Hawker Sea Hurricane on catapult

Hawker Sea Hurricane on catapult


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Hawker Sea Hurricane on catapult

Hawker Sea Hurricane on the catapult of a CAM (Catapult Armed Merchantman) ship, a stopgap measure designed to fill the gap before escort carriers could be built. The Hurricane would have to be ditched after a single sortie, and the pilot rescued.

Taken from Fleet Air Arm, HMSO, published 1943, p.79


Hawker Hurricane variants

Hurricane Mk I [ edit | edit source ]

Mk I with original two-bladed propeller, in France circa 1939

Hurricane MkI R4118 is the only Hurricane from the 1940 Battle of Britain still flying

A ground view of R4118 Hurricane MkI

Hurricane Mk I (Early production)

The first Mk I production machines were ready fairly quickly, with deliveries starting in December 1937. These early aircraft featured fabric-covered wings, and a wooden, two-bladed, fixed-pitch propeller. Initially the tailwheel was designed to be retractable early on it was discovered that the Hurricane needed a larger rudder area to improve the control characteristics during a spin. To this end the lower part of the rudder was extended and a distinctive ventral "keel" was added to the rear fuselage. The tailwheel was now fixed.

Early Hurricanes lacked armour or self-sealing tanks. They used "ring and bead" gunsights, with the ring being mounted above the instrument panel and the bead mounted on a post above the engine cowling. The standard GM2 reflector gunsight was introduced in mid-1939, although many Hurricanes retained the "bead". Fuel capacity was 97 Imperial gal (441 l) in two fuel tanks, each of 34.5 gal (157 l) in the wing centre-section, between the spars the fuel was pumped from these into a reserve gravity-feed tank which held an additional 28 gal (127 l) in the forward fuselage, just ahead of the cockpit. This was the main fuel feed to the engine. The 7 gal (32 l) oil tank was built into the forward, port centre section. Early "K" serialled Mk Is were powered by the 1,029 hp (768 kW) Rolls-Royce Merlin C engine from the "L" serial numbers the later Merlin II of 1,030 hp (768 kW) was installed. The main coolant radiator was housed in a fairing under the rear wing centre-section the oil cooler was also incorporated into the main radiator.

The aircraft handling qualities during take-off and landings were excellent due to a wide-track undercarriage with relatively wide low-pressure tyres. Because of this wide, stable platform the Hurricane was an easier aircraft to land, with less fear of nose-overs or "ground-loops" than its RAF Fighter Command counterpart the Supermarine Spitfire. During its operational life the Hurricane was able to operate from all sorts of adverse airfield surfaces with ease. Ώ]

In flight the large, thick wing meant that the fighter proved to be a stable gun platform. It was armed with eight .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns. The armament was arranged in two lots of four in large gunbays incorporated into the outer wing panels. In 1937 this firepower was enough to outgun the early marks of German Messerschmitt Bf 109, which were equipped with only four light machine guns. By the time of the Battle of Britain, however, it was recognised that this relatively small-calibre armament was inadequate during the Battle of Britain it was relatively common for Luftwaffe aircraft to survive numerous hits from .303 in (7.7 mm) bullets and still return safely to base. Later versions of the Hurricane were equipped with a more powerful arms package, initially 12 .303 in (7.7 mm) Brownings, and later four 20 mm (.79 in) Hispano cannon. Hurricanes built under license by SABCA in Belgium featured four 12.7 mm (.50 in) FN-Browning guns instead of the .303 inch armament.

Hurricane MkI (Mid-late production)

Hurricane I (R4118), a typical Battle of Britain style Mk I with a de Havilland propeller unit.

In 1939, several changes were made to the Hurricane. The powerplant was changed to the Merlin III driving a de Havilland or Rotol ΐ] constant speed metal propeller. Ejector exhaust stacks were fitted for added thrust. The fabric covered wings were replaced by re-stressed metal-covered wings. An armour-glass panel was incorporated on the front of the windscreen. The "rod" aerial mast was replaced by a streamlined, tapered design.

From about May 1940 70 pounds of armour plate protection was added in the form of head and back armour.

Starting in September 1940, IFF equipment was installed. This weighed about 40 lb (18 kg) and could be identified by wire aerials strung between the tailplane tips and rear fuselage. Although the added weight and the aerials reduced maximum speed by about 2 mph (3 km/h), it allowed the aircraft to be identified as "friendly" on radar: lack of such equipment was a factor leading to the Battle of Barking Creek.

At about the same time new VHF T/R Type 1133 radios started replacing the HF TR9 sets. The pilots enjoyed a much clearer reception which was a big advantage with the adoption of Wing formations throughout the RAF in 1941. The new installation meant that the wire running between the aerial mast and rudder could be removed, as could the triangular "prong" on the mast.

At the start of the war the engine ran on the then-standard 87 octane aviation spirit. From March 1940 increasing quantities of 100 octane fuel, imported from the U.S., became available. This meant that during the defensive battles over Dunkirk the Hurricane Is benefited from an allowable increase in supercharger "boost" from 6 lb to 12 lb without damaging the engine. With the 12 lb "emergency boost", the Merlin III was able to generate 1,305 hp (973 kW) in a five minute burst. If the pilot resorted to emergency boost, he had to report this on landing and it had to be noted in the engine log book. Α]

In 1939, the RAF had taken on about 500 of this later design to form the backbone of the fighter squadrons during the Battle of France and into the Battle of Britain. The first RAF ace of the war, a young New Zealander known as "Cobber" Kain, flew a Hurricane with No. 73 Squadron. In June 1940, another wartime ace, Douglas Bader, was promoted to Squadron Leader and took command of No. 242 (Canadian) Squadron flying Hurricane Mk Is. Β] The famous children's author Roald Dahl also flew Hurricanes with No. 80 Squadron in Greece and later in Syria, against the Germans and Vichy France. Γ]

Although some of the basic design elements of the aircraft were from an earlier generation, the Hurricane proved to be a match, to an extent, for the Luftwaffe ' s Messerschmitt Bf 109E. In his book, Duel of Eagles, British ace Peter Townsend, who flew Hurricanes with No. 85 Squadron RAF during the Battle of Britain, provides examples demonstrating how the Hurricane's superior turning ability could offset the Bf 109's higher speed. This small turning circle often allowed a well flown Hurricane to get onto the tail of a 109 even more quickly than a Spitfire, assuming a 109 pilot was unwise enough to be lured into a turning match. Against the Hurricane was the aircraft's relatively slow acceleration and a top speed some 10-30 mph (16–48 km/h) slower, depending on altitude. This meant that the 109 pilot often held the initiative when it came to breaking off or attacking during combat. At higher altitudes especially, the Hurricane was hard-pressed to keep up with a well flown 109, or even a Bf 110. Δ]

Lower down the situation was a little more even. The Rolls-Royce Merlin engine gave more power at low altitude than the Daimler-Benz DB 601 used in the Bf 109, on account of a different supercharger design. The DB601A-1 did not start to outperform the Merlin III and XII until above 15,000 ft (4,572 m). The Merlin's only major drawback was a tendency to cut out during negative-g manoeuvres and inverted flight, on account of fuel starvation from the carburettor. This was temporarily fixed with "Miss Shilling's orifice", a simple modification. A direct- injection carburettor later solved the problem and eventually some versions of the Merlin used direct fuel injection.

When attacking Luftwaffe bombers, it was discovered that the Hurricane's fuel tanks were vulnerable to defensive machine gun fire. The greatest hazard was with the unprotected gravity-feed fuel tank in front of the cockpit which could rupture when hit, allowing a jet of flame to penetrate the cockpit through the instrument panel, causing serious burn injuries to the pilot. The wooden and fabric rear fuselage was also far more likely to catch fire than the metal fuselages of its contemporaries. This issue was of such concern to Air Vice Marshal Hugh Dowding that he had Hawker retrofit the fuselage tanks of Hurricanes with a fire-resistant material called "Linatex" as a matter of priority. The wing tanks had already been fitted with a covering of this sealant, but the fuselage tank was considered to be too small a target. Hurricanes were soon being modified at the rate of 75 per month. In one month of combat, 10 July 1940 to 11 August, defensive fire from bombers hit 25 Hurricanes and 25 Spitfires as a result 11 Hurricanes were shot down compared with two Spitfires. Ε]

The biggest advantages of the Hurricane were that it was a relatively easy aircraft to fly, which was a boon when it came to squadrons being flooded with inexperienced pilots, and it was a steady gun platform. The closely grouped .303 in (7.7 mm) Brownings created a superior pattern of fire to those of the Spitfire, which were spaced out along the wings, and the armament was more quickly serviced.

In spite of its vulnerabilities during the Battle of Britain, the Hurricane shot down the majority of the planes claimed by the RAF (1,593 out of 2,739 in total). Hurricane fighters were sometimes directed against slower bombers whilst the Spitfires attacked German fighters. By the close of the Battle of Britain in late 1940, production of the Spitfire had increased to the point where all squadrons could be supplied with them.

In June 1940, the first Hurricane Mk I "Tropical" versions appeared. These featured a Vokes air filter in a large "chin" fairing under the engine cowling. Many of these aircraft were ferried to North Africa and Malta via France and the Mediterranean using fixed, cylindrical 40 gallon fuel tanks under each wing to extend the range. The tropical filter and fuel tanks were to be used on later variants of the Hurricane.

Hurricane Mk II [ edit | edit source ]

The improved Merlin XX (Mk.20) engine appeared in 1940 featuring a new two-speed supercharger that could have its impeller speed changed by the pilot depending on the outside air pressure (altitude). At about 18,000 feet (5,500 m) (effective), it would be switched to a higher speed gearing ("FS ratio" – Full Supercharge) for added compression, while below that, at its lower speed gearing, ("MS ratio" – Moderate Supercharge), it "robbed" less power from the engine. The result was more power at both lower and higher altitudes, dramatically increasing the overall performance of the engine, peaking at 1,280 horsepower (950 kW). Because of the new engine the bay immediately in front of the cockpit was lengthened by 4 inches (100 mm). The carburettor air intake under the forward centre-section was redesigned and moved back 3 inches (76 mm). The more powerful engine was cooled by a 70% to 30% water glycol mix, rather than pure glycol used for earlier Merlin versions. This and the increased cooling requirements required a larger radiator and a redesigned, circular oil cooler housed in a deeper, slightly wider "bath".

Hurricane IIA Series 1 [ edit | edit source ]

Although, by this time, production of the Spitfire had started to increase, a Merlin XX powered Hurricane Mk I was built and first flew on 11 June 1940. The initial Mark II, later known as the Mark IIA Series 1, went into squadron service in September 1940 at the peak of the Battle of Britain.

Hawker had long experimented with improving the armament of the fighter by fitting cannons. Their first experiments used two 20 mm (.79 in) Oerlikon cannons in pods, one under each wing, (one aircraft was tested during 1940 with 151 Squadron Ζ] ) but the extra weight and drag seriously compromised the aircraft's performance and manoeuvreability, and the limited amount of ammunition carried coupled with the frequent stoppages suffered by the drum-fed guns, meant the arrangement was unsatisfactory.

