Hawker Hedgehog

The Hawker Hedgehog was a design for a reconnaissance aircraft produced in 1924 but that was never put into production. The Hedgehog was designed during 1923 in response to Air Ministry Specification 37/22, which called for a reconnaissance aircraft that would have replaced the Avro Bison, Blackburn Blackburn and Parnall Panther in service.

The Hedgehog was a biplane of conventional wood and fabric construction. The three crew sat in line, with the pilot just under the leading edge of the top wing, the observer just behind him under the wing, and the gunner just behind the trailing edge, which was cut away to improve his view. The Hedgehog had landing flaps on the upper and lower wings, and 'drooping' ailerons (both ailerons could be lowered at the same time). As a result the Hedgehog could take off in 155 yards into a 9mph headwind, land in 180 yards and had a stalling speed with the flaps lowered for 45mph.

The prototype Hedgehog was sent to Martlesham Heath for RAF evaluation in September 1924, and was generally well regarded, but its performance was not a significant improvement over that of the aircraft it had been designed to replace, and so the Air Ministry decided not to put it into production. The prototype was purchased by the Air Ministry, and used for trials of the 'drooping' ailerons. It was later used to test floats and an amphibian landing gear (with both floats and wheels, allowing the aircraft to operate from land and water). During these trials the Hedgehog was written off.

Engine: Bristol Jupiter IV
Power: 398hp
Crew: Three
Wing span: 40ft 0.5in
Length: 30ft 8.75in
Height: 12ft 6in
Empty Weight: 2,995lb
Loaded Weight: 4,791lb
Max Speed: 120.5mph at sea level
Cruising Speed: 89mph
Service Ceiling: 13,500ft
Armament: One fixed forward firing Vickers gun, one flexibly mounted Lewis gun on Scarff ring.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (13 April 2010), Hawker Hedgehog , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/hawker_hedgehog.html

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