Hawker Horsley
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Hawker Horsley

The Horsley was produced for the RAF as a bomber and torpedo bomber, entering service in these roles in 1927 and 1928 respectively after severe competitive tests against the Westland Yeovil, Bristol Berkeley and Handley Page Handcross. The Greek Naval Air Service also received six in 1928, and it was licence-built in Denmark as the Dantorp (military designation H.M.III). In total 121 Horsleys were built, most powered by 499kW Rolls-Royce Condor IIIA geared engines and with all-metal airframes, although early production aircraft were of wooden and then mixed construction. In its class, it had an excellent performance. Apart from its speed and climb, it possessed the manoeuvrability of a scout and the aerodynamic design was such that the machine could be flown 'hands off' for periods of more than i^ive minutes. The range, of course, varied according to the mixed load of bombs and fuel, and day or night operations were possible.

The excellent range and load-carrying ability of the Horsley made it suitable for very-long-distance flying: a special Horsley was produced with extra fuel tanks with a view to carrying out RAF training for duration and non-stop long-distance work. In fact the Horsley made three long-distance flights. The first was carried out by Flt Lt Carr as pilot and Flt Lt Gillman as navigator, who had expected to cover more than 6,440km from Cranwell to India. However during 20-21 May 1927 they covered a distance of 5,502km, landing short near Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf because of problems with the oil system. A second effort by Carr and Flt Lt Mackworth ended after one hour's flying; while a third attempt by Carr and Fl Officer Dearth ended in Austria, alighting in the River Danube. For the attempts 5,000 litres of fuel were carried in seven tanks and it is a remarkable fact that, with an overload of nearly 200% of the structure weight, the Horsley could land safely.

Hawker HorsleyA three-view drawing (676 x 608)

 ENGINE1 x Rolls-Royce Condor IIIA, 496kW
    Take-off weight3538 kg7800 lb
    Empty weight2159 kg4760 lb
    Wingspan17.21 m56 ft 6 in
    Length11.84 m39 ft 10 in
    Height4.17 m14 ft 8 in
    Wing area64.38 m2692.98 sq ft
    Max. speed201 km/h125 mph
    Ceiling4265 m14000 ft
 ARMAMENT2 x 7.7mm machine-guns, 680kg of bombs

Duncan, 21.11.2015

I have a small photograph of J 8607 upside down in a very sorry state at Basra in June 1927. The comment on the back states that it is the remains of Carr & Gillmans long distance aeroplane. If so what happened to its Austrian adventure or was that different aircraft ?

John Smith, 30.10.2015

Hawkers test Pilot was named Horseley. My old Squadron number 100 was at one time equiped with them

haillie, 17.12.2008

youneed more infoabout demensions

colin keenan, 24.09.2008

I have, what I think is a good condition propeller from a horsley - any comments, interest in same appreciated

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