Information

Hurricane IIB Hurribomber being armed


Hurricane IIB Hurribomber being armed

A Hurricane IIB "Hurribomber" being armed

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Description

The ▂Hurricane Mk IIB is a premium rank II Soviet fighter with a battle rating of 3.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.51 "Cold Steel".

A modified Lend-Lease Hurricane, this Soviet take on the famous British fighter boasts enhanced firepower. Twin 20 mm ShVAK cannons and 12.7 mm Berezin UB machine guns give this machine a potent bite and the Hurricane's good turning capabilities make it a powerful opponent in frantic dogfights. However the Hurricane chassis has not quite kept up with its contemporaries and getting into a position to use its strengths can be tricky. Still, for those who want a rugged turnfighter with great firepower, the Hurricane does the job.


Hurricanes with Vickers Class ‘S’ 40mm gun

Hurricane IId, HW719, seen while serving with the Specialised Low Attack Instructors School, a training unit for ground-attack pilots, at RAF Milfield, in early 1943. It is armed with a pair of Vickers ‘S’ 40mm cannon under its wings and despite the streamlined fairings, this weapons fit had a noticeable drag-inducing effect on the aircraft’s performance.

Close-up detail of a Vickers ‘S’ 40 mm cannon. This gun first saw action in the Western Desert from June 1942 following the delivery of twenty-seven of them to that theatre where both they and their installations worked almost flawlessly, any problems encountered being due to the ammunition itself, some of which it was discovered had not been filled with propellant! Rolls-Royce also developed a 40mm cannon and an order for 1,000 was placed in early 1942, however, for a number of reasons this gun proved overly sensitive during air firing trials and the order was cancelled despite the completion of 200 sets of components. None of the RR guns entered service in an airborne capacity. Each ‘S’ gun carried a fifteen-round magazine with an additional round inside the chamber and used armour-piercing (AP) or high-explosive (HE) shells according to need. The AP round proved effective against all tanks other than Tigers, and was even known to be capable of penetrating the long-barrelled 75mm gun of a Panzer IV. The HE round was found to be particularly effective in the Far East against Japanese ‘soft’ targets and, surprisingly, against Japanese tanks too, albeit the latter’s armour was much thinner than that on German tanks. The 40mm AP Mk.I shell weighed 2lb.7oz and could penetrate 50mm of armour at an angle of 30° to normal flight. In 1943 the AP Mk.V shell entered service, it weighed 3lb – increasing penetration values by approximately 10 per cent. Although the Vickers ‘S’ was undoubtedly successful, and accurate, rocket projectiles were considered to be more useful tactically as, round-for-round, they were more destructive moreover, once a fighter had released its RPs (or bombs) it could in theory revert to a fighter role without pause, whereas 40mm-equipped Hurricanes remained very vulnerable.

The Vickers Class ‘S’ 40mm gun was developed in the late 1930s as an aircraft weapon, albeit intended for bomber defence and tested as such in a turret fitted to a modified Vickers Wellington II. In the event it wasn’t adopted for bombers, however, once trials at Boscombe Down in September 1941 with Hurricane IIb Z2326 proved successful, it was adopted as an airborne anti-tank gun with special armour-piercing ammunition. Rolls-Royce also developed a 40mm gun, but it never served as an airborne weapon.

The first squadron to be equipped with Hurricanes fitted with two Vickers 40mm guns, mounted one beneath each wing in conformal fairings, was No.6 Squadron, in the Western Desert in June 1942 where they achieved considerable success, although they also suffered heavy losses, mainly to ground fire. The designation applied to these 40mm gun-armed Hurricanes was Mk.IId – basically a modified 1,280hp Merlin XXII-powered Hurricane IIc with the 20mm cannon removed. A pair of wing-mounted .303 inch mgs were installed – used primarily for ranging and sighting purposes, but also to keep the heads of enemy gunners down – and shackles fitted to take the 40mm gun packs. At least three UK-based squadrons operated the type, No.184 being the first, forming at Colerne, Wiltshire, in December 1942, and Nos.137 and 164 Squadrons, which were only partially equipped with the sub-type in 1943, pending receipt of the ‘multi-role’ Hurricane IV.

Number 20 squadron, based in the Far East, re-equipped with the Mk.IV in May 1943, equipped with 40mm cannon firing high explosive (HE) ammunition against road and river transports. Tests (undertaken in the Far East) showed a high level of accuracy for the weapon, with an average of 25% of shots fired at tanks striking the target. Attacks with HE were twice as accurate as with Armour Piercing (AP) rounds, possibly because the ballistics were a closer match to the .303 inch mgs used for sighting (the HE shell was lighter and was fired at a higher velocity). By comparison, the practice strike rate of the 60lb rocket projectiles (RP) was only 5% against tank-sized targets.

