Author Topic: The Hawker Hound story  (Read 2317 times)

Offline Small brown dog

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The Hawker Hound story
« on: August 22, 2019, 05:01:50 PM »
Part 1

The Hawker Hound was designed to meet and/or exceed the Air Ministry specification F.20/27 for a multi-engine interceptor design capable of modern bomber interception. This was a period of great change in aero electric aviation of which only the multi engine airframes were able to make full use of its capabilities. Single engine fighter designs whilst retaining good fighting ability were unable to match modern multi engine layouts for speed.

Chief Hawker designer, Sydney Camm, had been against using what he described as “artificial lift generation” in his fighter designs only incorporating EMFEM in his light bomber and army cooperation variants. He argued that the state of the technology was, in the early 1920’s, not mature enough for fighter development. His new design, the Fury, used a powerful so called uncoupled non electrical engine. It was sleek outstandingly manoeuvrable and easily exceeded 200mph in level flight. However, even a fighter with exceptional fighting characteristics is of little use if it cannot catch its prey.

Camm was aware that bomber interception by conventional lift fighter aircraft would, and very soon, be impossible. However, even with the best coupled thrust engines there was still a reliance on conventional flying surfaces for a percentage of lift and for flight control. Camm believed that electrical lift and weight compensation should be used solely for lift and thrust with nothing wasted on overcoming the drag caused by the new equipment and its additional weight. An abundance of power was required and the only way forward at this time was to double the power plant.

So Camm was being forced by necessity to design a twin engine interceptor (not an idea that rested easily with Mr Camm). To give an aeroplane such as the Fury the new Tesla/Royce engine and a reduction in flying surfaces would give a performance similar to that of the new light bombers but it would reduce the agility of the aeroplane and many of the characteristics of a fighter. There would also be severe limitations on fuel and internal equipment. Therefore a twin, at this time, was the only option. He addressed the board saying:

“If we are to build a twin engine aeroplane then we are going to build a fighting twin engine aeroplane. I firmly believe that we are not alone in our concerns over the ever increasing performance of the bomber aircraft. Our thoughts on defence will also be a potential enemy’s thoughts and in addition they, as do I, may think it prudent to develop fighting aircraft that can take on the defenders interceptors.”

“I have a design in mind which will utilise two of the new Tesla/Royce Kestrel engines in a small and light weight airframe. I propose to develop a system that will maximise the lift potential and harmonise the control for the rate of roll.”
“In short,” he continued, ” If we are to use artificial lift then we will damn well lift 100% artificially” “Gentlemen, I’m going to rip the bloody wings off”


The airworthy Shuttleworth Hawker Hound MK1 N1458 taken at Duxford July 2017

So was born The Hawker Hound, a name Camm didn’t like that much as he really wanted to call it the Twin Fury. The Air Ministry loved the name because it smacks of aggressive pursuing and harassing. The press coined the phrase “Wingless Wonder” and when Hawkers own PR department ran with it Camm was spitting feathers. However the very name would, in the coming years, become synonymous with defiance in the face of aggression,  the later MK4 variants image being quick to come to mind whenever the Battle of Britain is mentioned. It was not for nothing that Dr Alfred Price entitled his ultimate history of the Hawker Hound : Guard Dog.


Rejected first cover image for the Dr Alfred Price Hawker Hound history

Period advert for The airscrew Co Ltd:

« Last Edit: August 22, 2019, 06:09:35 PM by Small brown dog »
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Offline Old Wombat

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Re: The Hawker Hound story
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2019, 10:29:36 PM »
 :D :smiley:
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: The Hawker Hound story
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2019, 02:21:58 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline Frank3k

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Re: The Hawker Hound story
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2019, 04:44:01 AM »
Have you considered having this 3D printed? It would be awesome.

Offline Small brown dog

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Re: The Hawker Hound story
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2019, 04:50:03 AM »
Have you considered having this 3D printed? It would be awesome.

It has crossed my mind a few times but then so has Scarlet Johansson and thats not going to happen either :)
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Offline Frank3k

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Re: The Hawker Hound story
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2019, 05:57:58 AM »
I know a guy who can turn that into a 3D model from a suitable .obj or similar file...

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: The Hawker Hound story
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2019, 06:06:24 AM »
This is all so incredibly well done I had to do a double-take, especially on that first amazing picture.

Reminds me of something that could've flown in that Sky Captain flick that was out a while back.

Great stuff and rendered so convincingly it could fool many.

Brian da Basher

Offline Small brown dog

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Re: The Hawker Hound story
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2019, 05:16:56 PM »
I know a guy who can turn that into a 3D model from a suitable .obj or similar file...

I would probably have to tweak the crap out of my meshes as I am a really sloppy modeller.
You are not the first to mention 3D printing the MK1 Hound though along with a couple of others and I have wondered about making inroads in that direction myself.
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Offline Small brown dog

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Re: The Hawker Hound story
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2019, 05:52:07 PM »
Hawker Hound Story Part 2

By the mid 1930’s there was a hint of trouble brewing in Europe and there was a new uncoupled thrust power unit under development that on its own could exceed the output of 2 x Tesla/Royce Kestrels. This power unit would become the Merlin Electric but it had a long and frustrating gestation period before earning the reputation it has today. By this point the original Hound had undergone two major development stages with  uprated engines and/or aero electrical equipment plus the addition of extra fire power. The Mk2 was little different to it predecessor as most of the additions were internal but the MK 3 was slightly longer in the nose in order to accommodate  additional ammunition boxes and extra fuel storage.


