Local News

Iconic aircraft to have new home at Boscombe Down Aviation Collection

On 21st August 2019 Hawk XX154 will be joining the collection from its current location at MOD Boscombe Down.

This iconic aircraft is of national interest to the UK Aviation Heritage and due to its importance, it is considered a Benchmark Airframe to the Nation which is the highest category out of 5 categories.

Boscombe Down Aviation Collection (BDAC) has been chosen as the appropriate organisation to be entrusted to preserve the aircraft for future generations.

XX154 has had several different colour schemes though its life, however, it is considered appropriate, with QinetiQ agreement, that it is retained in its current ETPS colours and markings. This promotes ETPS but also supports a theme of continued training for future

It is envisaged that the move will see XX154 be taken by Chinook helicopter to BDAC at Old Sarum. The day chosen for the move to BDAC 21ST August 2019 celebrates the 45th Anniversary of the first flight of Hawk XX154. This event has only been made possible with the cooperation and help from QinetiQ, RAF Odiham and the Royal Navy Engineers from RAF Brize Norton – Joint Air Delivery Test and Evaluation Unit (JADTEU)

The Hawk is a British success. It was the result of the dedication, enthusiasm and skill of many people co-operating and working as an effective team. At Hawker Siddeley Aviation, Kingston, an experienced design team of Hawker and ex Folland design engineers (with an extensive background of Hunter, Harrier and Gnat) led by Gordon Hodson explored for 2 years the concepts of a new advanced jet trainer that was capable of through life development.

The project became known as HS1182. The team members with skill 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 October1971 and contracted in March 1972, A fixed price contract for the design, manufacture, development and delivery of 176 jet trainer aircraft. Now there was a need for a name. Eventually and after much thought and a competition Air Commodore John Langer identified the name HAWK – which is so right.

Two and a half years later the first flight was achieved in XX154 on 21st August 1974 piloted by Duncan Simson. A further two and quarter years with the co-operation of the Ministry of Defence resulted in the service release being approved on time and to specified cost in Nov 1976. Two aircraft were delivered XX162 and XX163. Hawk XX162 still operates from Boscombe Down today

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/Navy including the Red Arrows has resulted today in excess of 1000 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.

XX154 has remained in active service until Dec 2018; 50 years from the first conversation Gordon had in February 1968 that lead to project HS1182, which then became the Hawk. This is a record in itself for the first of a type to be in-service for so long This is truly a remarkable UK achievement and the story continues today with the aircraft type continuing development and manufacture. In the UK both RAF and Royal Navy pilots are trained on T1 and T2 Hawks and the Red Arrows have displayed using the Hawk since.

Export sales have created many jobs throughout the UK and the type operates very successfully around the world. It is therefore extremely important to preserve XX154. The first built and the first to fly.