Hawker Hornbill

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Hawker Hornbill flying.png
Role Fighter
Manufacturer Hawker Aircraft
Designer W. G. Carter
First flight July 1925
Status Prototype only
Number built One

The Hawker Hornbill was the last Hawker military aircraft designed under the direction of W. G. Carter. The design was started in 1925 and the first flight took place in July 1925.[1] The Hornbill did not achieve service in the Royal Air Force due to problems in its power plant and radiator. Only one aircraft was built.


The Hornbill had a mixed material construction, having a steel engine mount and front fuselage covered with duralumin sheet. The rear fuselage was made of wood structure covered with canvas. The wings also were of wood and canvas. The engine was a 698 hp (520 kW) Rolls-Royce Condor IV driving a fine pitch wooden propeller.

Hawker Hornbill.jpg


The aircraft was very fast but lacking in stability and control. At 150 mph (241 km/h), steep turns could not be made without applying full rudder. Engine overheating occurred during flight tests. The single centrally mounted radiator was replaced by two radiators mounted in the lower inner wings, but the problem was not fully cured. The small size of the cockpit restricted the movement of the pilot.

Specifications (Hornbill)[edit]

Data from The British Fighter since 1912[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 26 ft 7 14 in (8.109 m)
  • Wingspan: 31 ft 0 in (9.45 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 8 in (2.95 m)
  • Wing area: 317 sq ft (29.5 m2)
  • Empty weight: 2,975 lb (1,349 kg)
  • Gross weight: 3,769 lb (1,710 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 3,800 lb (1,724 kg) (overload)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce Condor IV water cooled V12 engine, 698 hp (520 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 187 mph (301 km/h; 162 kn) at sea level
  • Range: 200 mi (174 nmi; 322 km)
  • Service ceiling: 22,700 ft (6,900 m)
  • Time to altitude: 6 min 30 s to 10,000 ft (3,000 m)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Mason, Francis K (1992). The British Fighter since 1912. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-082-7.
  • Hawker Aircraft since 1920 by Francis K Mason - pub Putnam 1961