A more reliable fit was made with four 20 mm (.79 in) Hispano Mk II cannons, two in each wing, but the weight was enough to seriously reduce performance. The Hispanos were designed for a rigid, engine based mounting and it was quickly found that the wings flexing in flight led to problems with the weapons twisting in their mounts as they fired, which caused gun jamming through misaligned shells. Changes made both to the Hispanos and to their mountings cured this problem. Small blisters on the upper wing surfaces were needed to clear the Hispano breeches and feed motors. The first sets of Hispano wings were modified from standard Mark I eight gun wings.

Hurricane IIA Series 2 (Hurricane IIB) [ edit | edit source ]

Mk IIB showing six machine guns on right wing

With the new Merlin XX, performance was good enough to keep the ageing Hurricane in production. Hawker soon introduced the new Mark IIA Series 2 with either of two wings one mounting 12 Brownings, the other with four Hispano cannon in the original gun-bays. The first Series 2s, armed with 12 .303 in (7.7 mm) Brownings (four per wing in the original gun-bays and two more in new gun-bays outboard of the landing lights) arrived in October. These Mk IIA Series IIs also featured a new longer propeller spinner and later become the Mark IIB in April 1941. The tailwheel recess on the ventral keel was changed in shape and the tailwheel leg became a levered-suspension unit with a small torque link.

Hurricane IIB Trop. [ edit | edit source ]

For use in North Africa the Hawker Hurricane IIB, (and other aircraft), were tropicalized, or "trop". They were given engine dust filters and the pilots were issued a desert survival kit.

Hurricane IIC [ edit | edit source ]

The Hurricane IIA Series 2s armed with four 20 mm (.79 in) Hispanos become the Mark IIC in June 1941, using a slightly modified wing. The new wings also included a hardpoint for a 500 lb (227 kg) or 250 lb (113 kg) bomb, and later in 1941, fixed 40 gal (182 l) fuel tanks. By then performance was inferior to the latest German fighters, and the Hurricane changed to the ground-attack role, sometimes referred to as the Hurribomber. The mark also served as a night fighter and "intruder."

Hurricane IID [ edit | edit source ]

A Mark IID Hurricane of 6 Squadron at Shandur, Egypt (1942)

Mk IIs were used in ground support where it was quickly learned that destroying German tanks was difficult, the cannons did not have the performance needed while bombing the tanks was almost impossible. The solution was to equip the aircraft with a 40 mm cannon in a pod under each wing, reducing the other armament to a single Browning in each wing loaded with tracers for aiming purposes. The Hurricanes No. 6 Squadron, the first squadron equipped with this armament were so effective that the squadron was nicknamed the "Flying Can Openers". Η] A winged can-opener became an unofficial squadron emblem, and is painted on present-day aircraft of 6 Squadron.

The layout was originally tested on a converted Mk IIB and flew on 18 September 1941. A new-build version of what was known as the Mk IID started in 1942, including additional armour for the pilot, radiator and engine. The aircraft were initially supplied with a Rolls-Royce gun and carried 12 rounds, but soon changed to the 40 mm (1.57 in) Vickers S gun with 15 rounds. The weight of guns and armour protection had a marginal effect on the aircraft's performance.

The IID undertook an anti-tank role in limited numbers during the North African campaign where, provided enemy flak and fighters were absent, they proved accurate and highly effective, not only against armoured vehicles but all motor transport. ⎖]

Hurricane IIE [ edit | edit source ]

Another wing modification was introduced in the Mk IIE, but the changes soon became extensive enough that it was renamed the Mk IV after the first 250 had been delivered.

Hurricane T.IIC [ edit | edit source ]

The T Mk IIC was a two-seat training version of the Mk. IIC. Only two aircraft were built for the Persian Air Force.

Hurricane Mk III [ edit | edit source ]

The Mk III was a Mk II equipped with a Packard-built Merlin engine, intending to provide supplies of the British-built engines for other designs. By the time production was to have started, Merlin production had increased to the point where the idea was abandoned.

Hurricane Mk IV [ edit | edit source ]

Hurricane Mk IV at Foggia, Italy, July 1944, armed with RP-3 rockets

The last major change to the Hurricane was to "rationalize" the wing, configuring it with a single design able to mount two bombs, two 40 mm (1.57 in) Vickers S guns, or eight "60 pounder" RP-3 rockets. The new design also mounted the improved Merlin 24 or 27 engines of 1,620 hp (1,208 kW), equipped with dust filters for desert operations. An additional 350 lb (159 kg) of armour plating was added to the radiator housing, cockpit and fuel tanks.

The Mk IV was used in ground-attack missions in the European theatre until the early days of 1944, before being replaced by the more modern Hawker Typhoon. French ace Pierre Clostermann recalls in his book, The Big Show, that RP-3-equipped Hurricanes were limited to 205 mph (330 km/h) top speed due to the rockets' drag, and that Hurricane casualty rates against the lethal German flak were extremely high. In particular, Clostermann describes a rocket attack by Hurricanes from No. 184 Squadron RAF against a V-1 flying bomb launch-site on the French coast on 20 December 1943, in which three of the four aircraft were shot down before they could attack.

Hurricane Mk V [ edit | edit source ]

Two Hurricane Mk Vs were built as conversions of Mk IVs, and featured a Merlin 32 engine driving a four-bladed propeller. As the ground attack role moved to the more capable Hawker Typhoon, production of the Hurricane ended, and only a handful were delivered with the Merlin 32.

By this time, the Hurricane was no longer a frontline fighter in the United Kingdom. However, it still saw extensive service overseas as a fighter, playing a prominent role in the Middle East and Far East. It was also critical to the defence of Malta during 1941 and early 1942.


Design and development

The Hurricane was developed by Hawker Aircraft Ltd in response to the Air Ministry specification F.36/34, (modified by F.5/34) for a fighter aircraft built around the new Rolls-Royce engine, then only known as PV-12, later to become famous as the Merlin. At that time, RAF Fighter Command comprised just 13 squadrons, each equipped with either Hawker Furys, Hawker Hart variants, or Bristol Bulldogs &ndash all biplanes with fixed- pitch wooden propellers and non-retractable undercarriages. The design, started in early 1934, was the work of Sydney Camm.

Sydney Camm's original plans submitted in response to the Air Ministry's specification were rejected (apparently "too orthodox," even for the Air Ministry). Camm tore up the proposal and set about designing a fighter as a Hawker company private venture. With economy in mind, the Hurricane was designed using as many of Hawker's existing tools and jigs as possible (the aircraft was effectively a monoplane version of the successful Hawker Fury) and it was these factors that were major contributors to the aircraft's success.

Early design stages of the "Fury Monoplane" incorporated a Rolls-Royce Goshawk engine, but this was replaced shortly after with the Merlin, and featured a retractable undercarriage. The design came to be known as the "Interceptor Monoplane," and by May 1934, the plans had been completed in detail. To test the new design, a one-tenth scale model of the aircraft was made and sent to the National Physical Laboratory at Teddington. A series of wind tunnel tests confirmed the vital basic aerodynamic qualities of the design were in order, and by December that year, a full size wooden mock-up of the aircraft had been created.

The first prototype, K5083, began construction in August 1935 incorporating the PV-12 Merlin engine. The completed sections of the aircraft were taken to the Brooklands racing circuit where Hawkers had an assembly shed, and re-assembled on 23 October 1935. Ground testing and taxi trials took place over the following two weeks, and on 6 November 1935, the prototype took to the air for the first time at the hands of Hawker's chief test pilot, Flight Lieutenant (later Group Captain) P.W.S. Bulman. Flight Lieutenant Bulman was assisted by two other pilots in subsequent flight testing Philip Lucas flew some of the experimental test flights, while John Hindmarsh conducted the firm's production flight trials.

Even though faster and more advanced than the RAF's current frontline biplane fighters, the Hurricane's design was already outdated when introduced. It employed traditional Hawker construction techniques from previous biplane aircraft, with mechanically fastened, rather than welded joints. It had a Warren girder-type fuselage of high-tensile steel tubes, over which sat frames and longerons that carried the doped linen fabric covering. The Hurricane's traditional construction meant that the airframe was very durable, and proved far more resistant to exploding cannon shells than the metal-skinned Supermarine Spitfire. Initially, the wing structure consisted of two steel spars, and was also fabric-covered. An all-metal, stressed-skin wing of duraluminium (a DERD specification similar to AA2024) was introduced in April 1939 and was used for all of the later marks. In contrast, the contemporary Spitfire used all-metal monocoque construction and was thus both lighter and stronger, though less tolerant to bullet damage. With its ease of maintenance, widely set landing gear and benign flying characteristics, the Hurricane remained in use in theatres of operations where reliability, easy handling and a stable gun platform were more important than performance, typically in roles like ground attack.

In March 1940, Hurricanes with the Merlin II and III engines began to receive modifications to allow for an additional 6lbs of supercharger boost, for several minutes, (although, there are accounts of its use for 30 minutes continuously). This modification gave the Hurricane an approximate increase in speed of 25 to 35mph, under 15,000ft altitude, and greatly increased the aircraft's climb rate. "Overboost" or "pulling the plug" was an important wartime modification, that allowed the Hurricane to remain competitive with the Me-109e and to increase its margin of superiority over the Me110c, especially at low altitude. Overboost increased engine output by nearly 250hp. The Supermarine Spitfire also benefited greatly when using overboost.

Production

The Hurricane was ordered into production in June 1936, mainly due to its relatively simple construction and ease of manufacture. As the prospect of war was looking increasingly likely, and time was of the essence in providing the RAF with an effective fighter aircraft, it was unclear if the more advanced Spitfire would be able to enter production smoothly, while the Hurricane used well-understood manufacturing techniques. This was true for service squadrons as well, who were experienced in working on and repairing aircraft whose construction employed the same principles as the Hurricane, and the simplicity of its design enabled the improvisation of some remarkable repairs in Squadron workshops.

Powered by a Merlin II engine, the maiden flight of the first production aircraft took place on 12 October, 1937. The first four aircraft to enter service with the RAF joined 111 Squadron at RAF Northolt the following December, and by the outbreak of the Second World War, nearly 500 Hurricanes had been produced, and equipped 18 squadrons.

In all, some 14,000 Hurricanes and Sea Hurricanes were produced. The majority of Hurricanes were built by Hawker (which produced them until 1944) with the Gloster Aircraft Company making most of the rest. The Austin Motor Company built 300. Canada Car and Foundry in Fort William, Ontario, Canada, (where the Chief Engineer, Elsie MacGill, became known as the "Queen of the Hurricanes") was responsible for production of 1,400 Hurricanes, known as the Mk X.

In 1939 production of 100 Hurricanes was initiated in Yugoslavia by Zmaj and Rogozarski. Of these 20 were built by Zmaj by April 1941. One was fitted with a DB 601 and testflown in 1941.

A contract for 80 Hurricanes was placed with Avions Fairey SA for the Belgian Air Force in 1938. Three were built and two flown by the time of the Blitzkrieg in May 1940.


