Bringing 99 Vintage Aircraft to Life
Home  -  Aircraft Database  -  British Aircraft  -  Hawker Tornado

Hawker Tornado

 Jump to: Variants : Photos : On Display

The Tornado was intended to be powered by the Rolls-Royce Vulture engine and a large order for the type was placed. However the Vulture engine program would be cancelled and as a result only four would be built. The Hawker Tornado did provide the base for two other successful Hawker aircraft, the Typhoon and Tempest.

Quick Facts
First flight
6th October 1939
Entered service
Total built

Front view
Sorry, no view photo available
Side view
Sorry, no view photo available
Rear view
Sorry, no view photo available

With the Hawker Hurricane just entering operational service and proving successful thoughts naturally turned to a successor and with this Hawker submitted two new types as potential replacement aircraft, these were the Type N powered by a Napier Sabre engine and the Type R powered by a Rolls-Royce Vulture engine.

The two aircraft would be produced to meet the Air Ministry Specification F.18/37 so would be fitted with twelve 0.303-in machine-guns and on the 3rd March 1938 an order for two prototypes for each design were ordered. The two aircraft were similar to each other with the Type R similar in appearance to the Hurricane whilst the Type N had a chin to house the radiator and it was this prototype that was to become the Hawker Typhoon.

The maiden flight of the first prototype, the Type R, took place on the 6th October 1939 with P.G. Lawrence at the controls but after flight testing showed problems with the airflow around the radiator it was moved to the chin and this new version flew on the 6th December now powered by a Rolls-Royce Vulture II engine. The second prototype, the Type N, flew for the first time on the 5th December 1940 and this was now also powered by the Vulture II, and with an armament of four cannons although both prototypes would later have the Vulture V engine installed.

During late 1939 an order was placed for 500 Tornado's however the Rolls-Royce Vulture program was cancelled and only one aircraft was produced which flew on the 29th August 1941, before the Tornado order was cancelled. A third prototype Tornado did in fact fly on the 23rd October 1941 with a 2,120-hp Bristol Centaurus CE.4S powerplant and the Hawker Tempest Mk II would have its origins in this plane.


Click on the aeroplane image to view a larger version.

Top Speed Range Service Ceiling Armament
Tornado Mk I Only one production example made.


Click on the photo to view a larger version.

Sorry, we have no photos of this aircraft

On Display

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

Variant Location
No known examples currently on public display in the UK.

Back to British aircraft

Click here to view a range of Spitfire experiences

Click here to view a range of flying experiences


Spitfire Messerschmitt Fairey Bristol Avro North American Hawker Curtiss Grumman

New on Classic Warbirds

Avro Tutor profile

Bristol Beaufighter profile

Supermarine Spitfire Miscellany

Hawker Hurricane Miscellany

Bomber Command in the Pacific


Spotted an error? Or just have a comment or suggestion about Classic Warbirds? Please let us know.

Click here to view our UK aviation museums map