The small British company Folland Midge designed a small swept-wing subsonic fighter aircraft to have a low cost alternative to ever expensive jets. The Gnat developed to British requirement OR.303 had its first flight July 1955. Also a two seater trainer was devleoped and this two seat Gnat T.1 was ordered for the Royal Air Force. The RAF thus not used the Gnat as a fighter but as a trainer aircraft. Also, it became famous with RAF aerial demonstration teams (Yellow Jacks in 1964 and later Red Arrows) until 1979. The F.1 fighter was ordered by Finland operating 13 aircraft and a pair by Yugoslavia for evaluation. For India, a local version was the Ajeet fighter manufactured by HAL under licence in larger numbers. 

About 450 Gnats and Ajeets were manufactured in a few sub-variants.

gnat profile

Folland Gnat

This Gnat is a 1 two seater trainer. The aircraft "XP538" last served with No. 4 FTS at RAF Valley in Wales before being replaced by the Hawk in the late 1970s. Gnat "XP538" was sold and it has civil registration N19GT and is painted yellow. It was seen at the Planes of Fame museum at Chino, Ca. USA.

Photographed end 2015 and Addendum end 2017 by Cees Hendriks , (c) Copyright IPMS Nederland

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Several plastic scale models were released of the Gnat. In 1/48 Aeroclub had a kit but in 2014 Airfix released a great kit. In 1/72 there was a basic Airfix kit first from 1964 followed by a Matchbox kit but in 2012 Airfix released a great new kit. Others in 1/72 are from Aeroclub and a resin Aeropoxy kit.

Of the single seat Gnat / Ajeet kits were from Aeroclub, Pro Resin and in 2015 a good Special Hobby release.



The walk around page was first created March 2017 by M. de Vreeze