Hawker Hunter Mark 3

The Hunter F.Mark 3 was the designation given to the first Hunter prototype, WB188, when it was modified for an attempt on the World Speed Record in 1953. In order to increase the speed of the aircraft it was given a new Rolls Royce Avon R.A.7R engine with re-heat, capable of providing 7,130lb of thrust normally or 9,600lb with reheat lit. The aircraft was also give an new pointy nose and a Perspex fairing that smoothed out the angle between the normal windscreen and the nose. Finally, the aircraft was painted bright red.

The Absolute Speed Record of 715.75mph had been set by Lt. Colonel William F. Barnes on 16 July 1953, flying a North American F-86D Sabre. On 7 September 1953 Squadron Leader Neville Duke, Hawker's chief test pilot, set a new record of 727.6mph over a 3km course. Two weeks later, on 19 September, he also claimed the 100km closed circuit record, with a speed of 709.2mph.

The new record was very short-lived. A short time later Supermarine took a Swift to Libya, where they took advantage of the higher ambient air temperature to set a new record of 735.70mph (this would be even short-lived and was broken on the very same day by an American aircraft!)

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (1 May 2010), Hawker Hunter Mark 3 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_hawker_hunter_3.html

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