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Hawker Demon

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The Demon was the fighter version of another Hawker aircraft, the Hart bomber, and would serve with the Royal Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force. Just over 300 examples of the Hawker Demon were built before its retirement from RAF service by 1939.

Quick Facts
Hawker Demon side profile image
First flight
31st March 1931
Entered service
March 1933
Total built

Front view
Demon front view photo
Side view
Demon side view photo
Rear view
Sorry, no view photo available

With the introduction of the Hawker Hart in January 1930 the Royal Air Force found itself in the uncomfortable situation of having a bomber faster than any of its current fighters, leading to the Air Ministry looking to redress the balance. Issuing Specification 15/30 which was based on the performance of the Hart.

As far as Hawker were concerned the obvious solution was to produce a fighter version of their Hart bomber, known as the Hawker Hart fighter. The prototype would be a converted Hart and this made its maiden flight on the 31st March 1931. This was followed during May 1931 by six pre-production Hart fighters which No. 23 Squadron flew for evaluation. Now named the Demon the 10th February 1933 would see the first production version fly.

The Demon Mk I would have a two man crew and was originally powered by the 480-hp Rolls Royce Kestrel IIS engine whilst later production examples were powered by the 585-hp Rolls-Royce Kestrel V engine. This gave the Demon Mk I a top speed of 182 mph, range of 404 miles with a service ceiling of 27,800 ft. Armament consisted of two forward firing Vickers machine-guns and one rear firing Lewis gun.

As well as No. 23 Squadron, No. 65 Squadron, which was reformed at RAF Hornchurch on the 1st August 1934, and No. 29 Squadron would be equipped with the type as would four Royal Auxiliary Air Force squadrons. The Demon would also serve with No. 74 Squadron on Malta. The types front line service with the Royal Air Force came to an end by 1939 when a number of squadrons received the Bristol Blenheim Mk IF as replacements, although a few Demons would serve as target tugs.

The Royal Australian Air Force took delivery of 64 aircraft and these would be powered by the 600-hp Rolls-Royce Kestrel engine.

A total of 304 Hawker Demons were manufactured with Boulton Paul producing a number of these featuring a Frazer-Nash turret for the rear gunner, with some Demons having the turret added after production, with these known as Turret Demons.

Technical Details

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Top Speed Range Service Ceiling Armament
Demon Mk I 182 mph 404 miles 27,800 ft two Vickers machine-guns
one Lewis gun
Demon side profile image


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See This Aircraft

(C) = Cockpit only exhibit. (F) = Fuselage only exhibit. (R) = Remains of an aircraft.

Demon Shuttleworth

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