|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd for the Royal Air Force (RAF). Although largely overshadowed by the Supermarine Spitfire, the aircraft became renowned during the Battle of Britain, accounting for 60% of the RAF's air victories in the battle, and served in all the major theatres of the Second World War.
The Hurricane was ordered into production in June 1936, mainly due to its relatively simple construction and ease of manufacture. As war was looking increasingly likely, and time was of the essence in providing the RAF with an effective fighter aircraft, it was unclear if the more advanced Spitfire would enter production smoothly, while the Hurricane used well-understood manufacturing techniques. This was true for service squadrons as well, who were experienced in working on and repairing aircraft whose construction employed the same principles as the Hurricane, and the simplicity of its design enabled the improvisation of some remarkable repairs in squadron workshops. The Hurricane was also significantly cheaper than the Spitfire, requiring 10,300 man hours to produce rather than 15,200 for the Spitfire.
The maiden flight of the first production aircraft, powered by a Merlin II engine, took place on 12 October 1937. The first four aircraft to enter service with the RAF joined No. 111 Squadron RAF at RAF Northolt the following December
The first 50 Hurricanes had reached squadrons by the middle of 1938. At that time, production was slightly greater than the RAF's capacity to introduce the new aircraft and the government gave Hawkers the clearance to sell the excess to nations likely to oppose German expansion. As a result, there were some modest sales to other countries. Production was then increased with a plan to create a reserve of aircraft as well as re-equip existing squadrons and newly formed ones such as those of the Auxiliary Air Force. Expansion scheme E included a target of 500 fighters of all types by the start of 1938. By the time of the Munich Crisis there were only two fully operational squadrons of the planned 12 with Hurricanes. By the time of the German invasion of Poland there were 18 operational Hurricane squadrons and three more converting.
Molding is typical of Airfix so if the somewhat larger engraved panel lines are an issue, you'll just have to live with it. Personally, I see little wrong with it as it does nothing to detract from any similar model I have built. As with most of their kits, this one is produced in India and features the usual semi-soft, light grey plastic.
The only difference between this kit and the one released a month or so prior is that you are missing the sprue that has all the really early bits on it. What that means is that this one has only a three blade deHavilland prop, the seat frame with armor, the lower fuselage insert with the keel, the 'fishtail' exhaust, and the later rudder. All of the other sprues are identical.
To recap, the upper and lower wing halves are a single piece, so no worries on wing root issues. The wheel wells are several sections that fit into the lower wing. Atop the upper wing, the interior is fit. The interior floor includes a control column and rudder pedals. This then fits into the fuselage halves and in turn, this fits atop the wings.
The ventral radiator is nicely done and typical of Airfix kits, one can build this wheels up if one has purchased the display stand. A two piece windscreen/canopy combo is also provided, but the canopy looks to be too thick to properly pose open. A pilot figure is included to cover up the lack of a seat harness.
Markings are provided for an aircraft of 85 squadron based in France during 1940. The sheet also includes an extra aircraft letter, 'C', which I suppose you could use. There is no serial on the sheet as extant photos of 85 squadron planes during this time period often do not show them; apparently they were painted out. Instructions are well done with several areas of color to assist with the building. Decals are well printed and should prove to be no issue.
For those wanting to do a later ragwing Hurricane, this would be the kit to pick up. I'm sure that Hornby is selling these like hotcakes in the UK.
April 2014 Thanks to me for the preview kit.
Thanks to me for the preview kit.
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