Hawker Hector

The Hawker Hector was intended as a replacement for the Hawker Audax Army co-operation aircraft. Because of the demand for Rolls-Royce Kestrel engines required for the Hawker Hind program, an alternative power plant was specified. Consequently the Napier Dagger III was used. 

Hawker Hector
Class Aircraft
Type Trainer
Manufacturer Hawker Aircraft Limited
Origin United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain)
Country Name Origin Year
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) 1936
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Ireland View
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Hawker Aircraft Limited 179 View

The design and the building of the prototype was done by Hawkers but production aircraft were built by Westland Aircraft in Yeovil, Somerset. The prototype first flew on 14 February 1936 with George Bulman as pilot. One prototype and 178 production aircraft were built. 13 of these were supplied to Eire in 1941–2.


    Hector Mk I : Two-seat army co-operation aircraft for the RAF.

The Hector equipped seven RAF army co-operation squadrons, but began to be replaced by Westland Lysanders in 1938. The Hectors were transferred to Auxiliary Air Force squadrons; 613 Squadron were in the course of converting to Lysanders at RAF Hawkinge when they flew in support of the Allied garrison in the Siege of Calais. On 26 May, along with the squadron's Lysanders, six Hectors dive bombed German positions around Calais and on the following day, attempted to drop supplies to the troops, unaware that they had already surrendered; two Hectors were lost. Hectors were used by the RAF from 1940 as target-tugs, and for towing the General Aircraft Hotspur training glider.

Irish Air Corps examples were received after the Dunkirk Evacuation. In general they were in poor condition. They were sold by the British War Office to the Irish Free State upon requests for aircraft. The Irish military were wholly unprepared for major warfare, but still relied almost totally on military supplies from Britain. The defence of Ireland was also in the British interest, but with the Battle of Britain raging in the skies, could afford to sell the Irish Government nothing better than the Hector. The type was deeply unpopular with ground crews due to the complicated nature of the engine, which had 24 cylinders, with 24 spark plugs and 48 valves, all of which required frequent maintenance.

Role Army cooperation
Manufacturer Hawker Aircraft
First flight 14 February 1936
Number built 179
Developed from Hawker Hart

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two
  • Length: 29 ft 9.5 in (9.06 m)
  • Wingspan: 36 ft 11.5 in (11.26 m)
  • Height: 10 ft 5 in (3.18 m)
  • Wing area: 346 ft (33.1 m)
  • Empty weight: 3,389 lb (1,537 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 4,910 lb (2,227 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 x Napier Dagger III 24-cylinder air-cooled H-block engine, 1,000 hp (750 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 162 knots (187 mph, 301 km/h) at 6,560 ft (1,999 m)
  • Range: 261 nm (300 mi, 483 km)
  • Service ceiling 24,000 ft (7,815 m)
  • Climb to 10,000 ft (3,050 m): 5 min 40 s


  • 1 x forward-firing .303 in Vickers machine gun Mk.V
  • 1 x .303 in Lewis gun in the rear cockpit on a Hawker mount
  • Mountings for a camera, flares, and two 112 lb (50 kg) bombs (or containers)

End notes