The following are answers and explanations to the trivia quiz in your Hurricane kit. These explanations are taken from various sources and summarized to the best of our knowledge. We hope you had fun with our trivia challenge!
Sydney Camm was born in 1893. In 1925, Camm joined the Hawker Company as an aeronautical designer and soon became its chief designer. The firm was to produce some of the most famous planes in World War Two – the Hurricane, Typhoon and Tempest.
The company is most recognized for the production of the legendary Hurricane – a plane that played such an important part in the Battle of Britain and in other theatres in World War Two.
In the early 1930’s, many still put their faith in biplanes but Camm became one of the first designers to build monoplanes. Camm had a simple philosophy with regards to plane design.
The success of some of his planes is legendary, primarily the Hurricane that shot down more planes than any other in World War Two.
After the war, Hawker and Camm was involved in the Hawker Hunter, and early versions on the Harrier jump-jet. His last project before he died, in March 1966, was involved on the plane that was to become the Tornado.
Sydney Camm was knighted for his work in 1953.
The Hurricane emerged from the Hawker PV.3, a scaled-up Hawker Fury. It failed to receive government funding for the building of a prototype. However, despite this set back, Hawker Aircraft were so convinced of its significance that they proceded as a private venture.
Sydney Camm revised the design into a cantilever monoplane with a retractable undercarriage and fitted a Rolls-Royce PV-12 engine, better known as a Merlin.
In September 1934, Camm finally received the funding for a full-size prototype although a number of major changes were endured during the mock-up and final prototype construction phase. In January 1935, a new specification (F.36/34) was issued by the Ministry which called for the additional installation of 8 fixed guns.
By August 1935, the various components were completed at Kingston and moved to Brooklands for re-assembly. Following ground testing, the first prototype (K5083) flew on 6th November 1935 in the hands of Flight Lt. George Bulman.
The Hawker Fury was a British biplane fighter aircraft used by the Royal Air Force in the 1930s. It was a fast, agile aircraft, and was the first interceptor in RAF service capable of speed higher than 200 mph.
In June 1936, the Hurricane was ordered into production by the Air Ministry; the type entered 111 squadron service at Northolt on 25 December 1937 (8 months ahead of the Spitfire).
The manufacture and maintenance of the aircraft was greatly eased by its use of conventional construction methods, which enabled squadrons to perform many major repairs themselves without much external support. The Hurricane was rapidly procured prior to the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, by which point, the RAF operated a total of 18 Hurricane-equipped squadrons
The Hurricane had its first combat action on 21 October 1939, at the start of the Phoney War. On that day. 46 Squadron took off from North Coates satellite airfield, on the Lincolnshire coast, and was directed to intercept a formation of nine Heinkel He 115B floatplanes searching for ships to attack in the North Sea. The Heinkels, which were flying at sea level in an attempt to avoid fighter attacks, had already been attacked and damaged by two Spitfires from 72 Squadron when six Hurricanes intercepted them. The Hurricanes shot down four of the enemy in rapid succession.
A total of 386 Hurricanes were lost in the Battle of France. Of these a staggering 350 were destroyed on the ground or left behind in the evacuation of France.
Accounted for 55% of the 2,739 German losses, according to Fighter Command, compared with 42% by Spitfires. During the Battle of Britain in July 1940, the RAF had a total of 527 Hurricanes and 321 Spitfires to face the Luftwaffe’s 2,739 planes. Ultimately, the British forces were successful in destroying 1,887 aircraft to British losses of 1,547 planes over the three-month period.
The Battle of Britain started officially on 10 June 1940, when the Luftwaffe attacked a convoy of ships off Dover. But the real air war started on 12 August (when the Luftwaffe attacked the RAF), and lasted until 31 October. At first the Luftwaffe attacked radar stations and airfields. On 8 August 1940, Hurricanes of No. 145 Squadron were recorded as having fired the first shots of the Battle of Britain.
