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Blogs

Hawk XX154 retires after 45 years service

27/08/2019

Simon Tate, Director Operations - Air & Space

On 21 August 2019 – the date that marked the 45th Anniversary of its first flight – the Hawk XX154 aircraft was airlifted from MOD Boscombe Down, where until December 2018 it was in active service with the Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS), to its new home in the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection at Old Sarum Airfield.

Hawk XX154

This momentous event was the result of intense cooperation from the Joint Air Delivery Test and Evaluation Unit (JADTEU).

The Hawk is a story of British success; the result of dedication, enthusiasm and skill of many people co-operating and working as an effective team. At Hawker Siddeley Aviation, Kingston, an experienced design team, with an extensive background of Hunter, Harrier and Gnat, spent two years exploring the concepts of a new advanced jet trainer capable of through-life development.

The team members, skilled in design, manufacture, contract negotiation, flight and ground testing, were determined to succeed. Their work was rewarded when a Ministry of Defence competition was won in 1971 and contracted in March 1972 – a fixed price contract for the design, manufacture, development and delivery of 176 jet trainer aircraft.

After much thought and a competition, the aircraft was named ‘Hawk’. Two and a half years later, on 21 August 1974 the Hawk XX154 took its first flight. Just over two years after that, the service release was approved in November 1976, on time and to budget; two aircraft were delivered, the XX162 and XX163.

The original concept included the importance of a base line for the aircraft’s development. Subsequent perseverance by engineers, marketers, demonstrations by test pilots, RAF and Navy, including the Red Arrows, resulted in excess of 1,000 Hawks operating and on order today. This includes the US Navy integrated training system T45 Goshawk, a programme of design and development to make the Hawk aircraft carrier capable.

Chinook carrying Hawk XX154

This momentous event was the result of intense cooperation from the Joint Air Delivery Test and Evaluation Unit (JADTEU).

The Hawk is a story of British success; the result of dedication, enthusiasm and skill of many people co-operating and working as an effective team. At Hawker Siddeley Aviation, Kingston, an experienced design team, with an extensive background of Hunter, Harrier and Gnat, spent two years exploring the concepts of a new advanced jet trainer capable of through-life development.

The team members, skilled in design, manufacture, contract negotiation, flight and ground testing, were determined to succeed. Their work was rewarded when a Ministry of Defence competition was won in 1971 and contracted in March 1972 – a fixed price contract for the design, manufacture, development and delivery of 176 jet trainer aircraft.

After much thought and a competition, the aircraft was named ‘Hawk’. Two and a half years later, on 21 August 1974 the Hawk XX154 took its first flight. Just over two years after that, the service release was approved in November 1976, on time and to budget; two aircraft were delivered, the XX162 and XX163.

The original concept included the importance of a base line for the aircraft’s development. Subsequent perseverance by engineers, marketers, demonstrations by test pilots, RAF and Navy, including the Red Arrows, resulted in excess of 1,000 Hawks operating and on order today. This includes the US Navy integrated training system T45 Goshawk, a programme of design and development to make the Hawk aircraft carrier capable.