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Hawker Nimrod

United Kingdom (1933)
Picture of Hawker Nimrod Naval Biplane Fighter

The Hawker Nimrod was born in the latter half of the 1920s and managed a career leading up to World War 2 in the late 1930s.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Hawker Nimrod Naval Biplane Fighter.  Entry last updated on 6/26/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The 1920s ushered in an all-new era of flight as the industry saw a boom from the post-World War 1 years. However, before the all-metal planes of the 1930s took their place in aviation history, there stood a period of "mixed-construction" biplane aircraft which saw a combining of metal structures and fabric skinning. For the Hawker concern, a slew of such biplanes emerged in the decades leading up to World War 2 (1939-1945) with one of these becoming the Hawker "Hoopoe" of 1928.

The Hoopoe marked Hawker's first foray into the realm of a single-seat, single-engine navy fighter when it was realized as a private venture. However, the design was lacking in power and further work to increase output came too late as attention had moved on the Hawker "Nimrod" - whose design was credited to Sydney Camm - for possible sale to the Fleet Air Arm (FAA).

While in appearance the Nimrod followed the design lines of the classic Hawker Fury, it was more closely associated to the aforementioned Hoopoe. As expected, metal construction was meshed with fabric skinning to complete her and a single-bay biplane wing arrangement of unequal span was used. The pilot sat in an open-air cockpit which was set just under and aft of the upper wing element. The undercarriage sported a pair of wheels under the center mass of the aircraft and the frame was supported at the rear by way of a tail skid. The engine was mounted in the nose as usual and drove a two-bladed propeller. The empennage was made up of a traditional arrangement featuring a sole vertical fin and a pair of horizontal planes.

The Nimrod would be armed through 2 x 0.303 Vickers machine guns in fixed, forward-firing positions over the nose (just ahead of the pilot's position). The guns were designed to fire through the spinning propeller blades by way of interrupter gear. Beyond its fixed armament, the airframe was also cleared to carry up to 4 x 20lb conventional drop bombs.

Specification 16/30 covered the new Nimrod fighter and a first flight was had in 1930 with power stemming from a Rolls-Royce "Kestrel II MS" engine of 477 horsepower. A production-quality version was then officially flown on October 14th, 1931 for the first time to which an FAA order for 35 of the type followed. Because of the flexibility built into the Nimrod design, the land-based airplane could be relatively easily converted to floatplane form. This was proven through the second completed production-quality form which was fitted with a floatplane undercarriage (twin float arrangement).

Initial production models were designated "Nimrod I" and numbered 57 in all. Then came 28 "Nimrod II" models which moved on to the Rolls-Royce "Kestrel V" series engine of 608 horsepower to help increase performance. The wings were also swept-back some for better aerodynamic efficiency.

The Nimrod series went on to have a healthy service life with the FAA. Introduced in 1933, it forged a career that spanned until May of 1939 before being retired from Royal Navy service as newer and better fighter designs emerged. The design was evaluated in both Japan (as the "AXH") and Portugal while Denmark adopted a pair and produced another ten units locally. Danish operation of the Nimrod was given up for good in August of 1943.

For the FAA, the Nimrod went on to stock eleven total squadrons.

Any available statistics for the Hawker Nimrod Naval Biplane Fighter are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (193mph).

    Graph average of 150 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Hawker Nimrod's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
92
92


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: United Kingdom
Year: 1933
Type: Naval Biplane Fighter
Manufacturer(s): Hawker Aircraft - UK
Production: 92
Global Operators:
Denmark; Imperial Japan (evaluation); Portugal (evaluation); United Kingdom
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Hawker Nimrod model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
26.54 ft


Meters
8.09 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
33.56 ft


Meters
10.23 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
9.84 ft


Meters
3 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
3,120 lb


Kilograms
1,415 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
4,057 lb


Kilograms
1,840 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Rolls-Royce Kestrel V engine developing 608 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
193 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
310 kph


Knots
167 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
304 mi


Kilometers
490 km


Nautical Miles
265 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
28,002 ft


Meters
8,535 m


Miles
5.30 mi

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Armament - Hardpoints (4):

STANDARD:
2 x .303 Vickers machine guns in fixed, forward firing positions synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.

OPTIONAL:
4 x 20 lb conventional drop bombs carried underwing.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Nimrod - Base series name
• Nimrod Mk I - Initial production model; Rolls-Royce Kestrel IIMS engine of 477 horsepower; 57 examples built.
• Nimrod Mk II - Modified Mk I with swept wings; fitted with Kestrel IIS or VFP engines of up to 608 horsepower; 30 examples built.
• Nimrod (Danish) - Danish export model with Rolls-Royce Kestrel IIIS engine; 2 examples.
• Nimrodderne - Royal Danish Navy variant; 10 examples
• AXH1 - One-off evaluation model for Imperial Japan