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Hawker Hurricanes during the Battle of Britain (Photo from the Imperial War Museum) The Hurricane, with its wood and fabric construction, was also easier for ground crews to repair and conduct maintenance on. However, with the widespread introduction of jets in the 1950’s, and the onset of the Cold War, both the Hurricane and Spitfire were retired. “Two of our A/C [aircraft] went down immediately,” he wrote. During the invasion of France, Hurricanes worked alongside French aircraft. It was 55 %to the Hurricane versus 45% to the Spitfire. 940: RAF Hurricanes Spitfires August 21st 1940 615 326 August 30th 1940 580 287 September 8th 1940 530 275 September 15th 1940 472 256 October 2nd 1940 482 281 October 18th 1940 512 285 Battle of Britain RAF losses – July Destroyed Damaged Pilots killed Pilots missing Pilots wounded Hurricane 33 17 23 0 11 … In modern pounds, this is worth roughly £790,000 ($1,000,000). The Spitfire would subsequently make its maiden flight on March 5 1936, before being introduced in August 1938. The Hurricane vs The Spitfire . Due to the changing nature of German aircraft, the RAF ordered several variants of the Hurricane and Spitfire to be built. During the Battle of Britain there were 32 Squadrons with Hurricanes and only 19 Squadrons of Spitfires. On top of this, the Spitfire has a slightly higher service ceiling, although, this doesn’t make much of a difference. The RAF and Supermarine made a few tweaks to the K5054 before calling it the Spitfire. By 1939, the Spitfire was significantly faster and had a higher rate of climb, according to Dennis Richards and Richard Hough in The Battle of Britain, and they noted, ‘In handling, there was little to choose between the two,’ The authors went on to point out that the Hurricane’s twin batteries of four Brownings closely grouped together in the wings was preferred to the ‘widely scattered’ guns in the Spitfire’s … In 1931, the RAF wanted a new fighter, soliciting aircraft manufacturers to send in new designs. 74 “Tiger” Squadron at RAF Hornchurch, east of London. A turning radius quoted as 800 feet for the Hurricane and 880 feet for the Spitfire. The Mark I Hurricane of 1939-40 could reach 325 mph, and 35,000 feet, compared to the Spitfire’s 360 mph, and the Spitfire had a better rate of climb. 56 Squadron embark on a mission from North Weald. Depending on the year, aircraft history and service record, WWII-era Spitfires can fetch anywhere from $1.5 million to almost $7 million. However, the RAF weren’t interested in the design. After looking at the Hurricane and Spitfire’s specifications, it may be tempting to draw a conclusion as to which is the better aircraft. The Spitfire was armed with four .303 machine guns and two 20mm cannons, while the Hurricane carried four 20mm cannons. I first met John Freeborn in the summer of 2004, when I was writing a book about the Luftwaffe bombing of London. Hawker was one of the manufacturers to do so. According to him, despite the aircraft being slower on paper, it was faster than German Bf.109s and Spitfires. Freeborn did. The Merlin powered Hurricane and Spitfire were instrumental in neutralizing the German Luftwaffe's attempt to gain air superiority over Britain, reducing the effectiveness of German bombing and preventing an Axis invasion. But partially treated sewage once flowed into the River Thames at Barking Creek, and it’s been suggested that Barking Creek was a euphemism for “s— creek,” the American expression that had recently found its way to Britain. That proved too much for John Freeborn. In 1934, the RAF was once again looking for new aircraft. They couldn’t have cared less. As squadron adjutant, Freeborn excused himself from sandbag duty on account of the growing pile of paperwork on his desk. loaded: 7300 lbs. This includes maintenance, which often doesn’t come cheap, especially for the authentic item. Go!” Freeborn and Byrne turned in their cockpits and saw two aircraft flying a mile behind and about 1,000 feet below the dozen 56 Squadron Hurricanes, which they took to be fighters escorting the unseen Luftwaffe bombers. Freeborn got a crash course in how to fly the Spitfire as he sat in the cockpit on the grass runway at Hornchurch. Ia re-enact the Battle of Britain during a Duxford Airshow. The terrified golfers were a pair of wing commanders, and Freeborn received a reprimand for his prank. The paper also hinted at Malan’s other side in describing “his coldly calculating attitude” as a pilot. Thanks to the Spitfire’s service record during WWII, many people have found parts of Spitfires and have restored them to flying condition. Harbourne Stephen had a blazing row with him after he heard of his habit of buzzing Luftwaffe pilots who had bailed out. Following the Allied defeat at Dunkirk, Spitfires, along with other brand new British aircraft were ordered to evacuate to Britain to avoid the aircraft being capture, tested and reengineered by the Germans. As a kid, I spent much of my summer going to air shows and air museums, where the Spitfire was always my favorite. Both aircraft are the same height, with the Hurricane being only mildly longer and wider. One of their conversations resulted in abandonment of the Vic formation of three aircraft in favor of the finger-four formation. British