Towards the end of WW2, Hawker modofoed a 'stretched' Hawker Seafury fuselage with a mid-positioned Rolls Royce Nene jet engine. The cockpit was moved further forward resulting in an experimental aircraft designated P.1035.
With feedback from the Air Ministry, the design was further modifed by losing the elliptical shape of the wing, by adding wing root air intakes and forked jet exhausts. This design was designated P.1040.
Initially the P.1040 was intended as an aircraft for the Royal Air Force, but with a top speed of only 600 mph the advancement over existing aircraft such as the Gloster Meteor and de Havilland Vampire, the RAF lost interest in the project.
Interest in the P.1040 was switched to the Admiralty for the aircraft as a fleet support fighter. The P.1040 prototype with naval modifications flew on the 2nd of September 1947.
A second prototype with had folding wings, catapiult spools and full armament flew on the 31st of August 1948.
A third prototype was flown in 1949 which had further modifications including a longer arrester hook due to problems with aircraft failing to engage with arrester cable during dummy carrier landings.
During 1949, carrier trials were carried out on HMS Illustrous resulting in over 100 aircraft being ordered by the Royal Navy and named Sea Hawk.
The production Sea Hawk F1 had tricycle undercarriage to make it easier to land on carriers but otherwise was of a conventional design with straight wings. The first production aircraft flew on the 14th of November 1951.
Contemporary fighters of the time , such as the F-86 Sabre, had swept wings. A prototype version of the Sea Hawk was modified with swept wings and became instrumental in the development of the Hawker Hunter.
|Length:||39ft 8in (12.08m)|
|Wingspan:||39ft 11in (11.89m)|
|Height:||8ft 8in (2.79m)|
|Empty Weight:||9,720lb (4410kg)|
|Max. Weight:||16,200lb (7355kg)|
|Engine:||RR Nene 103|
producing 5,400 lb st.
|Max. Speed:||599 mph (958 km/h)|
|Range:||*1400 miles (2253 km)|
*External tanks fitted
|Cannon:||4 x 20mm Hispano Mk.V|
|Rockets:||20 x 60lb unguided or|
16 x 5" unguided
|Bombs:||4 x 500lb|
Prototype, 3 built.
Sea Hawk F1
Production fighter, Nene Mk 101 engine,
Sea Hawk F2
Production fighter with powered ailerons, 40 built
Sea Hawk FB 3
Fighter-bomber with stronger wing for external stores, 116 built
Sea Hawk FGA 4
Fighter Ground Attack, 97 built.
Sea Hawk FB 5
FB 3 fitted with Nene Mk.103, 50 converted.
Sea Hawk FGA 6
FGA 4 fitted with Nene Mk.103, 101 converted.
Sea Hawk Mk 50
Export variant of FGA 6, 22 built.
Sea Hawk Mk 100
Export variant of FGA 6, 32 built.
Sea Hawk Mk 101
All weather export variant of Mk 100, 32 built.
Hawker Sea Hawk FGA 6, WV908, was manufactured by Armstrong Whitworth at Baginton, Coventry, and now is an aircraft of the Royal Navy Historic Flight.
The Sea Hawk is photograhed above at the Cotswold Airshow, kemble in 2008.