The twin-engined Hornet fighter was designed to Specification F.12/43 and the first prototype flew on 28 July 1944. It entered production at the end of 1944 and deliveries were made to the RAF from February 1945, but none became operational before the end of hostilities in August 1945.
The Sea Hornet was a naval adaptation of the RAF Hornet. It was fitted with folding wings and had provision for deck arrester and RATO gear. Air-draulic shock-absorber legs replaced the rubber-in-compression legs to eliminate bounce in carrier landings.
The Hornet was the fastest twin piston-engined operational combat aircraft in the world while in service and the first aircraft to demonstrate a cartwheel manoeuvre. Operated in Malaya in the early 1950s, the type was finally withdrawn from service in 1955.