FO-141 Gnat

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Manufacturer: Folland, United kingdom; Hindustan Aeronautics, India
Designation:  FO-141
Nickname: Gnat
Type: Fighter
Total Built: 449
Specifications
Length:

30'

Height: 9'
Wingspan: 22'
Gross Weight: 6,650 to 8,885 lbs.
Propulsion
No. of Engines:  2
Powerplant: Rolls-Royce turbojet
Pounds of static thrust (each): 4,520
Performance
Range: 500 miles (1 hour 30 min)
Max Speed:  695 mph  (Mach 0.98)
Service Ceiling: 50,000  ft
Payload: 2 500lb bombs or 12 rockets
Armament: two 30mm cannon

 


 

Designed in the mid-1950s by W.E.W. Petter as a low-cost alternative to increasingly expensive and overly sophisticated military aircraft, the Gnat is a tiny, subsonic, single-seat, swept-wing fighter and trainer. Developed for production by Folland Aircraft Ltd United Kingdom, the Gnat design permits the aircraft to be constructed and maintained cheaply, by nominally industrialized countries without extensive specialized tools.

 

With excellent performance capabilities, a top speed of 695 mile per hour and a service ceiling of nearly 50,000 feet, the little aircraft became a favorite of everyone who flew it. Although not used as a fighter by the Royal Air Force the Gnat became a versatile trainer and the star of the RAF Red Arrows Aerobatics Demonstration Team. Armed with two 30mm cannon, the Gnat's most noteworthy achievement came as a fighter for the Indian Air Force. In repeated conflicts with Pakistan between 1965 and the early 1970's, the Gnat became known as the "Sabre Slayer" for its success against the Canadair Sabre, a foreign built variant of the U.S. F-86.

 

March Field Air Museum's Gnat, E1076 was manufactured by Folland and assembled by Hindustan Aircraft Limited and served with the No. 2 Squadron the “Winged Arrows” of the Indian Air Force during the 1965 and 1971 wars and was obtained from the Military Aircraft Restoration Corporation (MARC).


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