Hurricane, British Fighter

For the weather disturbance, see Tropical Cyclones.

Photograph of Hawker Hurricane
Wikipedia Commons

Hawker Hurricane IIc





40'0" by 32'3" by 13'3"
12.19m by 9.83m by 4.04m
Wing area 218 square feet
20.3 square meters


5658-8044 lbs
2566-3649 kg
Maximum speed       301 mph at 17,750 feet
484 km/h at 5400 meters

Cruise speed

177 mph
285 km/h

Climb rate

40 feet per second
12.2 meters per second

Service ceiling

33,200 feet
10,100 meters
Powerplant One 1460 hp (1089 kW) Rolls-Royce Merlin XX vee-12 liquid-cooled engine driving a three-bladed propeller.


4 20mm Hispano cannon in the wings

External stores

2 500lb (227kg) bombs or 8 3" (76mm) rockets
Range 426 miles (686 km) normal
950 miles (1530 km) with two 44-gallon (167-liter) drop tanks.
94 gallons
356 liters


A total of 12,780 in England and 1451 in Canada of all marks:
  3857 Mk.I
  451 Mk.IA
  2948 Mk.IIB
  4711 Mk.IIC


The Mk I used a 1030hp (1857 kW) Merlin II, was armed with eight .303 Browning machine guns, and had no bomb racks.

The IIA introduced the Merlin XX engine.

The IIB had 12 0.30 Browning machine guns and introduced bomb racks in 1943.

The IIC was typically tropicalized with a Volkers filter.

The IID was armed with two 40mm Vickers S guns and two 0.30 Brownings.

The IV added rails for eight rockets or other specialized stores.

A carrier version of the IIB with a strengthened undercarriage was also produced starting in early 1941, and a carrier version of the IIC went into production in early 1942. About 800 Sea Hurricanes were produced.

The Hawker Hurricane was the workhorse fighter of the Battle of Britain and was responsible for bringing down more bombers than the more famous Spitfire. The prototype first flew on 6 November 1935, and the aircraft entered production in October 1937. It was flown by virtually every Allied air force except the United States and was the most numerous British fighter until well into 1941.

The fighter was an excellent gunnery platform, and it had a very tight turn radius, but lacked the performance of more modern fighters. Like most fighters developed for use in Europe early in the war, it was too short-ranged for effective use in the Pacific. Nevertheless, it was the best aircraft the British could spare against the Japanese at the start of the Pacific war.

The aircraft was eventually relegated to a ground attack role, and a number were armed with 40mm cannon for use as tank busters.


Gunston (1988)

Wilson (1998)

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