Osprey's Hurricane


Osprey Publishing


$12.00 MSRP


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 136 pages, 7 x 5 inches, hardbound
ISBN: 978-1-4728-3153-8

It is somewhat surprising to those who are not that into aircraft to discover that the Hurrican, Spitfire, and Bf-109 were all developed about the same time. They also entered unit service about the same time, though the 109 was first in this regard. What makes this surprising is that the Hurricane is rather 'old school'. It is not a full metal airframe, being an evolution of the biplane Fury, which, though it had a metal forward fuselage, was pretty much metal frame covered with fabric. So it was with the Hurricane, though it eventually got full metal wings.

The Hurricane also had a fairly thick wing which was great for installing armament, but did tend to reduce its overall speed. The Hurricane was also one of the first British fighters to put guns in the wings. The Vickers guns used before were rather troublesome and tended to jam rather easily. So they were mounted where the pilot could reach them and clear the jam. About the time of the Hurricane, the British (BSA in particular) was in the process of obtaining a license for the US designed Browning .30 cal which was perfect for wings as it was considerably more reliable. However, that license was not in hand when the Hurricane was ready for flight so the prototype was unarmed. By the time of production, the license was done and the guns, now chambered for the British .303 were installed in both the Hurricane and Spitfire.

Though not as fast as the 109 or Spitfire, it was a plane that could be built quickly, repaired easily, and was available in fairly good numbers. It bore the brunt of the RAF's battles in the first years of the war both in Europe as well as in North Africa and in the Far East. It became a superb ground attack platform and was in widespread use outside Western Europe until the end of the war. It also shot down more enemy planes than any other British fighter.

This book  is a super read. It provides the full story of the Hurricane from the situation prior to its development, the prototypes, variants and its extensive wartime use. When you add in some great photos, well done art work and color profiles, you have a book that is well worth picking up.

March 2018

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