Hawker Sea Hurricane on catapult - History

Royal Navy Aircraft - WW2 Part 2

Hurricane and Sea Hurricane

Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk.1A "Hurricat", Fleet Air Arm Merchant Ship Fighter Unit, RAF Speke, 1941.

This simple conversion is based on the Heller issue of the Airfix 1/72 Hurricane Mk.1, with Aeromaster transfers & scratch catapult trolley.

With the growing losses of merchant ships to Focke- Wulf Fw200 Condor attacks and a desperate shortage of aircraft carriers, in late 1940 the Admiralty decided to fit selected merchant vessels known as Catapult Armed Merchantment (or CAM ships) with a rocket powered catapult, enabling them to launch their own Hurricane fighter as a last ditch defence should a convoy come under air attack.

The drawback to this otherwise sensible concept was the lack of any landing or recovery facilities after they had destroyed or driven off the attacking Condor, pilots were expected to make for the nearest land, or to ditch alongside their ship and hope that they would be rescued! The aircraft were drawn from ex- RAF stocks (mostly Battle of Britain veterans), given a simple conversion to become a Sea Hurricane Mk 1A. It was a pretty desperate measure, carrying a lot of personal risk the aircraft were flown by special Fleet Air Arm and RAF volunteers.

The Hurricat concept was a modest success, helping to sustain th evital North Atlantic and Arctic convoys through the darkest days of 1941. The first victory fell to Lt Everett of the RNVR, who was awarded the DSO for the destruction of an Fw 200 on 3 August 1941. After ditching his aircraft alongside an escorting destroyer, it sank rapidly, but he was able to escape from the cockpit at a depth of about 30 feet and was quickly rescued.

Hawker Sea Hurricane 1b - 880 NAS, HMS CONDOR, RNAS Arbroath 1941.

Chinese company Hobby Boss have recently produced a range of simple "beginners" low cost assembly kits. This is their Hurricane 2b Trop, converted back to a 1b Sea Hurricane. A nice little kit, albeit a but skinny with fuselage sides that are too slab- like.

The Sea Hurricane was hurriedly introduced post Dunkirk/Norway to counter the damage being wrought on convoys by the long range FW200 Condor. Early Sea Hurricanes were all basic conversions of RAF Battle of Britain veteran aircraft. Serving at first on Catapult equipped Merchant Ships (as a one way disposable weapon - there were no landing facilities, so the pilot had to ditch alongside), it rapidly developed into a key carrier borne fighter, forming the backbone, (alongside the longer range Fulmar) of the RN's forces in the Mediterranean for Operation Pedestal and equipping Escort Carriers in the Atlantic and Arctic Convoys .

This particular aircraft was flown by Battle of Britain ace, Sub Lt Dicky Cork, one of the FAA's highest scoring pilots.

Hawker Hurricane 1b (Trop), 806 Sqn FAA / RN Fighter Squadron, 269 Wing, Western Desert Air Force, December 1941.

Airfix have two 1/72 Hurricane kits in their catalogue, a simple Mk I (also issued by Heller) and a Mk I/IIb. Bizzarrely, the more expensive Series 2 Mk I/IIb version, as built here, is much the poorer of the two, although it does include a plethora of extra parts (rocket rails, anti- tank cannon, fuel tanks and bombs) that are quite useful. ( link to build page )

In May 1941, HMS FORMIDABLE, which had replaced the bomb damaged HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, also received serious bomb damage whilst escorting convoys to Malta. As a result, she was forced to leave the Mediterranean and proceed to the United States for 6 months of repairs. In the meantime, three of her squadrons, 803 & 806 (both Fulmars & Sea Gladiators) and 826 (Albacores & Swordfish), remained in theatre, disembarking to Egypt, where they were quickly incorporated into the 269 Wing of the Western Desert Air Force (later known as 1 Allied Tactical Air Force - 1ATAF).

The WDAF had been established in April 1941 by renowned WW1 Royal Naval Air Service hero, Air Vice Marshal Raymond Collishaw . Well aware of the FAA's particular skills, Collishaw was very keen to use the naval Squadrons in his composite RN, RAF, SAAF and RAAF force, operating from ashore in North Africa to provide close support and fighter protection across the desert and protect Allied shipping convoys along the North African coast.

Up until February 1942 when they returned to sea, RN Pilots flew a mix of Martlets and RAF Hurricanes, as well as Albacores & Swordfish. This Hurricane 1b (Trop), was the mount of Fleet Air Arm pilot, Sub Lt Mike Fell (later Admiral Fell), based at Maddelena in Libya.

800 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, HMS INDOMITABLE, Operation Pedestal, August 1942

This is the very nice Revell Mk.IIb Hurricane kit converted into one of 800 Sqn's Pedestal Sea Hurricanes using some Aeromaster decals.

INDOMITABLE's squadrons played a major part in the Operation Pedestal actions, repelling massed attacks on the convoy by German and Italian aircraft.

Toward the end of the battle, the ship suffered a bomb hit that temporarily put her flight deck out of action her squadrons simply landed on HMS VICTORIOUS instead, refuelled, rearmed and continued the battle.

Hawker Sea Hurricane IIc, 760 NAS Fleet Air Arm, RNAS Inskip & HMS RAVAGER 1944

Revell's 1/72 Hurricanes are excellent, especially their IIc Sea Hurricane. Detailed, accurate, well fitting and with interesting decal options.

The later cannon equipped Sea Hurricanes served almost until the war's end, flying mainly from Escort and Merchant Aircraft Carriers.

Hawker Sea Hurricane IIc, 835 NAS Fleet Air Arm, HMS NAIRANA 1944

Airfix have produced a sound and very buildable new mould Hurricane kit, which comes with decals for the famous “Nicki”, one of HMS NAIRANAs white painted anti- submarine Sea Hurricanes. The kit has a few issues, most notably its deep panel lines and very short propeller blades, but builds into an impressive replica

835 Squadron in HMS NAIRANA were the last Fleet Air Arm squadron to use the Sea Hurricane in front line service. NAIRANA was a small escort carrier, equipped with a composite squadron of Swordfish, Sea Hurricanes and (later on) Wildcats. She served mainly on escort duties between the UK and Gibraltar, and the UK and Murmansk.

NAIRANA’s Hurricanes were painted in an overall white scheme as an extension of the anti- submarine schemes worn by the Swordfish and the long range patrol aircraft of the RAF’s Coastal Command. Intended to blend in to the heavy cloud cover, they were highy successful and a pre- cursor to the low visibility grey schemes we see today. NAIRANA’s pilots gained a magnificent reputation, operating their day fighters constantly from the ship’s astonishingly narrow deck, sometimes even at night in atrocious Arctic storms.

The subject of this kit was an aircraft named “Nicki”. Flown by several of 835’s pilots, she is best known for shooting down a Ju- 290 in May 1944, whilst being piloted by Sub/Lt. Allan Russell Burgham DSC, RNZNVR.

Click on the thumbnail below to go directly to the aircraft model, or simply scroll down


The Hurricane: 10 Interesting Facts about the Hawker Hurricane – The Workhorse of World War II

Not talking about storms here, but one of the greatest fighter planes of World War II. While its fame was later eclipsed by the Supermarine Spitfire, the Hurricane played a major role in early air conflicts, especially the Battle of Britain. Produced from 1937 to 1944, it served throughout most of the war and racked up some pretty impressive facts and figures.

There’s 72 Hours Left to buy our tribute to this iconic airplane. Available in men’s, women’s, v-neck, long sleeve, hoodie and sweatshirt starting at $16.99 and shipping worldwide from the USA. Makes a great gift for Dad or Grandpa!

Eagle Squadron

Before the US’s entry into the war, many Americans joined the Royal Air Force and formed the Eagle Squadrons. As this took place at the beginning of the war, the American pilots mostly flew Hurricanes. In 1941 after the US declared war on Germany, these squadrons were folded into the US Army Air Corps.

Outnumbered but Not Outgunned

During the Battle of Britain in July 1940, the RAF had a total of 527 Hurricanes and 321 Spitfires to face the Luftwaffe’s 2,700 planes. Ultimately, the British forces were successful in destroying 1,887 aircraft to British losses of 1,547 planes over the three-month period. Their success marked a turning point for Britain and the war, halting the Nazis’ advancement in Europe.

Takes a Lickin’

While slower and less agile than the Spitfire, one of the Hurricane’s saving graces was that it was known to hold up better against enemy fire. In the Battle of Britain, they helped provide cover for the Spitfires, taking the brunt of the damage as the Spitfires moved in for the kill.

Important Technical Figures

Maximum Speed: 340 MPH
Range: 468 miles (1,090 miles with two 90 gallon ferry tanks)
Ceiling: 35,000 feet
Wingspan: 40 feet
Length: 31 feet, 4 inches
Height: 13 feet

31 Flavours of Death

Aside from the standard Mark I Hurricane, there were several other models that varied depending on their mission. Besides the Mark II(A&B), there was the Mark II Trop (rigged for combat in North Africa), the Sea Hurricane (modified to be launched by catapult for convoys), the Hurricane Hotspur (with a turret gun placement), the Typhoon, and many other variants.

Practicality

With the Great Depression going on at the time of its development, Chief Designer Sydney Camm tried to use as many pre-existing parts and manufacturing techniques as possible. This resulted in a plane that was essentially the monoplane successor to the Hawker Fury biplane.

Easy to Repair and Modify

These practical concerns in building the Hurricane meant that it could be easily repaired after battle. It also allowed for the heavy modification that led to so many different models, making it a highly suitable fighter for almost any theatre in the war.

Hazardous to Your Health

And not just because of the Nazis shooting at you. Hurricanes had a problem with carbon monoxide fumes seeping into the cockpit. Manufacturers attempted to fix this by outfitting the planes with longer exhaust stubs and other modifications, but nothing ever completely alleviated the problem. Instead, pilots were required to use oxygen from engine start-up to engine shut-down.

A Throwback?

Of all the various modifications to the Hurricane, one of the more interesting was a one-off biplane variant. Known as the Hillson FH.40, the top wing was meant to hold extra fuel, reducing takeoff distance and increasing ferry range. However, it proved too heavy to be serviceable and none were built beyond the original.

Only a Handful Remaining

Of the 14,583 Hawker Hurricanes that were built during the seven-year period of production, only 13 survive that can still fly. However, many that are not in airworthy condition, are on display at museums all over the world. There is even one at the Smithsonian Institution’s Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles Airport, which is part of the National Air and Space Museum.


[4] CANADIAN HURRICANE MARK X THROUGH XII / HURRICANE IN FOREIGN SERVICE

* The Hurricane was regarded as such an important weapon that the Canadian Car & Foundry (CCF) company was contracted in 1938 to build the Hurricane I at the CCF factory in Fort William, Ontario. A batch of 20 Hurricane Is, plus a manufacturing pattern aircraft, was shipped to Canada in October 1938. The first Canuck Hurricane performed its initial flight on 9 January 1940.

