The Hawker Hunter is a record breaker, cold war warrior and it’s now legal for a PPL to fly one! The Hunter is perhaps the most impossibly beautiful aircraft ever assembled. No, not assembled - but sculpted as though from a single block of aircraft grade aluminium. Designed by Sir Sidney Camm, an engineer whose designs span biplane to jump jet, the Hunter is a remarkable machine. The Rolls Royce Avon will propel you at Mach 0.94 at sea level, and let you climb at no less than 10,500ft/min to ‘touch the face of God’ at 51,000ft. Hunters were the chosen mount of the famous Black Arrows, their livery one of many in this simulation. Their 22-plane formation loop, set a record which stands to this day.
In 1953, fighter ace and acclaimed test pilot Neville Duke, flew the Hunter against a backdrop of the Sussex coast to set a new world speed record of 727.63 mph. Duke described flying the Hunter into the sound barrier as ‘A piece of cake’, and the Hunter the love of his professional life.
The Hunter was a true fighter of the cold war but a pair remain in service with the UK military today, more than 50 years after its maiden flight. This pair of privately owned ex-Swiss AF Hunter F.58s is leased to the MoD to act as ‘simulated missiles’ in Royal Navy ‘war-games.’
Of course the Hunter also remains a popular sight at with 100,000s of spectators at airshows around the world! The old adage of ‘if it looks right, it flies right’ could have been written for the Hunter – and it certainly looks ‘right.’
The AlphaSim Hunter simulation is compatible with FS2004 with the FSX version including subtle reflectivity, bump mapping, self-shadowing and bloom and even signs of weathering. The static realization includes the cockpit ladder engine covers and pitot tags. The speedbrake is restricted to operate only with wheels up – just as in the real Hunter.
The simulation covers 7 unique variants and 8 texture sets including the Black Arrows, and the famous Swiss air force examples where the pilots were often part-time and the runways empty motorways!
Looking into the cockpit the auto-animated avatar even has correct insignia on his arm patches.
Once started the high quality sound rendition of the Rolls Royce Avon is unmistakable. Starting produces exhaust smoke which settles to the turbine glow.
Inside the hunter, is a special place. No glass cockpit here, no fly-by-wire avionics or ‘plastic’ aeroplane. This is the real thing.
Be it the 2D panels or the virtual cockpit the realistic dark military finish looks particularly purposeful but not intimidating. Perfectly simulated by AlphaSim, the Hawker’s designers clearly thought about this panel – unlike perhaps those of Jaguar’s E-type! Most of the systems will be very familiar to the general aviation pilot and in fact the Hunter is legal on a PPL.
The realistic all-xml 2D panel, custom pop-ups for autopilot, electrics and radios and in addition to the printed manual a PDF guide to all the features. Within the FS2004 variant the VC includes rain effects, in FSX night illumination of the gauges and with SP2, self shadowing.
The VC is fully authentic and includes many animations and ‘mouseable’ controls.
Sweep into the sky and the simulation matches the superb responsiveness of the real jet. The real Hunter just felt ‘right’ and the simulation feels authentically just so. This highly authentic replication, and comes complete with checklists to follow operational procedure.
Using the aircraft to high speed aerobatic advantage, the wing-tip vortices flicker with vapour…
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