Glen Moreman reports on a Hunter reborn. Pictures by Damien Burke
On a typically English damp autumn day, the gloom was lifted briefly at Kemble around midday on Tuesday 19 October with the unveiling of Delta Jets' recently restored Hunter T7 XL577/G-BXKF. The 'Blue Diamond' (as she will be known) sparkled in the gloom inside the hangar, and lit up the faces of all who had worked so hard over the past few weeks to get the paint scheme applied in time for the roll out. Many man-hours were worked above and beyond the call of duty to carefully replicate the colours of the original Blue Diamond T7, XL571 (coded 'V'), although the serial XL577 will be carried.
This has to be one of the finest restorations of a Hunter ever undertaken - the detail is superb, right down to the 92 Squadron markings emblazoned across the white cheat line on the nose of the aircraft. Delta Jets have been given special permission by the Royal Air Force to carry the historic markings of the RAF Aerobatic Team of the early 1960s 'The Blue Diamonds'.
Several ex-Blue Diamonds were present at the unveiling and owner of the aircraft, Ronan Harvey, was presented with a framed picture of the Blue Diamonds aerobatic team performing overhead Farnborough by Flt Lt Harry Anwar, who was 'Blue 12' in the team in 1961. The original was presented to the Commander in Chief of the RAF some time back and is now with the 92 Squadron association.
The Blue Diamond will be available for airshows during 2005 and demand is expected to be high in its debut season. Couple this together with Delta Jets' other Hunter, the 'Black Arrow' WV318/G-FFOX and the 'Yellowjack' Gnat organisers will be able to have a unique formation of classic early British aerobatic display teams.
For more information on the availability of these aircraft for 2005 contact Glen Moreman at Delta Jets on 01285 771577.