QA12 Instrument panel
Photo: Restored instrument panel
Many export Hunters, due to variations in their avionics fitment, had different instrument panel layouts compared to those commonly seen in RAF aircraft. The FGA.78 was no exception with the location of the VOR/ILS indicator, radio compass and marker beacon lights all dictating a particular layout and overall shape of the instrument panels.
As this panel shape was specific to the FGA.78, and the original panel was missing, it appeared that there would be no alternative other than to draw up and manufacture a reproduction panel for QA12. I began this process by making the small starboard panel containing the RPM gauge, jet pipe temperature gauge etc. from 3mm aluminium sheet.
Photo: Reproduction starboard instrument panel
This effort turned out to be wasted however when, in April 2005, I received an e-mail via the International Cockpit Club from a chap who had in his possession the original instrument panels from QA12! He had obtained them while the aircraft was being scrapped at Hurn and was willing to part with them for an appropriate swap. This was duly arranged and the panels stripped, painted, re-labelled and re-fitted with their instruments (see photo at top of page).
Photos: Original instrument panels as received prior to restoration