|FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / United Kingdom / Hawker|
Built as a private venture, the Heron single-seat fighter was noteworthy in that it was the first of the Hawker company's fighters to have a predominantly metal structure. A single-bay biplane with provision for two 7.7mm synchronised Vickers guns, the Heron was built up of round steel and aluminium tubing bolted together (rather than welded) and braced by high-tensile wires. The result was a light and easily reparable structure, but it was perhaps the novelty of its construction rather than any shortcomings in capability that militated against service adoption. This was despite the fact that the prototype, initially flown early in 1925, was highly praised during official trials at Martlesham Heath in 1926. The prototype was subsequently returned to the manufacturer by which it was flown until mid-1928.