propaganda of the era depicted Spitfires as taking on legions of Bf.109s whilst Hurricanes attacked German bombers. To subscribe, click here! loaded: 7300 lbs. This is mostly down to them being British, and with the role of the Spitfire during the Battle of Britain being emphasized on us since we were small children. “I used to take the piss out of Stephen and say, ‘Oh, you should have seen him, climbing up his bloody shroud lines,’” remembered Freeborn. By the outbreak of WWII, the RAF already had a series of Spitfire squadrons based at RAF Duxford (now IWM Duxford). In total, I would say that I prefer the Hurricane over the Spitfire, however, not by much. E/A fell as T/p broke up, falling in a spiral. XIIa (left) and a Supermarine Spitfire Mk. The Spitfire’s long nose prevented Freeborn from seeing where he was going, and the sheer power of his new mount took him by surprise. “I said to the doc, ‘Look at those buggers playing golf and here we are fighting a war.’ I gave them such a s—-ing up and they were lying flat on their faces. Pilot John Flinders as no. The remaining people spoke about how the Hurricane was the workhorse of the RAF during the Battle of Britain. Others were more generous in their appraisal of the man, who was a vociferous anti-apartheid protestor in South Africa after the war. The incident has become known as the Battle of Barking Creek, which is curious given that Barking Creek is in east London and Freeborn shot down Hulton-Harrop many miles north over rural Essex. Today, most people view both the Hurricane and Spitfire as some of the best WWII-era fighter aircraft ever made. As one of the few surviving RAF pilots who had flown night patrols against the Germans, his input was invaluable. As a kid, my grandfather would tell me stories and show me intricate things on the Hurricane, many of which I still remember. “But I could never get blokes to do it. The two men were ferociously strong characters, and the two best pilots in the squadron, as they proved once the Phoney War ended and Germany invaded the Low Countries in May 1940. A fighter attacked the enemy, whilst an interceptor was purely defensive. In terms of the cost to operate the Spitfire, it costs roughly £2,000 ($2,500) per hour to operate an original Spitfire, or £1,800 ($2,300) for a replica. He was a brilliant pilot, but he was as evasive on the ground as he was in the air, a mix of showman and politician. Handsome and charismatic, Malan was at first friendly with Freeborn, but slowly another side began to emerge. It was highly manoeuvrable, with a turning circle even tighter than that of a Spitfire. Several others preferred the Hurricane. Since WWI, Hawker Aircraft, under the helm of Harry Hawker himself, had produced much of the RAF’s military aircraft. A damage 109 resulting more often in a POW and a destroyed plane, but a damage hurricane/spitfire resulted more often in a damage plane and a pilot redy to fight next day. I was again attacked from astern by a 110…and I took decisive action coming up under him and sending a long burst into his tailplane. Due to the changing nature of German aircraft, the RAF ordered several variants of the Hurricane and Spitfire to be built. The final proof is the Hurricane outscored the Spitfire in Battle of Britain kills. HistoryNet.com contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines. I was only a kid and I’d never flown a monoplane.”. Recommend Video 17 Recommends. Supermarine was one of these aircraft manufacturers, sending in the Type 224 monoplane. I did not follow as many E/A were engaged and I had noted another of our A/C damaged. In the Battle of Britain, the Hurricane shot down about twice as many Nazi (german) aircraft, compared to the Spitfire. “Malan was just married, always broke, always borrowing money,” he said. (Imperial War Museum CH158). “I would sometimes fly quite close to frighten them, so close the slipstream would hit them and it would blow the parachute all over the place. Depending on the number of kills and history, Hurricanes go for anything from $1.5 to 2.2 million. He was neither well-connected nor had he been to the right school, important factors in the class-conscious higher echelons of the wartime RAF. When Germany invaded Yugoslavia in 1941, the Royal Yugoslav Air Force fielded its Hurricanes against the Luftwaffe’s Bf.109s. I flew all the time. For the overwhelming majority of them, they preferred the Spitfire. “I would sometimes fly quite close to frighten them, so close the slipstream would hit them and it would blow the parachute all over the place. As has been said, the Hurricane and Spitfire were going after the bombers mostly. One of the aircraft that was submitted was a modernized version of the Type 224, labelled as the the prototype (K5054). ABILITY TO UPGRADE . Although many of the pilots who flew the aircraft are now no longer with us, a few do remain. But then he said, ‘It’s one of ours.’ When the adrenaline is running, you don’t realize these things. Personally, I am British, and have grown up hearing stories about both the Spitfire and the Hurricane, both in my history classes at school and from my father’s military friends. Before we can compare both the Hurricane and the Spitfire, we must first understand the basics behind both of the aircraft. Pilot Peter Chesters; Pilot Officer Don Cobden, a huge man who had played rugby for New Zealand; and South African Malan. We got 14 and 6 pence a day during the Battle of Britain.”, In time Freeborn saw many of his friends killed: Cobden, Douglas Hastings, Peter St. John, Wally Churches and Peter Chesters, the last as he attempted a victory roll over the airfield in April 1941. Yellow Section—Flying Officer Vincent “Paddy” Byrne; his no. Sailor Malan was 74 Squadron’s ace of aces, finishing the war with 27 victories. While less heralded than the famed Supermarine Spitfire, the Hurricane scored the majority of the RAF's kills during the Battle of Britain in 1940. He spent a year in the U.S., during which he fell in love with the P-51 Mustang, his favorite of all the aircraft he flew. Giacomo Puccini, Italian operatic composer best known for Madam Butterfly. (Courtesy of Bob Cossey, 74(F) Tiger Squadron Association), Freeborn did do the odd daft thing in the war, on one occasion buzzing two golfers on a local links course. The Spitfire also had better armaments throughout the generations than the Hurricane. Hurricane vs Spitfire: Specs. During WWI, Pemberton-Billing (the forerunner of Supermarine) had produced a series of fighter aircraft and bombers. Both the Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire served in many of the same battles during WWII, often side-by-side one another. “Hastings didn’t half take Malan to pieces,” recalled Freeborn. One pilot absent from the hard labor was Pilot Officer John Freeborn, a 19-year-old who spoke his mind with a confidence that belied his tender years. “I think I would have shot down more if it weren’t for Flinders, the sergeant pilot,” said Freeborn. During the Battle of Britain, Spitfires were the very public face of the battle. Having trained on a de Havilland Tiger Moth, he was now introduced to another biplane, the Gloster Gauntlet, which he appreciated for its gentle maneuverability. These aircraft are fairly cheap, fetching anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000 depending on the company and size of the aircraft. The next day there was a squadron scramble that proved to be a false alarm. “I was a very good pilot, there was no one in the squadron as good as me, not even Malan,” claimed Freeborn. At the time, Hawker was known for producing some of the most advanced aircraft in the world.
Many would have claimed to be a Spitfire pilot down the pub to impress a young girl when they really had a Hurricane at home. These could serve as protective aircraft for both France and Britain in case of a German incursion or invasion of either country. After all, you could have the best aircraft in the world, but if it costs too much, or you can manufacture ten weaker aircraft for the same amount, numbers will eventually give way. these eight guns are weaker than the four used on the Hurricane. I went over in ‘40. The court-martial that took place at HQ Fighter Command on October 17, 1939, was held in private, and the findings have never been published. During the Battle of Britain, British and allied forces used Hurricanes as interceptor aircraft against German bombers, with Spitfires taking on Bf.109s. Freeborn and Byrne had a first-class defense team. During WWII, a fighter aircraft was any aircraft, who’s sole purpose was to engage (and hence fight) enemy aircraft. The most common variant of the Hawker Hurricane is the Hawker Hurricane MK IIC. Following the war, the company had reformed as Supermarine and produced air racing aircraft. The reason for that notoriety is due to the team's staggering success, which developed over the weekend as they were crowned the European Gauntlet 2020 Champions. Freeborn, in comparison, lacked Malan’s diplomacy, and there was probably some envy at the South African’s suave charm.
If you were turning in a dogfight with a German fighter over the Channel, you were well off in a Hurricane. They couldn’t find him. You couldn’t stop him—too big and strong.”. He could be provocative, yet his character was underpinned by an acute sense of probity. He also added that the Hurricane handled better, although that is rather subjective…. However, almost 25% more Spitfires were produced in total. In the inter-war period, Hawker had continued to produce military aircraft on a reduced scale as well as racing and general aviation aircraft. Naturally, the two pilots who’d only flown one aircraft preferred their own aircraft, generally having very generic, pilot-related reasons (such as “they handle better”) although did comment on the other’s adeptness in battle. On April 11, 2015 October 30, 2015 By Corporal Frisk In Air, Historical. Spitfire vs. Messerschmitt Bf 109. Hurricanes of RAF No. Both prior and during WWII, the Hurricane and Spitfire were immensely successful aircraft. The Luftwaffe tactics … At 0645 hours on September 6 there was another scramble and Flight Lt. Adolph Malan, nicknamed “Sailor” because of his stint as a naval cadet, led Red Section through a thick ground mist into a clear blue sky. They couldn’t have cared less. While both the Hurricane and Spitfire designs were improved upon after their disastrous defeat by the Me/Bf 109's and Fw 190's early in the war, the Spitfire was more focused on by British engineers than the aging Hurricane …
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