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 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 Chief Designer Sydney Camm at Hawker Aircraft in the early 1930’s.  It saw exemplary service in World War II and accounted for over 60% of the air victories in the Battle of Britain.
 
The Hawker 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. Despite this set back, Hawker Aircraft were so convinced of its significance that they proceeded on as a private venture. Sydney Camm revised his design into a cantilever monoplane, complete with a retractable undercarriage and fitted the Rolls-Royce PV-12 engine, better known now as the Rolls-Royce Merlin.
 
In September 1934, Sydney Camm finally received the funding for a full-size prototype, although a number of major changes were still endured during the mock-up and final prototype construction phases. 
 
In January 1935, a new specification (F.36/34) was issued by the Ministry, calling for the additional installation of 8 fixed guns.
 
By August 1935, the various components were completed at Hawkers at Kingston before being moved by road to nearby  Brooklands for re-assembly.  Following 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, and without a single order on the books, the Board of Directors at Hawker Aircraft had immediately ‘tooled-up’ at the new factory at Langley, near Slough, ready to start production of 1,000 Hawker Hurricane aircraft. 
 
During its successful trials at the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE)  at Martlesham Heath in early 1936, the RAF Test Pilot Sammy Wroath reported ‘The aircraft is simple and easy to fly and has no apparent vices’. Full RAF acceptance was granted in June of that same year.
 
The aircraft was informally christened ‘Hawker Hurricane’ by King Edward VIII, during a visit to Martlesham Heath in July 1936.
 
Langley took over all Hawker Hurricane production from 1941, although externally some 2,750 were also built by Gloster Aircraft at Hucclecote with a further 300 aircraft built at Austin Motor Company at Longbridge.  Meanwhile overseas, another 1,451 were built at Fort William, Ontario (now Thunder Bay) by the Canadian Car & Foundry Company (designated Mk.XX) plus another 100 being built by Zmaj in Yugoslavia in 1941.
 
A total of 1,715 Hawker Hurricanes flew with Fighter Command during the period of the Battle of Britain, far in excess of all other British fighters combined. It is estimated that Hawker Hurricane pilots were credited with four fifths of all enemy aircraft destroyed in that critical period from July to October 1940.
 
During that year,  General Aircraft Limited converted approximately 250 Mk.1 aircraft as the Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk.1A. 
 
These were launched from Catapult Armed and Merchantman Ships (CAMS) - ships that were fitted with catapults for launching. Unfortunately however, these did not have the capability for recovery of the aircraft at sea and so consequently, this method could only be used when in range of land. If far out at sea, the pilots were forced to ditch and abandon the aircraft, before awaiting pick up.
 
Not surprisingly, 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.
 
Hawker Sea Hurricane launching from a Merchant Carrier Hawker Sea Hurricane launching from a Merchant Carrier
 
Informally, the Hawker Sea Hurricanes were often known as ‘Hurricats’ and a further 4 variants were developed (Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk.1B, Mk.1C, Mk.1IC and Mk.XIIA).
 
In Egypt during 1941, the RAF Service Department at Heliopolis converted several Hawker Hurricanes for a photo-reconnaissance role, carrying a range of camera equipment and capable of over 350 mph.
 
The Hawker Hurricane proved significantly cheaper to build than the Vickers Supermarine Spitfire  as well as being even simpler to overhaul, especially when battle-damage required the urgent attention of 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
 
In all, 24 variants of the Hawker Hurricane were created, with around 14,483 aircraft built in total.
 
The last Hawker Hurricane (PZ865) rolled off the production line at Langley in July 1944.
 
Thankfully, many examples of this superb aircraft still exist today.  There are a number scattered around the world where they are much loved and revered, often be seen at air shows and displays. In the UK we are fortunate enough to be able to enjoy the proudly BAE Systems supported Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF).
 

Specification


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
Maximum range  600 miles (965km

 

Number built


14,583    All variants           

 

Variants


Hawker Hurricane Mk.I    Fabric-covered wings, wooden2 two-bladed fixed-pitch propeller and powered by the 1,030 hp Rolls-Royce Merlin Mk.II or III engines.
 
