Second World War era British single-seat monoplane fighter aircraft, designed by Sydney Camm, built by Hawker Aircraft. Original drawings and specifications of the plane were submitted to the Air Ministry in september 1934, which allowed to start building a prototype after october 17th 1934. Prototype was built and delivered, and in 1936 production of 1000 planes started. Hurricane served R.A.F for the whole Second World War, playing essential role in "Battle of Britain", alongside Spitfire. Hawker Aircraft built approximately 14000 Hurricanes and last ones were delivered in september 1944 to R.A.F.

Technical Information: Hawker Hurricane IIB

Dimensions:

Span, 40 ft. 0 in. Lenght, 32 ft. 3 in. Height, 8 ft 9 in. Wing area, 257.5 sq. ft.

Armament:

Twelve 0.303 in. Browning machine machine-guns and two 250 lb. or 500 lb. bombs or eight rocket projectiles.

Power Plant:

One Rolls-Royce Merlin XX twelve-cylinder 60° Vee liquid-cooled engine rated at 1,280 hp for take-off and 1,850 hp at 21,000 ft.

Weights:

Loaded (with two 500 lb. bombs), 8,470 lb. Wing-loading, 32.9 lb./sq. ft.

Performance:

Maximum speed: Clean, 340 mph at 21,000 ft. With two 250 lb. bombs, 320 mph at 19,700 ft. With two 500 lb. bombs, 307 mph at 19,500 ft.
Maximum climb rate:
Clean, 2,950 ft./min. With two 250 lb. bombs, 2,530 ft./min. With two 500 lb. bombs, 2,280 ft./min. Time to 20,000 ft, (clean) 7.5 min. Service ceiling, (clean) 40,000 ft. Service ceiling, (with two 500 lb. bombs) 33,000 ft.

Technical information from William Green's "Famous Fighters of the second world war", MacDonald & Co, 1957.

The Hawker Hurricane was the first single-wing fighter to enter service at the RAF (Royal Air Force) of Great Britain, during the 1930s.

History
The Hawker Hurricane is often lesser known than its bedmate, the Supermarine Spitfire, both active during the same era. The project that would give birth to the Hurricane was started in early 1934 by chief designer at Hawker Aircraft at Kingston upon Thames, Sydney Camm (later knighted for his efforts). Hawker was at the time working on a fighter project known as the Fury Monoplane, which was designed around the Rolls-Royce Goshawk steam-cooled engine. Sydney, however, discovered that Rolls-Royce were about to develop a new, much more powerful and modern, engine - the PV-12 Merlin which offered better performance, and Hawker called for the redesign of the Fury Monoplane design into what would become the Hurricane. On October 23, 1935 the first prototype made its maiden flight from the Brooklands motor racing circuit at Weybridge in Surrey. The prototype was serial numbered K5083, and equipped with the Rolls-Royce Merlin C PV-12 engine. On October 12th, 1937 - the first production aircraft flew from the Brooklands, now equipped with the Rolls-Royce Merlin II at 1030 horsepower.

Fame
During the Battle of Britain, 527 Hurricanes and 321 Spitfires were deployed to counter the 2,700 German aircraft. A monstrous task, and the Hurricane passed with flying colors - being the aircraft accredited with the most kills during the period, 1500. The only Victoria Cross ever awarded a fighter pilot was Ft. Lt. James Nicholson, who piloted a Hurricane; the highest scoring pilot during this battle was Sergeant Josef Frantisek with 17 victories, also a Hurricane pilot.

Deployment
The Hurricane was a sturdy and reliable aircraft. Much more so than the more agile and nimble Spitfire. Because of the difference in their performance, Hurricanes was usually assigned to attack bomber planes, whereas Spitfires had the task of defending the Hurricanes from enemy fighters. Soon, however, the Hurricane was rendered outdated as a fighter but was assigned new roles and tasks.

Versions of the Hurricane
Hurricane Mark I
Rolls-Royce Merlin II or III engine.
Eight .303 Browning Machine Guns (four per wing).
Fabric cover, no armor, no self-sealing tanks.
Retrofitted in 1939 with armor, metal skin, self-sealing tanks, etc.
Retrofitted in 1940 with Air Filters and cleaners for desert service.

Sea Hurricane Mk.I
Used the Rolls-Royce Merlin II or III engine, and appeared in three versions:
Mk.IA (1941) Catapult spools and slinging gear for aircraft carrying ships, and naval radios.
Mk.IB (1941) Catapult spools and deck arrestor hook, for use at aircraft carriers.
Mk.IC Same as the Mk.IB, but armed with four 20mm Hispano Cannons.