Hawker Hound MK2

In 1936 Tesla/Royce contacted the Air Ministry to inform them that the PV12-Electric could not be expected to go into production for another 18 months. The engine was plagued with problems that included cooling issues, excessive wear and cylinder head cracking. Most problematic was the constant gear train failures between the output shaft and the generator.

The Air Ministry contacted the various contractors that would be affected by the news and many heated phone calls and meetings took place in the weeks that followed. At Supermarine there was a little relief mixed in with the disappointment. RJ Mitchells Spectre was going to be problematic to produce at least initially and there was much to iron out. The prototype flew with a much modified Tesla/Royce Schneider race engine and along with a spare it was good for continued trials until the Merlin Electric was ready.

At Hawkers, Sydney Camm was also disappointed but not in the least surprised. The Merlin Electric was a huge step forward and he wanted all the kinks ironed out before he bolted it to one of his airframes. However, all this was overshadowed by the news of the bombing of Guernica in April the following year. Camm was as appalled as everybody else and was even more vocal in his thoughts on an interceptor. He was invited to speak at an Air Ministry meeting regarding the future Air defence of Great Britain where he stated:

“There may be those in Parliament and elsewhere that are firm in their belief that the Bomber will always get through and, with this frame of mind, vast sums of money and resources are being expended in building what is seen as a deterrent bombing force.”
He continued, “This is an arms race that will spiral out of control and, in some cases, may be the ruin of countries with more fragile economies”.
He had everyone’s full attention now as the Depression was still very much in recent memory and the Edwardian aerial dreadnought building era had been the ruin of many a chancellors budget.

Camm glanced at his notes then picked them up and tossed them aside. Gripping his jacket lapels he continued, “Gentlemen, there is something that always seems to be ignored when stating that the bomber will always get through which is simply that calming by deterrent does not allow for the madman who is willing to lose all in a first strike”.

He paused and then continued in the manner of a headmaster speaking to a rather dim child,  “Of course there is also the fact that no matter how many you put over your enemy your enemy will be doing his damnedest to get some over you and, if the bomber will get through, what are you going to do to stop them ?”

Camms logic was met mostly with mutterings of “hear hear” as he had vocalised what many had been thinking. The outcome of all this was the formation of Fighter Command which would grow into a formidable and very capable home defence organisation far ahead of its time. However, in the meantime Britain was left with only the Hawker Hound Mk 3 which in all reality was nothing more than the original Hound with two additional machine guns and greater horsepower.

Sidney Camm knew that the basic layout of the Hound and its variants was sound and could be improved upon easily without the need to start from scratch. What was needed was more power and also more hitting power. The Air ministry had taken the advice of the Operational Requirements Branch that in view of the increasing speeds of fighter and bomber aircraft, gun firing opportunities would be brief, so a six or preferably eight-gun battery should be installed in fighters. This was later amended to a mixed armament of rifle calibre machine guns and 20mm canon that equalled or exceeded the weight of fire from an 8 gun battery.

The addition of canon came about after Aero electric began research into defensive shielding and the possibility that until such times as shielding was available, aircraft would be fitted with armour which would be increased as more lifting power became available. It was known that Germany was also very interested in defensive shielding and armour. However, it would be some years before any country had a reliable defensive shield generation capability.

At Hawkers the result of all this thinking was the Hawker Hunting Hound (in reality the Hound MK4). Tesla-Royce had pushed the kestrel -Electric to previously unheard of power output for what was still the original displacement of 21 litres and Camm wanted all that power. He stayed with a tubular steel framework, wooden frames/stringers and fabric for most of the rear airframe but refined the flying surfaces and included a fully enclosed cockpit. The Tesla-Royce Kestrels Electric XX mountings were redesigned for added strength and fully covered to accommodate a retractable undercarriage.

In the nose sat 4 x browning .303 machine guns and in the underside of the nose 2 x Hispano 20mm canon. Camm had some difficulty with the feed mechanism and changing drums on early “big dogs”, as the RAF came to call them, was a source of much annoyance.


Rare colour photograph of the prototype MK4 Hound at the Aero Electric RAE Farnborough offices.

The result of all this was the world’s most heavily armed and fastest interceptor prior to the start of the Second World War. By this time the very last bit of power production had been sucked from the Kestrel Electric design but the cherry on top so to speak was the introduction of the Aero Electric SBD-146/58 field coil spool or just the “58” as it was known. The 58 could be said to be the larger father of the next generation of remote or uncoupled lift generators that would be used on the Supermarine Spectre and beyond. It produced 15% more lift  than its predecessors and a useful EMFEM effect for the first time without the need of the EMFEM units thanks to the increased T-Coil output. The latter gave the Hound Mk4b its decisive extra manoeuvrability that would come as a shock to BF219 pilots in the early stages of the war. The Hound might not have been as fast and performance fell of at the higher ceilings but it was an excellent dog fighter at the heights most of the action would take place.

