The Hawker Hornet was a private venture prototype that was, in effect the Hawker F.20/27 redefined around the new Rolls-Royce F.XIS liquid cooled engine. The prototype was exhibited at the 1929 Olympia Aero Show.
The aircraft was strikingly clean and elegant in performance and promised to exceed the already impressive performance of the Hawker F.20/27.
It was completed in March 1929 and was tested unregistered at Brooklands before being delivered to Martlesham Heath for trials (as J9682).
The Hornet was tested in comparative trials with the Westland Wizard and the almost equally attractive Fairey Firefly II. The Hornet was regarded as having outstanding handling qualities and sparkling performance, as well as light and robust construction.
In its initial trials in April 1929, it demonstrated a maximum speed of 214 mph at 10,000 ft. A climb rate to 15,000 ft averaging nearly 2,000 ft/min indicated its promise as an interceptor.
In a further set of trials at the end of 1929, following some modification, the Hornet was nearly 100 lb heavier and performance was reduced to a maximum speed of 205 mph at 13,000 ft.
In a close competition, the Hornet was preferred over the Fairey Firefly and 21 aircraft were ordered into production in 1930 as the Hawker Fury, which is described separately.
J9682 was demonstrated in the Balkans during 1931, impressing to the extent that it undoubtedly led to the selection of the Hawker Fury by Yugoslavia, that country ordering some 16 aircraft in two batches.
Variants & Numbers
Single prototype only, initially flown unregistered, later allocated serial J9862.
|Powerplant||One 480 hp Rolls-Royce F.XIS liquid-cooled V-12 engine|
|Span||30 ft 0 in|
|Maximum Weight||3,232 lb|
|Capacity and armament||Single pilot and provision for two forward-firing Vickers 0.303 machine guns|
|Maximum Speed||205 mph at 13,000 ft|