1 SQUADRON: Hurricanes, Coded JX, Operated from Northolt & Tangmere (1)
1RCAF SQUADRON: Hurricanes, Coded YO, Operated from Croydon & Northolt (2)
3 SQUADRON: Hurricanes, Coded QO, Operated from Kenley & Wick(Scotland) (3)
17 SQUADRON: Hurricanes, Coded YB, Operated from Debden & Martlesham Heath (4)
19 SQUADRON: Spitfires, Coded QV, Operated from Fowlemere & Duxford
23 SQUADRON: Blenheims, Coded YP, Operated from Colyweston & Wittering
25 SQUADRON: Blenheims & Beaufighters, Coded ZK, Operated from North Weald
29 SQUADRON: Blenheims & Beaufighters, Coded RO, Operated from Debden
32 SQUADRON: Hurricanes, Coded GZ, Operated from Biggin Hill & Acklington (5)
41 SQUADRON: Spitfires, Coded EB, Hornchurch & Catterick
43 SQUADRON "China-British": Hurricanes, Coded FT, Operated from Tangmere & Northolt (6)
46 SQUADRON "Uganda": Hurricanes, Coded PO, Operated from Stapleford (7)
54 SQUADRON: Spitfires, Coded KL, Operated from Hornchurch & Catterick
56 SQUADRON "Punjab": Hurricanes, Coded US, Operated from North Weald & Boscombe Down (8)
64 SQUADRON: Spitfires, Coded SH, Operated from Kenley, Hornchurch & Biggin Hill
65 SQUADRON "East India": Spitfires, Coded YT, Operated from Hornchurch & Turnhouse
66 SQUADRON: Spitfires, Coded LZ, Operated from Coltishall & Kenley
72 SQUADRON "Basutoland": Spitfires, Coded RN, Operated from Drem & Biggin Hill
73 SQUADRON: Hurricanes, Coded TP, Operated from Church Fenton (9)
74 SQUADRON "Trinidad": Spitfires, Coded ZP, Operated from Hornchurch & Biggin Hill
79 SQUADRON "Madras Presidency": Hurricanes, Coded NV, Operated from Acklington & Biggin Hill (10)
85 SQUADRON: Hurricanes, Coded VY, Operated from Debden & Croydon (11)
87 SQUADRON "United Provinces": Hurricanes, Coded LK, Operated from Exeter (12)
92 SQUADRON "East India": Spitfires, Coded QJ, Operated from Hornchurch & Biggin Hill
111 SQUADRON "Treble One": Hurricanes, Northolt & Drem (13)
141 SQUADRON: Defiants, Coded TW, Operated from West Malling & Biggin Hill
145 SQUADRON: Hurricanes, Coded SO, Operated from Tangmere & Westhampnet (14)
151 SQUADRON: Hurricanes, Coded DZ, Operated from North Weald (15)
152 SQUADRON "Hyderabad": Spitfires, Coded UM, Operated from Warmwell
213 SQUADRON: Hurricanes, Coded AK, Operated from Exeter & Leconfield (16)
219 SQUADRON: Blenheims, Coded FK, Operated from Catterick & Redhill
222 SQUADRON: Spitfires, Coded ZD, Operated from Kirkon-in-Lindsay(Rest) & Hornchurch
229 SQUADRON: Hurricanes, Coded HB, Operated from Wittering & Northolt (17)
232 SQUADRON: Hurricanes, Coded EF, Operated from Sumburgh (18)
234 SQUADRON: Spitfires, Coded AZ, Operated from Church Fenton & Middle Wallop
235 SQUADRON: Blenheims, Coded LA, Operated from Thorney Island & Bircham Newton
236 SQUADRON: Blenheims, Coded FA, Operated from Thorney Island
238 SQUADRON: Hurricanes, Coded VK, Operated from Middle Wallop & St Eval (19)
242 SQUADRON "Canadian": Hurricanes, Coded LE, Operated from Coltishall & Duxford (20)
245 SQUADRON "Northern Rhodesia": Hurricanes, Coded DR, Operated from Aldergrove (21)
247 SQUADRON "China-British": Gladiators, Coded HP, Operated from St Eval
248 SQUADRON: Blenheims, Coded WR, Operated from Dyce
249 SQUADRON "Gold Coast": Coded GN, Operated from Church Fenton/Boscombe Down/Nth Weald
