Hawker Hurricane Mk1 Scale Model World War Two Aircraft
Part Number: B11E204
Availability: Available Now
Approximately 8" (20.3 cm) in length. Wingspan approximately 10" (25.4 cm). Scale 1:48.
Hawker Hurricane Mk1 Scale Model Aircraft - Description
During WWII this versatile fighter, when painted bright orange, was used for the purpose of radar calibration.
The Hawker Hurricane is a fighter design from the 1930s. It was less famous than the Supermarine Spitfire but contributed more to the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain. Some 14,000 were built by the end of 1944.
The Hurricane was developed in response to the Air Ministry specification F.36/34, (modified by F.5/34) for a fighter aircraft built around the new Rolls-Royce engine, then only known as PV-12 later to become famous as the Merlin. The design, started in early 1934, was the work of Sidney Camm.
By some measures the design was outdated when introduced. It used traditional Hawker construction techniques that had been used on previous biplane aircraft. This meant that joints were mechanically fastened, not welded. It had a Warren girder type fuselage of high tensile steel tubes. Over this sat frames and longerons that carried the linen fabric covering. Initially the wing structure consisted of two spars, also in steel, fabric covered. An all-metal stressed-skin wing of duraluminium (a DERD specification similar to AA2024) was introduced in April 1939 and was used for the all of the later marks. In contrast, the contemporary Supermarine Spitfire used all-metal monocoque construction and was thus both lighter and stronger, though less tolerant to bullet damage.
Its simple construction was the main reason why it was ordered into production in 1936. At the time it was unclear if the much more advanced Spitfire would be able to enter production smoothly, whereas the Hurricane was a well understood manufacturing problem. This was true for service squadrons as well, who were experienced in working on and repairing planes constructed like the Hurricane. With its ease of maintenance, wide landing gear and rather benign flying characteristics, the Hurricane remained in use in theatres of operations where reliability was more important than performance long after it was obsolete as a fighter aircraft.
The majority of Hurricanes were built by Hawker (which produced them until 1944) with Gloster Aircraft making most of the rest. The Austin Motor Company built 300. In later years, some production shifted to the Canada Car and Foundry (where one engineer Elsie MacGill became known as "Queen of the Hurricanes"). In all some 14,000 Hurricanes and Sea Hurricanes were produced.
Hurricane Mk. I
As expected the first Mk. I production machines were ready fairly quickly, and deliveries started in October 1937. They mounted the 1,030 hp (768 kW) Rolls-Royce Merlin Mk. II or III engine and were armed with eight .303 inch Browning machine guns. These early planes were rather simple, with fabric-covered wings, a wooden 2-bladed fixed-pitch propeller, and without armour or self-sealing tanks.
In 1939 the new Mk. I included a de Havilland or Rotol constant-speed metal propeller, ejector-exhaust stacks for added thrust, metal-covered wings, armour and other changes. At the start of the war the RAF had taken on about 500 of this later design and it formed the backbone of the fighter squadrons during the Battle of France and into the Battle of Britain. The first RAF ace of the war, Cobber Kain, flew the Hurricane with 73 Squadron.
Although using older technology the Hurricane was a match to an extent with the Messerschmitt Bf 109. In his book Duel of Eagles, British ace Peter Townsend, who flew Hurricanes with No. 85 Squadron RAF during the Battle of Britain, provides a multitude of first-hand examples demonstrating how the Hurricane's superior turning ability could offset the Me 109's higher speed. Another factor in the Hurricane's performance was the Merlin engine that also powered the Supermarine Spitfire, specially after the introduction of Miss Shilling's orifice. The Merlin, thanks to a different supercharger design, gave more power at low altitude than the Daimler-Benz DB 601 used in the Bf 109. Above 15,000 feet the DB601A-1 was better the Merlin III and XII.
During the Battle of Britain the Hurricane shot down a majority of the planes claimed by the RAF (1,593 out of 2,739 total claimed) sometimes being directed against slower bombers whilst the Spitfires attacked German fighters. By the close of the Battle of Britain in late 1940, production of the Spitfire had increased to the point where all squadrons could be supplied with them. Deliveries of the Spitfire outpaced the Hurricane because it turned out that all-metal construction allowed it to be produced even faster than the mixed-construction Hurricane.
Hurricane Mk. II
Improved Merlin XX (Mk.20) appeared in 1940. The XX featured a new two-speed supercharger, that could have its impeller-speed changed by the pilot depending on the outside air pressure (altitude). At about 18,000 ft (effective) it would be switched to a higher-speed gearing ("FS ratio" — Full Supercharge) for added compression, while below that, at its lower-speed gearing, ("MS ratio" - Moderate Supercharge) it "robbed" less power from the engine. The result was more power at both lower and higher altitudes, dramatically increasing overall performance of the engine, peaking at 1,280 hp (954 kW).
Although by this time production of the Spitfire had started to increase, a Merlin XX powered Hurricane Mk. I was built and first flew on 11 June 1940. The initial Mark II, later known as the Mark IIA Series 1, went into squadron service in September 1940 at the peak of the Battle of Britain.
Hawker had long experimented with improving the armament of the fighter by fitting cannon. Their first experiments used two Oerlikon 20 mm anti-aircraft cannons in pods, one under each wing, (one aircraft was tested during 1940 with 151 squadron) but the limited amount of ammunition carried coupled with the frequent stoppages suffered by the drum fed guns meant the arrangement was unsatisfactory. A more reasonable fit was made with four Hispano Mk.II 20 mm cannons, two in each wing, but the weight was enough to seriously reduce performance. Fitting the cannons was not easy, feed based on a recoil system stopped when the recoil movement dropped. Changes to the Hispano cured this problem. With the new Merlin XX, performance was good enough to keep the aging Hurricane in production. Hawker soon introduced the new Mark IIA Series 2 with either of two wings, one mounting twelve Brownings, the other four Hispano cannon. The first Series 2's arrived in October, also sporting a new and slightly longer propeller spinner.
