In 1927 the Royal Air Force needed a replacement for their outdated Avro 504N's.
The design brief for the new aircraft was to include the Armstron Siddeley Mongoose engine and the air frame should be made from metal, rather than the traditional wood, but could still be covered doped fabric.
The Chief Designer of the Hawker Aircraft Company, Sydney Camm, proceeded to design the 'Tomtit' which was a bi-plane with a steel and duralumin tubular frame and fabric covered. The leading edges of the upper wing accomodated the 'Handley Page' type Automatic slots and aluminium panels were used around the engine casing.
The Hawker Tomtit was fitted with an Armstrong Siddeley Mongoose IIIC engine producing 150 hp. The Instructor sat in front of the trainee in open cockpits with the trainees cockpit fitted with a blind flying panel so that blind flying instruction was possible.
Hawker Tomtits were delivered to the RAF between 1928 and 1931 for trials along with the eventual winning aircraft the
After the trials, the aircraft were sold and despite the failure to be awarded an order the Hawker Tomtit was well thought of by the pilots and more could have been sold, however due to commitments by Hawkers producing the 'Hart' there was no capacity for production.
The civil registered Tomtits were originally fitted with an Armstrong Siddeley Mongoose IIIA engine and then later model fitted with an A.D.C. Cirrus Major engine producing 115 hp.
|Crew:||1 or 2 (in tandem)|
|Length:||23ft 8in (7.25m)|
|Wingspan:||38ft 6in (8.71m)|
|Height:||8ft 8in (2.68m)|
|Empty Weight:||1,100lb (499kg)|
|Max. Weight:||1,750lb (794kg)|
|Engine:||Armstrong Siddeley Mongoose IIIC engine producing 150 hp.|
|Max. Speed:||124mph (198.4km/h)|
|Range:||350 miles (560km)|
2 seater training, club, sports and
2 seat trainer for the Royal Air Force.
'G-AFTA', serial number K1786, is the sole surviving Hawker Tomtit and was actually flown during WWII.
In 1949 it was owned by Neville Duke who displayed it regularly until it was purchased in 1951 by Hawker Aircraft.
In 1956 it was presented to the Shuttleworth Collection and was repainted to its original livery in 1967 by Hawker Siddeley.
The Hawker Tomtit is part of the Shuttleworth Collection, based at Old Warden, where it can be seen today.