Hawker Hunter
from AlphaSim 

A review by Nigel C Martin
February 2008


Well, here we are yet again, reviewing another commercially available Download, this time from ALPHASIM. It has to said, I have an omission of guilt, I have not dealt a great deal with ALPHASIM and their products, but, if the pictures of the Hawker Hunter are anything to go by, I can’t wait to take a closer look.

I have to admit a bit of a love affair for the Hawker Hunter, I suppose, it something to do with the incurably rapidly changing face of military aviation in the late 40’s and beginning of the 1950’s and into the 1960’s. We can witness some truly awesome offerings. I must add I was way too young to witness them first hand!

The Hunter had a sports car look about it, sleek and purposeful, those beautifully swept back wings and sloping tail fin and tail planes all go together like strawberries and cream, tea and biscuits.

The Hunter (and what a lovely name!) has had an illustrious and honourable career in many theatres of war across the world and many years of service, over 50 in fact. In a number of Air Forces and of course the Royal Navy for Fleet Air Arm operations.

There are many excellent web sites where you can learn more about the incredible history, so I will not delve into this rich past now.

But, I am very glad to see the Swiss version included, the underside graphics are truly a work of art!

If you are a ‘fighter Jock’ I guess you are already heading for your credit card; if you are not, read on and have a look at the screen shots; I’ll bet you will be tempted on those alone.

Some technical stuff:-

1. Hunter F.6, 111 Sqn RAF, 'Black Arrows'
2. Hunter FGA.9, 45 Sqn RAF
3. Hunter F.6, 92 Sqn RAF
4. Hunter FGA.9, 20 Sqn RAF
5. Hunter Mk.58A, J-4030, Patrouille Suisse, c.1991
6. Hunter F.6A, 19 Sqn RAF
7. Hunter Mk.58A, '29', Royal Swedish Air Force
8. Hunter F.6, 92 Sqn RAF, 'Blue Diamonds'

- full FSX (SP1/SP2/Acceleration Pack) compatibility. Bump-mapping, self shadowing, bloom fx.
- v-c self shadowing with FSX SP2
- intake / engine covers, ladder and warning tags appear on tail hook command
- speed brake animation only works with wheels UP as per real Hunter
- illustrated cockpit/gauge guide in .pdf format
- v-c gauge night illumination (FSX only)
- wingtip vortices, engine smoke, turbine glow fx
- highly-detailed textures with 'weathering' and subtle reflectivity
- very high quality Hunter Avon soundset included
- authentic virtual cockpit with animations and mousable controls
- realistic all-xml 2D panel, custom pop-ups for autopilot, electrics and radios
- startup smoke effect
- auto-animated pilot, correct squadron insignia on arm patch for each variant
- togglable pilot
- highly authentic flight model with checklist
- v-c rain effects (FS9 only)
- source textures available for repainters (Adobe .psd format)

Phew….Moving on..


As with the previous paid for downloadable offering I recently reviewed there isn’t any packaging.  It is downloaded from the ALPHASIM website, www.alphasim.co.uk. Follow the instructions for purchase and download, which are frankly extremely easy to follow. You choose the programme from the AlphaSim website make the purchase and it will then download in a quick and efficient manner.


Again, I found the entire process effortless, this being the forth commercial aircraft package downloaded. I am getting quite a taste for this process. Just pay and get instant access. Remember to back-up your new Zip file, I know from experience how wonderfully stable our computers are!

Once the installation process has been completed, which in my case was effortless, you will find the aircraft within the Aircraft file under ALPHASIM HUNTER. 

Select one of the 7 unique model variants and 8 texture sets and opt for one of the many versions on offer, and press ‘fly’ wait for the computer to update, hey presto there it is.

I must say, you will not be disappointed!


Once installed, let’s take a look at the exterior of this steed. Go for a ‘walk’ around. After selecting one of the options available, I selected a traditional grey/green camouflage of No 92 Squadron RAF.

Take time to have a good look around; the detail is absolutely fabulous and clear to see.  There are dynamic shine effects across the entire fuselage and canopy.  Lookout for the stenciling effects; they really are superb. This attention to detail really helps towards the feeling of accuracy and authenticity.

Let’s start from the best place - ground up. All points of the exterior are displayed to the same exemplary standards. It is obvious that some considerable amount of work has gone into this model. As above, the detail of the stenciling and weathering, or wear, on all surfaces is quite frankly, stunning.

The undercarriage detail is excellent (including the lowering and retract sequence)  The tyre and wheel detail is also impressive.  When taxiing, you can see some lovely suspension effects to the front olio and when landing, to the main undercarriage. It certainly looks ‘business-like’  I guess that is no surprise when you consider the ‘punishment’ the Hunter got in landing a fast jet onto the tarmac! Oh yes, and when on Aircraft Carrier service.  The track of the undercarriage i.e., width of the main olio legs, has a good distance, thus aiding towards a more stable landing.

