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Great Britain's Hawker Hurricane fighter

Photos

  • Hawker Hurricane prototype
  • Hawker Hurricane fighter
  • Hawker Hurricane Mk I fighter
  • Hawker Hurricane Mk I fighter
  • Hawker Hurricane Mk I fighter
  • Hawker Hurricane Mk I fighter
  • Hawker Hurricane Mk I fighter
  • Hawker Hurricane Mk IIA fighter
  • Hawker Hurricane Mk IIB fighter
  • Hawker Hurricane Mk IIB fighter
  • Hawker Hurricane Mk IIC fighter
  • Hawker Hurricane Mk IIC fighter
  • Hawker Hurricane Mk IIC fighter
  • Hawker Hurricane Mk IIB fighter
  • Hawker Hurricane Mk IID fighter
  • Hawker Hurricane Mk IV fighter-bomber
  • Hawker Hurricane Mk X fighter
  • Hawker Hurricane
  • Hawker Hurricane

Design

Sydney Camm designed the Hawker Hurricane starting in January 1934 and was to meet Air Ministry Specification F.36/34. The Hurricane's frame was fabric covered. The Hurricane was the first Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter to go over 300 mph / 483 kph. The Hurricane was also the RAF's first monoplane fighter.

Hurricane Mk I

The two blade propeller used in the prototype was replaced by a three blade de Havilland or Rotol variable pitch.

The fabric on the wings was replaced by a metal skin in the production model.

In the Mediterranean and Far East a Vokes intake filter was added under the nose.

Hurricane Mk II

The Hurricane Mk II was delivered in August 1940.

Hurricane Mk IV

The Hurricane Mk IV arrived in March 1943. It was designed to attack armor. The wings were modified to carry 40 mm cannons in pods.

It had more armor than the Hurricane IID that it was designed to replace.

Had 76.2 mm rockets under the wing.

Hurricane Mk X

The Canadian Car & Foundry (CCF) produced the Hurricane Mk X, Hurricane Mk XI, and Hurricane Mk XII between 1941 and 1942. Britain placed orders for a total of 1,140 CCF built Hurricanes. 400 more were used by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Some of these were sent to the Soviet Union or converted to Sea Hurricanes.

Prototype

The Hurricane prototype first flew on November 6, 1935. The prototype was able to go 315 mph at 16,500' and climb to 15,000' in five minutes seven seconds.

Production

In June 1936 / June 3, 1936 an order for 600 was placed.

The Hurricane Mk I first came off the production line and flew in October 1937.

The Hurricane Mk II prototype (converted from a Mk I) first flew in June 1940.

The Hurricane Mk IV prototype first flew in March 1943. It had a Rolls-Royce Merlin 32 engine with four blade propeller.

Production licenses were awarded to Avions Fairey in Belgium and the Yugoslavian government.

  • Prototype: 1
  • Hurricane Mk I: 3,857
    • Hawker: 1,924
    • Gloster: 1,850
    • Canadian Car & Foundry: 60
    • Fairey: 3
    • Yugoslavia: 20
  • Hurricane Mk IIA: 451
    • Hawker: 418
    • Gloster: 33
  • Hurricane Mk IIB: 2,948
    • Hawker: 1,781
    • Gloster: 867
    • Austin: 300
  • Hurricane Mk IIC: 4,711
    • Hawker: all
  • Hurricane Mk IID: 296
    • Hawker: all
  • Hurricane Mk IV: 794
    • Hawker: all
  • Hurricane Mk V: 2, 3
  • Hurricane Mk X, Hurricane Mk XI, Hurricane Mk XII: 1,391, 1,451
    • Canadian Car & Foundry
  • Sea Hurricanes: ~800 conversions.
  • Total: over 14,000, 14,231, 14,233, 14,449, over 15,000
    • Manufacturer:
      • Hawker Aircraft Ltd: 10,030
      • Gloster: 2,750
      • Canadian Car and Foundry: 1,451
      • Fairey: 2
    • Production: 1936 - September 1944

