The Hawker F.20/27 was a single-seat fighter aircraft that was the direct precursor of the very successful Hawker Fury, and that differed mainly from the latter aircraft by using a radial engine. The aircraft was designed in response to a short lived Air Ministry specification, F.20/27. The Hawker aircraft used their now-standard tubular steel construction system, and was powered by a 450hp Bristol Jupiter radial engine. It was a fairly standard design for the period with staggered single-bay wings, with a larger upper wing and smaller lower wing.
The prototype F.20/27 made its maiden flight in August 1928, then went to Martlesham Heath for evaluation. It achieved a top speed of 190mph, before being returned to Hawkers to receive a new Bristol Mercury VI engine. In May 1930, with this more powerful engine, it achieved a top speed of 202mph. Further trials were ordered, but the aircraft then suffered some accidental damage. The prototype engine was removed, and work on the F.20/27 prototype came to an end.
By this point development at Hawkers had already moved onto the Rolls-Royce powered Hornet, which had been completed in March 1929. This aircraft was almost identical in structure to the F.20/27, and had a similar power-to-weight ratio, but the advantages of the inline engine gave it a 10% increase in performance. The Hornet would be purchased by the Air Ministry, and became the prototype for the very successful Hawker Fury.
Engine: Bristol Jupiter 9-cylinder radial engine
Wing span: 30ft 0in
Length: 22ft 9in
Height: 9ft 5in
Empty Weight: 2,155lb
Loaded Weight: 3,150lb
Max Speed: 190mph with Jupiter engine, 202mph at 10,000ft with 520hp Mercury engine
Climb: 5min 5sec to 10,000ft
Service Ceiling: 24,800ft
Endurance: 3hr 10min
Armament: Two fixed forward firing Vickers guns