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About the Author

Hunty, the Jet Fighter

In 1963, at the age of fifteen, Steve was a young aviation enthusiast whose ambition it was to fly the newly arrived Hawker Hunter FGA 9s in Rhodesia, Africa (now Zimbabwe). He joined the Air Force as an Instrument Technician. After completing his technical training he only ever worked on the Hunter and in the Hunter Flight Simulator (they had no two-seat trainers then).

He was then accepted for pilot training, and when he had passed the course, his first posting was to the Hunter Squadron. He flew them for eighteen months before being transferred to other Squadrons. The following seven years he spent on Mirages, Helicopters and Instruction. He returned to the Hunter Squadron as ‘A’ Flight Commander and Instructor for the final six months of his Air Force career. It was during this period that the Air Force acquired five more Hunters from Kenya, including their first two-seater. He helped ferry them down to Zimbabwe and became the Air Force’s first ‘real’ Hunter instructor. He joined Air Zimbabwe in 1981, and as a First Officer on the Boeing 707 thought his Hunter days were over. Then out of the blue came an offer to join in a four Hunter formation for the President of Somalia’s birthday flypast in 1983. That should have satisfied him but after a 20 year gap, was delighted to fly Dave Currie's two seat Hunter VH-RHO (XF970) for its flight tests after restoration in 2003/2004 and the endorse Dave on his Hunter.

Steve has retired after being a Check and Training Captain with Qantas, flying Boeing 737s around Australia. A number of Hunters came onto the Jet Warbird market. With the support of his family, who appreciates his love of this aeroplane, he has bought one. His Hunter is not in flying condition and will require considerable capital to make it airworthy. He has managed to trace the true history of his aircraft (WV331). It had such an interesting, exciting and emotional life that he thought he would loosely turn it, and that of XF970, into a series of children stories. 'Hunty' is Steve’s aircraft, and is a single seater. 'HUNTY, THE JET FIGHTER' is a series of three stories; "England", "Asia" and "Australia", and trace his life through these regions. It is hoped that any profit form the sale of these books will help to restore Steve’s Hunter to flying condition. The aircraft will be painted the same as 'Hunty', and therefore children will recognise him at Airshows. Until then 'Hunty' is on loan and displayed at "RAN Aviation Museum", Nowra, NSW, Australia.

'Hunty at the Grand Prix' was Steve's next in the series of Hunty books. It follows a standard children's picture book format, and follows Hunty's journey to Melbourne after he and Paul are invited to do a fly past at Australia's Formula 1 Grand Prix. He also flies in formation with a Royal Australian Air Force F/A 18 Hornet. The idea for this book came from a visit, in the mid nineties, to the CEO of the Australian Grand Prix held in Melbourne . He told Steve that the fly past by the Hornet was the second most popular item at the Grand Prix. The actual F1 race obviously being more popular. He inicated that he would be interested in using 'Hunty' at the Grand Prix if it could restored, especially painted in Grand Prix markings and making a similar spectacular fly past as the Hornet.

Steve has since had "Hunty takes off from Australia to England" and "Hunty flies with Qantas" published.

The Hawker Hunter weighs 10,000kg , has a length of 14m and a width of 10.35 m. It has a maximum speed of 1300km/hr and is supersonic in a shallow dive.

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