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The Hawker Hurricane was designed by Sir Sydney Camm, who also designed the Hunter and Harrier. The Hurricane was a monoplane single engine fighter that was originally developed from the Hawker Fury biplane. The Hurricane first flew in November 1935 and entered service in December 1937. In total 14,533 Hurricanes were produced between 1935 and 1944 at factories in Britain and Canada. Whilst well known for its service in the Battle of Britain, the Hurricane served with distinction in Africa as ground attack aircraft, at sea as the Sea Hurricane and were also flown by the Russian Air Force who received over 2,900 examples. The Hurricane did also see service in the Far East but was largely outclassed by Japanese fighters such as the Zero.
In RAF service, the Hurricane is now well known for its role in the Battle of Britain. Whilst at the time, British propaganda concentrated on the newer and sleeker Spitfire, around 60% of Luftwaffe losses during the battle were attributed to the Hurricane. Initially armed with 8 .303 browning machine guns, the armament of RAF Hurricanes continuously improved throughout the war, ranging from a ground attach variant with 12 machine guns, the more common four 20mm Hispano Cannons and the Mk.IID which carried a pair of 40mm anti-tank guns in pods under its wings. The Hurricane served in every theatre of the combat that the RAF took part in during the second world war and was eventually retired in 1947.
The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will once again be displaying in the skies above RAF Fairford providing a living reminder of the sacrifice and heroism shown by RAF and Commonwealth pilots throughout the Second World War. The BBMF operate a pair of Hurricanes including the last one ever built and one of these aircraft will perform alongside the Flights Lancaster and one of their Spitfires.