Hawker Hurricane Mk2 (Dinky Toys 718)

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Hawker Hurricane Mk2 (Dinky Toys 718)

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Arch Two , Area 72
Arch Two, Overhead

1972 - 1975

The Hawker Hurricane fighter aircraft (whose design starting-point was the early 1930s Hawker Fury biplane) entered service at the end of 1937, and it and its variants quickly started to play a major role in defending British airspace with the outbreak of the Second World War (1939-1945).

Hurricane vs. Spitfire

Although the British success in the "Battle of Britain" tends to be associated with the Supermarine Spitfire (which was faster and higher-performance, and a generation ahead of the Hurricane's airframe technology), it is often pointed out that the earlier and lower-tech Hurricane (which didn't suffer from the Spitfire's manufacturing teething problems, cost overshoots and delays) was reponsible for a larger number of enemy planes being brought down. While the Hurricane's wood-and-doped-linen wings made it more robust than the Spitfire, the unarmoured forward fuel tank and tendency of Hurricane pilots to fly with the canopy open and their masks dropped meant that Hurricane pilots could suffer horrific facial burns if the front of their aircraft was hit.

14,487 Hurricanes were produced between mid-1936 and mid-1944 – this is less than the number of Spitfires, 20,351 , but since the Spitfires were produced for longer (until 1948), the relative numbers of the two planes in service would have been skewed towards the Spitfire at the end of the War, and towards the Hurricane (which had a head start) at the start.

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