IAF Folland Gnats

The Folland Gnat is British made micro-fighter jet from 1959. Designed to be a light, maneuverable, and first and foremost cheap to manufacture, the 28' long fighter was adopted by four countries: the United Kingdom, Finland, Yugoslavia and India.

However the Gnat was plagued with technical and design issues form the start. It lacked sufficient fuel reserves, meaning any other jet could out last it in a fight. It suffered from what was dubbed a "Trim Overflow" problem, meaning at top speed the elevators would lock in downward position forcing the nose down and if in the hands of an inexperienced pilot, sending the whole plane into a spin.

Despite it size and docile name, the Gnat featured some heavy weaponry in the form of two 30mm rotary cannons, and wing mounts for air-Surface rockets and or bomb loads. Its armament should have made for an effective fighter even with the other technical issues, but even the guns were plagued with problems, and had a tendency to jam.

Out of the four countries to purchase the Gnat, only India continued to use it; praising it as the "Sabre Slayer" during the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War. Indian pilots claimed it easily outmatched the Pakistani F-86 Sabre and after the war India went on to purchase the designs from Britain and commission their own version called the HAL Ajeet.

In Check Your 6! Jet Age, the Folland Gnat is a great plane, and certainly outclasses the Sabre... That is until you play the full Crisis in Kashmir Campaign. All of the technical faults from limited fuel to guns jamming are represented in the game.

For me the hardest part to get used to was the limited fuel supply. While fighting with them i have to be constantly aware of my position, amount of fuel left, and how exactly I am going to disengage off a friendly map edge without revealing my rear aspect to my Sidewinder Missile armed foes.

So while the Gnat is incredibly maneuverable, I find it a frustrating and limiting plane to fly... And sadly one that I am stuck with since I am playing the Indian side of the campaign.

My Folland Gnats come Raiden Miniatures and as far as I know they are the only makers of Folland Gnats in the 1/285th scale. My flight stands and plane mounts come from CorSec Engineering.

Written by: Andrew Gregory
IAF Folland Gnats IAF Folland Gnats Reviewed by JADE Gaming on 3/21/2018 01:35:00 pm Rating: 5

No comments: