Hawker Hurricane MKIV
Completed on the eve of Flying Legends 2003 following a two-and-a-half-year rebuild byHawker Restorations Ltd, G-HURY ‘tank-busting’ Hurricane is presently. This particular aircraft was constructed by Hawker Aircraft Ltd at the company’s famous Kingston-upon-Thames factory some time between 20 November 1942, and 19 April 1943. Built as part of the eighth production batch of 1,200 aircraft ordered under Air Ministry contract number 62305/39/C Parts 1 to 6, it was completed to tropicalised standards. Spending time in storage, the aircraft was eventually taken on charge by the RAF’s No 6 Sqn at Grottaglie.
The squadron was transferred to the Balkan Air Force four months later, taking up residence at Canne in Greece. Operating various detachments in Greece, Italy and Yugoslavia,No 6 Sqn eventually moved in its entirety to Prkos, again in Yugoslavia, on 9th April, where it remained until VE Day.
Post-war, the unit moved to Palestine and then Nicosia, all the while still flying Hurricane Mk IVs, includingG-HURY. Indeed, by the time No 6 Sqn finally swapped its obsolete Hurricanes for Tempest F.VIs on 15 January 1947, it was the last RAF frontline unit still operational on the veteran Hawker fighter.
It would appear that this Hurricane had been discarded by No 6 Sqn prior to this final retirement date, however, for its tattered remains were discovered in a Kibbutz in the Israeli city of Jaffa by Doug Arnold’s Warbirds of GB Ltd in 1983. No 6 Sqn had vacated the Israeli base at Ein Shemer for Nicosia, in Cyprus, in September 1946.
Returned to the UK in 1983, the fighter remained in storage, firstly at Blackbushe and then Biggin Hill, until acquired by The Fighter Collection in 1991. Moved to Duxford, the Hurricane was eventually placed with Suffolk-based Hawker Restorations Ltd for rebuilding to flying condition in early 2001.
Whilst retaining all of the original stainless steel components of the tubular structure, the front and rear centre section spars, tailplane and fin spars were replaced with the correct roll-formed spars as fitted in the 1930s and 1940s. The wings were totally rebuilt, but retain much of the internal original components and structure. The wings were re-skinned, and fitted with overload fuel tanks and four 20mm cannon. All of the systems were totally overhauled. The aircraft was rewired to the original factory diagrams, and much of the plumbing for the coolant and oil systems, hydraulics and pneumatics replaced.
The aircraft has now moved on from the Fighter Collection.