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Hawker
Hind

The Hawker Hind was procured as part of the RAF expansion in the mid-1930s and was the RAF's last biplane light bomber.
Hawker Hind first production K4636 K4636, the first production Hawker Hind at Brooklands.

 

The Hawker Hind was one of the last and among the most successful derivatives of the Hawker Hart.

 

It was procured against Specification G.7/34 to replace the Hawker Hart itself, whilst operating in very similar roles as a light day-bomber.

 

Its purchase allowed a number of new squadrons to be formed in advance of the arrival of more modern types, such as the Fairey Battle and Bristol Blenheim into RAF service.

 

In the event, the Hind was to see service with some 20 RAF Bomber Squadrons and a further seven Auxiliary Air Force Squadrons.

 

The Hind used a more powerful version of the Rolls-Royce Kestrel engine as well as the 640hp Kestrel V.  The type benefited from an improved bomb-aiming position and a cut-down rear cockpit, similar to that previously adopted on the Hawker Demon. The Hind was also fitted with revised exhausts and a tailwheel, rather than a tailskid.

 

The first prototype (K2915) was flown for the first time on 12th September 1934 and was used for a number of trials, prior to the completion of the first production aircraft (K4636), which was flown on 4th September 1935.

 

The production RAF orders were for batches of 20, 193, 244 and 70 aircraft, totalling 527 aircraft. The Hind was also successful in the export market with some 54 aircraft exported to a number of European countries.

 

Portuguese Hawker Hind ground One of the four Hawker Hind aircraft delivered to Portugal.

 

Armament was similar to that of the Hart with a single forward-firing Vickers gun on the port side and a defensive Lewis gun fired from the rear cockpit. Its maximum bomb-load was 510 lb, this being carried on external racks fitted beneath both wings.

 

Afghanistan Hawker Hind Horseguards Parade 1968 An Afghan Hawker Hind on display in Horseguards Parade, London in September 1968.
 

With some 582 built, the Hind was highly successful being third only to the Hart and Audax in production numbers.

 

After withdrawal from service as light-bombers, the RAF Hinds ended their service careers in a range of roles including training, glider towing, target towing and as Station ‘hacks’ and remained in service until around 1943.

 

First Yugoslav Hawker Hind The first Kestrel XVI-powered Yugoslav Hind.
 

Export successes for the Hind included sales to Switzerland (one), Portugal (four), Yugoslavia (three), Persia (thirty-five), Afghanistan (twenty, twelve of which were transferred from RAF), Latvia (three), and Ireland (six). There were also transfers of significant numbers of ex-RAF aircraft to Dominion nations, such as New Zealand and South Africa.

 

Latvian Hind Brooklands 178 is one of three Bristol Mercury IX-powered Hawker Hinds for Latvia.
 

Engines fitted to export aircraft included the Rolls-Royce Kestrel XVI and Gnome-Rhone K-9 Mistral (Yugoslavia); the Bristol Mercury VIII (Persia); and the Bristol Mercury IX (Latvia).

 

Training versions of the Hind used the derated 599hp Kestrel VDR.

 

Hawker Hind Persia first aircraft 601 The first of 35 Hawker Hinds ordered by Persia with Bristol Mercury VIII engines.
 

A number of late production aircraft were built as two-seat dual control trainers for use by the Volunteer Reserve Flying Training Schools with some 124 aircraft being modified to this configuration by General Aircraft Ltd.

 

Hawker Hind Trainer L7213 An unarmed, dual control, Hawker Hind Trainer L7213.
 

Variants & Numbers

Hind Mk I              Two-seat light bomber aircraft for the RAF, powered by a 640 hp Rolls-Royce Kestrel V piston engine. One prototype and 527 production aircraft for the RAF.
Hind Trainer Dual control unarmed training variant with 599hp Kestrel VDR. Some built new, 124 conversions by General Aircraft Ltd, others by RAF Units.
Afghan Hind Total of 8 new build: 4 fitted with Kestrel V engines, 4 with Kestrel VDR. Supplemented by 12 ex-RAF machines.
Latvian Hind 3 two-seat training aircraft, powered by a Bristol Mercury IX radial piston-engine.
Persian Hind 35 versions of the Hind Mk I, powered by a Bristol Mercury VIII radial piston-engine.
Portuguese Hind Total of four aircraft: two bombers, two trainers.
Swiss Hind A single two seat unarmed communications aircraft HB-HAL
Yugoslav Hind Three aircraft, two with Kestrel XVI and one fitted with Gnome-Rhone K-9 Mistral.

Specification

  Hind I (RAF bomber version)
Powerplant One 640hp Rolls-Royce Kestrel V
Span 37 ft 3 in
Maximum Weight 5,298 lb
Capacity and armament Two crew, one forward-firing Vickers machine gun, one Rear-mounted Lewis gun. Provision for carriage of up to 510 lb of bombs on underwing racks.
Maximum Speed 186 mph at 16,400 ft
Range 430 miles

Survivors

K5414 Afghan Hind Maintained in airworthy condition as part of the Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden. www.shuttleworth.org/
Afghan Hind  RAF Museum, currently displayed at Cosford. www.rafmuseum.org.uk/cosford/
L7180 Afghan Hind Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa. www.ingeniumcanada.org/aviation/index.php
 

Other information