The Hawker Nimrod was a naval version of the Hawker Fury single seat fighter. It was designed to fulfil an urgent need for a new carrier based fighter to replace the Fairey Flycatcher, which had been the only fighter in use with the Fleet Air Arm since 1924. Work on finding a replacement had been underway since 1926, without success. Hawker had been one of the companies involved in these efforts, putting forward the Hawker Hoopoe, but this aircraft was not considered suitable.
The appearance of the Hawker Fury, the first RAF fighter capable of reaching 200mph, revitalised Hawker’s efforts to produce a naval fighter. Work on producing a naval version of the Fury produced the Nimrod. Production began in 1931, with the Nimrod replacing the Flycatcher from 1933.
The Nimrod II, powered by the Kestrel VFP, and equipped with arrester gear to improve its suitability for use from carriers, appeared in 1934. 57 Nimrod Is and 30 Nimrod IIs were produced, and many of the Mk Is were upgraded to Mk II standard. The Nimrod remained in service until 1938, when it was replaced by the Gloster Sea Gladiator.
Stats (Nimrod II)
Engine: Rolls-Royce Kestrel VFP
Max Speed: 193 mph at 14,000ft
Cruising Speed: 115 mph
Endurance: 1hr 40mins at 10,000ft
Span: 33ft 6.75in
Length: 26ft 6.5in
Armament: Two 0.303in forward firing machine guns
Bomb load: four 20lb bombs under the wings.