253 SQUADRON "Hyderabad": Hurricanes, Coded SW, Operated from Turnhouse & Kenley (22)
257 SQUADRON "Burma": Hurricanes, Coded DT, Operated from Northolt & Debden (23)
263 SQUADRON: Whirlwinds, Coded HE, Operated from Drem
264 SQUADRON "Madras Presidency": Defiants, Coded PS, Operated from Fowlmere & Hornchurch
266 SQUADRON "Rhodesia": Spitfires, Coded UO, Operated from Wittering & Hornchurch
302 SQUADRON "Poznan": Hurricanes, Coded WX, Operated from Northolt & Westhampnet (24)
303 SQUADRON "Warsaw": Hurricanes, Coded RF, Operated from Northolt & Leconfield (25)
310 SQUADRON: Hurricanes, Coded NN, Operated from Duxford (26)
312 SQUADRON: Hurricanes, Coded DU, Operated from Speke (27)
501 SQUADRON "County of Gloucester" Auxiliary Air Force Hurricanes, Coded SD, Operated from Middle Wallop/Gravesend/Kenley (28)
504 SQUADRON "County of Nottingham" Auxiliary Air Force Hurricanes, Coded TM, Operated from Wick/Hendon/Filton (29)
600 SQUADRON "City of London" Auxiliary Air Force Blenheims, Coded BQ, Operated from Northolt
601 SQUADRON "County of London" Auxiliary Air Force Hurricanes, Coded UF, Operated from Middle Wallop & Tangmere (30)
602 SQUADRON "City of Glasgow" Auxiliary Air Force Spitfires, Coded LO, Operated from Drem & Westhampnet
603 SQUADRON "City of Edinburgh" Auxiliary Air Force Spitfires, Coded XT, Operated from Drem/Turnhouse/Hornchurch
604 SQUADRON "County of Middlesex" Auxiliary Air Force Blenheims/Beaufighters, Coded NG, Operated from Middle Wallop
605 SQUADRON "County of Warwick" Auxiliary Air Force Hurricanes, Coded UP, Operated from Wick & Croydon (31)
607 SQUADRON "County of Durham" Auxiliary Air Force Hurricanes, Coded AF, Operated from Usworth & Tangmere (32)
609 SQUADRON "West Riding" Auxiliary Air Force Spitfires, Coded PR, Operated from Middle Wallop & Warmwell
610 SQUADRON "County of Chester" Auxiliary Air Force Spitfires, Coded DW, Operated from Biggin Hill & Acklington(Rest)
611 SQUADRON "West Lancashire" Auxiliary Air Force Spitfires, Coded FY, Operated from Digby
615 SQUADRON "County of Surrey" Auxiliary Air Force Hurricanes, Coded KW, Operated from Kenley & Northolt (33)
616 SQUADRON "South Yorkshire" Auxiliary Air Force Spitfires, Coded YQ, Operated from Leconfield/Kenley/Coltishall/Kirton-in-Lindsay
Hurricane Mk I
Hurricane Mk II
Hurricane IIA Series 1
Hurricane IIA Series 2 (Hurricane IIB)
Hurricane IIB Trop.
Hurricane Mk III
Hurricane Mk IV
Hurricane Mk V
Hurricane Mk X
Hurricane Mk XI
Hurricane Mk XII
Hurricane Mk XIIA
Sea Hurricane Mk IA
Sea Hurricane Mk IB
Sea Hurricane Mk IC
Sea Hurricane Mk IIC
Sea Hurricane Mk XIIA
Of all the various modifications to the Hurricane, one of the more interesting was a one-off biplane variant. Known as the Hillson FH.40 (an experimental aircraft of the 1940s), the top wing was meant to hold extra fuel, reducing takeoff distance and increasing ferry range. It was designed to test the idea of "slip-wings", where the aircraft could take off as a biplane, jettison the upper disposable wing, and continue flying as a monoplane. A single example was built, which successfully demonstrated jettisoning of the slip wing in flight. However, it proved too heavy to be serviceable and none were built beyond the original.
