View Full Version : Folland Gnat/HAL Ajeet

3rd Jan 2003, 12:26
I will shortly be adding the Gnat/Ajeet to my site so if anybody out there has any info or pictures on surviving examples worldwide that would be welcome. Also, any pictures of them in service (the bigger the better) would be great.

I'm having a bit of trouble tying down which Indian Gnats are Ajeet IIs - is there a listing of which is which? I've scoured Warbirds of India but to little avail.

I've compiled a list of survivors from several sources including W&R 18, European W&R 2, Landings, CAA register, Warbirds of India and contributions from Alan Allen and Alan Barley, which is as follows. Any corrections or additions would be very welcome!

Finally, anyone who flew this little gem, if you fancy writing anything on what it was like, I'd be delighted to have your memories recorded for posterity on my site. BEagle? :)


11601 Muzej Yugoslovenskog Vazduhplovsta, Belgrade Airport, Belgrade, Yugoslavia
'DJ1992' AFS Kalaikunda (displayed in front of tower), West Bengal, India
E1049? Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Tamil Nadu, India
E1051 AFS Ambala (displayed at war memorial), India
E1076 March Field Air Museum, California, USA
E1083 Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (displayed in memorial park),
Bangalore, India
E1205 Indian Air Force HQ, Vayu Bhavan, Delhi, India
E1214 Yanks Air Museum, Chino, California, USA
E1222 Mid America Air Museum, Liberal, Kansas, USA
E1956 AFS Kalaikunda (displayed by 2 Sqn hangar), West Bengal, India
E1973 St. Mary's School, Pune, Maharashtra, India
E2016 Indian Air Force Museum, Palam, India
E232 AFS Kalaikunda (displayed in front of tower), West Bengal, India
E246 Indian Air Force HQ, Vayu Bhavan, Delhi, India
E247 National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla, Pune, Maharashtra, India
E254 Pragathi Maidan, Defence Exhibition, Delhi, India
E261 Canteen Stores Depot, Vayu Sena Nagar, Nagpur, India
E265 Indian Air Force Museum (flyer), Palam, India
E273 Delhi, India
E276 David Tallichet/MARC (stored), Long Beach, California, USA
E296 David Tallichet/MARC (stored), Long Beach, California, USA
E299 David Tallichet/MARC (stored), Long Beach, California, USA
E315 Empire State Aerosciences Museum, New York, USA
E325 Chembur Gardens, Bombay, India
E355 Indian Air Force Academy, Dundigal, India
GN-101 (ex G-39-6) Keski-Suomen Ilmailumuseo, Tikkakoski, Finland
GN-103 Halli (displayed in town square), Finland
GN-104 Keski-Suomen Ilmailumuseo (gate guard), Tikkakoski, Finland
GN-105 Suomen Ilmailumuseo (stored, dismantled), Vantaa, Helsinki,
GN-106 Suomen Ilmailumuseo, Vantaa, Helsinki, Finland
GN-107 Kymi airfield, Finland
GN-110 Rovaniemi airfield (gate guard), Finland
IE-1241 Doon Public School, Dehradun, Uttar Pradesh, India
IE1059 Indian Air Force Museum, Palam, India
IE1061 Western Air Command HQ, Subroto Park, Delhi, India
IE1061 Subrota Park, Delhi, India
IE1062 Martyr's Memorial, Dharamsala, India
IE1071 Indian Air Force HQ (displayed by Officer's Mess), Delhi, India
IE1076 AFS Tambaram, Chennai, India
IE1078 AFS Tambaram, Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
IE1083 Pakistan Air Force Museum, Karachi, Pakistan
IE1205 Nagpur Park, Nagpur, India
IE1975 Indian Air Force HQ, Delhi, India
Unknown Bangladesh (precise location unknown)
Unknown Air Force Technical College, Jallahali, Karnataka, India
Unknown Air Force Technical College, Jallahali, Karnataka, India
Unknown Airforce Bal Bharati School, Delhi, India
Unknown Kerala Science and Technology Museum, Trivandrum, India
Unknown JNTU College of Engineering, Kakinada, India
Unknown AFS Baghdogra (gate guard), Walong, India
Unknown Central Air Command HQ (gate guard), Allahabad, India
Unknown District Collector's Office (displayed on memorial), Ludhiana,
XK724 RAF Museum Cosford, Shropshire
XK740 Southampton Hall of Aviation, Southampton, Hampshire

GN-112 Finnish Aviation Museum Society (stored), Vesivehmaa, Finland
GN-113 (ex XN326) Markku Lehti/Sotilas ja Lentoteknikkan Museo, Kormu,