Variants

  • Hawker F.36/34: Prototype.
  • Hurricane Mk I:
  • Hurricane Mk IIA: Had Merlin XX engine which improved the speed by 20 mph / 32 kph. Started being delivered by the end of 1940. Used metal wings from Mk I. In 1941 racks were added for bombs.
  • Hurricane Mk IIA Series I: Had 8 machine guns in standard Mk I wings.
  • Hurricane Mk IIA Series II: The fuselage was made stronger. Longer nose.
  • Hurricane Mk IIB: New wing. Could carry bombs starting in 1941. Entered service in May 1941. Two machine guns were placed outside the landing lights in the wings to make a total of 12 machine guns in the wings.
  • Hurricane Mk IIC: Was tested by No. 151 Squadron during the Battle of Britain. Could carry bombs or fuel tanks under wings. The wings used were mostly rebuilt from Mk I wings.
  • Hurricane Mk IID: No. 6 Squadron flew the Mk IIDs and were known as the "Flying Can Openers." Introduced in 1942. Used in North Africa. Also known as the "Tank Buster."
  • Hurricane Mk IIE: Became the Hurricane Mk IV.
  • Hurricane Mk III: Was to have a Packard Merlin engine but wasn't produced.
  • Hurricane Mk IV: Added 350 lbs of armor.
  • Hurricane Mk V: Was similar to the Hurricane Mk IV but wasn't put into production. Packard 27 or 32 engine.
  • Hurricane Mk X: Had Hamilton Standard propeller. Made in Canada. Similar to the Mk I.
  • Hurricane Mk XI: Had Canadian equipment.
  • Hurricane Mk XII: Built in Canada.
  • Hurricane Mk XIIA: Built in Canada.

Usage

First Assignment

The Hurricane first joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) in December 1937.

Start of World War II

By September 1939 there were 497 / under 500 Hurricanes equipping 18 squadrons.

Battle of France

Twelve of the Hurricane squadrons were sent to France.

Battle of Britain

Hurricanes equipped 26 squadrons at the start of the Battle of Britain. Only 19 squadrons had Spitfires. Typically the Spitfires were to battle the German escorting fighters while the Hurricanes would go after the bombers.

The Hurricane was the main fighter used by the Royal Air Force against the Germans during the Battle of Britain. The Hurricane shot down more enemy planes than all the other defenses combined.

There were 659 Hurricane Mk Is in 29 squadrons.

Between August and October 1940 there were 688 Hurricanes lost.

Europe

The Hurricanes were used until 1943.

Pacific

The Hurricanes were used until the end of the war.

United Kingdom

Five RAF squadrons were equipped with the Mk IICs and were used in raids in north western Europe.

Hurricanes were in service with No. 6 Squadron until 1946.

Canada

In 1938 20 Hurricane Mk Is were ordered by Canada and delivered from February to August 1939.

With the war coming, Britain wanted to assure their supply of Hurricanes so asked the Canadians to start producing them in Canada. A contract for 40 Hurricane Mk Is was placed with the Canadian Car & Foundry (CCF) in March 1939.

The first CCF built Hurricane Mk I was flown in January 1940.

The Mk XII was built by Canada. It was a Mk II with different armament and a Packard Merlin engine.

Other Countries

Egypt, India, Ireland, Soviet Union, and Turkey used the Hurricane.

Hurricane Mk I

Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Netherlands, Romania, South Africa, Turkey, and Yugoslavia used the Hurricane Mk I.

Norway

The Hurricane Mk I saw action in the Norwegian campaign.

France

Around 200 Hurricane Mk Is were lost in the Battle of France.

Battle of Britain

Over half of the aircraft shot down in the Battle of Britain were by Hurricane Mk Is.

Hurricane Mk II

Britain, France, India, Eire, Portugal, South Africa, and the Soviet Union used the Hurricane Mk II.

There were 80 RAF squadrons that had Hurricane Mk IICs.

First Use

The Hurricane Mk IIB was first used over France in November 1941.

Soviet Union

The Soviet Union received around 2,900 Hurricane Mk IIs.

Hurricane Mk IV

The Hurricane Mk IV was used by Britain and the Soviet Union.

Hurricane Mk X

The Hawker Hurricane Mk X was used by Britain, Canada, and the Soviet Union.