Initial Canadian Hurricanes used Rolls-Royce Merlin engines and were simply referred to as "Canadian Mark Is", with about 40 built, but later Canadian Hurricanes had their own variant designations:

    The "Mark X" was essentially a Mark IIB with a US-built Packard Merlin 28 engine, much the same as the Rolls-Royce Merlin XX, with 969 kW (1,300 HP). 489 Mark Xs were built.

CCF built Hurricanes both at Fort William and at a second plant in Montreal. The Canuck Hurricanes saw service all over the world, though many were retained by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in North America for training. For some reason, many Canadian Hurricanes were flown without prop spinners.

* The Soviet Union was the biggest export user of the Hurricane. Two RAF squadrons, Numbers 81 and 134, were built up in the summer of 1941 and sent to Murmansk on the HMS Argus, along with 200 Hurricanes in crates. The main objective of the RAF squadrons was to get the Soviets up to speed on the aircraft, but while they did so the Britons also flew plenty of combat missions, racking up scores against the Luftwaffe.

The Soviets formed their own Hurricane squadrons in the fall of 1941, and the Britons went back home. The Hurricane did well under rough Eastern front conditions, with most fitted with Vokes filters to allow operation from dusty forward airstrips, and though there are records of Stalin complaining about the type, it seems that Soviet fliers generally liked it a great deal. In fact, the Hurricane in some ways resembled Russian aircraft, in that it was built simple and rugged.

About 2,952 Hurricane Mark IIs and IVs and Canadian-built equivalents were supplied to the USSR during the war. Many were refitted with Soviet-built armament, for example two ShVAK 20-millimeter cannon and two UBT 12.7-millimeter (0.50-caliber) machine guns. It seems plausible that the rearming of Soviet Hurricanes was partly driven by difficulty of supply of Western ammunition, suggesting that most Hurricanes were modified in this way. The relatively high rate of fire of Soviet automatic weapons, about half again as great as their Western equivalents, also gave their re-armed Hurricanes a nastier bite.

* Other export users included:

    Belgium obtained a number of Hurricane Mark Is. Two or three Hurricanes were also built under license by Avions Fairey in Belgium before the German Blitzkrieg, these aircraft being fitted with four Fabrique Nationale (FN) / Browning 12.7-millimeter (0.50-caliber) machine guns. Some sources suggest, plausibly, that the imported Hurricanes were also refitted locally with the same armament. Many of the Belgian Hurricanes were strafed up on the airfield before they could fire a single shot, and the others were cleared out of the sky by the Luftwaffe in short order.


Sea Hurricane - Canada Car and Foundry, Fort William

  • Sea Hurricane. BW841. Accepted: 18 December 1941, Assigned: No.118 (F) Sqn (RCAF Dartmouth), Stored: (RCAF Dartmouth), Transferred: 16 October 1942 Royal Air Force, Assigned: Merchant Ship Fighter Unit (CAM), Overhauled: Hawker, Assigned: Aircraft & Armament Experimental Establishment, Assigned: No.899 Sdn (FAA), BW841. Was collected from A&AEE Boscombe Down on 2nd March 1943 by Sub.Lieutenant Wood RN, 787Z Flight for transit to RNAS St Merryn, Cornwall. (Quote from 787Z Diary 2nd March 1943 states. Sub.Lieut.Wood arrived back from Boscombe Down, showing the Flying office how to fly with one wheel down, with Hurricane BW841 (Hurricane 1) after landing with a glycol leak at RAF Roborough, Devon with smoke streaming from the cockpit, following an abortive attempt to find RAF Okehampton). At St Merryn BW841 was fitted with U.P. (Unguided Projectile) launchers, However, on inspection BW841 was found to be in a poor condition due to corrosion and was unservicable for a month. On 10th April it was reported airworthy and commenced air to ground R.P. (Rocket Projectile) firing from Treligga range. On the 15th April BW841 departed for Milfield to continue R.P. firing from there. Redesignated: instructional airframe (4659M), Recovered: Ontario farm
  • Sea Hurricane. BW853 (c/n: CCF/30019). Served with 118Sqn, 127Sqn R.C.A.F. 1 O.T.U. (Canada), reduced to spares aircraft following an accident on 1/8/44, civil registration Hawker Restorations Ltd G – BRKE.
  • Sea Hurricane. BW862 (c/n: CCF/R30028). Accepted: 30 December 1941, Assigned: No.118 Sqn (RCAF Dartmouth), Stored: (RCAF Dartmouth), Transferred: Royal Air Force, Assigned: Merchant Ship Fighter Unit (CAM), Transferred: 23 June 1943 RCAF, Converted: Hurricane LF. XIIa, Assigned: 8 September 1943 Eastern Air Command, Assigned: No. 1 (F) OTU (RCAF Bagotville), Crashed: 1944 (Lac St. Jean), SOC: 12 October 1944, recovered: 1980 Tex LeVallee (fuselage), Transferred: LaVallee Cultural and Aeronautical Collection, Sold: 2000
  • Sea Hurricane. BW873 (c/n: CCF/R30039). Accepted: 19 January 1942 - Taken on strength by No. 118 (F) Squadron at Dartmouth, Stored at Dartmouth, as reserve aircraft for the Merchant Ship Fighter Unit of the RAF. Back to Canada Car & Foundry at Fort William on 21 June 1943, for conversion to Mk. XIIA. Returned to Eastern Air Command on 21 August 1943. To No. 1 (F) Operational Training Unit at RCAF Station Bagotville, PQ. Crashed June 1944. Remains to Jack Arnold Aviation Museum in Titusville, Florida in 1988. Being restored, used parts from Hurricanes 5301 and 5381.

SOC: 15 August 1944 - Struck off, reduced to spares and produce

  • Sea Hurricane. BW881 (c/n:CCF/R32007). Accepted: 22 January 1942 - Taken on strength by No. 118 (F) Squadron at Dartmouth, Stored at Dartmouth, as reserve aircraft for the Merchant Ship Fighter Unit of the RAF. Back to Canada Car & Foundry at Fort William on 23 June 1943, for conversion to Mk. XIIA. Returned to Eastern Air Command on 20 September 1943. To No. 1 (F) Operational Training Unit at RCAF Station Bagotville, PQ. Category B crash at Chicoutimi, PQ on 7 September 1944. To No. 9 Repair Depot, apparently never repaired. Remains recovered from Ontario farm c.1988. To UK, for restoration by Hawker Restorations of Milden, Suffolk December 1988 to 1994. Sold to M. Hammond of Eye, Suffolk. To UK civil register post war as G-KAMM on 23 February 1995. Sold to Alpine Deer Group, New Zealand in 1998. To Flying Heritage Collection of Seattle, Washington in 1999. Reported under restoration at Milden in 2002. (restored using parts from BW853)

SOC: 28 September 1944 - Struck off, reduced to spares and produce

Restored by Hawker Restorations (G – CAMM) Currently airworthy with Flying Heritage Collection, (markings Z, s/n: 5429) (NX54FH)


Hawker Sea Hurricane on catapult - History

Few members of the British public could have been aware that a significant new fighter aircraft had joined the ranks of the RAF when, in December 1937, the first production examples of the Hawker Hurricane Mk 1 were delivered to No. 111 Squadron at RAF Northolt. lt was not until two months later, during February 1938, that this news became common, and exciting, knowledge when banner headlines announced, on 11 February, that one of these new Hurricane fighters had more than lived up to its name on the previous afternoon. Piloted by Squadron Leader J. W. Gillan, Commanding Officer of No. 111 Squadron, this aircraft had been flown from Turnhouse, Scotland, to Northolt, a distance of 526 km (327 miles), in 48 minutes at an average speed of almost 658 km/h (409 mph).

The subject of all this excitement, the Hurricane, reached back as far as 1933, when Hawker's chief designer, Sydney Camm, who was knighted after the war for his aircraft design contributions to the Allied war effort, decided to design a monoplane fighter based on the Fury biplane, using as its powerplant the Rolls-Royce Goshawk engine. As development progressed, the Goshawk was supplanted by the Rolls-Royce P.V.12 Merlin, and Hawker began construction of a prototype around which the air Ministry Specification F.36/34 had been drawn up. As first flown, on 6 November 1935, this prototype had retractable landing gear, a strut-braced tailplane, conventional Hawker-structure fuselage with fabric covering, a new two-spar monoplane wing covered with fabric, and a powerplant comprising a 990 hp (738 kW) Rolls-Royce Merlin 'C' engine.

Official trials began in February 1936, when the most optimistic high-speed performance predictions were comfortably exceeded, and on 3 June 1936 an initial order for 600 production aircraft was issued to Hawker. At the end of the month the new fighter was named the Hurricane. Hawker had in fact anticipated the production contract, and plans for the construction of 1,000 examples had already been initiated when the Air Ministry order was received. This, however, called for introduction of the Rolls-Royce Merlin II 12-cylinger engine, causing some delay for installation redesign, but Hawker's advance preparations made possible the first flight of a production Hurricane Mk 1 on 12 October 1937. It had a maximum speed of 330 mph (530 km/h) at 17,500 ft (5333 m), with a ceiling of 36,000 ft (10920 m) and a range of 460 miles (740 km). It packed 8 Browning 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine guns in the wings, giving it a fair bit of destructive power. In 1939 it was fitted with metal wings, a three blade propeller and armour.


A Hawker Hurricane Mk I of 601 Squadron Royal Air Force - Battle of Britain 1940

No. 111 Squadron at Northolt had one flight operational in December 1937 and was completely re-equipped by the end of the following month. Soon afterwards, Nos 3 and 56 Squadrons were equipped, and by the end of 1938 about 200 Hurricanes had been delivered to the RAF's Fighter Command. The early production aircraft differed little from the prototype, except for the installation of the 1,030 hp (768 kW) Merlin II engine.

No doubts existed that the Hurricane was anything but an important and essential aircraft to reinforce the expansion of the RAF, and plans were made in late 1938 for additional construction to be undertaken by Gloster Aircraft at Hueclecote, Gloucestershire. This latter company's first production aircraft made its initial flight on 27 October 1939, and in little over 12 months Gloster had completed 1,000 Hurricanes, a figure that was to reach 1,850, plus 1,924 by Hawker, before later versions superseded the Hurricane Mk 1 in production. Before that happened, however, the fabric-covered wing had been replaced by one with metal stressed skin, and other progressively introduced improvements had included the Merlin III engine, a bulletproof windscreen, and some armour protection for the pilot.

Despite the pressure of its production programme for the RAF, Hawker had found time and space to cope with modest production orders covering 24 aircraft and a production licence for Yugoslavia, followed by aircraft for Belgium, Iran, Poland, Romania and Turkey. Belgium also negotiated a production licence for construction to be carried out by Avions Fairey, but only two Belgium-built Hurricanes had been completed and flown before the German invasion. Arrangements were also completed for Hurricanes to be built in Canada by the Canadian Car and Foundry Co., the first production aircraft flying on 9 January 1940. Canadian aircraft were at first generally similar to the British-built Hurricane Mk 1, but differed later by having the Packard-built Merlin engine.

