The first Vanguard made its maiden flight on 20th January 1959, and BEA ordered 20 of the V951 model fitted with Tyne R.Ty.l engines. The first of these entered service in 1961 to start replacing Viscounts on many of the short-haul high density European routes.
In the event BEA only accepted six of these aircraft, having the remainder delivered as V953 Vanguards IIs fitted with improved Tyne R.Ty.lIs, The double-bubble fuselage of the Vanguard allowed considerable freight to be carried below the passenger deck, and later on some Vanguards were converted for use with BEA and British Airways solely as freighters, this type was known as the Merchantman.
Dimensions (mm): L259 X W249
Flying Hours: 2
Number of Parts: 96
Dimensions (mm): L230 x W153
Developed as a small, lightweight and manoeuvrable fighter, the Folland Gnat was never accepted into RAF service in that role. However, after being re-designed with two seats, it found its niche as a superb trainer and its small size and excellent aerobatic capability made it a natural choice for the RAF’s aerobatic teams. The Yellow Jacks first used the Gnat to great effect, before the Red Arrows used it as their first aircraft.
Designed by W.E.W Petter, the Gnat entered RAF service in 1962 giving trainee pilots the perfect first experience of fast jets before they moved onto the Hunters and Lightnings they would fly on front line duties. Eventually the introduction of the Hawk jet trainer meant the end for the Gnat and they were phased out of RAF service in the late 1970s. A large number were however passed to private operators where they still continue to be displayed at air shows.