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Hawker Audax and Hart modifications for pre-war service in Singapore?

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  • Sid Guttridge
    Rank 1 Registered User
    • Aug 2018
    • 2

    Hawker Audax and Hart modifications for pre-war service in Singapore?

    I have noticed from The K File by J. J. Halley that Hawker Audaxes and Hawker Harts sent to Singapore in the second half of the 1930s were given some modifications that earned the addition of (Singapore) to their official designation.

    Does anyone know what modifications were made to the aircraft and why?

    Was it, perhaps, related to the humidity of the tropics?

    Were any other types similarly converted?

    Many thanks,

    Sid.
  • WebPilot
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Jan 2000
    • 1899

    #2
    Tropicalised versions generally had improved engine cooling systems, dust filters and survival equipment. Most types that served in more extreme environments had such mods.

    Comment

    • Sid Guttridge
      Rank 1 Registered User
      • Aug 2018
      • 2

      #3
      Hi WebPilot,

      Thanks.

      However, if the Singapore Audaxes and Harts got the same conversions as, say, the Indian or Southern Rhodesian Audaxes, then one has to wonder why they got a specific sub-type designation.

      It seems possible that there was something specific to the Audax (Singapore) that distinguished it from the others.

      Many thanks,

      Sid.

      Comment

      • John Aeroclub
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Jul 2006
        • 2763

        #4
        Perhaps there were changes to the carburetors and other changes to the engine due to the excessive humidity of Singapore?

        John

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        • Lingo Dog
          Rank 3 Registered User
          • Oct 2018
          • 102

          #5
          As is usual on this forum, a definitive answer on virtually subject. Well done!

          Comment

          • anneorac
            Ex-Pat Scottish Member
            • Jan 2000
            • 647

            #6
            This view of K3720 at Seletar appears to show a rather standard looking Audax with a naturally aspirated Kestrel. Sadly it's impossible to tell from this angle if it was fitted with twin fuel tanks like the India versions of the Hart & Audax. Complete speculation on my part but I wonder if the Singapore aircraft copied the Osprey in using stainless steel in an effort to combat the humid and salty conditions found in the region?

            pb::

            Comment

            • anneorac
              Ex-Pat Scottish Member
              • Jan 2000
              • 647

              #7
              There are a couple of poor quality photos on Flight Global Archive which show SSVAF Audaxes. Have a look at this page and the page before.

              https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarch...0-%200540.html

              According to Putnam's Hawker Aircraft since 1920, the Osprey moved over to stainless steel construction late in 1932. It is however a little hazy on details. Where's a copy of a post 1932 AP1431 when you need one?

              Anne
              192 FLIGHT. FEBRUARY 23, K^Q S.S.V.A.F. Audaxes at Mergui aero drome, Burma. The natives squatting in the foreground are Burmese priests. opening of its own training depot in June, 1933. Not
              pb::

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              • John Aeroclub
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Jul 2006
                • 2763

                #8
                I had a play with the photo put up by Anne and the serial by the way is K3720.

                I would suggest that the compression ratio of the lower rated engines suited the denser humid air conditions of the Far East. The extra perforated top cowls found on some Hawker types in the Indian theatre are more often found on aircraft originally destined for the drier near east. The stainless steel Osprey wings are also different in many ways from the pure Hart / Audax machines and as the erks knew them "An Awdax is a Art wiv an ook".

                Unfortunately there are a number of errors in the other wise excellent Mason book such the Hartebees having only one front gun when they had two and despite being treated as distinctly different type, both it and the Australian Demon were both Demons with slightly varying Army co-op fit.

                John
                Last edited by John Aeroclub; 23rd October 2018, 13:07.

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