At the outbreak of World War 11, 19 RAF squadrons were fully equipped with Hurricanes, and within a short time Nos 1, 73, 85 and 87 Squadrons had been despatched to bases in France, but during the 'phoney' period of the war that followed these squadrons had comparatively little to do until the German push westward in May 1940. Immediately, six more Hurricane squadrons were flown to France, followed shortly after by two more squadrons, but these were an inadequate number to stem the flood of German arms, armour and aircraft. Post-Dunkirk accounting showed that almost 200 Hurricanes had been lost, destroyed or so severely damaged that they had to be abandoned. It represented a major disaster for the RAF, for this number of aircraft amounted to about a quarter of its total strength in first-line fighters.

Fortunately for the UK, and for the RAF, the anticipated invasion of the British Isles by Germany failed to materialise, and there was a breathing space during which the squadrons of Fighter Command were able to reinforce their numbers. On 8 August 1940, which is regarded officially as the opening date of the Battle of Britain, the RAF could call upon 32 squadrons of Hurricanes and 19 squadrons of Supermarine Spitfires. But despite the debacle at Dunkirk and the resulting fighter famine in the UK, three Hurricane squadrons were transferred overseas. These comprised No. 261 Squadron sent to support the island of Malta, and Nos 73 and 274 Squadrons which, suitably 'tropicalised', began operations in the Western Desert.


A Hawker Hurricane Mk IIC of the 87th Fighter Squadron Royal Air Force - North Africa 1942

Development of the type began with the introduction of a 1,280 hp (954 kW) Rolls-Royce Merlin XX 12-cylinder Vee Supercharged piston engine in a Hurricane Mk 1 airframe, this being redesignated Hurricane Mk IIA Srs 1. Generally similar, except for a slightly lengthened fuselage, was the Hurricane Mk IIA Srs 2, representing an interim change on the production lines to make possible the installation of newly developed and interchangeable wings. Thus, with a wing housing no fewer than 12 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine guns and with provision for the carriage of two 113 kg (250 lbs) or two 227 kg (500 lbs) bombs beneath the wings or alternatively 45 or 90 gallon drop tanks, the designation became Hurricane Mk IIB. The Hurricane Mk IIC was generally similar, but with the machine guns replaced by four 20 mm cannon. When the Hurricane's life as a fighter had virtually come to an end, in 1942, the introduction of yet another wing was to rejuvenate this remarkable aircraft as the Hurricane Mk IID. The new wing carried two 40 mm Rolls-Royce B.F. or Vickers Type S anti-tank guns, plus one harmonised 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine gun for each anti-armour weapon to assist in aiming. The Hurricane Mk IID 'tank buster' proved a potent weapon, highly effective against German armour in North Africa and when opposing more lightly armoured Japanese fighting vehicles in Burma.

The success of these wing variations led to the final production version, the Hurricane Mk IV (early examples of this version were designated Hurricane Mk IIE), which introduced the 1,620 hp (1208 kW) Merlin 24 or 27 engine, and a 'universal wing' to make the Mk IV a highly-specialised ground-attack aircraft. This wing carried two 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine guns to assist in sighting other weapons, which could include two 40 mm (2.3 in) anti-tank guns, two 113 kg (250 lbs) or 227 kg (500 lbs) bombs, or smoke curtain installations, ferry or droptanks, or eight rocket projectiles with 27 kg (60 lbs) warheads. This last weapon, first proposed in late 1941, had been tested on a Hurricane in February 1942. When used operationally on the Hurricane IV, it was the first Allied aircraft to deploy air-to-ground rockets, and these weapons made the little Hurricane a giant in capability, extending its operational life beyond the end of World War II, for it was not until January 1947 that the RAF's last Hurricane squadron, No. 6, received replacement aircraft.

Hurricane production in Canada had grown considerably in proportions from the initial line of Hurricane Mk Is. The introduction of the 1,300 hp (969 kW) Packard-built Merlin 28 engine brought a designation change to Hurricane Mk X. This model was generally similar to the British-built Mk IIB with the 12-gun wing, and while small numbers were supplied to the UK, the majority was retained for use by the Royal Canadian Air Force. The Hurricane MK XI which followed was developed specifically for RCAF requirements, but differed from the Mk X primarily in having RCAF military equipment. Major production version was the Hurricane Mk XII, introducing the 1,300 hp (696 kW) Packard-built Merlin 29. initially, this was provided with the 12-gun wing subsequently, the four-cannon and 'universal' wings became available. The final land-based version to emanate from Canada was the Hurricane Mk XIIA, identical to the Mk XII except for having an eight-gun wing.

In addition to the Hurricanes which went to other countries before the war, wartime production supplied 2,952 of these aircraft to the USSR, although as a result of convoy shipping losses not all reached their destination. Other wartime deliveries, most made at a time when it was difficult to spare a single aircraft, went to Egypt (20), Finland (12), India (300), Irish Air Corps (12), Persia (1) and Turkey (14), and total production in the UK and Canada amounted to 14,231.

Undoubtedly one of the great fighter aircraft of World War II, it is difficult to overstate the capabilities of this remarkable aircraft. In the Battle of Britain Hurricanes destroyed more enemy aircraft than all other defences, air or ground, combined. This statement must be put in perspective, as it resulted from Supermarine Spitfires taking on the Messerschmitt Bf 109s, allowing the slower Hurricanes to battle against the German bombers. 'Hurribombers' fought from Malta, carried out anti-shipping operations in the English Channel, and caused havoc to Axis columns in the Western Desert. 'Tank Busting' Hurricanes ranged far and wide in practically every operational theatre. One fighter, flown by Flight Lieutenant J. B. Nicholson of No. 249 (Fighter) Squadron, during that eventful late summer of 1940, helped earn for its gallant pilot the only Victoria Cross to be awarded to a member of Fighter Command. This occurred on 17 August when, his Hurricane badly damaged and wreathed in flames, the wounded and severely burnt Nicholson succeeded in destroying the attacking Messerschmitt Bf 110 before baling out, to be rescued and survive.


A Hawker Hurricane Mk IV of 60 Squadron Royal Air Force - Far East Asia 1943

The early success of the Hawker Hurricane fighter in RAF service meant that the Royal Navy was keen to acquire numbers of these aircraft to help in the Battle of the Atlantic which, in early 1940, was depicted statistically by a steeply rising graph of shipping losses. A large proportion of such losses resulted far from shore, in areas where land- based aircraft could not provide air cover for Allied convoys. Thus German long-range patrol aircraft were able to range freely, spotting convoys far out at sea, and calling in and directing U-boat packs to attack them.

An interim measure gave birth to the 'Hurricat', a converted Hurricane carried by CAM-ships (Catapult Armed Merchantmen). Mounted on and launched from a catapult at the ship's bows, the Hurricane was flown off on what was usually a one-way flight: after providing defence for the convoy there was no where for the FAA or RAF pilot to land, which meant he was obliged to bailout, or ditch his aircraft as near as possible to the convoy, hoping to be picked up. The provision of long-range drop-tanks beneath the wings, introduced in August 1941 after the CAM-ships had been provided with more powerful catapults for the higher gross weight, improved the situation a little. At best it was a desperate rather than a practical measure, but despite this six enemy aircraft were destroyed in the last five months of 1941, the first success coming on 3 August 1941, when Lieutenant R. W. H. Everett intercepted and destroyed a Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor.

Hurricanes converted for the above role needed only the addition of catapult spools, and 50 Hurricane Mk I land-planes so modified were designated Sea Hurricane Mk IA. They were followed by about 300 Mk Is converted to Sea Hurricane Mk IB configuration, these having catapult spools plus a V-frame arrester hook: in addition 25 Mk IIA Srs 2 aircraft were similarly modified as Sea Hurricane IB or Hooked Hurricane II fighters. Their initial role was a considerable improvement on CAM-ship deployment, for from October 1941 they began to go to sea aboard MAC-ships, these being large merchant ships fitted with a small flight deck. They carried on dock (for there was no hangar accommodation) a small number of fighter and ASW aircraft, which were able to operate from and to the mini-carriers. Sea Hurricane Mk IC fighters, introduced in February 1942 were, once again, conventional Mk I conversions with catapult spools and arrester hook they had, however, the four-cannon wing of the land-based Hurricane Mk IIC. last of the Sea Hurricanes from British sources was the Sea Hurricane Mk IIC, intended for Conventional carrier operations and, consequently, without catapult spools. They introduced also to navy service the Merlin XX engine, and carried FAA radio equipment. Last of the Sea Hurricane variants was the Sea Hurricane Mk XIIA, of which a small number were converted from Canadian-built Mk XIIs, and these were used operationally in the North Atlantic.

The Sea Hurricane's most famous action was fought during the late summer of 1942, when aircraft serving with Nos 801, 802 and 885 Squadrons aboard the carriers HMS Indomitable, Eagle and Victorious respectively, joined with Fairey Fulmars and Grumman Martlets to protect a vital convoy to Malta. During three days of almost continuous attack by an Axis force of bombers, torpedo-bombers and escorting fighters, 39 enemy aircraft were destroyed for the loss of eight naval fighters.

It is not really surprising, therefore, that for many years after the end of World War II, a lone Hurricane had the honour of leading the RAF fly-past over London, flown each year to commemorate victory in the Battle of Britain. Not many original flight worthy examples exist today, and sadly the one Hurricane of the Canadian Warplane Heritage in Ontario, Canada was lost in a hanger fire a few years ago. While they did find a replacement it is strictly a static display.

Specifications (Hawker Hurricane IIB)

Type: Single Seat Fighter / Fighter Bomber / Tank Buster & Ship Based Catapult Fighter

Manufacturer: Hawker Aircraft Limited, also built by Gloster Aircraft, SABCA (Belgium) and Canadian Car & Foundry Inc.

Powerplant: (Prototype) One 990 hp (738 kW) Rolls-Royce Merlin 'C' engine. (Mk I) One 1,030 hp (768 kW) Merlin II 12-cylinder engine, later the Merlin III was used. (Mk II) One Rolls-Royce Merlin XX 12-cylinder 60 degree Vee liquid-cooled engine rated at 1,280 hp (954 kw) at take-off and 1,850 hp (1379 kw) at 21,000 ft (6400 m). (Mk IV) One 1,620 hp (1208 kW) Merlin 24 or 27 12-cylinder engine. (Canadian Mk X) One 1,300 hp (969 kW) Packard-built Merlin 28. (Canadian Mk XII) One 1,300 hp (696 kW) Packard-built Merlin 29. (Sea Hurricane Mk IIC) One 1,280 hp (954 kW) Rolls-Royce Merlin XX 12-cylinder piston engine.

Performance: 340 mph (547 km/h) at 21,000 ft (6400 m) clean, 320 mph (514 km/h) at 19,700 ft (6004 m) with two 250 lbs (113 kg) bombs, 307 mph (494 km/h) at 19,500 ft (5943 m) with two 500 lbs (227 kg) bombs. Service Ceiling 40,000 ft (12192 m) clean, 33,000 ft (10058 m) with a 500 lbs (227 kg) bomb load. Initial climb rate of 2,700 ft (825 m) per minute (varies depending on stores carried).

