Following in the footsteps of “Space: 1999’s” Eagle, the Mark 9 Hawk improved on the technology and construction techniques developed for its sister ship. The smaller size of the Hawk makes it a much more agile and maneuverable craft.
Originally three of the ships were constructed in 1974-75 (again, as a joint venture between British and Italian aerospace companies), but after the completion of the episode “War Games,” two of the Hawk ships were refitted and modified. In the second season, one was modified into the “Swift,” and the other into the “Superswift.” Luckily, the third ship was left in its original state.
This last example of the aggressive Hawk warship is displayed here. Producer Gerry Anderson’s production philosophy was to recycle and re-use many of the ships he created over the years, and it’s due to his insistence of storing his vehicles for use in future productions that account for so many of them surviving into our century.
Although not as famous or as well-loved as the Eagle, the Mark 9 Hawk is a beautiful example of starship design. At a quick glance it’s obviously related to the Eagle in manufacture and design, but it also communicates that it’s further along the design evolution – more powerful, and more sleek.
In the early 1980’s the ship was donated to the British Design Museum to promote British design and as a tax write-off. The robust foundation of the Museum provided the funds for a restoration in 1992-1993. The Design Museum has graciously loaned out the Hawk to the Sci-Fi Air Show for this season.
British pilot and curator William Tucker states, “The ship is a real joy to fly. The only part of the interior that was finished was the cockpit area although it was never shown in the series. There is no real door to enter the craft, only a small hatch on the bottom of the nose. The cockpit holds a pilot and a co-pilot and has a jump seat in the back for a single passenger. I grew up watching the show and it’s a real thrill for me to be entrusted to care and pilot the ship.”
Unlike the Eagle, which enjoys its yearly moon odyssey, Tucker flies the Hawk only in Earth’s atmosphere, due to the extreme rarity of spare parts for the vehicle.