View Full Version : De Havilland Hornet

24th Apr 2003, 22:42
Hi all, info quest AGAIN!!
One of the less known from the dehavilland factory... any info?? where did they fly from? did any see any combat? what was their role??? Thanks

24th Apr 2003, 22:53
Get hold of a copy of Lewis Cooper's 'The Hornet File' (ISBN 0 85130 202 5). It is the definitive work on Hornets/Sea Hornets and the Squadrons which operated them. Combat? RAF Hornets saw plenty of action during the Malayan campaign. Many were scrapped in the Far East. Such a shame that not a single complete example of a Hornet or Sea Hornet still exists.

25th Apr 2003, 02:33
Go to Google and type in the appropriate key word. I did it recently and got much good info.

Sorry, can't remember the specific websites that Google pointed me at.

25th Apr 2003, 13:35
I saw a Hornet steal the show at an air display back in the 50s/60s. It stopped both engines at, we were told, 8000 ft. A dive to a very low level over the airfield gave it enough speed to complete a wide loop, followed by a roll before unfeathering and re-starting the engines.

Even without the noise of the engines, its passage was not exactly silent.

Did this pre-date Bob Hoover?

astir 8
25th Apr 2003, 15:29
Just from the photos it must have been one of the best looking aircraft ever built.

Pity there's not even one left

Jet Dragon
28th Apr 2003, 10:19
Gyp - I remember my (late) dad recounting the very same story to me years ago - about the Hornet that feathered both props during his display.

That particular display was at Hawarden where a fair few Hornets were built.



1st May 2003, 09:54
A Hornet operated briefly in Canada with a civil registration, back in the late fifties or early sixties. I seem to recall the company used it on high altitude photographic survey. Must go look it up.

1st May 2003, 17:03
That unique civilian Hornet was a Sea Hornet which was shipped to Canada in 1948 for winterisation trials and when they were completed it was sold to Spartan Air Services for photo survey work. Spartan, who operated a fleet of photo Mosquitos, later sold it to Field Aircraft Services, but it didn't last long. After an engine fire-induced forced landing in July 1952 it was scrapped due to lack of spares. It was 806 NAS the official Fleet Air Arm display team at the time which developed the single-engine and both-feathered aerobatic routines with their Sea Hornet F.20s. Some reports of their visit to the USA in the summer of 1948 say that they performed formation set pieces with feathered props at New York's Idlewild Airport. What a sight that must have been!

2nd May 2003, 05:23
Didn't Westland produce a single seat twin-engine fighter in the early 40's? I think it was called the Whirlwind... ISTR making an Airfix kit of it a looooong time ago.

Random UAS Stude
2nd May 2003, 18:16

Westland did produce the Whirlwind (not to be confused with the later helicopter), and it entered service an 1940. Should have been a good plane, but it had the fabled RR Peregrine's (like the Manchester). Unfortunately, Messr's Supermarine and Hawker needed all the RR Merlins they could get (as everyone did in those days), and they weren't fitted to the Whirlwind. Have a look at the link below...



2nd May 2003, 20:21
Ahhh....... De Havilland Hornet. This is the aircraft that most afficionados would like to rebuild if they had unlimited time, effort and money. And a couple of opposite rotating Merlins of course.

Now where did I leave that winning lottery ticket???

2nd May 2003, 20:38

Several companies tried to do a twin-engine fighter, Westlands also made the Welkin, which did have Merlins, but was targetted at high altitude threats, Vickers did another one and Glosters also had a Perigrine engine prototype at about the same time as the Whirlwind. None had the charisma of the DeHavilland though.


Oh, the Manchester had Vultures, two Perigrines bolted together to make a spectacularly unsuccessful engine. We had some thread about this a while ago.

(editted after noticing an attack of the Drape's)

Random UAS Stude
3rd May 2003, 02:52

Thanks, I stand corrected, the Manchester did have vulture's

Silly schoolboy error...


5th May 2003, 05:30
There's something about this aircraft with its canopy perched on the nose, and that diminutive airframe wrapped around those late model Merlins....

It's one of the favourites on enthusiasts 'wish list' to resurrect extinct types.

I'll start a new thread to see if any old timers have got memories to share.

5th May 2003, 05:32
Following on from the Hornet thread, do any of our more senior contributers have any meomories of operating on this aircraft (air or ground crew) which they would like to share with us?