Hunting H.126

The Hunting H.126 was an English experimental aircraft designed and built by Hunting Aircraft in order to test the concept of blown flaps, or as they were known in Britain, “jet flaps”. The ‘jet flap’ was intended to improve take-off and landing performance, i.e. to enable aircraft to use shorter runways. To generate more lift, a system of sixteen nozzles positioned along the trailing edge of the wing directed more than half the engine’s exhaust gases over the upper surface of the flaps. Another 10% of the engine’s exhaust was directed through small nozzles in the wing tips and tail to provide control at low speeds as 51.5 kmph (32mph).

Developing nation: France and United Kingdom.
Manufacturer/designer:
Hunting.
Number built: 1.
Type aircraft: experimental aircraft.
First flight: 26 March 1963, XN714.
Retired: May 1970

Only one aircraft was built, being flown in a series of one-hundred test flights at the Royal Aircraft Establishment’s Aerodynamics Flight at RAE Bedford. It was then sent to the United States for wind tunnel testing by NASA, and eventually made its way to the museum at RAF Cosford.

Hunting was awarded the contract in 1959 to build two aircraft. The first of these, XN714, flew on 26 March 1963, painted overall yellow with a matt black anti-glare area on the nose in front of the cockpit. The second was never completed and did not receive a serial number. Test flights were carried out between 1963 and 1967. In 1969 it was shipped to NASA and was returned in May 1970, staying in storage until September 1972 when it was struck from the RAF records.

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 15.29 m (50 ft 2 in)
  • Wingspan: 13.82 m (45 ft 4 in)
  • Height: 4.67 m (15 ft 6 in)
  • Wing area: 20.5 m2 (221 ft2)
  • Airfoil: NACA 4424
  • Empty weight: 3,738 kg (8,240 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 4,872 kg (10,740 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1× Bristol Siddeley Orpheus BOr.3 Mk.805 turbojet, 4,000 lbf (17.83 kN)

Performance

  • Stall speed: 51 km/h (32 mph)

All pictures courtesy of Zijde Aviation Photo and Publishing, Rob Vogelaar