The first prototype Hunter T.7 two-seat trainer flew on 8 July 1955. These aircraft differed from the fighter by having a lengthened nose and ‘side by side’ seating. From 1957, a total of 45 Hunter T.7s were built at Kingston for the Royal Air Force. In addition, 6 Hunter F.4 airframes were converted to T.7 specification in 1958 and 1959.
In July 1959, several T.7s were entered in the Daily Mail London-Paris race, one of them achieving the fastest time. All Buccaneer pilots were trained in the Hunter T.7 or T.8, one set of pilot’s instruments being removed and replaced with Buccaneer instruments.
XL572 first entered service at 229 Operational Conversion Unit at Chivenor in 1958.It came to Elvington in 1994 and has been painted in blue livery to represent XL571 the leading aircraft in the Blue Diamonds formation team. The team was based at Leconfield in the early 1960s.