Hawker P.1052

The Hawker P.1052 was a swept-wing version of the P.1040, the design that evolved into the Sea Hawk. In 1945 Hawkers submitted a proposal for a rocket-powered swept-wing version of the P.1040, the P.1047. This design was examined at the RAE, but nothing practical was done until the Navy produced Specification N.7/46, for the Sea Hawk. In November 1946 the Air Ministry drafted Specification E.38/46, for a swept-wing version of the N.7/46. After further discussion a contract was issued to build two prototypes in May 1947, and the first was completed by November 1948.

This aircraft (VX272) made its maiden flight on 19 November with Sqn Ldr T. S. Wade at the controls. It was followed on 13 April 1949 by the second prototype, XV279. This second prototype retained its original configuration for less than a year, before being modified to the P.1081 standard for the Australian government, but VX272 was used as a research aircraft until 1953. The aircraft was damaged in a forced landing on 29 September 1949. Repairs were completed in March 1950, but the aircraft was damaged in a second crash, and this time repairs took until September 1951. High speed trials were conducted in March 1952, before in May of the same year VX272 finally made the P.1052's first deck landings - indeed the first made by any British swept-wing aircraft. After these trials were over the original straight tail was replaced with a variable incidence swept tailplane. With this new tail the aircraft reached a top speed of Mach 0.87, significantly above that of the straight winged Sea Hawk. This series of trials was ended by yet another crash, in September 1953. Once again the aircraft was repaired, but this time its flying career was over, and it was used as a ground instruction machine.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (6 June 2010), Hawker P.1052 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_hawker_P1052.html

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