A new universal wing was developed for the Hurricane, which had the ability to take various loads such as the 40mm gun, up to two 500lb bombs, Smoke Laying Canisters and Rocket Projectiles. The fitting of a more powerful 1,620hp Merlin 24 or 27 engine, and an additional 350lb of armour plate, resulted in a slightly re-shaped underside radiator housing. Initially designated as the Hurricane IIe, it was quickly changed to become the Hurricane IV.


  • Hurricane Mk IIa AB832, originally delivered to the Indian Air Force, has been on display at the Indian Air Force Museum, Palam, New Delhi since 1975. Γ]

Hawker Hurricane IIA Z3055 on display at the Malta Aviation Museum

  • Hurricane Mk IIa Z3055 was ditched off the coast of Malta on 9 July 1941. It was recovered on 19 July 1995, and restored to static display condition. It is on display at the Malta Aviation Museum, Takali airfield, Malta. Δ]

Hurricane Mk IIc

It was only in mid-September 1942 that the cannon-equipped Mk IIc aircraft finally arrived. To their surprise and possibly dismay, the South Africans discovered their IIcs were equipped with the inner pair of cannon only, the outboard Hispanos having been removed. Indeed, all the photos I have seen suggest SAAF 1 Squadron only ever had IIcs thus equipped, but of course it cannot be ruled out that they had some machines with all four cannon installed. The cannon-armed Hurricane did not stay long with the squadron. After less than two months’ service it was gone, having beed replaced by the Spitfire Mk V.

Lt Stewart ’Bomb’ Finney and his armourer posing in front of Hurricane IIc HL885 AX-Z ’Oops!’. Clearly, only the inner Hispano cannon is present. Photo: Steven McLean collection.

“Bomb” Finney

Stewart ‘Bomb’ Finney had joined SAAF 1 Squadron in November 1941, and stayed with it until December the following year. During the 13 months or so, he flew 143 missions in Hurricane IIb and IIc aircraft, as well as in Spitfire Mk Vs just before being rested. After a spell as a flying instructor, Finney flew another tour on Spitfires in 1943–1944, and ended the war with the rank of major. He earned his nickname ‘Bomb’ as a legacy of his pre-war work at a dynamite factory in Moddersfontein.

Hurricane Mk IIc trop, HL885/AX-Z, 1 Squadron SAAF, Lt. Stewart “Bomb” Finney, LG142, Egypt, September 1942.. Artwork by: Zbyszek Malicki.

Lt ‘Bomb’ Finney’s personal Hurricane IIc was HL885 AX-Z, named ‘Oops!’ on the rudder and sporting Springbok artwork on the lower port cowling. He flew this particular aircraft 24 times between 26 September and 4 November. On 19 October 1942, Finney’s logbook records “a mild dice with 109s”. Perhaps more significantly, he writes that “ack-ack was accurate and at times intense”. We have photos showing damage to AX-Z, possibly as a result of the 19 October operation. Circumstantial evidence is offered by the next two entries. On the 23rd Finney first flew another Hurricane, HL627 AX-X, on ops, and then an air test in HL885, noting “‘Oops!’ now serviceable again”.

This damage to AX-Z probably occurred on 19 October 1942, as mentioned in the article. Photo: Steven McLean collection.

Markings of the HL885

When SAAF 1 Squadron was equipped with the Hurricane IIc, the official unit markings consisted of the code letters AX, usually applied in an unusual rounded type. According to aviation historian Steven McLean, author of the magnificent Squadrons of the South African Air Force, the usual colour for the code letters was not white but pale blue. This was pointed out to him by none other than ‘Bomb’ Finney, who remarked that that the man with the brush, responsible for painting the codes on their aircraft, was known as the ‘Duck-Egg Blue Merchant’. Whether the code letters were always pale blue cannot be established from photos, of course.

In addtion to the code letters AX, the squadron had begun to apply red wing tips as an additional identification marking. Michael Schoeman, in Volume 3 of his five-volume tour de force Springbok Fighter Victory, writes that it was in about August 1942 that the unit got permission to do so. This means their Hurricane IICs may have worn this extra identification feature. Whether the red was applied to all squadron aircraft, or whether it was applied to both the upper and lower surface of the wing tip, is impossible to judge from published photos. They are few in number and often framed in such a way as not to show either wing tip.

Not a cannon-armed Hurricane IIC but instead IIB BP284 AX-C, called ’C for Jimmy’ [sic]. The damage seen here was caused by 88mm flak on 27 August, when AX-C was flown by Lt Salmon. Finney flew this plane frequently. On 1 September he remarks in his diary: ”Test flew ’C for Jimmy’. She has a new rudder and tailplane.” Photo: Steven McLean collection.

