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Hawker Duiker

Army Reconnaissance Aircraft [ 1923 ]

The monoplane-winged Hawker Duiker was intended to fulfill a new British Air Ministry requirement of 1922 - it failed.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/07/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

In 1922, the British military looked to secure a new design for a dedicated "Army Reconnaissance Aircraft" under the Air Ministry's Specification 7/22. This led the Hawker concern, under its new lead engineer Captain Thomson, to draw up plans for an equally-new design which became the "Duiker". The aircraft was unique in that it had a parasol wing arrangement - that is, it was of monoplane form in which the mainplane was suspended over the fuselage as opposed to be directly attached to it. Furthermore, this aircraft appeared at a time when the biplane was still en vogue around the world, leading to little interest in the Hawker approach. As such, only one single, flyable example was completed in 1923.

For expediency and development costs, the aircraft used as many off-the-shelf parts as possible and this was helped by the fact that the plane was built at the Brooklands Airfield which, at the time, was being shared by another aeroplane builder, Vickers. The aircraft has a slab-sided fuselage with its engine held at the nose in the usual way. The mainplanes were well-forward in the design and supported by thick struts emanating from the lower sides of the fuselage. The pilot sat in an open-air cockpit just aft of the engine installation and a cut-out was given to the wing so as to improve the pilot's vision. A second open-air cockpit was added aft of the pilot's and this managed by an observer/machine gunner who had access to a defensive-minded machine gun atop a trainable mounting. The tail unit was conventional with its single-finned rudder ad the undercarriage was traditional with a wheeled, strutted unit under the forward mass and a simple tailskid under the tail. Wood was used throughout most of the Duiker's construction.

As finalized, the aircraft held a length of 31.4 feet, a wingspan of 48.4 feet and a height of 10.6 feet. Empty weight was 4,000lb against an Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) nearing 4,700lb.

In its earliest form, the Duiker was equipped with an Armstrong Siddeley "Jaguar" series engine but this later gave way to a Bristol "Jupiter IV" type, a 9-cylinder air-cooled radial unit outputting 3,89 horsepower while driving a two-bladed propeller at the nose.

With a first flight in July of 1923, the aircraft went on to record a maximum speed of 125 miles-per-hour, a cruising speed of 99 mph, a range out to 340 miles, and a service ceiling up to 14,500 feet. Endurance was rated up to 3.75 hours. Climb-rate was about 495 feet-per-minute.

Instability plagued the new design and its monoplane-winged form did not impress. The project was eventually abandoned with just the single prototype to show for it and the Specification went unfulfilled as the Hawker design was its only contender.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

United Kingdom national flag graphic
United Kingdom

Development Ended.


National flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom (cancelled)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Air-to-Air Combat, Fighter
General ability to actively engage other aircraft of similar form and function, typically through guns, missiles, and/or aerial rockets.
Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.

31.4 ft
(9.58 m)
48.4 ft
(14.75 m)
10.6 ft
(3.23 m)
Empty Wgt
3,968 lb
(1,800 kg)
4,707 lb
(2,135 kg)
Wgt Diff
+739 lb
(+335 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Hawker Duiker production variant)
Installed: 1 x Bristol Jupiter IV 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine developing 389 horsepower and driving a two-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
Max Speed
124 mph
(200 kph | 108 kts)
14,501 ft
(4,420 m | 3 mi)
342 mi
(550 km | 1,019 nm)
495 ft/min
(151 m/min)

♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Hawker Duiker production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
1 OR 2 x 7.7mm Vickers Machine Gun in fixed, forward-firing mounting over the nose synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.
1 OR 2 x 7.7mm Lewis Machine Gun on trainable mounting in rear cockpit.

Supported Types

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 0

"Duiker" - Base Series Name; single, flyable prototype completed.

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Images Gallery

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Image of the Hawker Duiker
Image from the Public Domain.


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