As a day bomber, the Horsley perhaps left something to be desired, but it proved versatile and adaptable
Today, the Hawker Horsley day bomber and torpedo bomber is something of a footnote in the history of the RAF and the company that created it. It did, however, represent a significant advance on the previous generation of aircraft. Apart from being successful in its own right, it allowed the RAF to prove that land-based aeroplanes were a viable defence against seaborne threats while developing the tactics and techniques for torpedo attack.The Horsley also paved the way for the Hart series of light bombers and even the Hurricane through the construction techniques it pioneered.
In 1923, the standard RAF day bomber was theWW1-era Airco DH9A.The Air Ministry had already begun to regard its bomb load (a maximum of 660lb, and no single bomb bigger than 230lb) as inadequate. Initially, the ministry put its hopes in the Fairey Fawn, which, as it transpired, could barely outperform the DH9A or carry a greater war load.