Hawker Hurricane

From Our Contribution

Hawker Hurricane
Hawker Hurricane.jpg
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Cpl Phil Major
Hawker Hurricane refueling.jpg
IWM photo HU 57450 Biggin Hill August 1940
Type single seat monoplane fighter
Role Fighter
Designer Sir Sydney Camm
Manufacturer Hawker Aircraft Ltd
Produced UK and Canada 1937 - 1944
Number built 14,583
Primary users RAF, RCAF
In service 1937


Discussions that led to the development of the Hurricane began prior to 1934. The first prototype was assembled in lat October 1935, and initial service trials took place from mid 1936. Initially the merlin engine caused problems but the airframe was described as easy to fly and had no apparent vices. Hawker decided to begin preparations for production without a contract. Finally ordered into production in June 1936, the first order being for 600 aircraft.

By comparison with the Supermarine Spitfire, the Hurricane used more normal production methods making it much cheaper to construct. Although the Spitfire was later to catch the public eye, 60% of all German aircraft losses in the Battle of Britain was to Hurricanes. While Hawker built 9,986 Hurricanes, and 3,050 were built by other British companies, and additional 1,451 Hurricanes were constructed in Canada and shipped to the UK. Twenty five variations of the basic plane were constructed, five of them for service on aircraft carriers, one for photo reconnaissance, several for close infantry support, night fighting, fighter bomber roles, and a two seat trainer version.

General characteristics

  • Crew: Pilot
  • Length: 9.83 m
  • Wingspan: 12.19 m
  • Height: 4.001 m
  • Empty weight: 2,606 kg
  • Max takeoff weight: 3,951 kg
  • Powerplant: 1 x Roll-Royce Merlin XX V-12 liquid cooled piston engine
  • Maximum speed: 550 km/h at 6,400 m
  • Range: 970 km
  • Service ceiling:11,000 m
  • Armament
  • Guns: 4 x 20mm Hispano Mk II canon
  • Bombs: 2 x 110 or 2230 kg bombs

Crew members

450 Squadron RAAF