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Hurricane Mk.I

Fighter

Hawker

Hurricane Mk I of the commander of 257-th squadron RAF squadron-leader R.S.Taka, October, 1940 © Michael Bykov

Hurricane Mk I of the commander of 257-th squadron RAF squadron-leader R.S.Taka, October, 1940.

HAWKER HURRICANE - First monoplane fighter to serve with RAF, the Hawker Hurricane was designed under Sydney Camm's direction as logical progression from Fury biplane, and known, in earliest project form, as Fury Monoplane with 660 hp R-R Goshawk VI steam-cooled engine. Subsequently evolved around R-R P.V.12 (Merlin) in 1934 as Interceptor Monoplane. Construction of prototype (K5083) launched in 1935, conforming to Specification F.36/34, with 890 hp Merlin C and eight 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns in (fabric-covered) wings. First flight at Brooklands on November 6, 1935, and prototype retired from test-flying early-1939.

Hawker Hurricane I: Production initiated March 1936 and initial contract for 600 confirmed July 1936, to Specification 15/36. First production aircraft flown October 12, 1937, with 1,030 hp Merlin II. Subsequent orders brought total Hawker Hurricane I production to 3,774 in Britain by Hawker (1,924) and Gloster (1,850), plus 160 for RAF by Canadian Car and Foundry in Canada. In course of production, metal-covered wings replaced original fabric-covered type, and 1,030 hp Merlin III replaced Merlin II. First few aircraft had retractable tail wheel and lacked ventral fin. Service introduction late-1937 with No 111 Squadron at Northolt; up to 11 squadrons served in France 1939-40, another in Norway in 1940 and 29 squadrons of Hawker Hurricane Is available to Fighter Command for Battle of Britain in July 1940, some later transferring to night fighting role. With large filter over carburettor air intake, tropicalised Hawker Hurricane Is served in Malta, the Middle East and the Far East (Singapore and Burma) before arrival of Mk IIs in larger numbers. One Mk I armed with two 20 mm Oerlikon cannon operational in 1940; three others fitted with four-cannon wing armament in late 1940. Several export orders placed pre-1939 met by diversions from RAF contracts and subsequent run-on production; other supplies to Allied and Commonwealth forces made to meet operational needs as they arose. Thus, from 1938 onwards, 24 Hawker Hurricane Is went to Yugoslavia (where 20 more built by Zmaj factory); 12 to Romania; 35 to Turkey; two to Persia; 12 to Finland; 15 to Belgium (plus production by Avions Fairey - see later note); 20 to the RCAF and more than 30 to SAAF. One Hawker Hurricane I (of ten intended) reached Poland in 1939 and one, with tropical filter, reached Australia in September 1941. One ex-RAF Mk I diverted to Hawker demonstrator/test-bed as G-AFKX remained in use through 1943.

Hawker Hurricane I
Crew 1
Dimensions
Wing span 40 ft (12.19 m)
Length, m 31 ft 5 in (9.58 m)
Wing area 258 sqft (23.97 m²)
Powerplant
1 X PE Rolls-Royce Merlin III, hp 1030
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 5,085 lb (2,308 kg)
Loaded weight 6,661 lb (3,024 kg)
Performance
Max speed at 17,750 ft (5,410 m) 316 mph (508 km/h)
Cruising speed at 15,000ft (4,575 m) 272 mph (438 km/h)
Time to 15,000 ft (4,575 m) 6.3 min
Service ceiling 33,200 ft (10,120 m)
Range 445 mis (716 km)
Armament
8 X 7.7-mm machine guns 8

References

  • "Encyclopedia of military engineering" /Aerospace Publising/
  • "British warplanes of World War II" /under cor. Daniel March/

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