Walkaround - Hawker Hart Trainer K4972

Walkaround - Hawker Hart Trainer K4972
RAF Museum at Cosford, Shropshire, UK
November, 9th, 2018.

The Hawker Hart was the father of a long and successful line of biplanes designed during the 1920s by Sidney Camm, and used by the Royal Air Force (RAF), Royal Navy (RN) and by some countries. Audax, Demon, Hind, Osprey, and Hardy are all variants of the Hart. The main role of the Hart was light bombing. Later it was modified to be observation aircraft and trainer. The later is the type covered in this report. It is essentially an unarmed Hart with dual controls, developed in 1932. The Hart was powered by the Rolls-Royce V12 Kestrel engine, which later would evolve to the famous Merlin.

This example is Hart Trainer K4972/1764M. It was part of a batch of 167 aircraft (K4886-K5052) built by Armstrong-Whitworth in 1935 (contract no.361968/35)  to  specification  8/35, as  a  series  IIA  with  510hp  Rolls-Royce  Kestrel X (de-rated) engine and fitted with dual control.  Makers No.4261.

K4972 was initially operated by No.2 Flying Training School (FTS) at RAF Digby, moving with the unit to RAF Brize Norton in September 1937. It became a ground training airframe in 1940 and 1943 joined the ATC at RAF Silloth. There it remained until discovered on March 1962. In 1963 it was gifted to the RAF Museum and was then stored at RAF Henlow. It moved to RAF St Athan for restoration in January 1968 and was completed in May 1969. After being displayed as part of the St Athan collection, it moved to Hendon in 1972. In June 1987 it moved to Cardington for further restoration and in 1992 it went on display at Cosford. It moved back to Hendon in November 2002 but has now returned to Cosford where it is on display in Hangar 1 (Andrew Simpson).


ManufacturerHawker Aircraft Company



TypeTrainer / Light Bomber / Communication aircraft
First year of production1930

Production total



1 × Kestrel X water cooled V12 engine

Engine rating

391 kW (525 hp)

Maximum take-off weight

2085 kg (4596 lb)

Empty weight

1148 kg (2530 lb)


RAF 28

Fuel Capacity

380 L (83 imp gal / 100 gal)

Maximum speed

298 km/h (185 moh) @ 4000 m (13000 ft)

Stall speed

72 km/h (45 mph)


690 km (430 mi)

Service ceiling6900 (22800 ft)

Rate of climb

8 min 30 s to 3000 m (10000 ft)


8.94 m (29 ft 4 in)


11.35 m (37 ft 3 in))


3.18 m (10 ft 5 in)

Wing area

32.47 m2  (349.5 sq ft)

This is a short walkround I made during a visit to The RAF Museum at Cosford, UK in 2018. If you are interested, the complete individual history of K4972 can be downloaded here.

For the records, the museum reference is 





Just a small warning about this wonderful restoration. On both sides of the fuselage, there is a big open slot where the central wing struts enter. These slots should not be open, but closed, as the photo below shows. I am not sure about the originality of the tail wheel neither.

A plate closes the center wing struts aperture (www.net-maquettes.com)


I hope you find these photos useful somehow. If you have any interesting information about the history of this aircraft, please drop me a line.

Rato Marczak © 2019