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Recently I learnt that the Hawker Hunter had a side-by-side twin seat trainer version. This is unusual, since more often the tandem configuration is used. I'm sure the engineers had a good reason to choose this solution, but it got me wondering: how much is the top speed impacted by the resulting increase in frontal area?

From what I've found online, the specs are the same for both trainer and single-seat versions but that doesn't seem right; if nothing else, the empty weight should be different. Is there a former Hawker Hunter pilot here who trained on the twin seater and can tell us the truth?

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The manufacturer lists over half a dozen variants of Hunter two-seaters. You probably mean the T.7.

For a fair comparison, its closest single seat variant is the F.6, maximum speed Mach 0.94 (715 mph) at sea level.

The T.7A, a T.7 with different instruments, has a maximum speed of Mach 0.92 (690 mph) at 36,000 ft.

So the T.7 is a few per cent slower than the F.6. But it's no slowpoke: in 1959 it even won the flying leg of a complicated race against 200 other entries.

Your empty-weight test suggests that these numbers are trustworthy: the weights posted there say that the T.7 is 762 pounds (5 per cent) heavier.

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