Range: 460 miles (740 km) at 178 mph (286 km/h) normal fuel. 920 miles (1480 km) with two 44 gallon auxiliary tanks.

Weight: Empty 5,658 lbs (2566 kg) with a maximum take-off weight of 8,470 lbs (3841 kg) with two 500 lbs (227 kg) bombs.

Dimensions: Span 40 ft 0 in (12.19 m) length 32 ft 2 1/2 in (9.82 m) height 13 ft 1 in (3.99 m) wing area 257.5 sq ft (23.92 sq m).

Armament: (Mk I) Eight 7.7 mm (0.303 in) Browning Machine guns each with 333 rounds. (Mk IIA) Same as Mk I but with provisions for twelve guns and bombs. (Mk IIB) Twelve 7.7 mm (0.303 in Browning machine guns and two 250 lbs (113 kg) or 500 lbs (227 kg) bombs or eight rocket projectiles (25 lbs armour piercing or 60 lbs HE). (Mk IIC) Four 20 mm Hispano cannon and provisions for bombs. (Mk IID) Two 40 mm Vickers S Cannon and two 7.7 mm (0.303 in) Browning machine guns to assist aiming of the cannons. (Sea Hurricane Mk IIC) Four 20 mm Hispano cannon. (Mk IV) Universal wing with two 7.7 mm (0.303 in) Browning machine guns and two 40 mm Vickers S cannon, two 500 lbs (227 kg) bombs, eight rockets. Also was capable of using smoke and other stores. Belgium built aircraft were equipped with four 12.7 mm (0.50 in) FN-Browning machine guns.

Variants: Mk I, Mk II, Mk IIA (eight machine guns), Mk IIB (twelve machine guns), Mk IIC (four 20 mm cannons), Mk IID (40 mm cannon), Mk IV (specialized ground attack).

Avionics: (Sea Hurricane) FAA radio equipment.

History: First flight (prototype) 6 November 1935 (production Mk I) 12 October 1937 (Mk II) 11 June 1940 (Canadian Mk X) January 1940 final delivery September 1944.

Operators: RAF, RCAF, RAAF, Belgium, Egypt, Finland, India, Iraq, Iran, Yugoslavia, RNZAF, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Soviet Union, South Africa, Turkey.


Hawker Hurricane

Few British aircraft have attained the special niche in the history of the RAF which is accorded to the Hawker Hurricane, sharing with the Supermarine Spitfire the brunt of air defence during the Battle of Britain in August-September 1940. One of the significant statistics of the Hurricane's contribution to this hard-fought battle was the fact that these aircraft destroyed more enemy aircraft than the combined total of all other defence systems, air or ground. Even that factor must be equated with the information that at the beginning of the battle (on 8 August 1940) approximately 65% more Hurricanes than Spitfires (2,309 to 1,400) had been delivered to the RAF's Fighter Command. Perhaps, in the final analysis, such figures can be regarded as more controversial than revealing. The fact remains that this combination of machines and courageous pilots was enough to deny the Luftwaffe access to the daylight skies over Britain without unacceptable loss.

The family tree of the Hurricane can be traced back to a 'Fury monoplane' proposal of 1933, then to be powered by the Rolls-Royce Goshawk evaporative-cooled power plant. Instead it was decided in early 1934 to adapt this design to incorporate the new PV.12 engine which Rolls-Royce had developed - and which was the direct forbear of the famous Merlin. From that time the airframe/engine combination bore so little relation to the Fury that it then became identified as the 'Interceptor Monoplane'.

This finalised design was submitted to the Air Ministry in 1934, and in the following year a prototype was ordered to Specification F.36/34. On 6 November 1935, powered by a 767kW Merlin 'C' engine, the Hurricane took to the air for the first time. Although of cantilever monoplane configuration, its construction was typical of the Fury from which it stemmed, and even its wings were fabric-covered in early Mk Is, with a metal leading edge and trailing-edge flaps. The tailwheel-type landing gear had hydraulically retractable main units of wide track. Armament of production Mk Is comprised four 7.7mm Browning machine-guns in each wing, making this the RAF's first eight-gun fighter.

Early tests of the prototype confirmed the predicted performance, and an initial order for 600 placed in June 1936 was followed by one for 1,000 additional aircraft in November 1938. The first production aircraft flew in October 1937 and Hurricane I began to enter service in December 1937, first with No 111 Squadron. In early February 1938 Britain's breakfast-time newspaper readers almost choked on their toast when headlines assured them that, during the night, No 111 Squadron's commanding officer (Sqdn Ldr J. GilIan) had flown his Hurricane from Edinburgh to Northolt at an average speed of 657km/h, assisted by a tail wind!

Subsequent Hurricane versions included the Mk IIA with Merlin XX and eight guns Mk IIB with 12 guns and Mk IIC with four 20mm cannon. Mk IID with two 40mm Vickers 'S' guns and two 7.7mm guns (plus additional armour for low attack) were used extensively in the Western Desert. The final production version was the Mk IV with a wing able to accept armament comprising two Browning machine-guns plus two 40mm guns, or eight rocket projectiles, or two 110kg or 225kg bombs, or long-range fuel tanks. The Hurricane V (only two built) was powered by a Merlin 27 or 32 engine, while Hurricane X, XII and XIIA were produced in Canada by the Canadian Car and Foundry Company with Packard 28 or 29 engines. A total of 12,780 Hurricanes were built in Britain, plus 1,451 in Canada.

Sea Hurricanes joined the Royal Navy in January 1941 and became the first carrier-based British single-seat monoplane fighter when taken to sea by HMS Furious in July 1941. Under the 'Catfighter' scheme, Sea Hurricane IA were equipped for catapult launch from the decks of CAM merchant ships (catapult-equipped merchantmen) to counter the threat posed by Germany's Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condors, introduced in the spring in 1941. Only the Mk IA was specially built. The approximate figure of 800 Sea Hurricanes which entered service included 50 Mk IA and about 750 conversions of Mk II and Canadian-built aircraft.

In addition to the Hurricanes already mentioned, more than 4,000 were supplied to other air forces, including Belgium, Canada, Egypt, Eire, Finland, India, Persia (now Iran), Poland, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, the Soviet Union, Turkey, and Yugoslavia.

Hi i'm modelling 1 sqn hurricane mk11c nightfighters based at Redhill including JX-B BE581, any idea where I can obtain a list of other serials /codes of hurricanes that were there? Cheers Ian

I have read all this and I still don't have actual data to form a true opinion. I just know I have always admired that fighter plane and believed it had a greater capability than it was generally given.

Can anyone tell me why very few Canadian produced Hawker Hurricanes that stayed in Canada did not have spinners. One of the few that does is Ser. # 872-46002 being restored @ Vintage Wings of Canada. I am working on the project and we would like to know.

The Hurricane out killed the Spitfire in the Battle of Britain. And while slower in level flight, and not able to match the 109 in climb or dive, the Hurricane could out turn it. In the hands of a competent pilot, still a match for the 109.

The front line logistics were that the 109 gruppe handed off to their leader who engaged opposition squadrons from behind. RAF tactic thus allowd their least experienced pilots to die quietly.

But there was a logarithmic limit to this MO as the lead pilot had to be in position to make the kills. OTOH a few German pilots became legendary aces doing so.

With hindsight it is easy to forget that there was nothing accurate in any RAF text book about air warfare since 1918.

The prototype Hurricane achieved 400 mph when it was first flown the wings were substituted for the Hawker Hector dive bomber wings which lost the hurricane about 20 mph.

Also there was a squadren leader pilot who came back from france with his hurricane and substituted a later mark of merlin engine into his plane and found it outperformed spitfires . messerschmidts et al at high altitude Typically when the men from the ministry found out they took the later model merlin engine from the hurricane and that was that?

when Aussie was forming squadrons in north Africa they took over some aircraft from the RAF,well used Hurricanes and other hawker makes. The order was in for US p40s,the p40s replaced the mixed bag of aircraft that the Aussies started out with,likely a way to get set up with the limited resources, i think the Aussie figured p40 parts would be more reliable to get from the USA then to hope for parts from England for Hurricanes,[regarding the Pacific theater also]so in that regard the p40 did replace some Hurricanes but mostly American mustangs replaced the p40s and spitfires replaced the Hurricanes,End result was more and more sqns to out gun the German aircraft. All interesting stuff

Much has been made about which was the best the fastest which could climb faster or turn tighter than other machines over the years. The hurricane was a mid 1930's era design and by 1940 it was becoming outclassed by other aircraft however and it is a big however this aircraft shot down many more German aircraftduring the batlle of britain than its newer faster etc colleague the spitfire. It could therefore be said to have influenced the outcome of the war as if Britain had lost this battle and been forced to withdraw from the war Germany would have been free to fight on one front (eastern)America would not have become involved in the european war and the world we now live in would be very different. Also once relegated from 1st line fighter status the Hurricane was armed with cannon and became a very successful anti-tank weapon in the North African desert making a massive contribution to Montgomery's victory in 1943. A very significant, effective and successful aircraft by anyones standards.

Have hunted high & low as to when and which version had the so called oil deflector plate fitted to the front of the engine cowling immediately behind the propeller. Can someone advise. Thanks

Aussie did use the Hurricanes briefly in north africa, till they recived there p40s not all sqn but some

Often i read that p40 replaced the hurricanes in North Africa ,more so new sqn were equipped with the p40 while the spitfire replaced the hurricane at the old squdrons , maybe this was because of the similar equipment ,parts, training, ect. i think i read the cock pits of the spitfire and hurricane are also similar. I checked out a long list of aircraft used by the African sqns and i don,t think i recall one that switched over from hurricanes to P40, The Australians only used P40 I wonder what happened to the remaining Hurricanes, sent to Yugoslavia or Greece??I will check it out

often climb rate for the hurricane mentions the mk11c. I read that this aircraft was 1800 lbs heaver then the mk1. some mk1 had only two speed wood propellor, newer mk11 had the constant speed prop and the extra 400 horse power. lots of armor and four big cannon, so climb was usually around 2700 fpm, mk 1 or two with the constsnt speed prop,, find it interesting p40 had the great high speed roll rate,could be trouble for the me109, as this was often there way out,Interesting

Hi all: It`s performance complimented, and sometimes surpassed ,the "Spittee" however, at 84 yrs old I know that to see a spitfire on the ground ,or overhead,in film or doco, that I have just seen the most beautiful aircraft ever ,or likely . Even the start-up cough of the "Merlin is enough. Cheers. Ron H

Hurricane's reserve fuel tank was just in front of the cockpit, so many pilots suffered severe burns. Zero was an even worse fire hazard.

Stan, while the Hurricane flew in Nov 1935, the P-36 flew in May, 1935. The re-engined P-40, with P-36 airframe flew in 1938. That makes it a '30s airplane too. A bit older, even.

The Hurri was a 1930'2 design, the P-40 a 1940's design. The Hurri saved landing sites in U.K., for the USAAF.

