Hawker P.1005 Twin-Engine, Three-Seat High-Speed Light Bomber / Heavy Fighter
The Hawker P.1005 project faced an uphill battle during World War 2 - its prototypes and production order were eventually cancelled.
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The Hawker aircraft concern of World War 2 fame is primarily remembered for its contribution of the classic Hawker Hurricane monoplane fighter - the real star of the Battle of Britain. Prior to that it made its mark across several notable biplane fighters of the 1920s and 1930s. So when, in late 1940, the opportunity to design and develop a new high-speed light bomber for the Royal Air Force (RAF) arose, the venture was set to take the company in an all-new direction.
The resulting design, P.1005, fell in line with another twin-engine development of the period - the famous de Havilland DH.98 "Mosquito". Both types were designed around the concept of a light bomber and long-range fighter with speed being the optimal quality to help the platform avoid enemy air defenses and interceptors. This meant an aerodynamically refined, lightweight airframe with considerable power being generated from the twin-engine layout. Additionally, the aircraft would have to adhere to strict weight tolerances to support the required performance yet still be capable of fielding a strong armament suite for either role. Early thinking set the expected maximum speed at 400 miles per hour and the bomb load was in the 4,000lb range.
The P.1005 was quickly drawn up and, in December 1940, submitted to the Air Ministry for review. Engineers targeted the new Napier Sabre IV liquid-cooled inline piston engine (2,180hp each) for propulsion and an optional feature of the aircraft was a four-gunned (4 x 0.30 caliber Browning) power-operated, retractable dorsal turret for self-defense. The retractable nature of this weapon system allowed the aircraft to retain its streamlined qualities. Air Ministry officials liked what they saw and Specification B.11/41 was created to support the Hawker development in December of 1941.