The Hawker Hurricane is the 23rd most produced plane ever made. Of the 14,583 Hawker Hurricanes that were built during the seven-year period of production, about twelve (including three Sea Hurricanes) are in airworthy condition today. Many other Hurricanes survive as as non-flying examples in various air museums and exhibitions.
However, many that are not in airworthy condition are on display at museums all over the world.
The top scoring Hurricane pilot was Squadron Leader Marmaduke "Pat" Pattle, DFC & Bar, with 35 Hawker fighter victories (out of career 50 total, with two shared) serving with No. 80 and 33 Squadrons. All of his Hurricane kills were achieved over Greece in 1941. He was shot down and killed in the Battle of Athens.
The first British monoplane eight-gun fighter
The first RAF aircraft to exceed 300 mph in level flight
The first production fighter with a retractable main undercarriage
1936 Hurricane prototype reached a top speed of 500 km/hr at 5000 meters, exceeding the Air Ministry requirement for 440 km/hr, and in fact becoming the first fighter plane to fly faster than 500 km/hr.
The Hurricane was also respected for it's battle hardened design, able to take significant damage and easy to repair.
The Hurricane was undoubtedly one of the greatest and most versatile fighter aircraft of WWII.
Following the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, Roald Dahl enlisted in the RAF – something which would have a huge effect on his life in many ways.
It was in November 1939 that Roald decided to enlist in the Royal Air Force (RAF) at 23 years old. He travelled to Nairobi for his medical and a month later commenced flying training in Tiger Moths alongside 15 other men of a similar age.
Dahl loved flying, and once described it as “marvellous fun” in a letter sent to his mother during his flying training. Despite being so tall (well over 6ft) he still managed to squeeze himself into the airplane cockpit and the other men in his squadron gave him the nickname "Lofty".
On completion of the course he travelled to Iraq for Advanced Training on Hawker Harts, and was then commissioned as a Pilot Officer in the RAF Volunteer Reserve and posted to 80 Squadron based in North Africa to fly "Gloster Gladiators against the Italians in the Western Desert of Libya," as he says in Going Solo (the Gloster Gladiator "was an out-of-date fighter biplane with a radial engine").
In September 1940, Roald's Gladiator crashed in the Western Desert of North Africa and he received severe injuries to his head, nose and back. Following this he was taken to the Anglo-Swiss Hospital in Alexandria, Egypt where he spent around six months recovering from his injuries, under the care of the hospital staff.
Roald then rejoined 80 Squadron near Athens, Greece, this time flying a Mark 1 Hurricane. In April 1941 the remaining members took part in The Battle of Athens, led by Flight-Lieutenant Pat Pattle, who Roald described in Going Solo as "a legend in the RAF." The Battle of Athens destroyed five of 80 Squadron's Hurricanes and took the lives of four of their pilots, including that of Pat Pattle.
Douglas Bader was well known for his strong leadership and flying skills. He was one of the most famous British RAF fighter pilots of WW2.
He was posted Wing Commander of the No. 242 Canadian Squadron. This Canadian unit, the only one in the RAF at the time, had been badly mauled in France, and its morale was low. Bader quickly transformed the 242 into a tight, tough squadron through his courage, leadership and uncompromising attitude toward his pilots, ground crews and the RAF high command. His squadron took part in the early stages of the Battle of Britain, flying convoy patrols and going after occasional high-flying Dornier bombers. Although they were tough at first, they later proved to be much more lethal when teamed up with other Squadrons such as the 19, 302, 310 and the 601. He was honoured with a personalized Hurricane identified as LED with the rondel to represent LEAD as in leader.
