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Folland Gnat

A simple construction jet fighter and trainer
Folland Gnat Prototype G-39-2 on take off run in 1955
The Folland Gnat fighter, designed by W.E.W. (Teddy) Petter, was the result of a private venture development of the Folland Midge and the prototype (G-39-2) first flew on 18th July 1955. 
 
Simple engineering was a key feature of the design, eliminating the need for sophisticated machinery in the manufacturing process and allowing for production in less industrialised countries.  Despite successful evaluation however, no substantial orders were forthcoming from the British Government who favoured the Hawker Hunter for the RAF.
 
The Gnat fighter saw a small amount of service in Finland, India and Yugoslavia in its F1 & FR1 variants and although a F3 & F4 development was planned, these were never built.Greater success was seen with the 2 seat Gnat trainer after the take-over of the company by Hawker Siddeley and at last the production turned towards reasonable numbers (105 Fo144's were built) with orders coming from the Ministry of Aviation between 1960 and 1962.In all, 449 airframes bearing the Gnat designation were built in 6 main variants plus the HAL Ajeet fighter and trainer, built under licence in India.
 
The Gnat is probably most famous however as being the aircraft of choice for the world-famous RAF Display Team, The Red Arrows who flew Folland Gnats at air displays and show around the world before finally switching to BAe Hawk in 1979.
 
Folland Gnat Image Gallery

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Folland Gnat Prototype (G-39-2) air to air in 1955
Folland Gnat Prototype

Folland Gnat Prototype (G-39-2) air to air in 1955

The images on this site are the property of BAE Systems (Copyright © 2016 BAE Systems. All rights reserved)
Folland Gnat T1 (XM700)
Folland Gnat T1

Folland Gnat T1 (XM700)

The images on this site are the property of BAE Systems (Copyright © 2016 BAE Systems. All rights reserved)
Folland Gnat (XK740) air to air
Folland Gnat

Folland Gnat (XK740) air to air

The images on this site are the property of BAE Systems (Copyright © 2016 BAE Systems. All rights reserved)
Folland Gnat RAF (XM706) & AN Other
Folland Gnat RAF

Folland Gnat RAF (XM706) & AN Other

The images on this site are the property of BAE Systems (Copyright © 2016 BAE Systems. All rights reserved)

Specification (F.1)

Powerplant 1 x Bristol Siddeley Orpheus 701-01 turbo jet – 4,705lbf (20.9kN)
Span 28 ft 8 in (6.73 m)
Maximum Weight 9,040 lbs (2,175 kg)
Capacity 1 Pilot
Armament 2 x 30mm Aden / 2 x 500 lb bombs (227 kg) or 18 x 3” Rockets (76mm)
Maximum Speed 695 mph (1,120 kph) at 20,000 ft
Maximum Range 500 miles (800 km)

Number built

Fo.140  1 Private Venture                                
Gnat F.1  235
Gnat FR.1  1
Gnat F.2  1 Prototype
Gnat T.1  105
HAL Ajeet  89

Survivors

Gnat T.1               
(XS101) 
Essendon Aviation Museum, Essendon Airport, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia           
Gnat F.1 
(GN-101)
Central Finland Aviation Museum, Tikkakoski, Finland.
www.airforcemuseum.fi
Gnat F.1 
(GN-104)
Central Finland Aviation Museum, Tikkakoski, Finland.
www.airforcemuseum.fi
Gnat F.1
(GN-105)
Finnish Aviation Museum in Vantaa, Finland.
www.ilmailumuseo.fi
Gnat F.1 
(GN-107)
Karhula Aviation Museum, Lentokentäntie 234, 48720 Kotka, Finland                
www.users.kymp.net/mode0449/etumus.htm
Gnat F.1
(GN-110)
Gate Guardian at Rovaniemi Airport, Finland
Gnat F.1 
(GN-112)
Aviation Guild of Lahti, Vesivehmaa Museum, Lentotie 89, FI-17130 Finland
www.lahdenilmasilta.fi
Gnat F.1
(GN-103)
Karelia Aviation Museum, Lentokentäntie 37, 53600 Lappeenranta, Finland
www.etelakarjalanmuseot.fi/karelia-aviation-museum
Gnat F.1 
(GN-106)
Karelia Aviation Museum, Lentokentäntie 37, 53600 Lappeenranta, Finland
www.etelakarjalanmuseot.fi/karelia-aviation-museum
Gnat F.1 Diamond Garden area, Chembur, Mumbai, India.
Gnat F.1 District Court, Feroz Gandhi Market, Ludhiana, India
Gnat F.1 
(IEI083)
PAF Museum Karachi, PAF Faisal Air Base Shahrah-e-Faisal, Pakistan
www.pafmuseum.com.pk
Gnat F.1
(XK724)
RAF Museum Cosford, Shropshire, UK
www.rafmuseum.org.uk/cosford
Gnat F.1
(XK741)
Midland Air Museum, Coventry, UK
www.midlandairmuseum.co.uk
Gnat F.1
(XK740)
Solent Sky, Southampton, Hampshire, UK
www.solentskymuseum.org
Gnat T.1
(XM697 / XM693)
Outside GE Aviation factory at Hamble, Hampshire.
Gnat T.1 
(XP505)
Science Museum, London, UK
www.sciencemuseum.org.uk
Gnat T.1
(XP516)
Farnborough Air Sciences Trust, Farnbrough, Hampshire.
www.airsciences.org.uk
Gnat T.1 
(XP542)
Solent Sky, Southampton, Hampshire, UK
www.solentskymuseum.org
Gnat T.1
(XR534)
Newark Air Museum, Winthorpe, Newark, Nottinghamshire, UK.
www.newarkairmuseum.org
Gnat T.1 
(G-NATY (XR537)
De Havilland Aviation, Bournemouth Airport, UK.
www.dehavillandaviation.co.uk
Gnat T.1 
(XR538)
Heritage Aircraft Trust, North Weald Airfield, UK
www.gnatdisplayteam.org
Gnat T.1
(XR571)
Red Arrows, RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire.
Gnat T.1 
(XR977)
RAF Museum Cosford, Shropshire, UK
www.rafmuseum.org.uk/cosford
Gnat T.1 
(XR991)
Heritage Aircraft Trust, North Weald Airfield, UK
www.gnatdisplayteam.org
Gnat T.1
(XS111 / XP504)
Heritage Aircraft Trust, North Weald Airfield, UK
www.gnatdisplayteam.org
Gnat F.1 
(G-FRCE / XS-104)
North Weald Airfield, UK
Gnat T.1 
(XM694 / N694XM)
Pima Air and Space Mueum, Arizona, USA
www.pimaair.org
Gnat F.1 
(E-1076)
March Field Air Museum, Riverside, California, USA.
www.marchfield.org
Gnat T.1 
(XP538 (N19GT)
Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino, California, USA.
www.planesoffame.org
Gnat T.1 
(XR572 / N572XR)
Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, Colorado, USA.
www.jeffco.us/airport
Gnat F.1 
(11601)
Museum of Aviation, Belgrade, Serbia
www.muzejvazduhoplovstva.org.rs

More information

Via email: Heritage@baesystems.com

Please note that the information shown is based on that available at the time of the creation of this web page - If you have any additions or corrections please contact: Heritage@baesystems.com