The Hawker Hound story cannot be told without mentioning that for a short period in 1938 a Hunting Hound A series held the world airspeed record. On a flight from the north of England to his base in Northolt in London, Squadron Leader J. W. Gillan made the trip in 40 minutes. This made great propaganda and as is the nature of propaganda the fact was overlooked that Gillan had the benefit of extremely high tail winds which was a result of an earlier violent storm front. In truth he was riding a Hurricane.

With the introduction of the Supermarine Spectre in late August 1940 and  the BF 319 in early 1941 the Hound was becoming easily outclassed and could no longer be considered an air superiority  weapon. However, it fought on admirably right up until the end of the conflict as a fighter, still able to hold its own in some cases, but mainly in additional roles where it would excel most notably the Hound MK5 – with 4 x 20 mm Hispano cannon and hard point for 2 x 250 lb bombs and the Hound MK6 – with 2 x .303 browning MG and 2 x Vickers S gun with 20 rounds. Both variants making  a name for themselves in the desert war and far East.


Dust cover artwork for "Guard Dog - a fighting history of the Hawker Hound" Alfred Price
« Last Edit: August 23, 2019, 05:55:07 PM by Small brown dog »
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Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: The Hawker Hound story
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2019, 06:32:30 PM »
Now that's drop-dead sexy:-*

If you keep this up, I'm gonna run out of cold water.
 :-[
Brian da Basher

Offline Small brown dog

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Re: The Hawker Hound story
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2019, 08:37:16 PM »
Now that's drop-dead sexy:-*

If you keep this up, I'm gonna run out of cold water.
 :-[
Brian da Basher



Spatsalist tendencies are no longer frowned upon, set your self freeeeeeeeeeeee

« Last Edit: August 23, 2019, 08:41:15 PM by Small brown dog »
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Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: The Hawker Hound story
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2019, 04:11:22 AM »
That's a fantastic perspective, one I find most delightful of course.
 :-* :-*
Funny, I'd been contemplating floats instead of spats for my next build but I feel like changing course...

Most excellent and your rendering of the NMF is outstanding as well as those incredibly streamlined spats!
 :-*
Brian da Basher

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: The Hawker Hound story
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2019, 04:12:27 AM »
Why did you have to do that?  Now we'll not get anything intelligible out of Brian for days if not weeks... ;)
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline apophenia

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Re: The Hawker Hound story
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2019, 05:32:49 AM »
Have you considered having this 3D printed? It would be awesome.

This thread seems to have derailed. I thought we were discussing a 3D print of Scarlet Johansson.

Of course, once all the bugs have been worked out for printing silicon, a 3D model of the Hound would also be amazing.
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Offline Frank3k

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Re: The Hawker Hound story
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2019, 05:51:06 AM »

This thread seems to have derailed. I thought we were discussing a 3D print of Scarlet Johansson.


You can get a full 3D model of Scarlet Johansson in Under the skin. A 3D model of the Hound would be amazing, too - and would probably make Brian very happy.

Offline Small brown dog

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Re: The Hawker Hound story
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2019, 05:14:00 PM »
That's a fantastic perspective, one I find most delightful of course.
 :-* :-*

Funny, I'd been contemplating floats instead of spats for my next build but I feel like changing course...


Strange that as I have an Ion thrust powered Schneider float job that I am thinking of producing a wheeled prototype version of which may well just have to incorporate some spattage.


Most excellent and your rendering of the NMF is outstanding as well as those incredibly streamlined spats!
 :-*
Brian da Basher

Keep in mind I am just a poor small brown dog because I don't know what  NMF ... never mind fleas?
Its a dog thing to be preoccupied with fleas.
Its not that its not real but it could be that its not true.

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: The Hawker Hound story
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2019, 05:56:46 PM »
NMF = Natural Metal Finish

No fleas involved so you can rest easy.

Now that's a good boy!
 ;)
Brian da Basher

Offline Small brown dog

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Re: The Hawker Hound story
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2019, 06:55:44 PM »
NMF = Natural Metal Finish

No fleas involved so you can rest easy.

Now that's a good boy!
 ;)
Brian da Basher

Aha - thats all good then.
OK, what about a treat or maybe a scratch behind the ears ?
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Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: The Hawker Hound story
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2019, 11:48:20 PM »
Despite my friends calling me the Pied Piper of Cats, I'm actually a dog person and can't say no to those big puppy-dog eyes.

I'll see you when you return from walkies.
 ;D ;D ;D
Brian da Basher


Offline Small brown dog

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Re: The Hawker Hound story
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2019, 02:51:18 AM »
Despite my friends calling me the Pied Piper of Cats, I'm actually a dog person and can't say no to those big puppy-dog eyes.

I'll see you when you return from walkies.
 ;D ;D ;D
Brian da Basher

Now that could be a hell of a euphemism ... or is that just me ?
;)
Its not that its not real but it could be that its not true.