10 Hawker Hur­ri­cane – 14,583

Flight Journal - - THE MOST PRODUCED -

Sid­ney Camm’s de­sign first flew in 1935 and en­tered ser­vice in 1937. That gave it a pro­duc­tion life of nearly eight years, end­ing in 1944—one of the longer pro­duc­tion lives for a WW II fighter. It out­num­bered Spit­fires sig­nif­i­cantly dur­ing its prime-time show­ing in the Bat­tle of Bri­tain, ac­count­ing for nearly 60 per­cent of RAF vic­to­ries in that arena.

In truth, the Hur­ri­cane was noth­ing more than an ex­ten­sion of the long-es­tab­lished Hawker bi­plane line, in which a fab­ric­cov­ered, wire-braced, truss fuse­lage of tubes sup­ported two wings. When mak­ing a mono­plane out of it, the top wing was elim­i­nated with an all-alu­minum, can­tilever lower wing de­signed to sit the truss fuse­lage upon. The parts count in the truss fuse­lage, with wood fair­ing strips and bulk­heads flesh­ing out the shape for the fab­ric, was quite high, but all the parts were sim­ple to make, with many al­ready used in the Hawker Fury se­ries.

At the time (1933–35), metal mono­coque de­sign was still in its in­fancy, so the wings de­pended on mas­sive spars at­tached to the cen­ter sec­tion via hard­ened, ta­pered pins that were heat-shrunk in place. The fat wing re­quired to house the spar and ar­ma­ment was rudi­men­tary and aero­dy­nam­i­cally slowed the air­plane yet still gave the plane the turn­ing abil­ity re­quired to counter the Messer­schmitt Bf 109E, its pri­mary neme­sis in the Bat­tle of Bri­tain.

Al­though the Hur­ri­cane’s struc­ture was tech­no­log­i­cally ob­so­lete, when the war be­gan, it was avail­able and pulled its weight. (Photo cour­tesy of Stan Piet)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.