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Hawker Hector

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The Hector, based on another Hawker type the Hart, was an Army Co-operation aircraft used by home based squadrons during the late 1930s. Although in the process of being replaced at the outbreak of the Second World War the Hawker Hector would take part in Operation Dynamo.

Quick Facts
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First flight
14th February 1936
Entered service
February 1937
Total built

Front view
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Side view
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Rear view
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With the Air Ministry looking to replace their current Army Co-operation aircraft, the Hawker Audax, they issued Specification 14/35. The aircraft Hawker submitted was based on their Hart bomber. With Hawker test pilot George Bullman at the controls the Hector prototype flew for the first time on the 14th February 1936 and by May 1936 178 had been ordered.

Only one Hawker Hector variant was produced, powered by the 805-hp Napier Dagger III engine, and housing two crew members, the aircraft had a top speed of 187 mph, range of 300 miles and a service ceiling of 24,000 ft. Armament consisted of one forward firing 0.303-in machine-gun and one rearward facing 0.303-in machine-gun. 224lb bombs could also be carried. February 1937 would see No. 4 Squadron, RAF Odiham receive the first Hectors to enter Royal Air Force service.

The Hawker Hector would equip seven home based squadrons and with the entry into RAF service of the Westland Lysander during June 1938 began to be replaced. This saw the aircraft moved to Royal Auxiliary Air Force squadrons where it would be used by five squadrons and would be in action during the Second World War (1939 – 1945). One operation on the 26th May 1940, the first day of Operation Dynamo (26th May 1940 - 4th June 1940) the evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk, France, saw six Hectors of No. 613 Squadron tasked with attacking German positions around Calais, France.

The Hector was retired from Royal Air Force service in 1942 after spending two years as a glider tug following its removal from frontline service. Only the original 178 aircraft ordered were produced, however Hawker were concentrating on their Hurricane fighter so Westland Aircraft would be subcontracted to build the Hector.

Technical Details

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Top Speed Range Service Ceiling Armament
Hector 187 mph 300 miles 24,000 ft two 0.303-in machine-guns
224lb bombs


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