Hawker Hurricane

The Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd for the Royal Air Force (RAF). Although largely overshadowed by the Supermarine Spitfire, the aircraft became renowned during the Battle of Britain, accounting for 60% of the RAF's air victories in the battle, and served in all the major theatres of the Second World War.

The 1930s design evolved through several versions and adaptations, resulting in a series of aircraft which acted as interceptor-fighters, fighter-bombers (also called "Hurribombers"), and ground support aircraft. Further versions known as the Sea Hurricane had modifications which enabled operation from ships. Some were converted as catapult-launched convoy escorts, known as "Hurricats". More than 14,000 Hurricanes were built by the end of 1944 (including about 1,200 converted to Sea Hurricanes and some 1,400 built in Canada by the Canada Car and Foundry).

The maiden flight of the first production aircraft, powered by a Merlin II engine, took place on 12 October 1937. The first four aircraft to enter service with the RAF joined No. 111 Squadron RAF at RAF Northolt the following December. By the outbreak of the Second World War, nearly 500 Hurricanes had been produced, and had equipped 18 squadrons

During the eleven days of fighting in France and over Dunkirk on 10—21 May 1940, Hurricane pilots claimed 499 kills and 123 probables. Contemporary German records, examined post-war, attribute 299 Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed and 65 seriously damaged by RAF fighters.

The Battle of Britain officially lasted from 10 July until 31 October 1940, but the heaviest fighting took place between 8 August and 21 September. Both the Supermarine Spitfire and the Hurricane are renowned for their part in defending Britain against the Luftwaffe — generally the Spitfire would intercept the German fighters, leaving Hurricanes to concentrate on the bombers, but despite the undoubted abilities of the "thoroughbred" Spitfire, it was the "workhorse" Hurricane that scored the highest number of RAF victories during this period, accounting for 1,593 of the 2,739 claimed.

General characteristics
  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 32 ft 3 in (9.84 m)
  • Wingspan: 40 ft 0 in (12.19 m)
  • Height: 13 ft 1½ in (4.0 m)
  • Wing area: 257.5 ft² (23.92 m²)
  • Empty weight: 5,745 lb (2,605 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 7,670 lb (3,480 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 8,710 lb (3,950 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1× Rolls-Royce Merlin XX liquid-cooled V-12, 1,185 hp (883 kW) at 21,000 ft (6,400 m)

  • Maximum speed: 340 mph (547 km/h) at 21,000 ft (6,400 m)
  • Range: 600 mi (965 km)
  • Service ceiling: 36,000 ft (10,970 m)
  • Rate of climb: 2,780 ft/min (14.1 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 29.8 lb/ft² (121.9 kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 0.15 hp/lb (0.25 kW/kg)

  • 4 × 20 mm (.79 in) Hispano Mk II cannons
  • 2 × 250 or 500 lb (110 or 230 kg) bombs

** Hawker Hurricane - Warbird Fare

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