Hawker Hunter Mark 50/ J-34

The Hawker Hunter Mark 50 (Hawker J-34) was the designation given to 120 Hawker F.Mk.4s purchased by Sweden, the first of many export orders received for the Hunter. The Swedish order was placed on 29 June 1954, and as first built these aircraft were very similar to early British F.4s, with the Avon Mk.115 (R.A.21) engine and four 30mm Aden cannon. This early version of the engine suffered from the surge problems experienced on British F.Mk.1s, and over time the engines were upgraded to Mk.119 and then Mk.120 standard. The Swedish Hunters were never given the wing leading-edge extensions used on most British and export Hunters.

The first of the Swedish hunters made its maiden flight on 24 June 1955, and the first delivery came two months later, on 26 August. All 120 of these aircraft were built from new in Britain. The Hunter, which was given the designation J-34 in Swedish service, was used to equip four wings, F.8 at Barkarby, F.9 at Save, F.10 at Angelhelm and F.18 at Tulliange. As in Britain the Hunter was seen as a good aircraft for aerobatics, and in 1962 F.18 formed the Acro-Hunters display team.

The Hunter Mark 50 remained in front line service until 1966. During this time the Swedes made a number of improvements to the aircraft, the most effective of which gave it the capability to carry Sidewinder missiles on an outboard wing pylon. An attempt was also made to increase the aircraft's top speed by installing the Flygmotor reheat system on the engine. This successfully increased the amount of thrust available, but the main limiting factor on the Hunter's top speed was its wings, which were not designed for super-sonic speeds. After leaving Swedish service four of these aircraft were bought back by Hawkers and sold on to Switzerland as part of an order for the T.Mark.68.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (30 April 2010), Hawker Hunter Mark 50/ J-34 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_hawker_hunter_50.html

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