The Hawker Hurricane and its finest hour
Arriving in front line service in 1937 the Hurricane was a natural progression from the outstanding Hawker Fury biplane. With the extra power made available from the new Rolls Royce Merlin and a single cantilevered wing with fully retractable undercarriage, the Hurricane was a truly modern aeroplane of world class pedigree.
Hawkers Chief designer Sydney Camm was arguably the most experienced fighter designer in the world at the time, but he was an eminently practical man and he new that war was on the horizon. Realising that he didn't have time to produce the ultimate fighter, he decided to use the production techniques he had already developed for his biplanes to produce an aircraft that could be built (and repaired) quickly, whilst incorporating features that would make it effective in the immediate future.
In order to make the wing strong he decided to incorporate a thick wing section, which although limiting the top speed, provided plenty of room for the proposed eight machine guns, and easy access for the armourers.
As often stated the Hurricane was slower than the Spitfire and the 109. On paper it could appear that the Hurricane was inadequate. This is simply not the truth. The Battle of Britain was crucial to survival, and we must consider what it actually involved. The air battles revolved around incoming German bombers, lumbering along in great waves. Tied to them were the 109s and 110 escort fighters, with little opportunity to exploit their speed advantage.
The Hurricanes simply had to meet the bombers and then harass them as long as was physically possible. This is where the Hurricane excelled. The most stable gun platform, with the best turning circle the Hurricane could turn inside any Messerschmitt and with its thick wing there was no fear of a high speed stall. It's tubular frame could absorb more punishment, so it could loiter in the combat area for longer.
Finally, when the pilot was exhausted, the benign landing characteristics made sure that he arrived home safely in time for afternoon tea. While he was enjoying a nice cup of Earl Gray and a garibaldi, the ground crew would have refuelled and rearmed his kite in half the time it took for a Spitfire. So one has to conclude that the Hurricane really was the Champion of the Battle of Britain, God bless Sydney Camm!
Hawker Hurricane and the Warbird Replicas Model
When designing this model, I wanted to incorporate the look and flight characteristics of the full size exactly as I had seem them at Duxford in Cambridgeshire.
Luckily there is a suitably beaten up Hurricane in the museum, where you can clearly see the ill fitting panels and sense the brute strength of the aircraft. In flight the Hurricane looks very steady, but with with an amazingly quick turn and a wonderful bull dog stance when taxiing.
I decided to make this model a little bigger than the others in order that it could fly a little slower whilst still remaining stable. I also wanted to incorporate a lot of the features that had been left off by other kit manufacturers like the leading edge fairings and the three piece wing.
The kit has been around for a few years now and had proved to be a great success. With foam veneered wings and top decks and the simplicity of being built around our central crutch construction method, the kit provides a fast and practical way to a very realistic scale model.
The Warbird Replicas Hurricane has been reviewed by most flying magazines and been the subject of several online builds on web forums.
At 62" she will typically be powered by a .70 - .80 fourstroke which is capable of turning a 14" two or three blade propeller, with an all up weight of around 9-10lb. Once in the air, she gives the impression of a much larger model and rolls and loops in exactly the same style as the full size. Ground handling is excellent and there is plenty of room for radio and retract installation.
Very tough and practical, the kit can be taken to a vey high level of realism.
One modeller, Ian Walton, AKA "Walts" on the RCMF forum has produced a Hurricane of exceptional quality and it really is worth checking out his on-line build.
To make construction quick and easy, the kit features a fully factory made obechi covered foam core wing including, pre-installed retract plates, foam veneer top deck, epoxy cowl, canopy & scoops, exhaust stacks, fuel tank, tailwheel, step-by-step fully illustrated instructions and plan, CNC plywood parts and hand picked pre-cut balsa.
Kit difficulty rating: 4 out of 5
Wingspan: 1550mm [61"]
Radio: 4-5 channel
Motor: 53-60 2st or equivalent 4 stroke
Weight: 9-10lb approx
4 stroke in-cowl silencer
Mechanical retract set including servo & wheels
Pilot & cockpit set
Scale Robart wheels