WWII Aircraft PT 2: Hawker Hurricane

Discussion in 'Education' started by Xenophon, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    The Hurricane took Britain's fighter force belatedly out of the bi-plane era and gave the RAF a machine with which to combat the fast growing might of the German Luftwaffe. The year 1937 was a key time in fighter development on both sides of the channel. In Germany the Messerschmidt Bf-109B, armed with three 7.9mm machine guns or 2 machine guns and one 20mm cannon entered service, and soon proved its worth in the Spanish Civil War. By contrast, the British had the ponderous Gloster Gladiator, a bi-plane. But two new British types were on the way, and by the eve of the Battle of Britain, the RAF's front line fighter strength of 1,200 included 800 Hurricane monoplane single seat fighters, armed with 8 .30s inch caliber machine guns.

    The Hurricane was born in the fertile mind of Sidney Cam, the talented designer of the Hawker aircraft firm. The RAF wanted a monoplane with a retractable undercarriage, closed cockpit, single wing plane that could exceed 300mph. Cam went right to work. Drawing on Hawker's experience in fabric covered bi-planes, he decided the new plane would be a steel framed, covered in fabric, so to save wieght and improve speed. The first proto-type flew in November of 1935, and proved at that point to be the most advanced fighter design in the world. It exceeded the specification of 300mph, and was armed with 8 machine guns, giving it 4 times the fire-power of the 2 gunned bi-planes the RAF and Luftwaffe were then using.

    The plane proved to be a joy to fly, it's spread undercarriage made it much safer to land then the faster Spitfire design, and it's fabric wings and fuselage were easily repaired from battle damage, another advantage over the Spitfire. It was also an extremely stable gun platform, suffering little vibration at speed or in defection shooting.

    When the war broke out, only Hurricanes were allotted to the advanced air strike force in France, and they acquitted themselves well against the faster Bf-109E, and proved deadly vs the Bf-110 and all German bombers.When France fell, two out every three squadrons in Britain were equipped with Hurricane, and they shouldered the major load in the Battle of Britain. british tactics were from the more effective Spitfires to engage the German fighters, and the Hurricanes to take on the bombers. Of course, the Hurricanes were often called on to fight the fighters as well, and ablely held their own.

    In late 1940 a new version of Hurricane with 12 machine guns was introduced, called the Mk IIB. The MkIIC replaced the machine guns with four 20mm Cannons, and this version entered service in 1941, and were the most heavily armed fighters in the world at that time. A special ground attack version was developed in 1942, which placed two 40mm cannons in pods under the wings (and was later copied by the Germans, on their Stuka Tank Busters). Later, .5 inch rockets were carried underwing for added firepower. A Special catapult version for convoy protection was devised, which was basically a one shot fighter, the plane would be launched, engage the enemy, and land in the sea, a wasteful stop-gap called a cam-ship combination. Hurricanes were also given arrester gear and used on aircraft carries. The type was produced until 1944, when it was realized it could not be up-rated any further.

    It ended up being the most produced fighter in the British inventory during its operational life, over 14,000 of them completed, and was a truly classic war bird.

    MKI

    Length: 31 ft 4ins
    Span: 40ft 0ins
    Crew: one
    Top Speed: 328 mph
    Ceiling: 34,200 ft
    Range: 505 miles
    Armament: 8x .303 Caliber Browning Machine Guns

    MKIIB:

    Length:32 ft 3ins
    Span: 40ft 0ins
    Combat weight: 8,250 lb
    Crew: one
    Top Speed: 339 mph
    Ceiling: 36,000 ft
    Range: 470 miles
    Armament: 12x .303 Caliber Browning Machine Guns
     
  2. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    Hurricane Mk 1

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    Hurricane Mk IIB

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    The last Hurricane assembled, carried the name 'Last of the many'

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    The Hurricane Mk IV carried four 20mm cannon and was used as a tank buster over the western dessert

    [​IMG]
     
  6. random3434
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    random3434 Senior Member

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    I love these older pics that look like they were taken during WW2 Xeno!
     
  7. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    The Hurricane was the backbone of the RAF in the Battle of Britain, 2 Hurricans fought for every Spitfire flying, and Hurricanes downed more German Aircraft then any other type in the battle.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Terry
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    Terry Shut the $%$ Up!

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    Thanks for that. While living in Germany I went to the Luftwaffe museum and it was interesting to see. Of course I didn't understand a lot because I do not read German, the pictures were neat though.

    I'm still biased toward our P 51 mustangs. My father in-law was an ace in the 55th fighter group and flew strafing missions. I have pictures!
     
  9. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    Oddly enough the older black and white shots are hard to find on the net.
     
  10. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    I will get to the mustang eventually Terry.
     

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