The more you read about historic aircraft like the Hurricane the more confused you become. Critics cite poor climb, compare it to P36, P40, Wildcat and even the mighty Corsair, the Hrri is not that bad. Dive? the prototype was clocked at 560 mph with fabric wings and a fixed pitch prop, metal wings added 80 mph to dive speed, do the sums. This stacks up with experiences of pilots in Burma who could dive away from zero's and Oscar, the latter more than once shedding wings trying to follow the Hurri. One pilot of a Hurri was disappointed following a long dive which over-revved the engine and locked the controls solid to find that on recovery using the tail trim he was still only doing 320 mph and speed falling, until he watched the asi unwind a complete revolution and the Hurri return to more or less controlled flight. The mechanics worked this out to over 600 mph, but we'll never know. I did read that the Hurri has the record for the most axis aircraft shot down, more than the Spit or Mustang. It certainly fought for longer periods in any theatre than the others but can anyone confirm?

never really hear about how the p40 really would stack up against the hurricane, in africa when they changed over to p40 ,some pilots probebly tried it out in mock dog fights, i assume p40 could dive away maybe p40 could out manuver the hurricane at higher speed .?

Not as glamorous as its well known counter part but it could out turn a BF109 at low level.
Britains Working Class Hero.

Often there are overstated, almost false statements about . say p40 or hurricane and others example Hurricane poor climb, well compared to a me109 yes , but it was respectable compared to other aircraft, though the climb angle was steep and speed was low, and p40 ,cant turn, sure not like a zero. but almost nothing could roll like a p40 at high speed and, this was the one of the most important advantages in new era dogfights. something the fw190 could use to evade the spitfire. and really its only advantage over the mk 9 spitfire, speed over mk 5 also


World War Photos

Hurricane M2-K aboard HMS ARGUS 1943 Hurricane being ranged on the flight deck of HMS Indomitable Malta convoy 10-12 August 1942 Hurricane of No 229 Squadron being re fuelled and re-armed August 1940 – Battle of Britain Hurricane Mk IIC BD867 QO-Y of No 3 Squadron RAF in flight
Hurricane Mk I P2728 parked outside a hangar at Gosport 1940 Hawker Hurricane Mk I P3300 1940 Hawker Hurricane Mk II B 󈫱” of Rusian Navy 1941 Hawker Hurricane Mk II PZ827
Hurricane P3403 on railroad flat car Hurricane Mk IV KX413 FJ-H of No. 164 Squadron RAF undergoing servicing at Middle Wallop PO Lewis of No 85 Squadron and his Hurricane P2923 VY-R Castle Camps July 1940 Hurricane Mk I of No 245 Squadron in flight near Belfast November 1940
Hawker Hurricane Mk IV LB640 Hawker Hurricane LK-S wind tunnel 1942 RAE Sea Hurricanes of 885 Squadron FAA with their engines running ranged on the deck of HMS Victorious Hurricane Mk I code VY-H of No. 85 Squadron RAF stands at readiness at Lille Seclin, France 1940
Yugoslav groundcrew wheel a trolley of 3 inch rocket projectiles past re armed Hurricane Mk IVs of No 351 Yugoslav Squadron RAF Prkos Yugoslavia Hurricane PR Mk IIB BM969 of S Flight No 3 PRU based at Dum Dum India Hurricane Z3768 FK-49 of No, 81 Squadron RAF in a waterlogged dispersal at Vaenga, Russia Hurricane Mk IIB code 55-FN Z3977 of the 81 Squadron 151st Wing on airfield in Vaenga Russia
Hurricane Mk I with 20mm gun Flt Lt D R Turley George and FO Fenwick in front of their Sea Hurricane Mk IA on board the SS EMPIRE TIDE Pilots of No 310 Czech Squadron in front of Hurricane Mk I P3143 code NN-D 1941 Repair and Salvage Hurricanes heading towards Gizeh Pyramids 1942, Z4967 HB-D in the foreground.
Hawker Sea Hurricane IC V6741 III April 1943 Hurricane Mk IV KZ188 C of No 6 Squadron RAF being refuelled on a dispersal at Prkos Yugoslavia Sergeant B Bawden and Hurricane Mk IIC code LK-R HL865 Night Duty of No 87 Squadron at Charmy Down 2 September 1942 Hurricane prototype K5083 1935 nose
Hurricane Mk I L1951 code TM-L of No. 504 Squadron field near Great Yarmouth, 2 April 1940 No 87 Squadron RAF Pilots and Hurricanes Mk I at Lille Seclin, France 1940 Sea Hurricanes Flying Exercises On HMS Victorious 25-27 June 1942 Hawker Hurricane Mk II C KZ466 2
Hurricane P3878 YB-W of No 17 Squadron Debden 1940 BRITISH WAAF Womens Auxiliary Air Force 1st MECHANICS 1942 Hawker Hurricane assembly fuselage Hurricane Mk IIC HW557 “K” of No. 28 Squadron RAF at Sadaung Burma
Hurricane prototype K5083 1935 in flight Afrika Korps soldiers with shot down Hurricane Mail being loaded into a Hurricane Mk IIC of No 1697 Air Despatch Letter Service Flight at B2 Bazenville Normandy 1944 Pilots of B Flight No 33 Squadron RAF Hurricane Mk I Fuka Egypt
Hurricane Mk IIB night fighters Z3971 SW-S “Samasthans II” of No 253 Squadron RAF lined up at Hibaldstow Hurricane Mk X AG162 code EH-W of No 55 OTU based at Annan Dumfriesshire in flight PO Clowes of No 1 Squadron RAF climbing into his Hurricane Mk I P3395 JX-B in a revetment at Wittering Hurricane QO-T of No 3 Squadron RAF 1940
Hurricane Mk I Z4575 “L” of No 2 Squadron IAF at Risalpur Hurricane of No 249 Squadron RAF pilots with mascot duck Wilfred 1941 Groundcrew refuelling Hawker Hurricane Mk I L2001 code JU-B of No. 111 Squadron RAF at Wick, Early 1940 Hurricane Mk IV fighter bomber KX877 parked on an airfield April 1943
Pilots and Hurricanes of No 56 Punjab Squadron at Duxford 2 January 1942 Hurricane Mk IVD KZ193 fitted with two 40mm Vickers Type S guns and a Vokes tropical filter on the ground Hawker Hurricane 69 With Rockets Hawker Hurricane Mk II C 1943
Hurricane on the beach Hurricane Mk IIA Z2515 1942 Sqn Ldr Billy Drake and Hurricane Mk II B of No 128 Squadron in West Africa 1941 Hurricane wreckage with drop tanks France
Hurricane with the “Night and White” undersurfaces of No 56 Squadron flying at low level April 1940 Hurricane Mk II Z3768 of RAF 81 Squadron 151 Fighter Wing in Russia 1941 Hurricane assembly and production tail section Hurricane V7716 code TP-U No 73 Squadron RAF and DAK Kubelwagen April 1941
No 85 Squadron in France 1940 during the visit by King George VI Canadian built AF964 Sea Hurricane Mk X 1941 Hurricane Mk I VY-G of No 85 Squadron RAF stand at readiness at Lille Seclin, France “Sir Roderic” – presentation Hurricane No 94 Squadron RAF
German soldiers examining destroyed Hurricane Hurricane pilot and ground staff inspect the oxygen supply of the aircraft before a sortie October 1940 Hurricane Mk I P3522 of No 32 Squadron flown by PO Rupert Smythe taxying at Hawkinge 29 July 1940 Sgt Dean of No 274 Squadron RAF examines belts of .303 ammunition Sidi Barrani Egypt Hurricane Mk I P2638
Hurricane Mk IIC night fighter BD936 ZY-S of No 247 Squadron RAF based at Predannack pilot Sous Lieutenant Helies German soldier poses with destroyed Hurricane Hurricane of No 17 Squadron code YB-C crash landed during Battle of Britain Hawker Hurricane TM-J No. 504 Squadron RAF connected to the battery cart
Hurricanes during patrol in Middle East 1942 No. 42 Squadron RAF camouflaging their Hurricane Mk IV in dispersal points at Onbauk Burma KX802 codeAW-B and LF477 code AW-C Hurricane Mk IIB BD930 R of No 73 Squadron RAF. north Africa Sqn Ldr Peter Townsend jumps down from Hurricane Mk I P3166, coded VY-Q No 85 Squadron while being refuelled at Castle Camps July 1940
Formation of RAF Hurricane fighters on patrol on the Western Front 1940 Hurribomber Mk IV fighter bomber in flight August 1945 33 Squadron in front of Hurricane In Greece Sqn Ldr Pattle 2nd from right Hurricanes Mk I of No 85 Squadron RAF on patrol during the Battle of Britain
Sea Hurricane Mk I Z4936 code KE-M of the Merchant Ship Fighter Unit Germans poses with destroyed Hurricane Sea Hurricanes on the flight deck of HMS Victorious with the battleship USS WASHINGTON in the foreground July 1942 Hurricane Mk I of RAF No 501 Squadron at Betheniville 1940
Hurricane prototype K5083 1935 in flight 2 Hurricane Mk IIB of No 134 Squadron RAF scramble from their dispersals in the snow at Vaenga Luftwaffe soldiers poses with Hurricane wreckage Hurricanes of No 3 Squadron early in War
Hurricane Prototype K5083 1st Modifications at Brooklands Hurricane prototype K5083 1935 front Sergeant B Furst of No 310 Czechoslovak Squadron RAF Duxford September 1940 Hurricane Mk I Z3593 British Honduras 1940
501 Squadron Hurricanes at Gravesend during Battle of Britain Hurricane Mk IV No 6 Sqn with rockets and drop tanks Greece 1945 Hurricane Mk I of the 56 Squadron P2764, code US-P North Weald Sea Hurricane Mk X AM277 shot down 1942 Oran 8th November 1942.jpg
Pilots of B Flight No 32 Squadron relax on the grass at Hawkinge in front of Hurricane Mk I P3522 GZ-V Battle of Britain Sea Hurricanes Mk IA bearing Merchant Ship Sea Hurricane Mk IA V6756 on the catapult of a CAM Ship at Greenock Hurricane prototype K5083 1935 left side view 2
Armourers fit rocket projectiles to Hurricane Mk IV of No 170 Wing in a dispersal on an airfield in Burma Sea Hurricanes flying in formation December 1941 Hurricane Mk II of No 185 Squadron RAF lined up at readiness at Hal Far Malta – Mk IIB Z5265 “T” in the background RAF personnel and Soviet sailors at Vaenga,Russia. Hurricane Mk IIB Z5227, code FE-53 of No 81 Squadron RAF
20 Squadron RAF pilots with Japanese Trophies by Hurricane Mk IID Hurricane Mk IIC BE500 code LK-A United Provinces Cawnpore being flown by Sqn Ldr Dennis Smallwood 87 Squadron RAF (color photo) American Hurricane KZ. MTO 1943/44 Hawker Hurricane Assembly MW336
Hurricane Mk IIC assembly LF772 LF773 LF774 Hurricane Assembly center wing section Hurricane on Landing Field in Northern Russia Hurricane Mk I flown by Sgt G Sammy Allard of No 85 Squadron July 1940 2
Hurricane Mk I of No 213 Squadron RAF over Cyprus 1941 Czechoslovak pilots of No 310 Czechoslovak Squadron RAF Hurricane Mk I P3143 NN-D Duxford Ground crew rolling drums of petrol to Hurricane Mk IV of No 6 Squadron RAF at Araxos Greece Hurricane Mk IIC of No 224 Group RAF in north eastern India Hurricane Mk IIC in the background HV816 “X”
Hurricane Mk IIC LB941 “E” of No 60 Squadron RAF crash landed north of Sadaung Burma Crashed Hurricane trop and DAK soldiers Hurricanes fly over the Hurricane Mk IIBand IIC of No 67 Squadron RAFat Chittagong India No 71 Eagle Squadron RAF Pilot Andrew Mamedoff on Hurricane 1941
Hurricane Mk IIA Z2961 “K” of the Malta Night Fighter Unit being refuelled and re armed at Ta Kal Malta Hurricane Mk I Z4204 “H” of B Flight No 30 Squadron RAF at Idku Egypt German soldiers inspect Hurricane Mk II FZ-P of No 94 Squadron RAF shot down in North Africa Hurricane Mk IIB Z3977 FN-55 of No 81 Squadron 151st Wing RAF being serviced at Vaenga, Russia
Hawker Hurricane code RE-C No. 229 Squadron RAF Early Hurricane Mk I on test Hurricane Mk IIC of the Air Dispatch Service Squadron with D-Day stripes, 1944 Hawker Hurricane Mk II D HW719
British Pilot Framed in Undercarriage of Hurricane Fighter 1940 Hurricane Mk I of No 245 Squadron in flight from Aldergrove November 1940 2 Hurricane Mk I of No 257 Squadron RAF take off from Coltishall Norfolk Squadron Leader R R Stanford Tuck in V6864 DT-A Hurricane Mk IIB of No 174 Squadron RAF lined up at Manston Kent
Hurricanes of No 56 Squadron in flight April 1940 Hurricane aircraft at the Fleet Air Arm airfield at Yeovilton (color photo) Sqn Ldr R R Stanford Tuck of No 257 Squadron RAF in his Hurricane Mk I V6864 DT-A Coltishall Norfolk Hurricane Mk I flown by Sgt G Sammy Allard of No 85 Squadron July 1940
Hurricane Mk I XR-Z of No 71 Eagle Squadron takes off from Kirton in Lindsey Hurricane assembly and production wing center section Ground staff re arm a Hurricane Mk I of No 32 Squadron at Biggin Hill August 1940 HMS Victorious flight deck showing HMS Indomitable and Eagle Sea Hurricane and Albacore are ranged on flight deck August 1942
Hurricane Mk IIB Z5253, code GA-25 of No 134 Squadron RAF taxies out past Russian sentries at Vaenga Mechanics Tuning Up Hurricane Mk I Fighters at RAF Northolt 1938 A pilot of No 6 Squadron RAF stands by his Hurricane Mk IID Tank Buster at Shandur Egypt 1943 Hawker Hurricane Mk IIC with Merlin X,X April 1943
Formation of Hurricane Fighters in flight – L1550, L1559 Belgian Hawker Hurricane white 22 Hawker Hurricane wreckage American pilots of No 71 Eagle Squadron rush to their Hurricanes at Kirton in Lindsey 17 March 1941
Hurricane Mk IV LB774 with two 40 mm (1.57 in) Vickers S guns Hawker Hurricane assembly radiator RAF sergeant unloads a press bag delivered by Hurricane of the 2nd TAF Communication Squadron at Le Bourget France 1944 Anti tank Hurricane Mk IID BN795 Our John of No 6 Squadron RAF on a landing ground in North Africa
Hurricane Mk IIB HL887 AK-W of No 213 Squadron RAF El Adem Libya 1943 Hurricane Mk I in flight over Egypt October 1940 Hurricane Mk I P3886 code UF-K of No 601 Squadron RAF being serviced in a dispersal at Exeter November 1940 Sea Hurricanes of 885 Squadron ranged on the wet flight deck of HMS Victorious
Hawker Hurricane Mk II B 1942 Hurricane Mk IIC BD867 QO-Y of No 3 Squadron RAF on the ground at Hunsdon Flying Officer V C Woodward No 33 Squadron RAF beside his Hurricane Mk I Fuka Egypt 1941 Hawker Hurricane LB611 Production
Hurricane fighters in flight Middlesex 1938 Hawker Hurricane prototype Hurricane Tac R Mk IV No 28 Squadron Aya Bridge south of Mandalay 1945 Hawker Hurricane wreckage 1940
Flt Lt Blatchford of No 257 Squadron RAF climbing out of his Hurricane Mk I at Martlesham Heath Hurricane Mk IIC Over the Western Desert 94 Squadron RAF Hurricane Mk II of the Malta Night Fighter Unit wait at readiness at Ta Kali Malta Hurricane Mk I of Squadron Leader Tuck commanding No 257 Squadron refuelling at Coltishall early January 1941
Sea Hurricane AF953 on the flight deck of HMS Avenger June 1942 6 Hurricane Mk IIB of B Flight No 601 Squadron RAF based at Duxford Hurricanes IIB of No 601 Squadron B Flight 1941 Hurricane Mk I L2045 SD-A of No 501 Squadron RAF loaded onto a railway wagon during the final evacuation from France 1940
German soldiers examining Hurricane Sea Hurricane Mk XII JS327 shot down 1942 Oran 8th November 1942 Hawker Hurricane Mk I P2813 Hurricane Mk X AG111 HK-G No 59 Operational Training Unit on the ground at Milfield
Hawker Hurricane P2959 and Fairey Battle P5238 after collapse of France, 1940 Hawker Hurricane Mk II C for Turkey 1943 Hurricane Mk I V7608, code XR-J of No 71 Eagle Squadron RAF at Kirton in Lindsey Hurricanes of No 3 Squadron in flight during World War II
Hurricane wreckage 1940 2 Hurricane Mk IIC of the Air Dispatch letter Service Squadron 1944 Hurricane Patrols in Middle East Hurricane assembly and production wings
Hurricanes of No 17 Squadron on the ground at Debden July 1940 Pilots of No 33 Squadron RAF at Larissa Greece Hurricane Mk I V7419 1941 Hurricane Mk IID of No 6 Squadron RAF rolling out at Gabes 6 April 1943 (color photo) Langley defence Hurricane Mk IIB
Hurricane VY-B of No. 85 Squadron RAF France 1940 Hurricane P2923 code VY-R of No 85 Squadron flown by Plt Off Albert G Lewis at Castle Camps July 1940 Hurricane Mk IIB BE485 of RCAF Squadron No 402 Hurricane being ranged on the flight deck of HMS Indomitable Malta convoy 10-12 August 1942 2
Hurricane Mk IIB BN114 fitted with 500lb bombs Turkish Hurricanes Mk IIC Trop at Airfield in Middle East. Early 1943 Hurricane Mk IV North Africa Hurricane Mk I P2923 VY-R flown by PO A G Lewis of No. 85 Squadron landing at Castle Camps
Hurricane Mk IIC trop HL844 “MacRobert Fighter – Sir Alasdair” of 237 Sqn, 1942 WAAF armourers and flight mechanics servicing a Hurricane at Sealand in Wales 5 May 1943 Hurricane Mk IID BP188 JV-Z of No 6 Squadron RAF based at Shandur Egypt Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk IA Z4852
Sea Hurricane Mk IB code M2-H fighter about to land on HMS Argus Hurricane Mk I of No 257 Squadron RAF fly over the airfield at Coltishall Norfolk V7607 DT-H Mail being loaded into a Hurricane Mk IIC of No 1697 Air Despatch Letter Service Flight at B2 Bazenville Normandy Hurricane Mk IIC LF380 FI-D of No 83 OTU on the ground at Peplow
American Hawker Hurricane Mk II Trop BP654, MTO 1943/44 Hawker Hurricane Mk II C KZ466 Hurricane Mk I W9232 in flight German Hurricane with Balkenkreuz of the Jagdfliegerschule 2, Zerbst
Hurricanes Mk IIB of No 601 Squadron B flight on patrol 1941 Canadian Hurricane XII 5624 with ski undercarriage, 1942 Hurricane prototype K5083 1935 left side view

