The History of Kingston Aviation
Sopwith CamelNotably named for its metal hump to protect the guns from freezing at high altitude, the Sopwith Camel was the first in the prestigious manufacture line of aircraft that were made in Kingston. It was manoeuvrable, quick and very difficult to beat in a dogfight, so much so that it shot down the most enemy aircraft than other World War.
Sopwith Camel (More Information)It could fly 10,000ft in ten minutes and had a top speed of 183mph. The fuselage of the plane was made from aluminium, a sturdy, but light metal, so the planes only weighed 420kg, when empty. The only downside was the fact it was tail-heavy, making flight unpredictable. In fact more people died whilst in training, than in dogfights whilst flying the Sopwith Camel. The success of the Sopwith Camel sparked off other designs including the F-1, the 2F-1 and the T.F-1 all manufactured in Kingston.
Sopwith RhinoDesigner: N/A
Top Speed: 103 mph
Engine: Beardmore Halford Pullinger
Number Made: 2 The Sopwith Rhino was a triplane bomber manufactured by Sopwith. It was first tested at Brooklands in October 1917, however, there was a large amount of engine heating and its performance was not astounding, so production never took off!
End of WWIPEACE.
Sopwith > HawkerSopwith and Hawker manufacturers liquidise and Harry Hawker takes control.
Hawker HeronDesigner: Sydney Camm
Top Speed: 156 mph
Engine: Bristol Jupiter VI
Number Made: 1 The Hawker Heron was the first plane manufactured by Hakwer to be made entirely out of metal. This was a step forward for the British, as previously, planes were made from canvas, which was lighter, but more delicate.
Hawker HartDesigner: Sydney Camm
Top Speed: 176 mph
Engine: Rolls-Royce Kestrel
Number Made: 990 The Hawker Hart was another plane that influenced the industry. It was a basis for many other planes and models (notably the Hawker Hind and Hector) that were built in later years and also served in WWII. It was a good all-round plane that the RAF primarily used, but it also served internationally.
Hawker HurricaneWWII meant a large step forward for the aviation industry in Kingston. Now, jet planes had been introduced and are notably known for bringing home victories. Overshadowed by the famous Spitfire, the Hawker Hurricane was influential plane that took the industry by storm, accounting for over 60% of all RAF wins during the Battle of Britain and were mass-produced at the Hawker Centre in Kingston and around the Country with the total amassing to 14,000 by the end of the 1930s.
Hawker Hurricane (More Information)The Hurricane could reach speeds of up to 340mph and an altitude of 35,600ft; this shows the marked improvements jet engines made to the performance of aircraft. The engine in the Hurricane was a Rolls Royce Merlin engine, with twelve cylinders, a self-cooling, and a maximum of 1030hp. The Hurricane was used the base layer for jet engines to be produced in the future, and although many models were produced, the major step forward was to bigger better planes such as the Hawker Hunter and Harrier.
Supermarine SpitfireDesigner: R. J. Mitchell
Top Speed: 375 mph
Engine: Rolls-Royce Merlin. Rolls-Royce Griffon.
Number Made: 20,350 The Spitfire is the most recognised plane that flew in WWII. It defended the British bombers in the Battle of Brittain, alongside the Hawker Hurricane. A slightly smaller, lighter and faster model was designed with a more powerful engine (Griffon).
Start of WWIIWAR.
Hawker TyphoonDesigner: Sydney Camm
Top Speed: 412 mph
Engine: Napier Sabre
Number Made: 3315 The Hawker Typhoon was meant to be the plane that directly replaced the Hurricane to bring home victories. It was similar in most ways, but it just didn't fit. There were many design flaws and the requirements were not matched. However, this did not cease production. The plane did attract the RAF and Canada's attention It went on to inspire other designs such as the Hawker Tempest and Tornado.
End of WWIIPEACE.
Hawker Sea HawkDesigner: Sydney Camm
Top Speed: 600 mph
Engine: Rolls-Royce Nene
Number Made: 540 The Hawker Sea Hawk was your typical post-WWII plane. It was light. It was fast and it was state-of-the-art. Its use on air-craft carriers was benefical for the RAF and it was used up until 1983, when it retired. However the thing that made the Sea Hawk special was the fact it was a modification of the Hawker Fury- the last propeller plane to serve the Navy, which shows the advance in technology,
Hawker HunterWhen WWII had ended, the world could relax. However, this was not the case for Hawker aviation industry- they were busy building another ground-breaking aircraft. The Hawker Hunter. This feat of engineering added to the RAFs line-up of elite aircraft and included everything the Hurricane had, but this time better, It broke the world air speed record at an astonishing 727mph- more than twice than that of its Hawker ancestor so the plane was built to endure 7g and super-sonic speeds.
Hawker Hunter (More Information)The fame of air speed record was also solidified, when the Black Arrows were created. They were a flight formation group that worked with the Hawker Hunter to produce 22 fantastic formations, with their 16 aircraft, which paved the way for the more recent Red Arrows. To power this phenomenal aircraft, state of the art technology was used such as the Avon 207 engine that produced over 10,100lbs of force. The design and mechanics were then stepped up a notch for the next ground-breaking aircraft.
The Story of the Black ArrowsWATCH The history of the Black Arrows as aircraft formation took to the skies.
Hawker Siddeley HarrierTechnology was now striding forward in leaps and bound, and space exploration was now the craze. The aircraft industry showed off its capabilities with the Harrier ("Jump Jet"). Predecessor to the Hunter and Hurricane, the Harrier leapt into the record books with a new way of takeoff and landing. Used on aircraft carriers, the Harrier could take off and land in short spaces, but more notably, could take off vertically and "jump" into the air.
Hawker Siddeley Harrier (More Information)The plane can only hover for 90 seconds and in the process of doing so, uses up 685l of water to keep the engine cool during this time. The Harrier uses a Rolls Royce Pegasus engine, that process 23,000lbs of thrust, The thing that made that Harrier so successful was its compact takeoff radius and light demeanour (only 7,700kg). This made it ideal for the RAF and modern day naval forces. The design was then altered to that of the Red Arrows (also built in Kingston), the Raptor and Eurofighter.
Harrier TakeoffWATCH This video shows the sheer power that the Harrier contained when it takes off vertically off an aircraft carrier.