Supermarine Nighthawk

Supermarine Nighthawk

Infobox Aircraft
name = Nighthawk

caption = Supermarine Nighthawk
type = Anti-Zeppelin Fighter
national origin = United Kingdom
manufacturer = Supermarine
designer =
first flight = 1917
introduction =
retired =
status = Prototype only
primary user =
more users =
produced =
number built = 1
program cost =
unit cost =
developed from = Pemberton Billing P.B.29E
variants with their own articles =

The P.B.31E Night Hawk, the first project of the Pemberton-Billing operation after it became Supermarine Aviation Works Ltd., was a prototype anti-Zeppelin fighter with a crew of three to five and an intended endurance of 9 to 18 hours. It was first flown in February 1917 with Clifford Prodger at the controls.

It had six-bay swept quadriplane wings, the fuselage filled the gap between the second and third wings, and a biplane tailplane with twin fins and rudders. The cockpit was enclosed and heated.

For armament, it had a trainable nose-mounted searchlight, a 1½-pounder (37mm) Davis gun mounted above the top wing with 20 shells, and two .303-inch Lewis guns. Power for the searchlight was provided by an independent petrol engine-driven generator set made by ABC- possibly the first instance of a recognisable airborne APU. Andres and Morgan 1987, p.21.]

It was advertised as being able to reach 75 mph, but the prototype only managed 60 mph at 6500 ft and took an hour to climb to 10,000 ft, totally inadequate for intercepting Zeppelins. Bruce 1969, p.69.] Given the Anzani's reputation for unreliability and overheating, it is unlikely that the airplane would have delivered the advertised endurance either.

Specifications (Prototype)

aircraft specifications

plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=prop

ref=The British Fighter since 1912 Mason 1992, p.60. ]

crew= Four(2 pilots, 2 gunners)
payload main=
payload alt=
length main= 37 ft
length alt= 11.28 m
span main= 60 ft
span alt= 18.29 m
height main= 17 ft 8½ in
height alt= 5.39 m
area main= 962 ft²
area alt= 89.2 m²
empty weight main= 3,677 lb
empty weight alt= 1,671 kg
loaded weight main= 6,146 lb
loaded weight alt= 2,794 kg
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main=
max takeoff weight alt=
more general=

engine (prop)= Anzani
type of prop=9 cylinder radial engine with four blade propellers
number of props= 2
power main= 100 hp
power alt=75 kW
power original=

max speed main= 65 knots
max speed alt= 75 mph, 121 km/h
cruise speed main=
cruise speed alt=
stall speed main=
stall speed alt=
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
range main=
range alt=
ceiling main=
ceiling alt=
climb rate main=
climb rate alt=
loading main=
loading alt=
power/mass main=
power/mass alt=
more performance=*Time to 10,000 ft (3,050 m): 60 min
* Endurance: 9 - 18 hours

guns= One 1½ pdr Davis gun and one Lewis gun above upper wing, and one Lewis gun in the nose


related =
similar aircraft =
see also =
lists =


*cite book |title=Supermarine Aircraft since 1914 |last=Andrews |first=C.F. |authorlink= |coauthors=Morgan, E.B. |year= 1987|publisher= Putnam|location=London |isbn= 0 85177 800 3|pages=
*cite book |title= Warplanes of the First World War: Volume Three: Fighters|last= Bruce|first= J.M. |authorlink= |coauthors= |year=1969 |publisher=Macdonald |location=London |isbn=356 01490 8 |pages=
*Cite book|author=Mason, Francis K|authorlink =|title=The British Fighter since 1912
publisher=Naval Institute Press|location=Annapolis, Maryland|year=1992|isbn= 1-55750-082-7

External links

* [ British Aircraft Directory]

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