Land Variants

Mk I (early) – fabric-covered wings and wooden two-bladed, fixed-pitch propeller. Engine: Rolls-Royce Merlin Mk II / III. Armament: 8 x 7,7 mm
Mk I (late) – de Havilland or Rotol three blade propeller, metal-covered wings and armour
Mk IIA Series 1 – Merlin XX engine, slightly longer aerodynamic Rotol propeller spinner and longer nose (4,5 in).
Mk IIB or IIA Series 2 – bomb racks (2𴧌 lb) and 12 x 7,7 mm Browning machine guns
Mk IIB Trop – tropicalised varaint fitted with Vokes and Rolls Royce engine dust filters and desert survival kit
Mk IIC – 4 x 20 mm Hispano Mk II cannons and bomb racks (2𴧌 lb or 44-gallon long-range fuel tanks). The Mk IIC could be tropicalized and fitted with a Vokes carburettor dust filter.
Mk IID -Mk IIC with 2 x 40 mm and 2 x 7,7 mm. The first Mk IID flew in 09.1941 and deliveries started in 1942.
Mk IIE – wing modification and Merlin 27 engine (only 2 prototypes)
Met Mk II – meteorological reconnaissance unarmed Hurricane Mk IIC
Mk III – Packard Merlin 28 engine (project)
Mk IV – model with “universal Wing” and Merlin 24 or 27 engine armoured engine and radiator. The tropicalized version was fitted with Vokes dust filter.
Mk V – 3 prototypes with 4 blade propellers and Merlin 32 engines (1700 hp)
Mk X – Canadian variant with Packard Merlin 28 Armament: 8࡭,7 mm
Mk XI – Canadian variant
Mk XII – Canadian variant with Packard Merlin 29 Armament: 12࡭,7 mm or 4吐 mm
Mk XII – Canadian variant with Packard Merlin 29 Armament: 8࡭,7 mm
PR Mk I and II – photographic reconnaissance variant of Mk I / II
Hurricane Tac R Mk I / II- Tactical Reconnaissance aircraft

Navy Variants

Mk IA – “Hurricat” – Hurricane Mk I modified by General Aircraft Limited for CAM ships
Mk IB – Hurricane Mk I equipped with catapult spools and arrester hook. A total of 340 aircraft were converted.
Mk IC – Hurricane Mk I equipped with catapult spools and arrester hook Armament: 4 x 20 mm
Mk IIC – converted Hurricane Mk IIC
Mk XIIA – converted Canadian-built Hurricane Mk XII. Converted for operations aboard CAM ships


Watch the video: Hawker Sea Hurricane - Old Warden 2692009


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