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|The Aircraft :|
|Hawk||The BAe Hawk News of the first flight of the Hawk on 21 August 1974 was greeted with derision by Hunter pilots at the RAF's tactical weapons training unit. For understandably selfish reasons they were sceptical about the ability of the Hawk to replace the rugged, versatile and much-loved Hunter. "Forget Hawk - Fly Hunter" was one typical bumper sticker of the time but now 25 years on, such scepticism seems barely credible. With the arrival of the first Hawk aircraft at RAF Valley in November 1976, a new era of flying training began, and the first of thousands of fast-jet pilots discovered the joys of flying this truly thoroughbred aircraft. Since then, the BAe Hawk has earned a reputation as the world's best advanced trainer and light strike aircraft. The basic design has been refined and improved in a series of variants ranging from multi-role light fighter to the US Navy's carrier trainer. But the one quality that sets the Hawk apart from other aircraft is handling characteristics. In the on pilots own words, - "I had flown the Gnat and Hunter and in 1979 had just finished flying Canberra PR9s before transferring to the Jaguar, when I was given the opportunity to get some flying on the Hawk. It was a revelation. Here was an aircraft that was pure joy to fly, at low level it settled comfortably at 450 knots at around 150 feet and it could be flown into valleys under the most frightening weather safe in the knowledge that it could be turned around without losing airspeed almost in its own length. And at medium level? 1v1 combat in this aircraft is something else, - compared with the Hawk, the Jaguar is like flying an anvil".|
|Artist Details : Michael Rondot|
|Click here for a full list of all artwork by Michael Rondot|
Michael Rondot is well known in the military aviation world for his distinctive style of aircraft paintings and prints which have made him one of todays most widely collected aviation artists. During his 25 year career as a pilot in the Royal Air Force he flew over 5000 hours in combat jets, including Jaguar fighter bombers during the Gulf War, bringing a unique authority to his paintings that sets them in a class of their own. His portrayals of classic combat aircraft are much sought-after by both aviators and enthusiasts alike for their realism and powerful atmospheric settings.
More about Michael Rondot
This Week's Half Price Art
The Hunt for U-Boat 134 by David Pentland.
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A Welcome Shore by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
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The History of the Luftwaffe, A Phoenix Rising.
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