Hawker Audax


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Hawker Audax

Early experience with the Hart day bomber in squadron service left little doubt that it would prove suitable for adaptation to fulfil a variety of roles. One of the first involved fairly minor changes to satisfy an Army cooperation requirement, with the RAF needing a replacement for lower-performance but highly successful Armstrong Whitworth Atlas and Westland Wapiti aircraft. For this role the Hart was provided with a message pick-up hook and other equipment changes.

About 652 Audax biplanes were ordered for the RAF, including those purchased by South Africa and those transferred to Malaya for the Straits Settlement Volunteer Air Force. Others were constructed for Persia (with Bristol Pegasus and Pratt & Whitney Hornet engines), Iraq, Canada, Singapore and Egypt - the latter with Armstrong Whitworth Panther X engines and supplied to allow Egypt to share with Britain the defence of Egypt, the Sudan and the Canal zone under the terms of the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty.

RAF Audaxes entered service in 1932 and some based overseas were still flying in 1941-42. This fact is verified from records kept by British Aerospace, which state that an Audax squadron was used as fighter cover at the Digboi air station in north east Assam, India in 1942. However most of the remaining Audaxes were operated during the early war years as Hotspur glider tugs and trainers, 18 having previously been converted into Hart Specials.

Hawker AudaxA three-view drawing (1276 x 1066)

 ENGINE1 x Rolls-Royce "Kestrel IIS", 385kW
  Take-off weight1987 kg4381 lb
  Empty weight1336 kg2945 lb
  Wingspan11.4 m37 ft 5 in
  Length9.0 m30 ft 6 in
  Height3.2 m11 ft 6 in
  Wing area32.4 m2348.75 sq ft
  Max. speed274 km/h170 mph
  Cruise speed240 km/h149 mph
  Ceiling6400 m21000 ft
  Range w/max.fuel600 km373 miles
 ARMAMENT2-4 machine-guns, 250kg of bombs

Nevin Williams, e-mail, 04.04.2015 02:06

FAO: Anthony Williams. The Filson Young you refer to in your post of 26.01.2014 is probably Richard or William Filson Young. Richard was killed, I believe! In North Africa flying a Hurricane and his brother Willliam was killed in India or Burma flying a Mosquito whilst on a ground attack sortie.


Anthony Williams, e-mail, 26.01.2014 20:32

Before the war started my Dad Peter R.M Williams was attached to 11th Flying training school. Wittering. He was an acting pilot officer and with Apo Filson-Young, the pilot, they crashed in a potato field destroying the plane and had to be pulled out a local farmer. My Dad retired to Australia as a Wing Commander having flown Short Sunderands up and down East Africa.


phil derbyshire, e-mail, 26.01.2010 02:12

I have a photo of what I believe to an Audax in (I think India). The letters on the side are GBF. Do you have any information. I also understand my father may have been in the squadron (groung support). His name is Robert Haydon Derbyshire


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