A General Purpose biplane prototype based on the Hart and subsequently used for Bristol engine trials.
Hawker PV4 front three quarter Brooklands The Hawker P.V.4. with Pegasus X engine at Brooklands in 1935 ahead of its official trials.


The Hawker P.V.4 was developed against the requirements of Specification G.4/31 calling for a General Purpose Aircraft.


This requirement produced a plethora of designs from a host of British Aircraft companies suh as Bristol (Type 120), Westland (PV7), Handley Page (HP47), Armstrong Whitworth (AW19), Fairey (G.4/31), Parnall (G.4/31), Blackburn (B7) and Vickers (Type 253) as well as the Hawker P.V.4.


The fact that all of these contenders are little-known and that none of them entered production or service suggests that the requirement was somewhat flawed. Both monoplane and biplane solutions were offered as there was no expressed preference within the requirement.


G.4/31 sought an aircraft capable of tropical or temperate operation that could perform conventional, or dive, bombing; reconnaissance; casualty evacuation; and army cooperation duties. This was hard enough but it was then made more difficult by amendment of the specification to take in coastal reconnaissance and torpedo operations (this latter requirement was later deleted).


Faced with this ‘Jack-of-all-trades’ requirement, Hawker offered a radial engine Hawker Hind variant with a Pegasus III engine (this being favoured in the Specification). No attempt was made to meet the torpedo carriage requirement.


Hawker PV4 air to air The Hawker P.V.4 - none of the aircraft offered against the G.4/31 requirement entered production.


The prototype (IPV4) was first flown at Brooklands on 6th December 1934.


Prior to official testing in June 1935, the 800 hp Pegasus III was replaced by an 820 hp Pegasus X engine.


The aircraft showed a good performance when compared with many of the other competing machines but it did not meet the bomb load requirements. It was also the only design specifically strengthened for dive bombing. Despite being the fastest of the contenders at 6,600 ft it was considered too slow for lower-level bombing operations.


Although not ordered into production, the prototype P.V.4. was purchased (becoming K6926) and it was  used for spinnig tests although it played a more important role in Bristol engine development work where it was subsequently fitted with the Bristol Taurus and Perseus engines. It was withdrawn from use on 29th March 1939.


Hawker PV4 Bristol Perseus K6926 P.V.4. (K6926) was used for Bristol engine trials - here it is fitted with a Perseus engine.


Variants & Numbers

One prototype only, IPV4, later K6926.


Powerplant One 820 hp Bristol Pegasus X radial engine
Span 40 ft 0 in
Maximum Weight 6,650 lb
Capacity and armament Pilot and gunner / bomb aimer; one fixed forward firing Vickers gun, one defensive Lewis gun mounted on rear cockpit, under-wing bomb carriage of up to 570 lb
Maximum Speed 183 mph at 6,600 ft
Range 460 miles


The Hawker PV4 does not survive.

Other information