Hawker Woodcock

Hawker Woodcock

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Hawker Woodcock

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The Hawker Woodcock was a British single-seat fighter built by the Hawker Engineering Company as the first fighter to be produced by Hawker Engineering (the successor to Sopwith Aviation). It was used by the RAF as a night fighter in the 1920s.

Design and development

The Hawker Woodcock was designed as a night fighter in 1922 to meet specification 25/22. The chief designer was Captain Thomson, and his prototype serial number J6987) was first flown with a 358 hp (267 kW) Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar II engine in March 1923 with F.P. Raynham at the controls. It featured a two-bay wing with the inner struts at about ⅓ span.

The prototype was rejected because of lack of manoeuvrability as well as suffering from a serious wing flutter and ineffective rudder control. And following the first flight W.G. Carter took over as chief designer, consequently, he changed the design, reducing the wing by 2 ft (.61 m) and making it a single-bay type. The powerplant was changed to a 380 hp (283 kW) Bristol Jupiter IV engine. The modified design was designated the Woodcock Mk II, first flying in July 1923. A number of accidents were suffered and the design was progressively strengthened until the structural weakness had been cured.

The Woodcock was armed with two .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine guns, synchronised to fire through the propeller disk. The guns were mounted externally on...
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