Hawker Hotspur

The Hawker Hotspur was a turret fighter similar to the Boulton Paul Defiant. Although it reached the prototype stage, Hawker's factories were all fully committed to other aircraft, most famously the Hurricane, and the Hotspur never entered production. It was designed in response to specification F.9/35, which called for a replacement for the two-seat Hawker Demon fighter. The new aircraft had to have a similar level of performance to the Hurricane or Spitfire, and be armed with four .303in machine guns carried in a turret.

The Hotspur was a modified version of the Hawker Henley high-performance light bomber. The cockpit area was redesigned to allow the aircraft to carry a Boulton-Paul turret, although the rear turret was never installed and instead the aircraft flew with a wooden mock-up. It used standard Hurricane wings, although with the eight guns removed. Work on the prototype began in 1937, and it made its maiden flight on 14 June 1938. By this date all of the Hawker Siddeley Group factories were fully committed to other production, and the Boulton Paul Defiant had already been ordered into production. Further development on the Hotspur was cancelled. The mock-up turret was removed and the space faired over and the aircraft was used for a series of trials related to the Hawker Henley.

Engine: Rolls-Royce Merlin II
Power: 1,025hp
Crew: 2
Wing span: 40ft 6in
Length: 32ft 10.5in
Height: 13ft 10in
Empty Weight: 5,800lb
Loaded Weight: 7,650lb
Max Speed: 316mph at 15,800ft
Climb: 10.5min to 15,000ft
Service Ceiling: 28,000ft
Armament (never installed): One fixed forward firing Vickers gun in nose, four 0.303in Browning guns in Boulton-Paul turret

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (23 April 2010), Hawker Hotspur , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_hawker_hotspur.html

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