09/30/2011. Despite its close family resemblance to the Fury, the Nimrod single-seat shipboard fighter was not a variant of the land-based warplane, the lineal development of the two aircraft having been entirely separate. Owing much to the Hoopoe, the Nimrod was of similar fabric-covered all-metal construction to the Fury; it was powered by a 477 hp Kestrel II MS engine.
After Specification 16/30 had been drafted around the Hawker proposal, the pictured prototype was first flown by company test pilot P.E.G. Sayer on September 20, 1931. In November the aircraft was shipped to Japan by aircraft carrier, where it was demonstrated by Flight Lieutenant P.G. Lucas. It returned in the UK in February 1932 and was delivered to Martlesham Heath for performance and handling trials, while in April it accomplished deck landing trials on the HMS Eagle, clearing the Nimrod for service, that commenced in June 1932.
The first Nimrod Mk.I built against an initial production order for 35 aircraft for the Fleet Air Arm was flown on October 14, 1931. All Nimrods had provision for interchangeable wheel and float undercarriages, and the second production aircraft was fitted with twin floats for trials at Felixstowe. A total of 57 Nimrod Mk.Is was followed by 28 Nimrod Mk.IIs, these standardizing on the 608 hp Kestrel V engine, three degrees of wing sweepback and enlarged tail-planes.
Three had stainless rather than conventional steel structures. A single evaluation example of the Nimrod Mk.II was supplied to each of Japan and Portugal, and two Nimrod Mk.IIs were exported to Denmark. In this last country a further 10 were license-built by the Orlogsvaerftet (naval dockyard). The Nimrod remained in Royal Navy service until May 1939, and with the Danish Navy until the service's disbandment on August 29, 1943 (although these aircraft were not flown subsequent to the occupation of Denmark by the German forces in April 1940).