|Description (photo above taken 25 Jan 2005)|
|Manufacturer:||Folland Aircraft (later, Hawker Siddeley)|
|Gross Weight:||6,650 to 8,885 lbs.|
|No. of Engines:||1|
|Powerplant:||Bristol Siddeley Orpheus 701 turbojet|
|Pounds of static thrust (each):||4,520|
|Range:||500 miles (1 hour 30 min)|
|Max Speed:||695 mph (Mach 0.98)|
Designed in the mid-1950s by W.E.W. Petter as a low-cost alternative to increasingly expensive and overly sophisticated military aircraft, the Gnat is a tiny, subsonic, single-seat, swept-wing fighter and trainer. Developed for production by Folland Aircraft Ltd United Kingdom, the Gnat design permits the aircraft to be constructed and maintained cheaply, by nominally industrialized countries without extensive specialized tools.
With excellent performance capabilities, a top speed of 695 mile per hour and a service ceiling of nearly 50,000 feet, the little aircraft became a favorite of everyone who flew it. Although not used as a fighter by the Royal Air Force the Gnat became a versatile trainer and the star of the RAF Red Arrows Aerobatics Demonstration Team. Armed with two 30mm cannon, the Gnat's most noteworthy achievement came as a fighter for the Indian Air Force. In repeated conflicts with Pakistan between 1965 and the early 1970's, the Gnat became known as the "Sabre Slayer" for its success against the Canadair Sabre, a foreign built variant of the U.S. F-86.
March Field Air Museum's Gnat, currently painted in the colors of the RAF Red Arrows, was obtained from the Military Aircraft Restoration Corporation (MARC).