Hawker Tomtit

As the Avro 504 series enjoyed such a long and successful career in the training role, the Royal Air Force had no requirement for a new trainer for twelve years after the end of WW1. The Tomtit was designed as a replacement and became the first Hawker biplane to enter service with the RAF. The Tomtit was one of the pace-setters in the change-over from wooden to metal construction, with a steel tube fuselage of a pattern that became the Hawker norm as far ahead as the Hurricane.

In 1929 Tomtits were issued to No.3 Flying Training School at Grantham and to the Central Flying School at Wittering. A Tomtit on the strength of No.24 (Communications) Squadron at Northolt was flown regularly by the then Prince of Wales. The type was withdrawn from service in 1935 and several were sold to civilian owners, to join a small number that had been built especially for the civil market. Six Tomtits were flying at the outbreak of the Second World War and all became camouflaged but they were all kept on the civil register for use on communications duties.

Max speed: 124 mph
Gross weight: 1,750 Ib
Span: 28ft 6" in
Length: 23ft 8 in