Hawker Sea Hawk
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sea Hawk F.Mk 1
Sea Hawk FGA.4