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Hawker Hurricane

One of the most prolific fighters aircraft of WWII which had a high survivability rate due to its robust airframe construction.

Please note:  Probably one of the most famous of the Hawker aircraft family, the Hawker Hurricane deserves much more space and detail than can be afforded on this web page so whilst we identify some of the basic elements of this iconic aircraft, we urge further interest via the various dedicated groups shown in the listings below.

‘The aircraft is simple and easy to fly and has no apparent vices’.

Sammy Wroath, RAF Test Pilot at Martlesham Heath in March 1936.
Hawker Hurricane Mk.XXII (Z5140) Hawker Hurricane Mk.XXII (Z5140)
The Hawker Hurricane was a British single-seater monoplane fighter aircraft designed by Sydney Camm at Hawker Aircraft in the early 1930’s.  It saw exemplorary service in World War II and accounted for over 60% of the air victories in the Battle of Britain.
The Hurricane emerged from the Hawker PV.3, a design to meet specification F.7/30.  Essentially a scaled-up Hawker Fury, it failed to receive government funding for the building of a prototype.  Sydney Camm revised the design into a cantilever monoplane with a retractable undercarriage and fitted a Rolls-Royce PV-12 engine, better known as a Merlin.
In September 1934, Camm received the funding for a full-size prototype although a number of major changes were endured during the mock-up and final prototype construction phase.  In January 1935 a new specification (F36/34) required the installation of 8 fixed guns.
By August 1935 the various components were moved to Brooklands for assembly and following re-assembly and ground testing, the first prototype (K5083) flew on 6th November 1935 in the hands of Flight Lt. George Bulman. 
Hawker Hurricane Prototype (K5083) Hawker Hurricane Prototype (K5083)
In a dramatic commercial gamble, the Board of Hawker Aircraft immediately ‘tooled-up’ at the new Langley Factory, ready to start production on 1,000 Hurricane aircraft. 
During successful trials at Martlesham Heath during early 1936, the RAF Test Pilot Sammy Wroath reported ‘The aircraft is simple and easy to fly and has no apparent vices’ and full RAF acceptance was granted in June of that year. The aircraft was informally christened ‘Hurricane’ by King Edward VIII during a visit to Martlesham Heath in July 1936.
24 variants of the Hurricane were created with around 14,483 aircraft built and Langley took over all Hurricane production from in 1941.  Externally some 2,750 were built by Gloster Aircraft at Hucclecote with a further 300 built at Austin Motor Company at Longbridge.  Meanwhile, another 1.451 were built in Montreal, Canada by the Canadian Car & Foundry Company (designated Mk.XX) as well as 100 being built by Zmaj in Yugoslavia in 1941.
During 1940, General Aircraft Limited converted approximately 250 Mk.1 aircraft as the Sea Hurricane Mk.1A.  They were launched from Catapult Armed and Merchantman Ships (CAMS).  The ships were fitted with catapults for launching but did not have the capability of recovery.  Consequently they could only be used when in range of land otherwise the pilots were forced to ditch and abandon the aircraft at sea.
Hawker Sea Hurricane launching from a Merchant Carrier Hawker Sea Hurricane launching from a Merchant Carrier
Both options frequently ended in the death of the pilot and so Merchant Aircraft Carriers (MAC) were created.  These were predominantly cargo vessels with a flight-deck, catapult apparatus and on-board winches. Informally the Sea Hurricanes were known as ‘Hurricats’ and a further 4 variants were developed (Mk.1B, Mk.1C, Mk.1IC and Mk.XIIA).
In Egypt in 1941, the RAF Service Department at Heliopolis converted several Hurricanes for a photo-reconnaissance role, carrying a range of camera equipment and capable of over 350 mph.
Hurricane proved to be significantly cheaper to build that the Supermarine Spitfire and proved even simpler to overhaul when battle-damage required attention from the newly-formed Civil Repair Organisation.
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIc (PZ865) - The last of the many Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIc (PZ865) - The last of the many
The last Hawker Hurricane (PZ865) rolled off the production line at Langley in July 1944.
Many aircraft exist today around the world and currently 13 can often be seen at air shows and displays including the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF).


