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Hawk 127 LIF

Part Four - Into Service

Text and Photos by Darren Mottram



BAE Hawk 127LIF A27-04


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The BAE SYSTEMS HAWK 127 Lead In Fighters (LIFs) have entered service with 76 Squadron at Williamtown near Newcastle on Australia's East coast and 79 Squadron at Pearce near Perth, Western Australia. They have been in service with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) for nearly a year now and many are finally starting to emerge in their respective squadron markings. 

I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some images and information about them.

A27-13 was the first Hawk to be seen wearing Squadron markings during the ceremony to 
mark the last flight by the MB-326H Macchi in 76 Squadron service during November 2000.


A27-08. The first aircraft to be adorned with 79 Squadron markings.(Photo kindly supplied by Mr Sean Reeves)





The photographs below are captioned and thumbnailed. 
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The style of the markings which are being applied reflect their origins in those which were worn by their predecessors, the MB-326H Macchi.

The first aircraft to be marked up was A27-13. The markings applied to this aircraft were actually a trial version and were in fact large stickers and were also only applied to one side of the tail as shown in the photos below.

A27-13-05-01.jpg        A27-13-06-01.jpg        A27-13-01-01.jpg


When the markings were later applied to the rest of the fleet, the red and black portions were painted on whilst the white circle and Panther design was still an adhesive sticker. As the Panther stickers were only applied as time permitted, most aircraft were initially seen with only the painted markings as seen below. 

Notice that the markings are trimmed much closer to the formation light than when the sticker version was applied above and also that there is a thin flat plate on the trailing edge of the rudder and that, on some aircraft, the band is painted around it. After the first few jets had been painted with just the red and black tail band, the rest began to have nose and tail numbers applied at the same time as the squadron markings. These can also be seen in the images to the right.

A27-17-14-01.jpg        A27-17-11-01.jpg

A27-17-12-01.jpg        A27-17-13-01.jpg



When the first batch of stickers were made, they were all of the same image which meant that, on the initial machines to wear these markings, the Panther head faced forward on the left side and aft on the right. 

The very first additional markings which appeared on the Hawks were pilots names and a small leaping Panther which were stickers applied under the forward windscreen. 

These features can be seen in the photos below which detail the machine (nominally) assigned to 76 Squadron's Commanding Officer, Wing Commander Dave Willcox, A27-10.


A27-10-09-01.jpg        A27-10-08-01.jpg

A27-10-10-01.jpg        A27-10-11-01.jpg



The first aircraft to have one of the correctly "sided" Panther stickers was A27-04. 

Interestingly, only one marking was applied initially which resulted in the markings (top two pictures to the right).

It has since received the other marking (bottom two pictures to the right).


A27-04-09-01.jpg        A27-04-12-01.jpg

A27-04-14-01.jpg        A27-04-08-01.jpg




The images below illustrate details of the markings 
and some of the variations seen on some aircraft.


Close up of the panther marking applied to 76 Squadron aircraft. 

Notice the fine detail achieved through the use of a printed Sticker rather than a painted stencil version as previously used on the Macchis.

 A27-07-01.jpg        A7-004-03.jpg


Squadron markings as applied to 79 Squadron Hawks. Notice the different style and colour of the tail number. (photo kindly supplied by Mr Sean Reeves). 

Although I have seen stickers for these markings printed, I haven't actually seen a 79 Squadron machine "in the flesh", so I don't know whether the stickers are used or the marking is painted. The second photo is the same marking which was applied to one of the last Macchis flown by 79 Squadron when it was seen passing through Williamtown on it's way to Wagga for storage. The marking on the Macchi was painted and it looks to me from the photo of the Hawk tail, that this may also be painted.

Sean-Reeves-79sqn tail.jpg        A7-096-13-02.jpg



A27-07-04-01.jpg        A27-07-02-01.jpg        A27-07-05-01.jpg

A27-07 with aft and forward facing Panther heads on the rhs of the tail.


A27-17-18-01.jpg        A27-17-16-01.jpg

Panther markings applied to A27-17. (Compare to earlier photos without Panthers).


A27-13-10-01.jpg        A27-13-17-01.jpg        A27-13-21-01.jpg

A27-13-22-01.jpg        A27-13-02-02.jpg

A27-13 seen before and after the application of the Panther's head, as well as the pilot's name applied to this machine.


My sincere thanks to BAE SYSTEMS and 76 Squadron RAAF for allowing me to share these photos.

Text and Images Copyright 2001 by Darren Mottram
Used with the permission of BAE SYSTEMS and the RAAF
Page Created Sunday, 26 June 2001
This page last updated on Friday, 17 August 2001

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