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Hawker Sea Hawk

 

hawkseahwk

 

Arising from the P.1040 single-seat land-based interceptor prototype, the Hawker Sea Hawk first flew in prototype form on 2 September 1947. A novel feature was the tail jet-pipe which divided and exhausted in the wing roots. This made it exceptionally manoeuvrable and allowed a large internal fuel capacity giving the fighter a relatively long range. In addition to the fuselage- mounted guns, bombs and rockets could be carried under the wings.  


It was eventually followed by the Rolls-Royce Nene 101-powered Sea Hawk F.I, 35 of which were built for the Royal Navy by Hawker and 60 by Armstrong Whitworth.


This being a pure fighter variant. It was not until 1953 that it began to enter service with the Fleet Air Arm. Used operationally from the carriers Albion, Bulwark and Eagle in 1956, in support of Anglo-French landings in Egypt, the type remained in service until 1960.

 

Sea Hawk production being entrusted to Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft from the Sea Hawk F.Mk 2 version onwards from 1953. The Mk 2 version was similar to the F.I but had powered ailerons. It was first flown in February 1954 and 40 were delivered. Progressive development of the basic design led to the appearance of rather more versatile variants, the first of these being the 116 Armstrong-Whitworth built Sea Hawk FB.Mk 3, which featured a strengthened wing structure, enabling it to carry bombs, rockets or auxiliary fuel tanks, and plain ailerons without tabs.
 
These were followed by 97 Sea Hawk FGA.Mk 4 with attachments for underwing stores, in addition to four 20mm built-in guns. The FGA.4 has power assisted ailerons.
 
In 1955 a Sea Hawk was flying at Britteswell equipped with vortex generators on the tailplane to ascertain the longitudinal stability characteristics at high Mach numbers. The research was aimed at increasing the maximum speed from the 630 mph.
 
Hawker-SHawk-02
 
Adoption of the more powerful Nene 103 turbojet engine in 1956 led to the Sea Hawk FB.Mk 5 (about 50 converted from Mk 3) and 86 new (plus some converted) Sea Hawk FGA.Mk 6 derivatives, these basically being re-engined Sea Hawk FB.Mk 3s and Sea Hawk FGA.Mk 4s, although some Sea Hawk FGA.Mk Gs were built as such.

 

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In addition to production for the Fleet Air Arm, the Sea Hawk also operated with the naval air arms of India. Two squadrons of F(GA).6 were acquired by the Indian Navy for service on the aircraft carrier Vikrant; this service subsequently also received 22 ex-RN F(GA).4/6 and 28 ex-German aircraft.

22 Sea Hawk Mk 50 for the Royal Netherlands Navy were similar to Mk 6 but with American radio equipment; modified in 1959 to carry Sidewinder missiles.
34 Sea Hawk Mk 100 close-support strike fighters were produced for the Federal German Navy, and 34 Sea Hawk Mk 101 long-range radar reconnaissance fighters for the Federal German Navy.

By 1960 the Sea Hawk retired from the Fleet Air Arm.

 

Of the 434 Sea Hawks produced for the Royal Navy, plus those for foreign service, only about 30 aircraft, serving on the Vikrant, remained in 1980.

 

Gallery

 

Sea Hawk F.Mk 1
Engine: 1 x Rolls-Royce Nene 101 tur-bojet, 2268-kg (5,000-lb) thrust.
Wing span: 39 ft 0 in (11.89 m).
Length: 39 ft 8 in (12.09m).
Height: 8 ft 8 in (2.64 m).
Max TO wt: 16,200 lb (7347 kg).
Max level speed: 560 mph (901 kph).  

 

Sea Hawk FGA.4
Engine: RR Nene
Wingspan: 39 ft
Length: 40 ft

Sea Hawk FGA.Mk 6
Engine: one 2359-kg (5,200-lb) thrust Rolls-Royce Nene 103 turbojet.
Maximum speed 945 km/h (587 mph) at 6095 m (20,000 ft)
Service ceiling 13565 m (44,500 ft)
Range 1287 km (800 miles) with auxiliary fuel.
Empty weight: 4672 kg (10,300 lb)
Maximum take-off weight: 6895 kg (15,200 lb)
Wingspan: 11.89 m (39 ft 0 in)
Length: 12.09 m (39 ft 8 in)
Height 2.64 m (8 ft 8 in)
Wing area 25.83 sq.m (278 sq ft)
Armament: four MK Hispano Mk V 20-mm cannon, plus two 227-kg (500-lb) bombs or 2076-mm (3-in) rockets.
Crew: 1

 



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