Air Enthusiast 1998-07
D.Henley - Then there was one...
From 36 to one. Shuttleworth's sole-surviving Tomtit K1786 delights crowds at both its home base, Old Warden, and at other venues.
From 1959 G-AFTA maintained its Hawker house colours while with Shuttleworth. Following overhaul at Dunsfold in 1967 it took on military markings once more.
The Tomtit prototype J9772 while on charge with 24 Squadron at Hendon, July 1930 to May 1933. It then served briefly with the Air Defence of Great Britain Communication Flight at Northolt from December 1935 until January 1936 after which it is assumed to have been struck off charge.
Delightful air-to-air portrait of J9777. This aircraft initially served with the Central Flying School at Wittering from 1929, joining 3 FTS in December that year. It was destroyed in a collision with a Siskin at Grantham in July 1931.
G-AFTA in racing trim, 1951. Note the Spitfire windscreen and faired headrest from its days with Alex Henshaw.
G-ABAX was one of five civilian Tomtits. It was fitted with a Wolseley AR.9 in 1935, as illustrated, hut retired in 1936 and was used for carburettor trials.
When K1786 performs, the audience is treated to a delightful combination - Hawker biplane and Armstrong Siddeley Mongoose IIIC five-cylinder radial.
Line-up at Grantham, 1931, of 3 Flying Training School Tomtits. Nearest is J9776 ‘9’ which served with the FTS from April to November 1930, moving on to 24 Squadron in December 1931.
A reminder of the frailty of aeronautical treasures. K1786 suffered a forced-landing during the airshow at Mildenhall in May 1985.
Hawker Tomtit I.