Hawker Hunter, c 1953.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Model (scale 1:24). The Hunter was the first swept-back-wing fighter to be used in quantity by the Royal Air Force. The swept-back wings were designed to delay the onset of compresibility and increase in drag asociated with supersonic flight. The Hunter is not supersonic in level flight but can exceed the speed of sound in a shallow dive. The first prototype made its maiden flight on 20th July 1951, powered by a Rolls-Royce RA7R Avon engine, and created a World Air Speed Record of 1170.5 kph.