What was a 'Hunt Trainer'?

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by ww2ni, Dec 8, 2019.

  1. ww2ni

    ww2ni Senior Member

    I have seen a plan of R.A.F. Killadeas which shows a building which is called a "Hunt Trainer"

    Does anyone have any pictures of a Hunt Trainer building?

    Many Thanks
    Andy
     
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  2. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

  3. Ewen Scott

    Ewen Scott Active Member

    Under Synthetic Training in "British Military Airfield Architecture" is a "Modified Hunt Range" whose description fits Tim's above. It notes that

    "The Hunt Range was mainly set up in a 16 ft span Nissen hut or temporary brick building". The latter were Laing huts on some airfields. Unfortunately no photos just descriptions of how it all worked.

    Given that Killadeas' repair facilities, and the related main base at Ely Lodge, an ammunition depot and hospital, were built in the space of 5 months from August 1941, and that most of the accomodation was supposed to be in Nissen huts, then I would guess at the Hunt Trainer / Range being in a Nissen hut.
     
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  4. Orwell1984

    Orwell1984 Senior Member

    If you scroll down to the middle of this page:

    RAF Ibsley, Hampshire Airfield Site

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Was primarily used for training in aircraft recognition rather than air to air gunnery and formed part of pilot training as well. Tony's war: the life and times of a WW2 Typhoon pilot by Britta von Zweigbergk contains references to pilots of 181 sqn using the Hunt trainer in 1942. A Hunt trainer was also installed at HMS Excellent to train RN Gunners in recognition and the ROC also used it for training. At least one was used by the USN in California, I believe that this still exists in the Museum of Aircraft Recognition. The models used in it were usually standardised at 1/72 scale. The Air Ministry issued contracts for the manufacture of these but for the RAF only. The ROC volunteers made their own and this contributed to the popularity of 1/72 scale in post war modelling.
     
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  6. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Thanks, Robert for that information regarding 1/72 scale modelling.. which prompted me to ask Google "Why did 1/72 scale become the standard?" and this is the response....
    Skybirds was the brand name of a series of 1:72 scale wood and metal aircraft model kits produced by A. J. Holladay & Co. in the United Kingdom during the 1930s and 1940s. These kits were designed by James Hay Stevens and comprised shaped wooden blanks with cast metal detail parts. The kits were intended to educate their assemblers of the aircraft. They were designed to be built similarly to real aircraft construction. The kits were supposedly approved by "educational and air-minded organisations".

    These were the first model aircraft kits in the world made to a constant scale of 1:72. This scale was later adopted by many other model manufacturers, such as Frog and Airfix. Around 80 different Skybirds kits were released from 1932 onwards, marketed towards those aged 12 and over. Subjects ranged from First World War to Second World War military aircraft, plus a number of inter-war period civilian types.

    The company endorsed the foundation of clubs, specifically for model-making. Together, these formed the Skybird League which had its own magazine of which new issues were published four times a year. Photographs of aircraft models built could be submitted into competitions, in order to be displayed within the windows of the Hamleys toyshop in London. It was marvelled, by customers, that a photograph of a completed model, if finished properly, looked identical to the original article. Of course, this was somewhat easier to achieve with a completed model in the 1930s due to the fact that all photography was monochromatic. The kits encouraged photographers to experiment with scale and trickery to make the model seem more like an actual vehicle. Magazine readers sent their photographs to Skybirds, hoping them to be published within an upcoming issue. Modellers were also encouraged to produce a diorama of their completed vehicle, setting it amidst scratch-built accessories.

    During the Second World War, modelling became a vital part of morale for children. They could participate within the dogfights above them during the Battle of Britain. It is possible that model making popularised the Supermarine Spitfire, despite it being statistically out-performed and out-numbered throughout the conflict by the, then, more-successful Hawker Hurricane.
    Manufacture ceased in 1942, and in 1945 the company closed but was soon relaunched under new management. However the Skybirds range did not survive the company's acquisition by Zang shortly afterwards.
     
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  7. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Almost right. However Frog produced a ground breaking innovation before the war in the form of plastic kits in 1/72. They were expensive, the range of models was small and the production run was low before the out break of war snuffed the venture out. My father who was a keen modeller had two - a Walrus and a Fairy Seafox. By the time I was old enough to take an interest only parts of the Walrus survived - mainly the engine which was moulded in a very hard plastic that permitted good and sharp detail. Generally forgotten now and Frog did not get back into plastic for some time but the seed of a concept that helped produce Airfix. Dad never kept a model for very long but I can just remember a scratch built B 17 in 1/72 that had an electric motor (built from scratch) in each engine housing to drive the props, working landing lights and a slowly rotating turret. It was mainly made out of wood and Bristol Board and glued with Secotine. He raffled it for charity. He then turned to ships - I still have a pair of pre dreadnoughts. He never really took to Airfix - too easy.
     
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  8. ww2ni

    ww2ni Senior Member

    Excellent stuff.
    This appears to be such a building equipped for 2 Aircrew to use at the same time.
    Shown is the building from the outside.
    On entering the door looking to where the "Stage " would have been.

    Much appreciated.
    Andy
     

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