but the flare/chaff dispenser (without cartridges) is installed in its housing. The starboard blister lacks the inspection panel fitted to the port blister. Small ventral blade antenna and gun access panels between the blisters. Close-up of the flare dispenser, with its fairing, and of the access panels between the blisters. Another ventral blade antenna, just behind the blisters.

 

Starboard air intake. Note the splitter plate and the small rectangular vent in the upper intake lip. Starboard air duct. The duct is painted in camouflage colours, with an inverted pattern. Starboard gun blast deflectors and position of nose tape light. Just visible behind the landing gear door, there is a ventral blade antenna unique to Swiss Mk.58s, which is fitted to a small air intake. The blade antenna is bent, but should normally be straight. It appears to be built in two metal sections, held together by a plastic spacer. Close-up of the starboard gun blast deflectors.

 

Front landing gear leg. Front landing gear leg. Front wheel. The front gear well door has been closed due to the storage arrangement, but it should be normally open. The a/c call sign is painted on this door in black, and on both sides of the nose in white.

 

Front landing gear well (aft view). Close up of the front landing gear well (aft view). Front landing gear well, inner port side. Front landing gear well, inner starboard side. The blue bottles appear to be oxygen bottles.

 

Front landing gear well, inner fore side. Battery and gun pack compartment; the gun pack, of course, has been removed. This shot has been taken from one of the shell chutes. The compartment should be normally accessible from ventral panels. The drop tanks, which the Swiss call "Flunts". This particular aircraft was ferried to Italy with the full complement of four drop tanks, with an interesting variation in paint schemes that is worth noting. The smaller tanks are painted in the "older" camo scheme (semi-gloss paints on the upper surfaces, aluminium on the bottom surfaces), while their pylons are painted in matt light grey, typical of the later camo scheme. The larger tanks have the later scheme, with light grey undersides, while their pylons are painted in aluminium. It seems that this aircraft received mixed equipment, at least for its last flight. Detail of the wing pylons

 

Detail of the wing pylons. Bottom surfaces of the tanks, showing drainage plugs. Bottom surfaces of the tanks, showing drainage plugs. Detail of the wing pylons.

 

Detail of the wing pylons. Note the position of round inspection panels on the tanks. Tank attachment point. Detail of the wing pylons. Tank attachment point. This tank is marked with the triangular logo of the Eidgenössisches Flugzeugwerk Emmen (Federal Aircraft Factory, Emmen), which assembled the Swiss-built Hunters.

Photos and text © by Nicola Tresin