Specifications

  Hurricane Mk I
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin II
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin III
Cylinders V 12
Cooling Liquid
HP 1,030
Propeller blades 2 or 3
Propeller blades - Early 2 blade fixed
Propeller blades - 1939 3 blade D.H. or Rotol constant speed
Dimensions  
Span 40'
12.19 m
Length 31' 4", 31' 5"
9.58 m
Height 13', 13' 1"
3.96 m
Weight  
Empty 4,982 lb
2,260 kg
Loaded 6,218 lb, 6,532 lb, 6,600 lb, 6,666 lb
2,963 kg
Maximum load 7,490 lb
3,397 kg
Performance  
Speed 335 mph
Speed at sea level 253 mph
408 kph
Speed at 16,500' / 4,953 m 324 mph
521 kph
Speed at 17,500' 330 mph
Speed @ 20,000' 322 mph
Cruising speed 175 mph
281 kph
Climb 2,300' per minute, 2,520' per minute
700 m per minute
Climb to 20,000' 9'
Service ceiling 33,400', 34,200', 36,000'
10,424 m
Range 525 miles, 600 miles, 830 miles
965 km
Armament  
Wings 8: MG
8: 0.303" MG
8: 7.7 mm MG
8: 0.303" Browning MG
  Hurricane Mk I (Trop)
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin II
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin III
HP 1,030
Weight  
Loaded 6,850 lb
Performance  
Speed at 16,000' 317 mph
Climb 2,400' per minute
Climb to 20,000' 9' 30"
Service ceiling 33,000'
  Hurricane Mk II
Type Fighter-bomber
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin XX
Cylinders V 12
HP 1,460
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 40'
12.19 m
Length 32' 3"
9.83 m
Height 13' 3"
4.04 m
  Hurricane Mk IIA
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin XX
HP 1,185, 1,280
Weight  
Loaded 7,014 lb
Performance  
Speed at 21,500' 340 mph
Climb 3,150' per minute
Climb to 20,000' 7'
Service Ceiling 41,000
Armament  
Wings 8: MG
8: 0.303" MG
  Hurricane Mk IIB
Type Fighter bomber
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin
Rolls-Royce Merlin XX
Cooling Liquid
HP 1,185, 1,300
Dimensions  
Span 40'
Length 32' 3"
Height 13' 3"
Weight  
Empty 5,467 lb
2,480 kg
Loaded 7,233 lb, 7,440, 7,600 lb
3,281 kg
Performance  
Speed 350 mph
Speed at 18,000 ' / 5,486 m 328 mph
528 kph
Speed at 19,500'
with 2: 500 lb bombs
307 mph
Speed at 19,700'
with 2: 250 lb bombs
320 mph
Speed at 21,500' 340 mph
Cruising speed 177 mph
285 kph
Climb 2,950' per minute
900 m/minute
Climb with 2: 250 lb bombs 2,530' per minute
Climb with 2: 500 lb bombs 2,280' per minute
Climb to 20,000' 7' 30"
Climb to 20,000'
with 2: 250 lb bombs
9' 20"
Climb to 20,000'
with 2: 500 lb bombs
10' 30"
Service ceiling 36,000', 40,000'
10,973 m
Service ceiling
with 2: 250 lb bombs
33,000'
Service ceiling
with 2: 500 lb bombs
30,000'
Range 465 miles, 730 miles
748 km
Range with drop tanks 935 miles
1,505 km
Armament 12: 7.7 mm Browning MG
Wings 12: MG
12: 0.303" MG
Bombs - wing racks 1: 500 lb
2: 500 lb
1: 227 kg
2: 227 kg
OR 2: 250 lb
2: 113 kg
OR  
Rockets 8: 3" / 60 lb
8: 7.62 cm / 27 kg
  Hurricane Mk IIB (Trop)
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin XX
HP 1,185
Weight  
Loaded 7,540 lb
Performance  
Speed at 18,200' 334 mph
Climb 2,850' per minute
Climb to 20,000' 7.7 minutes
Service ceiling 35,500'
  Hurricane Mk IIB (Trop, Long Range)
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin XX
HP 1,185
Weight  
Loaded 8,290 lb
Performance  
Speed at 18,200' 312 mph
Climb 2,400' per minute
Climb to 20,000' 10.4 minutes
Service ceiling 33,000'
  Hurricane Mk IIC
Type Fighter, Fighter-bomber
Crew 1
Engine (Type) 1: Rolls-Royce
1: Rolls-Royce Merlin XX piston
Cylinders Inline, V 12
Cooling Liquid
HP 1,185, 1,280, 1,300
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 40'
12.19 m
Length 32', 32' 2"
9.75 m
Height 13' 1", 13' 3"
3.99 m
Wing area 257 ft2 , 257.5 ft2
23.92 m2
Weight  
Empty 5,658 lb, 5,788 lb, 5,800 lb
2,566 kg, 2,631 kg
Loaded 7,590 lb, 7,670 lb, 7,800 lb, 8,083 lb, 8,100 lb
3,674 kg
Maximum load 8,044 lb
3,649 kg
Performance  