'G-FRCE' (ex XS104) Kennet Aviation, North Weald, Essex (soon!)
N936FC (ex XR980) Frank Chiodo (flyer), East Islip, New York, USA
'PF179' (really XR541) Global Aviation, Humberside Airport
XM693 AeroStructures, Hamble, Hampshire
XM694 (N694XM) John Mulvey/Astre Air International, Aurora, Colorado,
XM697 (ex G-NAAT) Hunter Flying Club, Exeter, Dorset
XM698 (N698XM) James Thompson, St. Cloud, Florida, USA
XM705 (N705XM) James Thompson, St. Cloud, Florida, USA
XM708 Privately owned, Lytham St. Annes
XM709 Privately owned, USA
XP502 Delta Jets, Kemble, Gloucestershire
XP503 (N503KC) Randal Fields, Palo Alto, California, USA
XP505 Science Museum, Wroughton
XP511 (N6145X) Larry Henderson (flyer), Danville, California, USA
XP513 (N513X) Dean Cutshall/American Horizons Ltd Inc, Fort Wayne,
Indiana, USA
XP514 (N7HY) Anton Ostermeier (flyer), Santa Ana, California, USA
XP516 QinetiQ (vibration testing), Farnborough, Hampshire
XP530 (N4347N, ex N530X) Great Planes Sales Inc. (flyer), Tulsa,
Oklahoma, USA
XP533 (N533XP) Tom Foley/NTC Group Inc. (flyer), Greenwich, Connecticut,
XP538 (N19GT) Planes of Fame Air Museum (flyer), Chino, USA
XP540 Arbury College, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
XP541 (N8130Q) Robert Davis (flyer), Tipton, Indiana, USA
XP542 Royal Military College, Shrivenham, Oxfordshire
XR534 Newark Air Museum, Newark, Nottinghamshire
XR535 (N8130N) Dean Cutshall/American Horizons Ltd Inc, Fort Wayne,
Indiana, USA
XR537 (ex G-NATY) Bournemouth Aviation Museum, Hurn, Dorset
XR538 (G-RORI) Delta Jets, Kemble, Gloucestershire
XR540 Privately owned, USA
XR569 Privately owned, USA
XR571 Red Arrows (displayed within the station), RAF Scampton,
XR572 (N572XR) Michael Bertz, Jefferson Cty Airport, Broomfield,
Colorado, USA
XR574 (8631M) 1 SoTT, RAF Cosford, Shropshire
XR951 (N81298) McDownell Ent Inc., California City, California, USA
XR953 (N953RH) Ntl Aviation & Transportation Mus. of Florida, Florida,
XR954 Source Classic Jet Flight (stored dismantled), Hurn, Dorset
XR955 (N4367L) DAC International Inc. (flyer), Austin, Texas, USA
XR977 RAF Museum Cosford, Shropshire
XR984 Privately owned (stored), San Diego, California, USA
XR987 (N7CV) Real Speed Inc. (flyer), Wilmington, Delaware, USA
XR991 (N1CL, ex G-BOXO) Aerocrafters Inc. (flyer), Santa Rosa,
California, USA
'XR991' (G-MOUR, really XS102) Yellowjack Group, Kemble, Gloucestershire
'XR993' (G-BVPP, really XP534) Kennet Aviation, North Weald, Essex
XR998 (N998XR) John Mulvey/Astre Air International, Aurora, Colorado,
XS100 Privately owned, Fyfield, Essex
XS101 (G-GNAT) Arnold Glass (flyer), North Weald, Essex
XS105 (N18GT) Planes of Fame Air Museum (flyer), Chino, USA
XS107 (N107XS) Albert Mangino, Danbury, Conneticut, USA
XS109 (N61457) David Dulabon, Erie, Pennyslvania, USA
XS110 (N117SH, ex N110XS and N7152Z) Larry Shory, Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA
'XS111' (G-TIMM, really XP504) Kennet Aviation, North Weald, Essex

Ajeet F.2
E1059 Mayo College, Ajmer, Rajasthan, India
E1975 Indian Air Force HQ, Vayu Bhavan, Delhi, India
E1979 Faculty of Aeronautical Engineering, MCEME, Hyderabad, India


N/A Newark Air Museum (procedures trainer), Newark, Nottinghamshire

XK741 Midland Air Museum (fuselage), Baginton, Warwickshire

XM692 Thameside Aviation Museum (nose), East Tilbury
XP532 Privately owned (fuselage, spares use), USA
XR985 Last noted with Delta Jets, Kemble, Gloucestershire?
XR993 (N3XR) John Mulvey/Astre Air International (wreckage), Colorado, USA

3rd Jan 2003, 15:42
For some Gnat tales, see here:


Glad to see that XR977 is preserved at Cosford. On 4 March 1975 I was lucky enough to be first to fly solo on my course and did it in XR977. Just a quick whizz round Anglesey (you took off, tucked the left slipper tank on the coastline and shot off around the island as quickly as you could - or dared to!). Then back for 3 quick circuits - and it was a lovely Spring day as well!

3rd Jan 2003, 16:15
Stab in the dark, but I guess the colour scheme has changed since then!


So am I okay to nick your tales of derring do in Gnats (duly credited of course)?

3rd Jan 2003, 16:43
Please feel free!

Horrid Sparrows colour scheme on my friendly little jet - the 4FTS one was rather better! Someone once said that a Gnat looked as though it was doing 200+ mph even sitting still on the ground!

