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Great Britain's Hawker Sea Hurricane fighter

Photos

  • Hawker Sea Hurricane
  • Hawker Sea Hurricane
  • Hawker Sea Hurricane
  • Hawker Sea Hurricane
  • Hawker Sea Hurricane
  • Hawker Sea Hurricane
  • Hawker Sea Hurricane
  • Hawker Sea Hurricane
  • Hawker Sea Hurricane
  • Hawker Sea Hurricane
  • Hawker Sea Hurricane
  • Hawker Sea Hurricane
  • Hawker Sea Hurricane
  • Hawker Sea Hurricane
  • Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk IA
  • Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk IA

 

Design

The Sea Hurricanes were designed to fight off the Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condors that were threatening Atlantic convoys.

The Sea Hurricanes were the first monoplane fighters used from British aircraft carriers.

The Sea Hurricanes could be used from Catapult Armed Merchant (CAM) ships. Two would be aboard ship and once launched they had to ditch or fly to land. Only eight sorties were flown in two years, with six being successful. The mere threat of them being in a convoy did help keep the Condors at a distance.

Production

General Aircraft and Austin Motors did the conversions.

A few Canadian Hurricane Mk XIIs were converted.

  • Conversions: ~800

Variants

  • Sea Hurricane Mk I: Converted from Hurricane Mk I.
  • Sea Hurricane Mk IA / "Hurricat": 50 converted from Hurricane Mk Is. Were completed in early 1941. Had equipment to be mounted on a CAM ship.
  • Sea Hurricane Mk IB: Had arrestor hook for landing on carriers. Completed in early 1941.
  • Sea Hurricane Mk IC: Were completed in early 1942. Had Hurricane Mk I's engine and airframe, with Hurricane Mk IIC's outer wings.
  • Sea Hurricane Mk II: Converted from Hurricane Mk II. Had arrestor gear. Could not be launched by catapult.
  • Sea Hurricane Mk IIB: Armed with machine guns.
  • Sea Hurricane Mk IIC: Based on Hurricane Mk IIC. Armed with cannons.
  • Sea Hurricane Mk XIIA: Conversion of Hurricane Mk XIIA. To be built in Canada.

Usage

Britain and Canada used the Sea Hurricanes.

38 Royal Navy squadrons were equipped with Sea Hurricanes.

First CAM Unit

No 804 Squadron was the first to receive Sea Hurricane Mk IAs in February 1941.

First Carrier Unit

No 880 Squadron was equipped with Sea Hurricanes in March 1941 and saw combat on the HMS Furious in July 1941.

First Kill

A catapulted Sea Hurricane Mk IA of No 804 Squadron shot down a Fw 200 Condor on August 1941 / August 3, 1941.

Specifications

  Hawker Sea Hurricane
Type Naval fighter
Crew 1
Dimensions  
Span 40'
12.19 m
Length 32' 3"
9.83 m
Height 13' 3"
4.04 m
  Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk I
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin II
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin III
  Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk IA
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin III
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin II
Cylinders V 12
HP 1,030
Propeller blades 3
Weight  
Loaded 6,780 lb
Performance  
Speed at 16,400' 302 mph
Climb 2,000' per minute
Climb to 20,000' 11' 40"
Service ceiling 31,000'
Armament  
Wings 8: 0.303" MG
  Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk IB
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin III
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin II
Cylinders V 12
HP 1,030
Propeller blades 3
Weight  
Loaded 6,800 lb
Performance  
Speed at 16,500' 296 mph
Climb 1,950' per minute
Climb to 20,000' 12'
Service ceiling 30,000'
Armament  
Wings 8: 0.303" MG
  Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk IC
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin III
Cylinders V 12
HP 1,030
Propeller blades 3
Armament  
Wings 4: 20 mm
  Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk IIB
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin XX
HP 1,180
Weight  
Loaded 7,510 lb
Performance  
Speed at 19,700' 320 mph
Climb 2,780' per minute
Climb to 20,000' 7' 40"
Service ceiling 35,500'
  Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk IIC
Type Carrier fighter
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin XX
Cylinders V 12
HP 1,185, 1,280, 1,460
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 40'
12.2 m
Length 23' 3"
9.83 m
Height 13' 1.5"
4 m
Wing Area 257.5 sq ft
23.92 sq m
Weight  
Empty 5,770 lb, 5,800 lb
2,617 kg, 2,631 kg
Loaded 7,300 lb, 7,740 lb
3,311 kg
Maximum load 7,740 lb, 7,800 lb
3,511 kg, 3,538 kg
Performance  
Speed at 13,500' /
4,115 m
322 mph
518 kph
Speed at 19,500' 314 mph
Speed at 19,500' /
5,944 m
314 mph
505 kph
Speed at 22,000' /
6,706 m
342 mph
550 kph
Cruising speed at 20,000' /
6,096 m
212 mph
341 kph
Climb 2,670' per minute
Climb to 20,000' /
6,096 m
8 minutes, 9.1 minutes
Service ceiling 34,500', 35,600'
10,516 m, 10,850 m
Range 460 miles, 750 miles
740 km, 1,207 km
Armament  
Wings 4: 20 mm

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site