de Havilland Hornet F.1: Swan Song.

Just about to show its true potential at the end of WW2, the incredibly beautiful Hornet was the result of the lessons learned by the de Havilland people with their earlier Mosquito. The Hornet F.1 thanks to its highly developed RR Merlin 130 series engines attained a maximum speed of 472 mph at 22,000 feet carrying an armament of four 20 mm Hispano canons. The end of the war and the unstoppable arrival of the jet engine technology must have mean the end of the Hornet right then, but it was just too good. Both RAF and the FAA employed a fair number of them with total satisfaction in roles where the jets were still a little immature (too short-legged).

One of the handsomest twin-engined fighters of its era, if not “the” handsomest.


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