The first and primary RAF fighter before the Spitfire's introduction, the Hurricane Mk 2 was rapidly converted into a light fighter-bomber. Its single 500 kg. bomb, very effective against tanks, and two 20mm Hispano guns made it a good, reliable and cheap fighter-bomber that could hold its own against enemy fighters. Although a little bit slower, the Hurricane has very credible stability, which allows it to hit with deadly accuracy and destroy most light or medium tanks in a single attack run.
The backbone of Britain's air force, the Hurricane was slower than other fighters, but it was heavy armed and had decent armor (for a fighter). It performed well during the disastrous invasions of the Low Countries and France and the Battle of Britain.
The history of the Hurricane went back to 1933 when Sidney Camm, the creator of the aircraft, discussed with the Air Ministry the possibilities of producing a monoplane fighter. At this time, the Air Ministry was not keen on a monoplane despite the fact that a monoplane had established a world speed record of 423 mph (an Italian Macchi MC.72) in April 1933.
The first prototype Hurricane flew on November 6th 1935. It had been based on the design of the Fury plane built by Hawker and was powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. In February 1936, the Hurricane exceeded all of the demands placed on it and on June 3rd 1936, the Air Ministry placed an order for 600 Hurricane fighter planes. On October 12th, 1937, the first flight of a production Hurricane took place. By the end of 1938, 200 Hurricanes had been delivered to the RAF’s Fighter Command.
In September 1939, 19 RAF squadrons had been equipped with Hurricanes. A Hurricane was the first RAF plane to destroy a Luftwaffe plane in October 1939 when Pilot Officer Mould shot down a Dornier Do-17 over France. It was to prove a short-term success. In the German attack on France in the Spring of 1940, 25% of all Hurricanes were destroyed by the Luftwaffe (some 200 planes).
In was in the Battle of Britain that the Hurricane made its mark. The battle is frequently associated with the Spitfire, but the Hurricane played a major role in this battle. On August 8th, 1940, the RAF could call on 32 squadrons of Hurricanes and 19 of Spitfires. Therefore, the Hurricane was the dominant British plane in this battle.
Though slower than the Spitfire, the Hurricane developed a reputation as a plane that could take more than a few hits from the Germans and continue to fly. To some the Spitfire was a thoroughbred horse; superb until it was damaged. The Hurricane, though less graceful and slower than the Spitfire, was more a shire horse; incredibly strong and capable of taking many hits before it was taken out.
The Hurricane, in various guises, saw combat in most areas of the 2nd World War – the jungles of the Far East, the deserts of North Africa etc. Almost 3000 Hurricanes were delivered to the Soviet Union during the war. In total, more than 14,000 Hurricanes fought in World War Two in all theaters of war – a remarkable achievement for a remarkable plane.
Med dive bomb
Med HE bomb
Medium cal. Machine-guns