Periodically, we highlight vintage aircraft listed for sale with one of our sponsors, Platinum Fighter Sales. Want to buy a Hawker Demon? How much does one cost? What’s it worth? These questions are perennials in the warbird world and beyond. This iconic Hawker Demon is possibly the most original and authentic, privately owned inter-war bi-plane available for purchase. It is based in the UK and available for Inspection by appointment only.
This beautiful 1937 Hawker Demon K8203 has 31 hours of flight time since an extensive 100-point restoration by Skysport Engineering, UK which was completed in 2009. The privately owned and operated Demon, K8203 is the only Demon currently flying and is a regular performer on the British airshow circuit. The only other example is on static display at the RAAF Museum, Point Cook, Australia.
The Hawker Demon was developed from the Hawker Hart bomber to address the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) lack of a fast fighter aircraft, the Demon went into production for the RAF in 1932, with a total of 304 aircraft eventually produced. In August 1934 the Australian Government ordered 18 Hawker Demons for the RAAF. Powered by a Rolls Royce Kestrel Mk V engine, these aircraft were for use as a general purpose/fighter aircraft. Subsequently, a further 36 were purchased for army co-operation and fighter-bomber duties and another 10 for target towing and training duties, with the 64 Demons serving with Nos 1, 2, 3, 12, and 22 Squadrons and No 1 Communications Unit. On the eve of World War II, the 54 Demons still in operational service were progressively replaced by CAC Wirraways, for use in the training and communications roles, and the last of the Demons were eventually phased out by the end of the war.
Demon K8203 was among the last 37 built by Boulton Paul Aircraft Ltd. of Wolverhampton and was delivered to No. 1 Aircraft Servicing Unit on October 27, 1937. Initially assigned to No. 64 Squadron at RAF Church Fenton, it was transferred to 25 Sqn. at RAF Hawkinge in mid-1938. Replaced by the Gladiator, the Demon was assigned to No. 9 Maintenance Unit at RAF Cosford and No. 9 Air Observers School (later renamed No. 9 Bombing & Gunnery School) at RAF Penrhos in Wales. That was K8203’s last operational station until it was struck off inventory on September 28, 1940, and became a ground training aid for No 1 Service Flying Training School at RAF Netheravon. K8023 was finally disposed of while with No. 413 (Aldershot) Squadron of the Air Training Corps, during 1943. Luckily, the Demon’s rear fuselage survived in storage at the RAF Museum depot at Cardington and was sold to civilian hands in 1991. SkySport Engineering Ltd. restored it to flying condition, and after more than 35,000 man hours and 18 long years, Demon K8023 returned to the sky on June 23, 2009, piloted by Stuart Goldspink. It was painted in the color scheme it wore while serving with No. 64 Squadron at RAF Church Fenton in 1937.