All moving parts are extremely convincing and seemingly accurate. I have to single out the air intakes and outlet, at the sharp - end.  The turbine low pressure fans are clear to see.  At the rear, the detail around the exhaust pipe is highly detailed; again incredible accuracy has been achieved.  I guess a ‘picture tells a thousand words’.  A fantastic job, it really is totally convincing.  When you select power, you can see some colour, simulating the glow of hot metal.

Staying with moving elements, the canopy, (select Shift + E) and you will note an accurate sliding back of the said canopy.  The pilot figure is there, perhaps not displayed at the same detail (around the helmet and oxygen mask detail) level but acceptable. The pilots head moves with the input of the flight controls. Again adequate, I would have preferred to see a more free animated movement.

For the keen of eye, as you select different squadrons, his badge also changes… nice. Not that you would normally notice it, but it is there.

A nice touch here, once you have gone ‘cold’, i.e. switched all systems off, various tags appear when the tail hook button is pressed. Nice touch ALPHASIM.

To recap, the exterior of the Hunter is one of the best I have seen.  AlphaSim have to be commended for the attention to detail so very evident on the exterior of the aircraft, I love it.

When you are all strapped in and ready for that sortie you can start the engine.  Be sure you have a look at the ‘puffs’ of smoke that emanates from the engine as life comes to the Rolls Royce engine tucked away so beautifully in the fuselage of the Hunter.


The cockpit on offer is again presented in an accurate, well laid out format. The attention to the individual instruments is to the same high standards, there are some lovely glass shine effects. Select either the 2D or VC mode to best appreciate the calibre of the ‘office’.

It could be argued that some of the detail is a little light, but what we are given works well. In both the 2D and 3D options, you have a clear view of all the instruments as well as the primary ones. This is an important feature, which makes flying in either workable.


Now this is what the program is all about.  Select SHIFT - E if the engine is not running.  Make sure you pop out and look at the start sequence; a very subtle puff of smoke appears as the engine whines into life.

Ok, engine running; flaps down to 15 degrees, close the canopy, brakes off and start taxing.  The Hunter moves on the ground well, responds to the rudder directional steering well.  Application of the toe brakes also works well.

Line up, brakes on.  Select full military power, there's a slight drift so keep her on the line.  Build up the speed in a progressive way.  90 knots, raise the nose, a little more speed and she ascends into the sky.  Speed building in the climb, select gear up and a very nice whine is detected as the gear is travelling.  Flaps up and the speed is further increased; maintain the climb level out at 10,000ft.

I found the instruments clear to read.  Hitting the + it provides you with a larger image which I used on occasion, but in the main, discernable.  In 3D cockpit mode, the movement around the cockpit did not affect the frame rate, just very smooth scanning.

The control inputs, rudder, aileron and elevator all had an effect.  Oh, yes, you must try the speed brake; not only is it once deployed, the size of house, the detail of the hydraulic push rod and hidden detail is excellent and it works.

If you scan towards the right bottom of the panel you will see some ‘quick access buttons’.  These will call up various functions, i.e., Electric panel, Auto Pilot, Coms/Nav GPS/Notes.

I found these very clear to see and operate.

I guess all things that go up must come down!  With the Garmin GPS provided I navigated myself back to RAF Coningsby.  With long final established, flaps and gear selected and a gentle throttle to keep those red and white lights balanced, it's down the glide slope.  Full flaps, over the threshold,  throttle back to idle, with a little thump we're down.  Now gentle braking to a point were you can turn off the active and taxi to the apron.

I would love to say the flight dynamics were accurate based on personal experience, but alas I cannot.  All the inputs, the performance and on the ground characteristics, well, just felt right.

A very pleasing addition to my ‘fleet’ in so many ways.


As we all know this single element can make or break an aircraft offering. I am so glad to say the sounds were again superb and added a great deal to overall offering.


I just adore this aircraft.  I love it, with the detail so evident on show, it will, I have no doubt, adorn your collection for ages.

Ok, there is one ‘niggle’ a little area that I feel could be improved, namely the pilot.  More detail could have been added and a more realistic animation could have been introduced.  Perhaps I only mention this because if stunning exterior work so clear to see?

On balance, the offering priced at £ 24.32 $ 47.24 or 32.57 Euros represents great value, especially if you have FS9 and FSX, you can fly her in both virtual worlds.

To see the Hunter in the air is great fun, I know you will enjoy it as much I have!

Oh yes, PLEASE is there a Fleet Air Arm colour scheme being developed?  Just imagine, trying to land this onto a deck of an aircraft carrier!  Heavens, those Navy guys have my utter respect. The Royal Navy Hunter looks quite superb! Come on ALPHASIM release an addition!

I can assure you, this beauty will be staying in my aircraft hanger forever, I love it!.


Have Fun,…Onwards and Upwards..
Nigel C Martin

    My review machine specs: AlphSim Hunter Links:

   AMD64X2 Dual Core processor 3800+

   4x 512Mb DDR2 667Mhz PC5400

   Nvidia Geforce 7900GT
AlphaSim Home Page
Hawker Hunter Product Page
AlphaSim Forums




Mutley's Hangar © 2006 - 2008 All Rights Reserved.