Speed 335 mph
541 kph
Speed at 12,500' / 3,810 m 336 mph
541 kph
Speed at 19,300'
with 2: 500 lb bombs
301 mph
Speed at 19,500'
with 2: 250 lb bombs
314 mph
Speed at 21,500' 334 mph
Speed at 22,000' 339 mph
Climb 2,780' per minute
Climb with 2: 250 lb bombs 2,400' per minute
Climb with 2: 500 lb bombs 2,160' per minute
Climb to 20,000' 7' 40"
Climb to 20,000'
with 2: 250 lb bombs
9.8 minutes
Climb to 20,000'
with 2: 500 lb bombs
11' 30"
Climb to 20,000' / 6,095 m 9.1 minutes
Climb to 20,000' / 6,100 m 9.1 minutes
Service ceiling 35,600', 36,000'
10,850 m
Service ceiling
with 2: 250 lb bombs
32,500'
Service ceiling
with 2: 500 lb bombs
29,500'
Range 460 miles
740 km
Range with 2:
53 gallon / 200 liter drop tanks
920 miles
1,480 km
Armament 4: 20 mm
Wings 4: 20 mm Hispano or Oerlikon
4: 20 mm Hispano
4: 20 mm
Bombs - wing racks 2: 250 lb
2: 113 kg
OR 2: 500 lb
2: 227 kg
OR  
Rockets 8: 60 lb
8: 27.2 kg
OR  
Drop tanks 2: 90 gallon
2: 409 liter
OR 2: 45 gallon
  Hurricane Mk IIC (Trop)
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin XX
HP 1,185
Weight  
Loaded 7,780 lb
Performance  
Speed 301 mph
484 kph
Speed at 18,000' 328 mph
Climb 2,400' per minute, 2,650' per minute
731 m per minute
Climb to 20,000' 8' 20"
Service ceiling 33,200', 34,000'
10,119 m
Range 426 miles
686 km
  Hurricane Mk IIC (Trop, Long Range)
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin XX
HP 1,185
Weight  
Loaded 8,530 lb
Performance  
Speed at 18,000' 306 mph
Climb 2,280' per minute
Climb to 20,000' 11 minutes
Service ceiling 31,500'
  Hurricane Mk IID
Type Ground attack
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin XX
Cylinders V 12
Cooling Liquid
HP 1,460
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 40'
12.19 m
Length 32' 3"
9.83 m
Height 13' 3"
4.04 m
Armament  
Wings 2: 0.303" MG
Under wings 2: 40 mm "S" cannons
2: 40 mm
2: 40 mm Vickers
  Hurricane Mk IV
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin 21
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 22
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 24
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 27
HP 1,620
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 40'
12.19 m
Length 32' 3"
9.83 m
Height 13' 3"
4.04 m
Weight  
Empty 6,150 lb
2,790 kg
Loaded 8,463 lb
3,838 kg
Performance  
Speed 314 mph
502.4 kph
Speed at 13,500' / 4,115 m 314 mph
505 kph
Cruising speed at 2,000' / 610 m 176 mph
283 kph
Climb to 2,000' / 610 m 2.75 minutes
Service ceiling 32,100'
9,784 m
Range 495 miles
790 km, 797 km
Armament  
Wings 2: 0.303" MG
Under wings 2: 40 mm
2: 40 mm Vickers
OR 3: 3" / 60 lb rockets
3: 7.62 cm / 27 kg rockets
8: Rockets
OR 2: 250 lb bombs
OR 2: 500 lb bombs
OR 2: 45 gallon drop tanks
OR 2: 90 gallon drop tanks
  Hurricane Mk X
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Packard Merlin 28
OR Packard Merlin 29
Cylinders V 12
HP 1,300
Propeller blades 3, Hamilton Standard Hydromatic
Dimensions  
Span 40'
12.19 m
Length 32' 3"
9.83
Height 13' 3"
4.04 m
Weight  
Empty 5,467 lb
2480 kg
Loaded 7,233 lb
3,281 kg
Performance  
Speed at 18,000' / 5,486 m 328 mph
528 kph
Cruising speed 177 mph
285 kph
Climb 2,950'/minute
900 m/minute
Service ceiling 36,000'
10,973 m
Range 465 miles
748 km
Armament  
Wings 8 or 12: 0.303" MG
OR 4: 20 mm
  Hurricane Mk XI
Armament  
Wings 8: MG
OR 4: cannon
  Hurricane Mk XII
Engine (Type) Packard Merlin 29
Armament  
Wings 12: MG
  Hurricane Mk XIIA
Engine (Type) Packard Merlin 29
Armament  
Wings 8 or 12: MG
OR 4: cannon

 

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, General Editor Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  5. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  6. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  7. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
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