Hawker Hunter Mk3
The Hunter in which Neville Duke flew to secure his world air speed record of 727 mph in 1953. This unique aircraft was ordered in June 1948 as one of three prototypes and first flown by Hawker’s Chief Test Pilot, Squadron Leader Neville Duke, in July 1951. In early 1953, WB188 was fitted with side-mounted airbrakes, extra fuel tanks in the wings and a new reheated version of the Avon engine – at which point she became known as the sole Hunter Mk 3. On 7th September 1953, Neville Duke took off from Tangmere to set up a new world air speed record of 727.63 mph along a course between Bognor and Littlehampton. One month later, WB188 came to the end of its flying life and was transferred to RAF Halton as an instructional airframe. She was employed as the gate guardian at Melksham and Abingdon from 1961 to 1964 and then displayed at a museum at RAF Colerne until 1975 when she moved to the RAF Museum at Cosford. The aircraft has been on loan to Tangmere since September 1992.