Arma Hobby is to be congratulated for choosing to offer ‘Bomb’ Finney’s Hurricane IIC HL885 as a decal option. I would model Finney’s mount, or any other SAAF 1 Squadron Hurricane IIC for that matter, with only the inboard 20mm cannon installed, with red wing tips on the topside only and a bluish tinge on the code letters, but this is just my view. I encourage modellers to study photographs, weigh the information available and make up their own mind.

Hurricane Mk IIc, AX-Z/HL885 in Egypt, 1942. Photo: Tony O’Toole collection.

For anyone interersted in finding about more on ‘Bomb’ Finney, who passed away in 2014, as well as SAAF Hurricane operations over the Western Desert, I can do no better than to recommend this website: http://www.bombfinney.yolasite.com/. There, in addition to photos and his log-book entries, you will find a number of highly interesting video clips of the 90-year-old Finney’s interview. People who knew ‘Bomb’ say he was an exceptional person, his mind perfectly sharp until the end. The videos attest to this and are a valuable record.

Aknowlegements:

I wish to offer my thanks to Steven McLean for the accompanying photos and his invaluable help in preparing this article.


April 1942 Alternate Indian Ocean

That'd be because the wreck in question was broken up back in the 1950s.

EDIT: Didn't read the previous comments too well.

Sonofpegasus

Zheng He

Pangur

Riain

AlanJWhite

So 48 Japanese medium & light bombers dispatched

(.. with no escort because the only Japaneses fighters in the air are travelling in the wrong direction)


are facing 16 allied fighters converging on them from several directions?

not exactly what the IJA intend

Zheng He

Zheng He

(.. with no escort because the only Japaneses fighters in the air are travelling in the wrong direction)


are facing 16 allied fighters converging on them from several directions?

not exactly what the IJA intend

Cryhavoc101

(.. with no escort because the only Japaneses fighters in the air are travelling in the wrong direction)


are facing 16 allied fighters converging on them from several directions?

Also the combined cruising speed of this formation is about 200 MPH

Zheng He - what sort of Sea Hurricanes are they?

Any 20mm cannon armed ones?

Zheng He

Also the combined cruising speed of this formation is about 200 MPH

Zheng He - what sort of Sea Hurricanes are they?

Any 20mm cannon armed ones?

AlanJWhite

Ki-30 single engine bombers (with limited dive bomb capability though)

as to speed .. well the Sallys can be considerably faster
as could the Lilly but the OP has said they are "waiting for" the Anns
so perhaps you are right about 200 mph

AlanJWhite

Cannons & Hurricane IIB and Sea Hurricane IIB?

All land based Hurricane I (whatever model or series) had 8 .303 browning
as did the production IIA Series 1 . though there were experiments with Hispano cannons
The extra weight made for reduced performance and there were some issues with ammo feed to the cannons

the Land based Hurricane IIA Series 2 (later known as the Hurricane IIB) had a better engine
and so was built with 2 designs of wing - both with improved armament
One had 12 .303 brownings
One has 4 20mm Hispanos

The land based model became the IIC with 4 cannons and hardpoints for 500 or 250 lb bombs
and if often referred to as the Hurribomber

At Sea the 1A was designated for CAMs, the 1B for carriers
Both were converted from a Hurricane 1 .. often hard used models for the 1A . so had 8 mgs

The Sea Hurricane IC was given the cannon wings but did not appear till Feb 42 OTL and then not in the Far East

later models .. with more navalised equipment .. were also 4 cannon and designated IIC or XIIA if Canadian built

not sure there ever was a Sea Hurri IIB OTL . is this an ATL variant?

Zheng He

Zheng He

Riain

Zheng He

OTL these forces were all available for what I have them doing:

1000 Hours, 30 April 1942, Cocos Islands – The convoy consisting of the seaplane tender USS Childs, the submarine tender USS Holland, the gunboat USS Tulsa, and the patrol yacht USS Isabel arrived at the Cocos Islands after a four day journey from Fremantle, Australia. The American patrol craft would join the corvette HMS Hollyhock in the formation of a local escort group while the crews of the tenders began setting up seaplane and submarine support bases. As the ships of the convoy dropped anchor the light cruiser USS Phoenix proceeded on alone to Colombo.


