|STANDARD DATA: (Hurricane II) Seats 1. Gross wt. 7,014. Empty wt. 5,454. Engine 1,195-bhp, Rolls-Royce Merlin II.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 320. Initial climb rate 2,950. Ceiling 33,000.
During the Battle of Britain, Hurricanes accounted for more victories over Luftwaffe aircraft than any other fighter 1,500 in all. The first Hurricane flew in October 1937. Designated the Hurricane I, it was outfitted with a Rolls-Royce Merlin II or III engine, fabric-covered wings, and a wooden prop. It lacked armor and selfsealing fuel tanks. Hurricanes saw action throughout the war from the skies over Great Britain to Norway, Italy, North Africa, and Burma. They carried out missions as fighters, fighter-bombers, tank-busters, catapult fighters, and carrier fighters. The first Hurricane II went into production in 1940 and was powered by a Merlin XX V-12-cylinder liquid-cooled engine. Improvements included wing alterations for increased armament, redesigned engine mount, strengthened fuselage, and tanks protected with self-sealing rubber. In all, over 15,000 Hurricanes were built by the time production ceased in 1944.