Hawker Hurricane Print, Hawker Hurricane Mk IIB, 87 Squadron RAF, late 1941. Flying night defence from Exeter.; digital image by Les Still - Mystic Realms

Go to content
Hawker Hurricane Mk IIBs. 87 Squadron RAF, late 1941
Hawker Hurricane Mk IIBs. 87 Squadron RAF, late 1941. Flying night defence from Exeter; digital Illustration by Les Still
Hawker Hurricane Mk IIBs. 87 Squadron RAF, late 1941. Flying night defence from Exeter; digital Illustration by Les Still
87 Squadron RAF
In the summer of 1938 at RAF Debden, 87   Squadron replaced their Gloster Gladiator biplanes with   Hawker Hurricanes. At the same time A Flight was removed   to form 85 Squadron and a new A Flight was born. The   squadron was rapidly worked up to operational pitch and   on the outbreak of World war 2,  87 Squadron went   to France along with 85 Squadron, as the air fighter arm   of the British Expeditionary Force.
This initially provided little action apart from the   occasional fight with German reconnaissance aircraft.   Until May 1940 when the Germans launched their   blitzkrieg against Belgium, the Netherlands and France.   The squadron's primary role was to protect the Westland   Lysanders deployed on reconnaissance, and this severely   hampered 87 Squadron's opportunities to destroy enemy   aircraft. It also brought too many aircraft losses and   after only 12 days 87 Squadron was pulled back from   France to Debden to refit. After a move to Church Fenton   87 Squadron had it's first combat over the UK, on 11th   July, shooting down four Messerschmitt Bf 110s. At the   same time 87 Squadron worked up as a night fighter unit   and by the end of July 1940 had one flight in the south   of England in these duties, whilst the rest of the   Squadron remained at Church Fenton on day fighter   duties. In November 1940 87 Squadron moved to the South   West of England where it concentrated on night fighter   duties. In the new year the Squadron established a long   standing detachment at St. Mary's airfield on the   Scillies as the only air defence of these islands. This   detachment was involved mainly in hunting shipping   raiders and bombers attacking convoys in the western   approaches, as well as the islands defence. The main   body of the Squadron became the RAFs longest serving   Hurricane night fighter unit, flying in defence of the   West country cities, but also on occasion flying   intruder missions over German night fighter bases in   France. This occupied the rest of 1941 and the first   half of 1942. After flying ground attack missions during   the abortive Dieppe attack in August 1942, the squadron   began preparing to leave the UK.
Relocated to Gibraltar, still equipped with Hurricanes,   the squadron flew air covering missions for convoys   during Operation Torch. 87 Squadron moved to Algiers   soon after the Allied landings in November 1942. There   No 87 Squadron gave up it's Hawker Hurricanes and worked   up on Supermarine Spitfires.
                          Hawker Hurricane
                          Origin;- Hawker Aircraft Ltd., also built by Gloster   Aircraft, SABCA (Belgium) and Canadian
Car and Foundry Inc.
                          Type;- Single seat fighter, later fighter bomber, tank   buster and ship based fighter.
                          Engine;- One Rolls-Royce Merlin vee-12 liquid cooled (   see below for sub types).
                          Dimensions;- Span 40' (12.19m), length 32' (9.75m),   (Mk I) 31'5", Sea Hurricanes 32'3",
height 13'1" (4m).
                          Weights;- Empty (I) 4,670lb (2118kg), (IIA) 5,150lb   (2335kg), (IIC) 5,640lb (2558kg), (IID)
5,800lb (2631kg), (IV) 5,550lb (2515kg), (Sea HIIC)   5,788lb (2625kg); loaded (I) 6,600lb
(2994kg), (IIA) 8,050lb (3650kg), (IIC) 8,250lb   (3742lg), (IID) 8,200lb (3719kg), (IV)
8,450lb (3832kg), (Sea HIIC) 8,100lb (3674kg).
