Please note that the pic is back from Rogue Trader days, and is not a pic of the Firespite. It could however be something that GW designers look backwards to, in order to find inspiration.
Please take this with a lot of salt, as this falls much closer to speculation with a few excerpts from a few people.
via BigRed on BOLS
There's word of a new Space Marine vehicle in the works. Here's the latest we've heard.
Apparently this is the big "new kit" to accompany the updated Codex:Space Marines.
-The term "Space Marine Gunship" has been mentioned.
-It's NOT the Stormraven
-It's NOT the Caestus Assault Ram
-Its NOT an "assault themed" vehicle
-There are whispers of that ancient bit of fluff regarding the "missing link transport" Astartes vehicle.
Think about the existing Space Marine vehicle range to see where the obvious holes are if you were in charge of designing a range of fighting vehicles for the Astartes.
Also note that for the first time ever for an Edition changeover, the Space Marine range may be kind of challenging to expand upon in a big way due to its existing size and almost 100% plastic status.
If you have a look in the Badab War books you might find a reference to this new gunship. If I remember rightly, one of the chapters is recorded as making use of both Stormraven and Firespite Gunships.
during one of the seminars at UK games day somebody asked the question "why do only Blood Angels and Grey Knights get Storm Ravens?".
The answer was essentially, they are the only 2 chapters that still use them, and other chapters won't get them, but that doesn't mean that other chapters don't have their own variation.
Almost all Codexes since the last IG one have hada model which uses the new oval flying stand.
Space Wolves seem to be the exception, 'Nids will have the harpy at some point which will be on that stand.
This is because those stands are actually quite expensive to initially produce, mainly due to the clear plastic, and so it is more cost effective to release lots of models that use it to recoup some of the money.
Therfore it stands to reason that the new Space Marine Codex will have some form of flyer in it.
It won't be the Thunderhawk though as GW have stated they will no longer be copying FW designs any more.
Having said that in a couple of instances that has just meant a different model (ie IG Manticore).
I suspect due to the massive unpopularity of the Storm Raven kit it will be like a Storm Raven, only better if that makes sense?
It's not impossible they would do a T.Hawk.
It would just have to be different design-wise to the FW one, to give people the option of buying one or the other (they wouldn't want FW to lose sales)
Jes Goodwin did say that they are now able to use 2ups instead of 3ups when designing plastics which makes making really big models that much easier.
However believe it or not the biggest restriction on kits is the box size.
The box size dictates how many sprues will fit in the box, which therefore restricts the size of the model.
Boxes are also surprisingly expensive to produce, and there is also the shelf space they occupy to consider.
I think the last model to get a unique box was the Stompa, which I believe comes on 8 sprues? (I have never built one, it could be 6).
If they could get the T.Hawk on that many sprues and fit in that sized box then I would say it would be likely they would go for it.
Somebody also told me that the FW molds for the T.Hawk were completely knackered and needed redoing, but that there was a problem with the original model.
So it's not impossible, but I just think it's highly unlikely