The Hunter is fighter-bomber designed in the UK by Hawker Aircraft in the 1950s and used in Switzerland from 1958-1994. Overall 160 aircraft have been purchased by the Swiss Air Force, compromising 152 fighter bombers of the versions F.MK.58 und F.MK.58A with Swiss serials J-4000 to J-4152 and 8 trainer aircraft of the version T.MK.68 with Swiss serials J-4201 to J-4208.
Besides the regular military service even the Swiss Display Team “Patrouille Suisse” was flying the aircraft from 1959 to 1994 – but only in the last four years from 1991-1994 the aircraft received a specific paint scheme for the display team. In 1994 during the airshow in Buochs (Air94) a huge 40-ship formation flight took place to farewell the aircraft type from service. Many of the well maintained aircraft continued in service with various companies providing services to act as aerial target, threat simulation and airborne adversary as well as with Museums in Switzerland and abroad.
In 2017 there are still 7 Swiss Hunters available in flying condition – three fighter bombers (serials J-4015, J-4068, J-4086) and four of the trainers (serials J-4201, J-4203, J-4205, J-4206) – although one of those is not active currently. The active aircraft perform flights with passengers three times per year from old military bases – providing fantastic experiences during those turns.
Specifically in Ambri and St. Stephan the aircraft perform flights in the lovely mountain regions close by – as they did during the times when they had been in service with the Swiss Air Force.
Gil Schneeberger, August 2017