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North American Xb-70a Valkyrie
by Dennis R. Jenkins, Tony Landis



 

 


T1 - XX235 - CFS, RAF Valley
Coming in to land at RAF Valley with flaps down, this grey version sports the black tail & tiger's head of the shadow Tiger Squadron No.74, formerly McDonnell Douglas Phantoms IIs.


TYPE
two seat trainer, light interceptor and tactical multi-role aircraft - primary trainer for the RAF and several other countries - used by the US Navy as the T-45 Goshawk, with uprated undercarriage and arrester hook


MANUFACTURER
Hawker Siddeley - British Aerospace


ENGINE
single Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca Adour 151 Mk 861 turbofan 5,340lb (2,422kg) thrust


DIMENSIONS
  • span : 30'10"(9.39m)
  • length : 39'2"(11.95m)
  • height : 13'5"(4.08m)
  • wing area : 179.64 sqft(16.69m²)



WEIGHTS

  • empty : 7,450lb(3,379kg)
  • loaded : 12,000lb(5,443kg)
  • attack mission : 16,260lb(7,375kg)
  • maximum external load : 6,800lb(3,100kg)



PERFORMANCE

  • max speed at sea level : 630mph(1,014km/h), just supersonic in a shallow dive
  • ceiling : 50,000ft(15,240m)
  • range : 750miles(1,207km)
  • ferry range : 2,2000miles(4,080km)



FIRST FLIGHT

  • prototype : 21st August 1974
  • delivered into service : 1976



AVIONICS

  • Collins AN/ARC182 UHF/VHF
  • Collins AN/ARN 118 Tacan
  • Collins VIR 31A VOR/ILS
  • Cossor 2720 IFF/SSR
  • Twin gyro, DME, ADF, radar altimeter
  • night and all-weather instrumentation
  • Laser ranger option
  • Ferranti ISIS gunsight
  • CDC 5 pylon Weapon Control System



WEAPONS

  • Matra 155 rocket launcher 68mm, 81mm, 100mm
  • nine GP 550lb(250kg) bombs
  • seven GP 1000lb(450kg) bombs
  • Paveway II Mk13/18 smart bomb (laser guided)
  • Aden 30mm gun pod
  • Hunting BL.755 cluster bomb
  • AIM-9L Sidewinder AAM
  • Sea Eagle air-to-surface missile



NOTES
Highly regarded fast jet trainer. Used by the Red Arrows RAF display team in their distinctive red and white livery, and with the addition of smoke-making equipment. Red, white and blue Hawks operate from RAF Valley, now joined by the all grey advanced weapons training versions from recently closed RAF Brawdy and RAF Chivenor. Recently an all over gloss black paint scheme has being adopted for the basic training aircraft, due to its improved visibility. Possesses easy ground handling and requires a modest 2,000' runway length, relatively low take-off and landing speeds with good cross-wind handling. The Hawk has good spin-resistance and allows +8g to -4g during aerobatics. These attributes make it and excellent trainer, but also a credible offensive support aircraft armed with Sidewinders and gunpod. Developed into the more purposeful Hawk 100 and 200 variants, now being sold successfully abroad.

UPDATE 1998

The centre and rear fuselage of the Hawk is to be replaced to Hawk Mk.65 standard in an effort to keep the aircraft flying for many years to come.

Squadrons using the Hawk:

  • No.19 (Reserve) Squadron, RAF Valley (T.1A)
  • No.74 (Reserve) Squadron, RAF Valley (T.1A)
  • No.100 Squadron, RAF Valley (T.1A)
  • No.208 (Reserve) Squadron, RAF Valley (T.1A)

UPDATE 2003

The Hawk 128 has been chosen as the New RAF Advanced Jet Trainer, September 2003. 20 firm orders have been placed, with an option to have 24 more. The aircraft is hoped to enter service in 2008.

UPDATE 2004

The UK government has decided to purchase 44 BAe Hawk mk.128s, worth £800 million to meet the Advanced Jet Trainer requirement. So the 72 Hawk T.1s will be replaced by just 44 aircraft, at best, as this number may reduce.

UPDATE 2005

The initial batch of 128s will number 20. The 128 is based on the Australian Mk.127, and will have three screen cockpits front and rear, with the powerful Mk.951 version of the Rolls-Turbomeca Adour Turbofan. There is but 1% commonality with the original Hawks of 1976.

UPDATE 2010

The Mk.128, now designated T.2 arrived at RAF Valley in small numbers in July 2009. During 2010 the instructors will be trained up on them, with students first using the type in 2011. They will be fully operational in 2012, with a total of 28 airframes at RAF Valley.


T1 - XX226 - No.4 FTS/74(R) Sqn, RAF Valley
Taxiing out for another practice display routine, the gloss black paintwork of Valley's display Hawk then had the Tiger's head replaced with a red Welsh dragon.