By Jessica Nauta
The Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was designed and predominantly built in 1937 by Hawker Aircraft LTD for the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a fighter / ground attack aircraft. This aircraft became renowned during the Battle of Britain, accounting for 60% of the RAF's air victories in the battle.
The design of the aircraft was attributed to aeronautical engineer, Sidney Camm (1893-1966), who also lent his design talents to the wartime Hawker Typhoon and the Tempest fighter-bombers. The aircraft the became the Hurricane was developed progressively from a 1933 initiate posed by the Directorate of Technical Development, which sought to move away from biplane aircraft into the realm of the monoplane. The Hurricane would seat a single operator and be powered by the new Rolls-Royce PV. 12 inline piston engine (to become the famous “Merlin”). Unlike the Fury, the new fighter would feature a monoplane wing assembly, enclosed cockpit, and a retractable undercarriage. British authorities were sold on the concept and developed fighter specification F. 36?34 in 1934 around the promising Hawker design. The first flight of a prototype Hurricane aircraft occurred on November 6, 1935 and it only became known as the “Hurricane” in June of 1936. An order of 600 aircraft followed.
Hawker Hurricane was the culmination of a series of capable metal biplane fighters evolved by Hawker concern throughout the 1920's. The Hurricane's fuselage shape and design borrowed much from the proceeding Hawker “Fury” biplane line. It is perhaps best known as the true star of the Battle of Britain, engulfing Europe during the 1940. In the campaign, the German Luftwaffe attempted to subdue the British by a relentless air attack sent ahead of it's ground invasion force (the proposed “Operation Sea Lion”). The Hurricane outnumbered the competing – and far more popular – Supermarine Spitfire by two-to-one in the inventory of...