                          Performance;- Maximum speed (I) 318mph (511km/h),   (IIA, B, C) 345-355mph (560-540kn/h), (IID) 286mph   (460km/h), (IV) 330mph (531km/h), (SeaIIC) 342mph   (550km/h), initial climb (I) 2,520ft (770m) /min, (IIA)   3,150ft (960m) /min, rest/typical 2,700ft (625m) /min,   service ceiling (I) 36,000ft (10973m), (IIA) 41,000ft   (12500m), (rest typical) 34,000ft (10365m); range (all   typical) 460miles (740km), or with two 44 gal drop tanks   950 miles (1530km).
                          Armament;- (I) eight 0.303in Brownings each with 333   rounds (Belgian models four 0.5in FN-Brownings). (IIA)   same with provision for 12 guns and two 250lb bombs,   (IIB) 12 Brownings and two 250lb or 500lb bombs, (IIC)   four 20mm Hispano cannon=n and bombs, (IIC) two 40mm   Vickers S guns and two 0.303in Brownings, (IV) universal   wing with two Brownings and two Vickers S, two 500lb   bombs, eight rockets, smoke installation or other   stores.
                          History;- First flight (prototype) 6 November 1935,   production Mk.I) 12 October 1937, (II) 11 June 1940,   (Canadian MK X) January 1940, final delivery September   1944.
                          Users;- (Wartime) Australia, Belgium, Canada,   Czechoslovakia, Egypt, Finland, India, Iran, Iraq,   Ireland, Yugoslavia, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal,   Romania, South Africa, Soviet Union, Turkey, UK (RAF,   RN).
                          Development;- Until well into 1941 the Hurricane was   by far the most numerous of the RAF's combat aircraft   and it bore the brunt of the early combats with the   Luftwaffe over France and Britain. Designed by Camm as a   Fury monoplane with Goshawk engine and spatted landing   gear, it was altered on the drawing board to have the   more powerful PV-12 (Merlin), inwards retractable   landing gear and later to have not four machine guns,   but the unprecedented total of eight. The Air Ministry   wrote Specification F36/34 around it and after tests   with the prototype ordering the then fantastic total of   600 in June 1936. In September 1939 the 497 delivered   equipped 18 squadrons and by 7 August 1940 no fewer than   2,309 had been delivered compared with 1,383 Spitfires   equipping 32 squadrons compared with 19 Spitfire   squadrons. Gloster's output in 1940 was 130 per month.   By this time the Hurricane I was in service with new   metal skinned wings, instead of fabric, and three blade   variable pitch (later constant speed) propeller, instead   of the wooden Watts two blader. In the hectic days of   1940 the Hurricane was found to be an ideal bomber   destroyer, with steady sighting and devastating cone of   fire, turn radius was better than that of any other   monoplane fighter, but the all round performance of the   Bf 109E was considerably higher. The more powerful Mk II   replaced the 1,030hp Merlin II by the 1,280hp Merlin XX   and introduced new armament and drop tanks. In North   West Europe it became a ground attack aircraft and in   North Africa a tank buster with 40mm guns. While   operating from merchant ship catapults and carriers it   took part in countless fleet defence actions, the   greatest being the defence of the August 1942 Malta   convoy, when 70 Sea Hurricanes fought off more than 600   Axis attackers destroying 39 for the loss of seven   fighters. The Hurricane was increasingly transferred to   the Far East, Africa and other theatres, and 2,952 were   dispatched to the Soviet Union, some being fitted with   skis. Hurricanes were used for many special trials of   armament and novel flight techniques. ( one had a   jettisonable biplane upper wing).
Total production amounted to 12,780 in Britain and 1,461   in Canada (after 1941 with Packard Merlins) and many   hundreds were exported both before and after World war   II.
                          from Military Aviation Library - World War 2   British Aircraft.
Free Tarot Readings by Alison Day
Mystic Realms has linked up with Lotus Tarot, probably the best Tarot Reading site on the internet today.
Back to content