• Review: Hawk T1/A Advanced Trainer

    Review: Hawk T1/A Advanced Trainer For X-Plane 11

    By Shawn Weigelt

    Just Flight - Hawk T1/A for X-Plane 11


    While my last review focused on a familiar type of aircraft from a very familiar development team, I thought I would do something completely different for this one. You see, light piston powered General Aviation aircraft are kind of my thing. They are basically the only things I fly in X-Plane and review for FlightSim.Com. So what did I do? I decided to review a military jet trainer...the Hawk T1/A from Just Flight. Weird, I know. The truth is, I think being a fighter pilot is probably the coolest job on the planet and loud, powerful, go-fast fighters speak to my masculinity in a way that no other machine can.

    A guilty X-Plane pleasure of mine (when I'm bored with GA flying) is to load up a fighter and just rip around at low level in the Cascade or Olympic Mountains of Washington State, where I live. A personal favorite of mine for this is the excellent freeware Rafale by XPFR. There are a handful of great free fighters available to the X-Plane community and just as few high quality payware ones. Fighter jets are just something of a niche in X-Plane and are far less prominent than the airliners or the GA airplanes I'm so fond of. Flight simmers simply have other purpose-built software at their disposal for flying (and fighting with) fast movers, which is certainly not X-Plane 11's strong suit. DCS World immediately comes to mind with its abundance of outstanding, study level fighters.

    As I've mentioned, X-Plane 11 has a few "decent" files for this genre of aviation tailor made for the Laminar Research loyalists who aren't interested in broadening their simulation horizons. Does the new Hawk T1/A from Just Flight measure up to its limited X-Plane 11 competition? Let's find out.

    Just Flight - Hawk T1/A for X-Plane 11

    Sights And Sounds

    Before we get into Just Flight's rendition of the BAE Hawk, I thought I would take a brief moment to get into the background and intended role of the real aircraft.

    Developed in the mid 70's by the now defunct Hawker Siddeley Group in the United Kingdom, the BAE Systems Hawk is a two-seat advanced jet trainer. The Hawk has been manufactured in several different variations over the years, which are employed by many nations in either a training or light fighter/attack role. The variants reproduced by the Just Flight team are the Hawk T1 and T1A, which are training aircraft primarily operated by the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy. The world famous RAF Red Arrows demonstration team also flies the T1A.

    The Hawk is a relatively small jet aircraft powered by a single Rolls-Royce Turbomeca Ardour Mk. 951 turbofan. While not capable of level supersonic flight, the Hawk is considered a "transonic" aircraft, meaning that it can approach the speed of sound (plenty fast for a trainer). The tandem cockpit is constructed in such a way as to afford the rear seat instructor pilot outstanding forward visibility over the head of the student pilot in the front.

    Just Flight - Hawk T1/A for X-Plane 11     Just Flight - Hawk T1/A for X-Plane 11

    When compared to today's high tech fourth and fifth generation fighter aircraft, the performance and capability of the Hawk pales in comparison. That is okay, however, since the primary purpose of the Hawk is to train and transition prospective fighter pilots to the more advanced combat aircraft that they really want to fly anyway! The Hawk simply excels in this mission as is evidenced by the praise of pilots who have flown them and the amount aircraft flying with the air forces of nations worldwide. The U.S. Navy even flies a highly modified carrier capable variant (the T-45 Goshawk) as its primary jet trainer. The Hawk has literally been a flying classroom for generations of fighter pilots.

    1. btwallis's Avatar
      btwallis -
      Just bought this plane the other day, love it! Using it to fly around Great Britain with the new Orbx TE and my ortho up north.

      First issue I'm having is with the speed brakes, not quite sure how to do this properly, the joystick spring loaded toggle switch, a bit awkward but am looking into how to do this better.

      Cheers happy flight simming.
    1. dp509's Avatar
      dp509 -
      Assuming you are flying X-plane, go to the flight configuration screen and assign the speed brakes to a different button on your joystick,, or to a key on the keyboard. You may want to check the keyboard assignments already present on your keyboard as default settings by X-plane. The speed brakes are probably already assigned. One thing puzzles me, though. You called the switch a "spring-loaded toggle switch. If it really is a toggle switch, then it should work for the speed brakes. You flip it once, it deploys the brakes. You flip it again, it retracts the brakes. That is what the term "toggle" means.


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