After the successful development of the famous Mosquito in the early 1940s, the South-East Asia front was expanding and the necessity of a long range fighter became imminent for the RAF to attack Japanes targets. De havilland started to design a long range single seat fighter as well as a bomber version as a private venture, later the Air Ministry issued specification F12/43.
The first prototype Hornet made its maiden flight on 28 July 1944. With its sleek and slim design, the Hornet's performance exceeded expectaions. It soon developed a speed of 776kmph (485mph) which is still the fastest recorded of any British made piston engine aircraft.
The first production Hornet was delivered on 28 February 1945, but
was not in service until early 1946. So the Hornet was never used for
its original purpose.
A total of 198 hornet and 182 naval variant Sea Hornet were produced,
and all were scrapped by the end of 1957.
There is no preserved airframe available. However, we were lucky enough
to obtain a set of De Havilland's original drawings.
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