Red Arrows Folland Gnat

This Folland Gnat was at RAF London.

The Folland Gnat is a British compact swept-wing subsonic fighter aircraft that was developed and produced by Folland Aircraft. Envisioned as an affordable light fighter in contrast to the rising cost and size of typical combat aircraft, it was procured as a trainer aircraft for the Royal Air Force as well as by export customers, who used the Gnat in both combat and training capacities.

The single-seat Gnat F1 fighter was the forerunner of the two-seat Gnat T1 trainer which achieved fame with the ‘Red Arrows’ aerobatic team. Its aerobatic qualities led to the formation of the Yellowjacks aerobatic team in 1964, leading to the foundation of the world famous Red Arrows the following year. The team flew their red Gnats for fourteen years until they were replaced by the British Aerospace Hawk at the end of the 1979 season.

Several other Air Forces were attracted to the idea of a low-cost fighter. Finland purchased thirteen Gnat F1s, some of these being converted for reconnaissance work, whilst India bought forty.

There are two Folland Gnat planes at RAF Cosford.

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