I don't think that any aeroplane was nicer to fly at low level than the Gnat - although I was once rather concerned to see minus 200 ft on the altimeter over Treaddur Bay when having a back seat trip with a QFI during one of his Staff Continuation Training trips - at nearly 90 deg of bank with Valley QFE set.....

3rd Jan 2003, 16:58
Many thanks!

Deep troughs between the waves? Have to agree on the colours, this is more like it eh...


3rd Jan 2003, 23:31
Treaddur Bay? That almost sounds like me... a depression I am not, mountainous is a better description...

Damien, someone posted a good story about a Gnat prang at Valley on this very forum - IIRC an unoccupied MB (I think?) just missed the Rescure Whirly. BEagle was it you recalled it?

I recall seeing the Sparrows at Middle Wallop in the last Gnat season, '79 - the singletons have left a lasting impression of being below me at one point... long time since I've been to Wallop, but below me? Surely not...

4th Jan 2003, 05:36
those two T1's listed in Aurora, Colorado are located at Front Range Airport (FTG)

noticed them the other week while doing a recce for a cheap tailwheeler to fly in Denver, as I've just moved here from the UK (there's also a Pembrooke parked next to them!)

Cornish Jack
4th Jan 2003, 09:26
No, 'twas I!
Gnats were rumoured to be found as 'giveaways' in packets of Shredded Wheat :D but produced quite good 'trade' for those of us involved in S&R. Trea(r?)ddur Bay was the final arrival place for one particular Gnat which had trim problems after take-off sufficiently severe for the crew to eject. We heard the 'bang seats' going and rushed out to look. The Gnat, relieved of the weight of two crew became much more stable - just continuous pitch-ups and gentle stalls. It continued in this manner around Valley airfield getting lower and lower and finally arrived in the sea just off the beach. This was high summer (anyway there were lots of 'grockles' around) and, miraculously, it deposited itself BETWEEN two groups of bathers without damaging anyone. The crew, meanwhile, had floated to earth, courtesy of Folland ejector seats.

4th Jan 2003, 20:55
'Twas always said of the Gnat that you didn't strap into it, you put it on.

BEAGLE and I will ALWAYS differ on the correct colour scheme. :cool: Do you have the exact location in the US of A of XR540? She was my mount for 4 years in the Reds.

Great site, Damien, and some tears in the eyes. It seems a lot of the Lightnings I flew are on petrol station forecourts in Cornwall - aah well, saves always looking for the tanker, I guess!

4th Jan 2003, 22:32
Keep it coming guys...

BOAC, thanks for the comments and sorry, no clue where XR540 is. Exported from the UK in February 1987, and can't find owt about it's movements since or current ownership/whereabouts.

Two have crashed in the US, both fatal unfortunately - XP535 (low level aeros) and XR993 (ran out of fuel).

4th Jan 2003, 22:51
Sorry BOAC - I meant that particular Reds colour scheme - with the silly lettering along the nose and the prominent CFS badge. The earlier 'full fin flash' schemes were much more attractive! And your Gnat 9-ship looked much, much better than the Hawk ones do. Nothing to do with the undoubted skill of the Hawk teams - it's just that the Hawk doesn't look so sleek and swept as the Gnat! And it has that ugly dog's d*ck smoke pod....

21st Jan 2003, 21:11
Q for you BEagle - what's the significance of the 'F' on the panel in this shot? Been sent it and the sender is wondering if it throws some doubt on the identity of this example - nose section of XS100 displayed in a shop in London - as he doesn't think XS100 was ever coded 'F'. Any ideas?


22nd Jan 2003, 03:46
I'm not sure about the 'F' - but I don't think that it's a tail code.

The panel layout seems unfamiliar. Certainly the OR946 display is correct, but the location of other gauges looks different to what I remember - but that was over 25 years ago. There doesn't seem to be any primary Central Warning Panel over by where one's right knee would be - 5 red captions 'FIRE 1, FIRE 2, HYD, OXY and CPR' plus an engine fire extinguisher and a CWP test button if I recall correctly. The 9 amber captions are in the correct position - perhaps this is a shot of a much earlier panel layout? Also, it seems to have an extra TPI gauge (in the wrong location), no cabin altimeter (that should be lower centre near the 'cabin to static' changeover cock - which, oddly enough is still on this example. Without the cabin altimeter selected to 'static', if this particular jet ever had an AC/DC failure, it would have had no altimeter at all....), a bogus turn and slip indicator (ours didn't have one, but they did have a standby artifical horizon plus the yaw dolls' eyes at the top of the panel), the hydraulic power gauge has been moved from its usual location (you can see its vacant C-shaped mounting on the left edge of the coaming) and re-located to where the cabin altimeter should normally be - plus the engine and fuel gauges don't seem to be where I remember them to have been..... A very odd panel indeed!

I'm not an expert on the Gnat - just an ex-student - but I do recall 'our' panels as having been very different. I suspect that the 'F' refers to some mod. state incorporated in this jet?

22nd Jan 2003, 08:04
Ah, a mystery. I do love whodunnits!

Thanks BEagle!