B 4 - Hawker Hart (1934-1947)
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The Hawker Hart came into RAF service in January 1930 as a two-seat light bomber. The RAF kept their Harts in squadron service until 1939. The Swedish Air Force procured three Harts from Hawker to evaluate the design as a possible reconnaissance aircraft. Also a contract concerning license-production in Sweden was signed. The three British-built aircraft arrived to the Air Force in May of 1934 and were given the designation S 7 (S = Spaning = Reconnaissance). 

During the evaluation, successful tests with the Harts as a dive-bomber were executed. The Harts were re-designated B 4. A further 42 Harts were purchased from three manufacturers in Sweden; twenty-one airframes from The Central Workshops of the Air Force (CVM), eighteen airframes from AJSA at Linköping and three from Götaverken, a major shipyard in Gothenburg, which just had started an aircraft department. A total of 45 aircraft were supplied to the Air Force 1934-1939. 

The three original British Harts (B 4) were fitted with Bristol Mercury VII engines of 580 hp. All, except two, of the Swedish manufactured aircraft were powered with the licence-built NOHAB Mercury VIIA engine (580 hp) and designated B 4A. The remaining two Harts were provided with the Bristol Perseus XI engine (755 hp). These aircraft got the designation B 4B. All Swedish Air Force Harts were equipped with ski landing gears as an alternative to wheels.  

The Harts were withdrawn as combat aircraft in 1940 and later used for target towing, weather reconnaissance, liaison etc. Most of the aircraft built made short careers as dive-bombers, but made an invaluable contribution in developing the dive bombing technique, later refined with the B 5 and B 17 aircraft. 

The Swedish Harts were armed with one fixed and one moveable 7,9 mm machine-gun. The aircraft were able to carry four 50 kg bombs or twelve smaller bombs.     

Five Harts were transferred to the Swedish voluntary Wing F 19, which operated in Finland during the Winter War 1939-40. Three of them were lost during the service. The preserved B 4A on the photo above, displayed at Flygvapenmuseum, is painted and marked as the F 19 Harts. The blue swastika was used by the Finnish Air Force since the early days and has thus no connection with the German Luftwaffe.  C/n 52. Sw AF/n 714. 

Photo below: B 4 of Wing F 1 at Västerås. 

Span 11,35 m. Length 8,56 m. MTOW 2.070 kg. Maximum speed 260 km/h.



For the Model Builder

The Czech company Legato Plastic Models / AZ Models has developed model kits both of B 4A in standard Swedish markings (cat. no. AZ7226) and in the markings of aircraft belonging to the volountary Wing F 19 in Finland (cat. no. AZ7225). The kits are made of injection moulded plastic completed with resin parts. Scale 1:72.

Legato/AZ model kit of B 4A in Swedish markings. Scale 1:72. Catalouge numer AZ7226. Legato/AZ model kit of B 4A as flown in the Finnish Winter War. Scale 1:72. Catalouge numer AZ7225.




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© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2010-07-16