1/72 Airfix Hawker Hart and Audax

Gallery Article by Polly Singh

 

1/72 Airfix Hawker Demons converted to a Hawker Hart and Audax

The Hart, which proved to be the most adaptable biplane ever to enter RAF service, was designed to Air ministry spec 12/26 and was chosen as the standard day bomber over the Fairey Fox and Avro Antelope. The Hart served at home in seven sqns and three in India (11, 60 and 39). The first Harts came to India with 39 sqn RAF. Sub variants included Hart (India) a tropicalised version serialled K2083-2132, K3921-3922 and K 8627-8631. The first IAF sqn to receive Harts was No 1 sqn who started conversion on 25 Jun 39 at Ambala (after handing over their Wapitis to Coastal Defence Flights). Although Harts performed well in the watch and ward duties on the NWFP they were dogged by spares problems and were handed in in Jun 1940 when the unit reverted to wapitis and a flight of Audaxes. 

Soon after the type entered service it became apparent that the aircraft could be adapted to many roles and hence followed the Audax, Hind, Demon, Osprey, Hardy, Hector and Nimrod. The Audax which appeared in 1931 was the army cooperation version of the Hart, differentiated, by the long exhaust pipes and message collecting hook connected to the undercarriage. The type was chosen to replace the Armstrong Whitworth Atlas and three RAF Wapiti sqns on the NWFP. No I sqn IAF converted to the Audax in Jun 1940, 2 sqn in Sep 1941 and 3 sqn on 01 Oct 1941. No 3 sqn being noteworthy in its action against the Pir of Pagaro’s Hurs in the Sind. 3 sqn was the last sqn to hand in its Audaxs which continued on in the training and target towing role at SFTS Ambala till the end of the war.

The Hart shown here is a small modification from the Airfix Demon , painted to represent an aircraft from No 1 sqn at Miranshah in 1940. The Audax is painted in standard RAF dark earth/dark green with undersides in trainer yellow. This was the standard RAF trainer scheme through out the war. The aircraft depicts an example from 3 sqn in 1943 at SFTS Ambala.

Polly Singh

      

Photos and text © by Polly Singh