Hurricane Mark II
The Mk.II was fitted with the Rolls-Royce Merlin XX engine, slight alterations to the wings were made to fit more weapons. New engine mounting, strengthening of fuselage and landing gear was implemented to accomodate for the increased weight.
Mk.IIA (1940) Using the wings of the Mk.I (8 machine guns).
Mk.IIB (1940) Added two machine guns in each wing, now totaling twelve guns, six in each wing. Racks for two 250 or 500 pound bombs or two 45 or 90 gallon drop-tanks. Tropical versions available.
Mk.IIC (1941) Armed with four 20mm Hispano Cannons. Racks for two 250 or 500 pound bombs or two 45 or 90 gallon drop-tanks. Tropical versions available.
Mk.IID (1943) Used two 40mm cannons, and two .303 Machine guns. Additional armor was put in place.

Sea Hurricane Mk.II
Deployed a Rolls-Royce Merlin XX engine, and was basically a sea-version of the Hurricane Mk.II, fitted with naval radio, deck arrestor hooks.
Mk.IIA Used a Packard-Merlin 29 Engine, and was built in Canada. Basically a sea-converted Hurricane Mk.XIIA.

Hurricane Mk.III
Never in production, was basically a Mk.II fitted with a Packard-Merlin engine.

Hurricane Mk.IV
Used a Rolls-Royce Merlin 21 or 22 engine, and fitted with an extra 350 pounds of armor. Wings modified so to use a variable armament (so called Universal Wing).
- Two 40mm Cannons and two .303 machine guns.
- Eight rockets and two .303 machine guns.
- Two 250 or 500 pound bombs, and two .303 machine guns.
- Two 45 or 90 gallon drop-tanks, and two .303 machine guns.

Hurricane Mk.V
Only two were ever built. Rolls-Royce Merlin 27 or 32 engine. Used the Universal Wing system as the Mk.IV.

Hurricane Mk.X
Built in Canada, and used the Packard-Merlin 28 engine. Basically a Mk.I with a different engine.

Hurricane Mk.XII
Canadian built Mk.II with Packard-Merlin 29 engine.

Hurricane Mk.XIIA
Canadian built Mk.IIA with Packard-Merlin 29 engine.

Hurricane Mk.XIIB
Canadian built Mk.IIB with Packard-Merlin 29 engine.

Construction
The Hurricane stretches 32 feet and 3 inches in length, from the nose cone to the tail fin. And spans 40 feet wide from wingtip to wingtip. From the highest point to the lowest with its undercarriage extended, the Hurricane height is 13 feet and 1.5 inches. The wing area is 257.5 square feet.

The Wings
The wings of the Hurricane consisted of a framework of wooden ribs and metal piping, originally covered in fabric, but later a stressed-metal skin was used for better protection against enemy fire. The wing-fitting is of low-wing/cantilever style, and are tapered off into a rounded section which distinguished them in the air from their opponents fighters often square-ended wings.

Landing Gear
Fairly wide gear track at 7 feet and 10 inches. It could be retracted into the wings. Supported by Vickers shock absorbers, and using Dunlop wheels and Dowty hydraulic rams. The tail wheel was non-retractable.

The Fuselage
A very rigid structure of steel and aluminium alloy. Held together by hollow rivets. The forward section of the plane had detatchable sections for fast repair/deassembly, and the rear was covered with fabric, and the structure in light wood. The tail fin was built from metal, and covered in fabric. The canopy slid back to open, and was fitted with a quick release which would unfasten the whole bubble immediately. There was also an escape hatch/panel in the side of the fuselage. The windshield was shatter proof, and the cockpit had armor plating in front of and behind the pilot.

Engine The Hurricane deployed the Rolls-Royce Merlin PV-12 cylinder liquid cooled engine. The radiator is housed under the fuselage below the cockpit, using air intakes with the oil cooler integrated into it. The engine used two main fuel tanks together with a gravity tank, which were all made from self-sealing rubber.

Equipment
The Hurricane used a wide range of weapons depending on its role and/or model. Eight or Twelve Browning Caliber .303 machine guns; Four 20mm Hispano cannons; Two 40mm Cannons and two .303 Browning Machine Guns. The guns were all mounted in the wings. The Mk. IV ( also called Mk. IIE ) used a so-called "Universal Wing" system, which allowed the user to mount many different types of armament on the plane. The Hurricane also had under-wing mounts for two 250lb or 500lb bombs (or auxiliary fuel tanks). Or sported eight rails for mounting rockets. The Hurricane was also equipped with navigation lights, landing lights, oxygen equipment, and radio.

Performance Data
Maximum speed: 340 mph
Service Ceiling: 35000 feet
Weight: 7200 pounds
Range: 468 miles with internal tanks.

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