Hawker Hotspur

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Hawker Hotspur
Role Fighter
Manufacturer Hawker
Designer Sydney Camm
First flight 14 June 1938
Primary user Royal Air Force
Number built 1
Developed from Hawker Henley

The Hawker Hotspur was a Hawker Henley redesigned to take a Boulton-Paul semi-powered four gun turret. It was designed in response to Air Ministry Specification F.9/35, which required a powered turret as the main armament to replace the Hawker Demon.[1][2]

Design and development[edit]

In the same fashion as the Henley, the Hotspur used standard Hurricane outer wing panels. One prototype aircraft, K8309, was built in 1937, fitted with armament of four 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns in a Boulton Paul dorsal turret plus one .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine gun mounted in the front fuselage.[3] The completion of the prototype was delayed until 1938, by which time the rival Boulton Paul Defiant had already flown. The Hotspur first flew on 14 June 1938 with only a wooden mock-up of the turret and with ballast equivalent to the weight of armament.

Testing and evaluation[edit]

As Hawker was committed to the production of Hurricanes and Gloster to Henley production, there was insufficient capacity to introduce another type and production was abandoned.[4] The mock-up turret was removed and a cockpit fairing installed. Planned production by Avro to Specification 17/36 was abandoned and the prototype, less turret, was used at the RAE Farnborough to test flap and dive brake configurations until 1942.

Specifications (Hotspur)[edit]

Orthographic projection of the Hotspur prototype, without armament fitted.

Data from Hawker Aircraft since 1920[5]

General characteristics



See also[edit]

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists



  1. ^ Hannah 1982, p. 47.
  2. ^ James 1973, p. 82.
  3. ^ Hawker Hotspur – British Aircraft of World War II
  4. ^ Buttler, British Secret Projects: Fighters and Bombers 1935–1950 Midland Publishing
  5. ^ Mason 1991
  6. ^ Mason 1992, p. 270.


  • Brew, Alex. The Turret Fighters – Defiant and Roc. Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wiltshire, UK: Crowood Press, 2002. ISBN 1-86126-497-6.
  • Hannah, Donald. Hawker FlyPast Reference Library. Stamford, Lincolnshire, UK: Key Publishing Ltd., 1982. ISBN 0-946219-01-X.
  • James, Derek N. Hawker, an Aircraft Album No. 5. New York: Arco Publishing Company, 1973. ISBN 0-668-02699-5. (First published in the UK by Ian Allan in 1972.)
  • Mason, Francis K. The British Fighter since 1912. Annapolis, MD: US Naval Institute Press, 1992. ISBN 1-55750-082-7.
  • Mason, Francis K. Hawker Aircraft since 1920. Annapolis, MD: US Naval Institute Press, 1991. ISBN 1-55750-351-6. (3rd US edition, originally published in the UK by Putnam Aeronautical Books in 1961 and 1971)

External links[edit]