When the Battle of Britain ended, Bader was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Distinguished Service Order for gallantry and leadership of the highest order. He became commander of the Duxford Wing, which was later credited with destroying 152 German aircraft while losing only 30 pilots themselves. Bader was credited with 12 victories during the Battle of Britain and a total of 23 victories by the end of his flying career.
Due to its versatility and adaptability, the Hawker Hurricane filled many roles. With these, came various nicknames.
Hurribomber (Mk IIB)
Hurricane Mk IIB Hurri-bomberThe Mk IIB saw the twelve gun wings finally become standard, with two extra .303 Browning machine guns located further down the wing. Of more significance was the addition of two bomb racks, down the wing from the landing gear. At first these were used to carry one 250 lb bomb each, increased to 500 lbs by the end of 1941. From the autumn of 1941 the Mk IIB was used to bomb small targets in occupied Europe.
Hurricat or Sea Hurricane Mk IA.
The Hurricat was used from two types of ships - the Catapult Aircraft Merchantmen (CAM-Ships), which were modified cargo vessels, and the Fighter Catapult Ships, which were modified from existing naval ships (most of which were themselves converted merchant ships).
Flying Can Openers (Tank Busters)
1942 – The next major change in Squadron aircraft was to Hurricane IIDs in April of that year, fitted with two 40mm S Guns.The Vickers Company had originally produced the cannon as a quick firing mobile anti tank gun and its shells could pierce the armour of any German or Italian tank involved in the North African campaign. Attacks were conducted at ultra low level against armour and earned the Squadron its nickname of “THE FLYING TIN OPENERS”
Hurricanes had a problem with carbon monoxide fumes seeping into the cockpit. Manufacturers attempted to fix this by outfitting the planes with longer exhaust stubs and other modifications, but nothing ever completely alleviated the problem. Instead, pilots were required to use oxygen from engine start-up to engine shut-down.
Due to its simplistic design and adaptability, the Hawker Hurricane was quick to produce, easy to repair and modify. It was durable in battle and considered as a sturdy reliable plane.
Hurricane Mk X
Canadian-built variant. Single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber. Powered by a 1,300 hp (970 kW) Packard Merlin 28. Eight 0.303 in (7.7 mm) machine guns mounted in the wings. In total, 490 were built.
Hurricane Mk XI
Canadian-built variant. 150 were built.
Hurricane Mk XII
Canadian-built variant. Single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber. Powered by a 1,300 hp (969 kW) Packard Merlin 29. Initially armed with 12 0.303 in (7.7 mm) machine guns, but this was later changed to four 20 mm (.79 in) cannon.
The Sea Hurricane Mk IA was a Hurricane Mk I modified by General Aircraft Limited. These conversions numbered approximately 250 aircraft. They were modified to be carried by two types of carrier ships.
CAM ships (catapult-armed merchantman): whose ships' crews were Merchant Marine and whose Hurricanes were crewed and serviced by RAF personnel.
Fighter Catapult Ships: which were Naval Auxiliary Vessels crewed by naval personnel and aircraft operated by the Fleet Air Arm.
These ships were equipped with a catapult for launching an aircraft, but without facilities to recover them. Consequently, if the aircraft were not in range of a land base, pilots had to bail out or to ditch.
More than 14,000 Hurricanes fought in World War Two in all theatres of war.
Including 2,952 Hurricanes delivered to Russia during the war.
The last of Hurricanes was retired from active service in the Royal Australian Air Force in 1946.
Sydney Camm’s successor to the Hurricane began in 1937. It was a massive new fighter, the heaviest and most powerful single seater engine warplane envisaged at the time of its design. It was to be pushed into operational service before it was fully developed. As a consequence, the plane acquired a poor reputation among its pilots than that of any fighter preceding it. Its role was initially planned to be an interceptor, however it evolved into one of the most formidable weapons during WW2 as a air to ground attack fighter plane.