Hawker Hector

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Hector
Hhector.jpg
RoleArmy cooperation
ManufacturerHawker Aircraft
First flight14 February 1936
Number built179
Developed fromHawker Hart
 
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Hector
Hhector.jpg
RoleArmy cooperation
ManufacturerHawker Aircraft
First flight14 February 1936
Number built179
Developed fromHawker Hart

The Hawker Hector was intended as a replacement for the Hawker Audax army co-operation aircraft. Because of the demand for Rolls-Royce Kestrel engines required for the Hawker Hind program, an alternative power plant was specified. Consequently the Napier Dagger III was used.

Design and development[edit]

Although both the design and the building of the prototype was done by Hawkers, the subsequent production aircraft were built by Westland Aircraft in Yeovil, Somerset. The prototype first flew on 14 February 1936 with George Bulman as pilot. One prototype and 178 production aircraft were built. 13 of these were supplied to Eire in 1941-2.

Operational service[edit]

The Hector equipped seven RAF army co-operation squadrons, but began to be replaced by Westland Lysanders in 1938. The Hectors were transferred to Auxiliary Air Force squadrons; 613 Squadron were in the course of converting to Lysanders at RAF Hawkinge when they were tasked with supporting the Allied garrison in the Siege of Calais. On 26 May, along with the squadron's Lysanders, six Hectors dive bombed German positions around Calais and on the following day, attempted to drop supplies to the troops, unaware that they had already surrendered; two Hectors were lost.[1] Hectors were used by the RAF from 1940 as target-tugs, and for towing the General Aircraft Hotspur training glider.

Irish Air Corps examples were received after the Dunkirk Evacuation. In general they were in poor condition. They were sold by the British War Office to the Irish Free State upon requests for aircraft. The Irish military were wholly unprepared for major warfare, but still relied almost totally on military supplies from Britain. The defence of Ireland was also in the British interest, but with the Battle of Britain raging in the skies, could afford to sell the Irish Government nothing better than the Hector. The type was deeply unpopular with ground crews due to the complicated nature of the engine, which had 24 cylinders, with 24 spark plugs and 48 valves, all of which required frequent maintenance.

Variants[edit]

Operators[edit]

 Ireland
 United Kingdom

Specifications (Hector)[edit]

Data from Hawker Aircraft since 1920 [3]

General characteristics

Performance

Armament

See also[edit]

Related development
Related lists

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Owen Gordon Thetford, Aircraft of the Royal Air Force since 1918, Putnam, 1962 (p.304)
  2. ^ Halley 1980, p. 352.
  3. ^ Mason 1991, p.265—266.
  4. ^ a b Mason 1994, p.281
  5. ^ ATA Ferry Pilots Notes 1996

Bibliography[edit]

  • Air Transport Auxiliary Ferry Pilots Notes (reproduction). Elvington, York, UK: Yorkshire Air Museum, 1996. ISBN 0-9512379-8-5.
  • Crawford, Alex. Hawker Hart Family. Redbourn, Hertfordshire, UK: Mushroom Model Publications Ltd., 2008. ISBN 83-89450-62-3.
  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air Britain (Historians), 1980. ISBN 0-85130-083-9.
  • Mason, Francis K. Hawker Aircraft since 1920. London: Putnam, 1961 (Third revised Edition 1991). ISBN 0-85177-839-9.
  • Mason, Francis K. The British Bomber since 1914. London: Putnam. 1994. ISBN 0-85177-861-5.