The Gnat began as a light weight fighter developed by the small Folland company. They entered service with Finland and India but Britain ordered a modified version for use as a jet trainer that served until the 1980s.

Development of the Folland Gnat light fighter began in the early 1950s and the prototype first flew on 18 July 1956.

The design did not interest the Royal Air Force but the Finnish Air Force flew 13 from 1958 to 1972 and the Indian Air Force took 45 from Britain and another 195 fighters that were made in India up to 1974.

The Gnat fighter was redesigned to meet the British need for a high performance jet trainer and 101 flew with the Royal Air Force from 1959 to the end of the 1970s.

They became world famous in the Red Arrows aerobatic team that flew the Gnat from 1965 to 1979.

This model represents XR987 flying with the Red Arrows in the 1970s.

Airfix 1/72 kit completed by Leigh Edmonds in April 2004.

Work Bench Notes


MODEL: Hawker Siddeley Gnat T.1

ROLE: Trainer

TIME PERIOD: 1959-1979

ENGINES: one Bristol Siddeley Orpheus Bor.4 Mk 100 turbojet of 20.93kN

WING SPAN: 7.67m

LENGTH: 9.07m


MAXIMUM SPEED: 1,119km/h

RANGE: 804km


SCALE: 1/72


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