Powerplant 1 x Rolls-Royce Merlin V12 (883kW)
Span 40ft 0in (12.19m)
Maximum Weight 7,670lbs (3,480kg)
Capacity 1 Pilot
Armament 4 x 20mm Hispano Mk II cannons / 2 x 250lb or 500lbs bombs (110 / 230kg)
Maximum Speed 340 mph (547 kph) at 21,000 ft
Cruise Speed  
Maximum range 600 miles (965km

Number built

14, 583 All variants           


Hurricane Mk.I Fabric-covered wings, wooden two-bladed fixed-pitch propeller and powered by the 1,030 hp Rolls-Royce Merlin Mk.II or III engines.
Hurricane Mk.I (revised)
Revised Hurricane Mk.I series built with a De Havilland or Rotol constant speed metal propeller, metal-covered wings and armour.
Hurricane Mk.IIA Series 1 Hurricane Mk.I powered by the improved Merlin XX engine.
Hurricane Mk.IIB
Hurricane Mk IIA Series 2
Fitted with racks for two 250 lb or two 500 lb bombs.  Hurricane Mk.IIA Series 2 was equipped slightly longer propeller spinner and new wing mounting 12 x .303 in Browning machine guns.
Hurricane Mk.IIB Trop. Tropicalised Hurricane MK.IIB for use in North Africa and fitted with Vokes and Rolls Royce engine.
Hurricane Mk.IIC
Hurricane Mk.IIA Series 1 equipped with slightly longer propeller spinner and fully replaced the machine-gun armament with four 20 mm Hispano MkII cannons.  Hurricane Mk.IIA Series 2 became the Mk IIC using a slightly modified wing. 
Hurricane Mk.IID Hurricane Mk.IIB conversion with two 40 mm (1.57 in) anti-tank autocannons in a gondola-style pod and a single Browning machine gun in each wing.  Additional armour for the pilot, radiator and engine and were armed with a Rolls-Royce gun. The outer wing attachments were strengthened  and although the weight of guns and armour protection marginally impacted performance. 
Hurricane Mk.IIE Wing modification was introduced on the Mk.IIE but the changes became extensive enough that it was renamed the Mk.IV after the first 250 had been delivered.
Hurricane Mk T.IIC Two-seat training version of the Mk.IIC - Two aircraft were built for the Imperial Iranian Air Force.
Hurricane Mk.III Version of the Hurricane Mk.II proposed with a Packard-built Merlin engine. However, Merlin production had increased to the point where the idea was abandoned.
Hurricane Mk.IV Introduction of the 'universal Wing', a single-design able to mount two x 250 or 500 lb bombs, two x 40 mm Vickers 'S' guns, droptanks or eight '60 pounder' RP-3 rockets.  Two x .303 in Brownings were fitted to aid aiming of the heavier armament. Fitted with improved Merlin 24 or 27 engines of 1,620 hp.
Hurricane Mk.V The final British variant to be produced. This was powered by a Merlin 32 boosted engine to give 1,700 hp at low level and was intended as a dedicated ground-attack aircraft to use in Burma. Speed was 326 mph at 500 ft, which is comparable with the Hurricane I despite being one and a half times as heavy.
Hurricane Mk.X Canadian-built single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber, powered by a 1,300 hp Packard Merlin 28. Eight x 0.303 machine guns mounted in the wings.
Hurricane Mk.XI Canadian-built variant.
Hurricane Mk.XII Canadian-built single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber, powered by a 1,300 hp Packard Merlin 29. Initially armed with 12 x 0.303 machine guns but this was later changed to four x 20 mm cannon.
Hurricane Mk.XIIA Canadian-built single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber,  powered by a 1,300 hp Packard Merlin 29 and armed with eight x 0.303 in machine guns.
Sea Hurricane Mk.IA Hurricane Mk.I modified by General Aircraft Limited to be carried by CAM ships (catapult armed merchantman). More than 80 modifications were needed to convert a Hurricane into a Sea Hurricane.
Sea Hurricane Mk.IB Hurricane Mk.I equipped with catapult spools plus an arrester hook. Used on CAM ships (catapult armed merchantman) which were large cargo vessels with a flight deck fitted.
Sea Hurricane Mk.IC Hurricane Mk.I equipped with catapult spools, an arrester hook and the four-cannon wing.  Merlin III engines modified to accept 16 lb boost and could generate more than 1400 hp at low altitude.
Sea Hurricane Mk.IIC Hurricane Mk.IIC version equipped with naval radio gear.  Merlin XX engine generated 1460 hp at 6,250 ft and 1435 hp at 11,000 ft. Top speed was 322 mph at 13,500ft and 342 mph at 22,000 ft.
Sea Hurricane Mk.XIIA Canadian-built Hurricane Mk XIIA converted into Sea Hurricanes.
Hillson F.40 (a.k.a. F.H.40) Biplane project - Programme was terminated due to poor performance.
Hurricane PR
3 converted for the role
Hurricane Tac R Conversion to Tactical Reconnaissance (Tac R) aircraft. 


