How long exactly? Hawker came into existence in England after the bankruptcy of another well-known aviation entity, Sopwith, which went under shortly after World War I ended. Sopwith test pilot Harry Hawker and three others bought the assets of Sopwith and renamed the company H.G. Hawker Engineering in 1920. By 1933 the company was renamed Hawker and a year later, through a series of mergers and acquisitions, became Hawker Siddley. It produced dozens of aircraft models for the British Royal Air Force, including the Hawker Fury, the Hind and, of course, the famed Rolls-Royce Merlin-powered Hurricane.