Hawker Hurricane Mk.I (revised)
Revised Hawker Hurricane Mk.I series built with a De Havilland or Rotol constant speed metal propeller, metal-covered wings and armour.
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIA Series 1 Hawker Hurricane Mk.I powered by the improved Merlin XX engine.
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIB
Hawker Hurricane Mk IIA Series 2
Fitted with racks for two 250 lb or two 500 lb bombs.  Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIA Series 2 was equipped slightly longer propeller spinner and new wing mounting 12 x .303 in Browning machine guns.
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIB Trop. Tropicalised Hawker Hurricane MK.IIB for use in North Africa and fitted with Vokes filters and Rolls Royce engine.
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIC
Hawker 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.  Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIA Series 2 became the Mk IIC using a slightly modified wing. 
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IID Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIB conversion with two 40 mm (1.57 in) anti-tank auto-cannons 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. 
Hawker 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.
Hawker Hurricane Mk T.IIC Two-seat training version of the Mk.IIC - Two aircraft were built for the Imperial Iranian Air Force.
Hawker Hurricane Mk.III Version of the Hawker Hurricane Mk.II proposed with a Packard-built Merlin engine. However, Merlin production had increased to the point where the idea was abandoned.
Hawker 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.
Hawker 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 Hawker Hurricane I despite being one and a half times as heavy.
Hawker 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.
Hawker Hurricane Mk.XI Canadian-built variant.
Hawker 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.
Hawker 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.
Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk.IA Hawker 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 Hawker Hurricane into a Hawker Sea Hurricane.
Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk.IB
Hawker 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.
Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk.IC Hawker 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.
Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk.IIC Hawker 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.
Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk.XIIA Canadian-built Hawker Hurricane Mk XIIA converted into Hawker Sea Hurricanes.
Hillson F.40 (a.k.a. F.H.40) Biplane project - Programme was terminated due to poor performance.
Hawker Hurricane PR
3 converted for the role
Hawker Hurricane Tac R Conversion to Tactical Reconnaissance (Tac R) aircraft. 

Survivors

Hawker Hurricane Mk.XII           
(5481)
Pay's Air Service at Scone, NSW, Australia
www.paysairservice.com.au/vintagefighterrestorations/
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIc
(LF658)
Musee Royal De l'Armee, Brussels, Belgium
www.klm-mra.be
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IV
(KZ321)
Vintage Wings of Canada Collection, Gatineau, Quebec
www.vintagewings.ca
Hawker Hurricane Mk.XII
(5418)
Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada
www.history.alberta.ca/reynolds/
Hawker Hurricane Mk.XII
(5461) 
Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
www.airmuseum.ca
Hawker Hurricane Mk.XII
(5584)
Canadian Aviation Museum, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
www.casmuseum.techno-science.ca
Hawker Hurricane Mk.XII
(5389)
Calgary Mosquito Aircraft Society, Alberta, Canada
www.calgarymosquitosociety.com
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIa
(DR393) 
Aero Restauration Service, Dijon, France
www.aero-restauration-service.fr
Hawker Hurricane Mk.I
(N2394)
Aviation Museum of Central Finland, Tikkakoski, Finland.
www.ilmavoimamuseo.fi
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIA
(AP832)
Indian Air Force Museum, Palam, New Delhi, India
www.indianairforce.nic.in/content/air-force-museum
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIA
(Z3055) 
Malta Aviation Museum, Takali Airfield, Malta.
www.maltaaviationmuseum.com
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIB
(BN233)
Vadim Zadorozhny Technical Museum, Krasnogorsky, Moscow, Russia
www.tmuseum.ru
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIC 
(BM959)
War memorial at Revda, 200 miles from Murmansk, Russia.
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIB
(AP740)
Vadim Zadorozhny Technical Museum, Krasnogorsky, Moscow, Russia
www.tmuseum.ru
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IV
(LD975)
Museum of Aviation, Belgrade, Serbia.
www.muzejvazduhoplovstva.org.rs
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIC 
(LD619)
SA National Museum of Military History, Saxonwold, Johannesburg, SA
www.ditsong.org.za/
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIB
Hurri-bomber (BE505) 
Hangar 11 collection, North Weald, UK
www.hangar11.co.uk
Hawker Hurricane Mk.I
(R4118) 
Privately owned / Shuttleworth Collection, Sandy, Bedfordshire, UK
www.shuttleworth.org
Hawker Hurricane Mk.XII
(P3700)
Historic Aircraft Collection, Duxford. Cambridgeshire, UK
www.historicaircraftcollection.ltd.uk
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIC
(LF363)
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, UK
www.raf.mod.uk/bbmf
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIC
(PZ865)
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, UK
www.raf.mod.uk/bbmf
Hawker Hurricane Mk.I
(L1592)
Science Museum, London, UK
www.sciencemuseum.org.uk
Hawker Hurricane Mk.I
(P2617)
RAF Museum Hendon, London, UK
www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIB
(Z2315)
Imperial War Museum Duxford, UK
www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-duxford
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIA
(Z2389)
Brooklands Museum, Weybridge, Surrey, UK
www.brooklandsmuseum.com
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IV
(KX829)
Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum, UK
www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/thinktank
Hawker Hurricane Mk.II
(LF738)
RAF Museum Cosford, Shropshire, UK
www.rafmuseum.org.uk/cosford/
Hawker Hurricane Mk.II
(LF751)
Hawker Hurricane and Spitfire Memorial Museum, RAF Manston, Kent
www.spitfiremuseum.org.uk
Hawker Hurricane Mk.XII
(5667)
Military Aviation Museum, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA.
www.militaryaviationmuseum.org
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIC
(LF686)
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Dulles Airport, Washington DC, USA.
www.airandspace.si
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIA 
(Z3174) 
National Museum of the USAF, Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio
Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk.Ib
(Z7015)
Shuttleworth Collection, Sandy, Bedfordshire, UK
www.shuttleworth.org
Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk.XII
(BW881)
Flying Heritage Collection, Everett, Washington, USA.
www.flyingheritage.com

 

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