Hurricane Mk.XII     
Pay's Air Service at Scone, NSW, Australia
Hurricane Mk.IIc
Musee Royal De l'Armee, Brussels, Belgium
Hurricane Mk.IV
Vintage Wings of Canada Collection, Gatineau, Quebec
Hurricane Mk.XII
Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada
Hurricane Mk.XII
Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
Hurricane Mk.XII
Canadian Aviation Museum, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Hurricane Mk.XII
Calgary Mosquito Aircraft Society, Alberta, Canada
Hurricane Mk.IIa
Aero Restauration Service, Dijon, France
Hurricane Mk.I
Aviation Museum of Central Finland, Tikkakoski, Finland.
Hurricane Mk.IIA
Indian Air Force Museum, Palam, New Delhi, India
Hurricane Mk.IIA
Malta Aviation Museum, Takali Airfield, Malta.
Hurricane Mk.IIB
Vadim Zadorozhny Technical Museum, Krasnogorsky, Moscow, Russia
Hurricane Mk.IIC 
War memorial at Revda, 200 miles from Murmansk, Russia.
Hurricane Mk.IIB
Vadim Zadorozhny Technical Museum, Krasnogorsky, Moscow, Russia
Hurricane Mk.IV
Museum of Aviation, Belgrade, Serbia.
Hurricane Mk.IIC 
SA National Museum of Military History, Saxonwold, Johannesburg, S Africa
Hurricane Mk.IIB Hurribomber (BE505)  Hangar 11 collection, North Weald, UK
Hurricane Mk.I
Privately owned / Shuttleworth Collection, Sandy, Bedfordshire, UK
Hurricane Mk.XII
Historic Aircraft Collection, Duxford. Cambridgeshire, UK
Hurricane Mk.IIC
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, UK
Hurricane Mk.IIC
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, UK
Hurricane Mk.I
Science Museum, London, UK
Hurricane Mk.I
RAF Museum Hendon, London, UK
Hurricane Mk.IIB
Imperial War Museum Duxford, UK
Hurricane Mk.IIA
Brooklands Museum, Weybridge, Surrey, UK
Hurricane Mk.IV
Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum, UK
Hurricane Mk.II
RAF Museum Cosford, Shropshire, UK
Hurricane Mk.II
Hurricane and Spitfire Memorial Museum, RAF Manston, Kent, UK
Hurricane Mk.XII
Military Aviation Museum, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA.
Hurricane Mk.IIC
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Dulles Airport, Washington DC, USA.
Hurricane Mk.IIA 
National Museum of the US Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio
Sea Hurricane Mk.Ib
Shuttleworth Collection, Sandy, Bedfordshire, UK
Sea Hurricane Mk.XII
Flying Heritage Collection, Everett, Washington, USA.

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