|FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / United Kingdom / Hawker|
The first fighter to be produced by Hawker Engineering (the successor to Sopwith Aviation), the Woodcock was designed by Capt B Thomson to meet Specification 25/22 calling for a single-seat night interceptor fighter. Of wooden construction with fabric skinning, the Woodcock was a two-bay biplane with variable-camber flaps and a 358hp Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar II 14- cylinder radial. Mounting an armament of two 7.7mm Vickers guns, the Woodcock was flown in 1923, but its qualities proved disappointing. Lacking manoeuvrability, it suffered serious wing flutter and an ineffectual rudder. Several revisions of the vertical tail were undertaken, and the Jaguar engine was replaced by a Bristol Jupiter, but the Woodcock failed to find favour during Martlesham Heath evaluation. Further development was discarded in favour of a thoroughgoing redesign that led to the Woodcock II.