Hawker Hunter T. Mark 66

The Hawker Hunter T.Mark 66 was a two-seat trainer based on the large-engined Hunter F.Mark 6, and that was sold to India, Jordan and the Lebanon. Although the F.Mark 6 became the standard RAF interceptor, the Air Ministry never ordered a training aircraft powered by the same Avon 200 series engines, and instead limited itself to the small-engine powered T.Mark 7.

Hawkers had developed a training aircraft powered by the larger engine - the second prototype P.1101, XJ627, had been powered by the Avon 203 engine and was armed with two Aden 30mm cannon. No RAF orders were received, but in 1957 the Indian government placed an order for twelve training aircraft based on XJ627 as part of a larger order for the Hunter Mark 56.

The first aircraft in this first batch, BS361, made its maiden flight on 6 August 1958. Problems with the gun blast deflectors delayed delivery until February 1959, but the T.Mark 66 clearly proved to be satisfactory, for in 1960 India placed a second order for ten more aircraft, for a total of 22. This was followed in 1967 by an order for twelve T.Mark 66Ds, which were to feature the latest equipment and to be capable of carrying the larger 230 gallon drop tanks. This batch of aircraft was produced by converting surplus Dutch Mark 6s. Finally five ex-RAF F.6s were ordered for delivery between June and December 1973, this time as the T.Mark 66E.

Having finally received an order for the large engined trainer Hawkers decided to produce a demonstration aircraft. They used the rear-part of a badly damaged license-built Belgian Mk.6 and a front fuselage section previously used as a display at the Paris Air Show. The combined aircraft became the sole T.Mark 66A. This aircraft was fine-tuned by Bill Bedford, and then performed impressive displays at air shows in 1959 and 1960. In 1963 it was loaned to Iraq for a year. In 1965 it served in Jordan and the Lebanon and in 1966 in Kuwait, before finally in 1967 it was delivered to Chile as part of an order for three T.Mark 72 trainers.

Two other countries ordered the T.Mark 66. In 1960 King Husain of Jordan ordered a single T.Mark 66B. This was followed by the loan of the T.Mark 66A display aircraft, and the eventual delivery of two more T.Mark 66Bs produced by converting old Dutch Mark 6s. Finally the Lebanon ordered three T.Mark 66Cs in 1964 (receiving the Mark 66A on load while its own aircraft were delivered).

The Mark 66 was also the basis of the T.67s delivered to Kuwait, the T.69s delivered to Iraq and the T.72s that went to Chile.

Engine: Rolls Royce Mk.203 or Mk.207 (R.A.28)
Power: 10,000lb thrust
Crew: 2
Wing span: 33ft 8in
Length: 48ft 10.5in
Height: 13ft 2in
Empty Weight: 13,580lb
Loaded Weight: 17,420lb
Maximum Weight: 24,500lb
Max Speed: 704mph at sea level, Mach 0.93 at 36,000ft
Service Ceiling: 48,900ft
Climb Rate: 10.2 minutes to 45,000ft
Armament: two 30mm Aden cannon
Bomb-load: Capability to carry payload on four pylons under wings

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (30 April 2010), Hawker Hunter T. Mark 66 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_hawker_hunter_66.html

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