Hawker Horsley
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Peter Theobald, e-mail, 09.01.2021 20:32

The Horsley name was chosen as a tribute to T.O.M. Sopwith, his home was Horsley Towers, the Horsley was named after that.

The Horsley was initially to be called the Hawker Kingston, after the town in Surrey where Hawker had its works but it was changed to Horsley before the prototype flew.

There was no Hawker test pilot named ‘Horsley’. The test pilots who flew the prototype Horsleys were Fred Raynham and George Bulman. Bulman, incidentally, went on to test fly the prototype Hurricane.


Pete, e-mail, 09.01.2021 20:25

Hi Duncan,

There were two Horsleys configured for the distance record, the first was J8607. That took off from Cranwell, piloted by Flt Lieutenants Carr and Gillman. This machine briefly held the long distance record, having ditched in the Persian Gulf en-route to India. Some sources say that it ran out of fuel but others say that it was brought down by an oil system problem. Carr and Gillman spent a night afloat on their upturned machine before being rescued.

The next Horsley, J8608, again captained by Flt Lt. Carr but this time with Flt Lt. Dearth as 2nd pilot/navigator, was to make two attempts at the record. The first ended after a mere hour aloft when an oil leak was spotted and Carr safely landed the heavily overloaded aircraft at RAF Martlesham Heath in Suffolk. The next attempt ended in failure at Aschach, Upper Austria, again following power plant issues. As the country was mountainous, Carr elected to put the aircraft down on the Danube. He escaped with minor injuries but Dearth was less fortunate, breaking several ribs and suffering from suspected internal bleeding. Both crewmen were lucky as they were quickly assisted by locals after the ditching. The engine was removed from J8608 and returned to the U.K. for analyses but no further record attempts were made using the Hawker Horsley.


Duncan, e-mail, 21.11.2015 17:53

I have a small photograph of J 8607 upside down in a very sorry state at Basra in June 1927. The comment on the back states that it is the remains of Carr & Gillmans long distance aeroplane. If so what happened to its Austrian adventure or was that different aircraft ?


John Smith, e-mail, 30.10.2015 22:00

Hawkers test Pilot was named Horseley. My old Squadron number 100 was at one time equiped with them


haillie, e-mail, 17.12.2008 17:37

youneed more infoabout demensions


colin keenan, e-mail, 24.09.2008 22:50

I have, what I think is a good condition propeller from a horsley - any comments, interest in same appreciated




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