These were later to become the Mark IIB in April 1941 and Mark IIC in June, respectively, using a slightly modified wing. The new wings also included a hardpoint for a 500 lb or 250 lb bomb, and later in 1941, fuel tanks. By then performance was inferior to the latest German fighters, and the Hurricane changed to the fighter-bomber role, sometimes referred to as the Hurribomber. The mark also served as a night fighter and 'intruder', with various degrees of success.
Mk. IIs were used in ground support, where it was quickly learned that destroying German tanks was terribly difficult; the cannons didn't have the performance needed, while bombing them was almost impossible. The solution was to equip the plane with a 40 mm cannon in a pod under each wing, reducing the other armament to a single Browning in each wing loaded with tracer for aiming purposes.
The layout was originally tested on a converted Mk. IIB, and flew on 18 September 1941. New-build version of what was known as the Mk. IID started in 1942, including additional armor for the pilot, radiator and engine. The planes were initially supplied with a Rolls-Royce gun with 12 rounds, but soon changed to the Vickers S gun with 15 rounds. The aircraft undertook an anti-tank role in limited numbers during the North Africa campaign where, provided enemy flak and fighters were absent, they proved accurate and highly effective, not only against armoured vehicles but all motor transport.
Another wing modification was introduced in the Mk. IIE, but the changes soon became extensive enough that it was renamed the Mk. IV after the first 250 had been delivered.
Hurricane Mk. III
The Mk. III was a Mk. II equipped with a Packard-built Merlin engine, intending to provide supplies of the British-built engines for other designs. By the time production was to have started, Merlin production had increased to the point where the idea was abandoned.
Hurricane Mk. IV
The last major change to the Hurricane was to "rationalize" the wing, equipping it with a single design able to mount two bombs, two 40 mm Vickers S guns or eight "60 pounder" RP-3 rockets. The new design also mounted the improved Merlin 24 or 27 equipped with dust filters for desert work, of 1,620 hp (1,208 kW).
The Mk. IV was used in ground attack missions on the European theater until the early days of 1944 before being replaced by the much more modern Hawker Typhoon. French ace Pierre Clostermann recalls in his book The Big Show that RP-3-equipped Hurricanes were limited to 330 km/h (205 mph) top speed due to the rockets' drag, and that Hurricane casualty rates against the lethal German flak were extremely high. In particular, Clostermann describes a rocket attack by Hurricanes from No. 184 Squadron RAF against a V-1 launch site on the French coast on 20 December 1943 in which three of the four aircraft were shot down before they could attack.
Hurricane Mk. V
Two Hurricane "Mark Vs" were built as conversions of Mark IVs, and featured a Merlin 32 engine driving a four-bladed propeller. As the ground-attack role moved to the more capable Hawker Typhoon, production of the Hurricane ended, and only a handful were delivered with the Merlin 32.
By this time, the Hurricane was no longer a frontline fighter in the United Kingdom. However, it still saw extensive service overseas as a fighter, playing a prominent role in the Middle East and Far East. It was also critical to the defence of Malta during 1941 and early 1942.
Hawker Hurricane Mk IVRP with Yugoslav Air Force markings, Belgrade Aviation Museum, Serbia.
The Hawker Hurricane, served in the air forces of many countries, some "involuntarily" - as in the case of Hurricanes which either landed accidentally or force-landed in neutral Ireland and were immediately impounded by the authorities, followed by their entry into service with the Irish Air Corps at Baldonnel. (The Irish would turn a 'blind eye' as the pilot 'escaped' across the border into Northern Ireland). Hurricanes also joined the ranks of the Forces Aériennes Françaises Libres (FAFL) - that is, the Free French air force - fighting in North Africa between June 1940 and May 1943. The Hurricanes, like all FAFL aircraft, sported the Cross of Lorraine on the fuselage, instead of the roundel that had been in use since 1914, in order to distinguish them from those aircraft flying for the Vichy French air force. Some of these squadrons were also given RAF designations; for example, the Groupe de Chasse Alsace was also known as No.341 Squadron. New Zealand squadrons within the Royal Air Force, No. 486 Squadron RNZAF and No. 488 Squadron RNZAF used the type, the latter handing its remaining Hurricanes over to the Royal New Zealand Air Force following the fall of Singapore, where some apparently ended their days as airfield decoys. The Royal Canadian Air Force equipped several squadrons with the type, including No. 1 Squadron RCAF, which flew in the battle of Britain. The South African Air Force also operated several squadrons of Hurricanes as part of the Desert Air Force, including 40 Squadron.
Belgium bought 20 Hurricanes and a license to build 80 more, of which only 2 were completed, but most of its aircraft were lost during the German invasion. Hurricanes were licence built in Yugoslavia and 24 were delivered from Britain. A large number (2952 aircraft) of Hurricanes were sent to the Soviet Union. The Luftwaffe operated some captured Hurricanes for training and education purposes. Finland bought 12 Hurricanes at the end of the Winter War, but lost two during the transit flight. The planes didn't have much success (only 5 and 1/2 kills) when hostilities began again on 25.6.1941 and their use was quite limited, partially because they had worn out when replacement parts were scarce during the Interim Peace (13.3.1940-25.6.1941) and during the new war. At least one Hurricane was captured from the Soviets during the war and flown by the Finnish Air Force. Turkey and Romania bought Hurricanes in 1939. Other Hawker Hurricane operators were the Soviet Union (2,952) Greece, Australia, Egypt, India, Persia, Portugal, Yugoslavia.