September 30, 2022

An unidentified "cutaway" Gnat airframe in pieces

The completely cutaway fuselage of the Gnat inside the Cutaway airframe shed.

It is easy to ignore the cutaway airframe of the Gnat inside the shelter where the MiG-21F-13 is stored. The MiG-21 due to its rarity as well as its lighting steals the show away from the rather sorry looking Gnat airframe.

The Cutaway Gnat at AFTC looks sorry because its not in one piece. The skinning has been completely removed unlike other aircraft which retain some part of the skins. The aircraft wings have been removed and displayed elsewhere. The aircraft main fuselage rests on its wheels and jacks and even the forward fuselage of the aircraft is not in one piece.

Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge
Two views of the Gnat fuselage that has been stripped off skins. The complete internal structure has been painted yellow. Sadly no traces of the aircraft identity exist on the surface.

No traces of the aircraft identity exists – mainly because there is no portion of the aircraft surface skin left – and no place where it could have been painted on. It is possible that some internal component has the number painted somewhere – but it requires a more thorough examination. The airframe does not have the engine either.

Click to Enlarge Closeup of the Cutaway Gnat Canopy. The Ejection seat, control column and some instruments can be seen in the cockpit.
The wings of the Gnat are placed nearby on a table. The main spar seems to have been cut in the middle to enable both wings to be displayed seperately. Click to Enlarge

The wings of the Gnat are displayed to the side of the fuselage. The mainspar seems to have been cut in the middle to enable both the wings to be displayed side by side. They are placed on a table to enable study by trainee engineers. Thoughtfully all the internal structures have been painted a bright yellow color for better visibility.

No traces of the roundel or squadron markings are there on any part of the aircraft.

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