Hurricane IIB Hurribomber being armed - History

In the 40 minutes between 7:50 and 8:30 am, on April 5, 1942, Royal Air force pilot Don McDonald experienced his air base being bombed in a Japanese surprise air raid that should never have been a surprise. He struggled to get his plane into the air as bombs rained down around him. He shot down a Japanese dive-bomber and crash-landed after his Hawker Hurricane was hit by fire from a Japanese Mitsubishi Zero. After all this, he drank iced tea in a plush hotel.

Training on the Hurricane

Although McDonald was flying with the Royal Air Force, he was a Canadian who first joined the Royal Canadian Air Force on August 14, 1940. He trained on a Fleet Finch and the North American Harvard and completed his flight training in April 1941. Rated a leading aircraftman, he was ordered to Halifax, Nova Scotia, for an overseas assignment. While traveling to Halifax, he received a telegram informing him that he had been promoted to pilot officer and that his pay would be raised from $2.25 per day to $6.25 per day, the equivalent increase of about $10,467 per year to $29,082 per year in current Canadian dollars.

McDonald was sent to Scotland and posted to 59 Operational Training Unit in June 1941. He soon found he had some unlearning to do when he started training on the Hawker Hurricane. In the Harvard, the pilot could handle both the throttle and undercarriage controls with his left hand, but in the Hurricane Mk I the throttle lever was on the left while the undercarriage lever was on the right. This meant that when taking off, if the pilot held the control column in his right hand, he had to use his left hand to open the throttle. Once in the air, he would have to take the control column in his left hand and use his right hand to operate the undercarriage lever.

McDonald recalled that in his first days of training he saw his plane’s wings dip as he changed hands and raised the undercarriage. He also recalled that many of his fellow trainees experienced the same problem.

In August 1941, McDonald was assigned to RAF 245 Squadron, stationed at Ballyhalbert, Northern Ireland. He soon learned to fly the Hurricane Mk IIB, a significant upgrade from the Hurricane Mk I. It carried a two-speed supercharger as well as a new and more powerful engine. A 1280 horsepower Rolls-Royce Merlin XX engine replaced the Hurricane I’s 1030 horsepower Merlin II engine. While the Hurricane I carried eight .303-inch Browning machine guns, the Hurricane IIB was armed with 12 of these .303 Browning machine guns and also could carry two 250- or two 500-pound bombs.

McDonald quickly learned that flying the Hurricane IIB was not a trivial task. To get the feel of the supercharger, the student pilots were ordered to take their planes up to 15,000-16,000 feet but to turn on the supercharger at 13,000 feet. Climbing to 13,000 feet was no problem since the plane had a ceiling of some 34,000 feet, but when McDonald attempted to loop after turning on the Hurricane IIB’s supercharger his plane would not pull back at the top of the loop but climbed straight up no matter what he did. His engine quit, and the plane fell into a spin. McDonald managed to restart the engine and recover control.

Patrolling the Mediterranean

In September 1941, the squadron was transferred to Chilbolton, Hampshire, in southern England, from where it engaged in offensive sweeps across the English Channel. The squadron also provided air cover for convoys, sometimes flying in formation through heavy clouds. In September, the squadron was re-equipped with the Hurricane IIC, which was armed with four 20mm Hispano cannons as well as having bomb-carrying capabilities.

McDonald’s comments about the plane’s cannons were not enthusiastic. “You had the impression when practice firing them, that the Hurricane stopped from the cannons’ recoil,” he said. “If one side jammed—as they did— you would yaw violently off target.”

On October 24, 1941, McDonald was posted to 30 Squadron, flying the Hurricane IIB, in the Middle East. He traveled with others through Freetown, Sierra Leone, and then to the Gold Coast (now Ghana) there an American pilot flying a Douglas DC-3 transported them to Khartoum in the Sudan. McDonald could make out the words “American Airlines” lightly painted over on the DC-3’s fuselage.

At Khartoum, a BOAC flying boat took them to Cairo, and from there they traveled by land to an advance base near Sidi Barráni, an Egyptian town 59 miles east of the Libyan border. On the trip, Don met Flight Lieutenant R.T.P. “Bob” Davidson, who had rejoined the squadron after serving with it in Greece and Crete. McDonald felt fortunate that he was assigned to Davidson’s B Flight.

McDonald’s group reached Sidi Barráni during a time of heavy fighting. German and Italian units attacking from Libya were engaged in seesaw battles with British, Australian, and other British Empire forces for control of North Africa.

The RAF had created a unique antiaircraft system to protect its airfields. A string of rockets spaced about 40 feet apart were wired to a manned and heavily sandbagged sentry post. When enemy planes strafed the field, the sentry fired the rockets, which went up with chains trailing behind them. A parachute then opened and kept the chains in the air for a few minutes, hopefully long enough to entangle any enemy plane that flew through.

Because Sidi Barráni was near the Mediterranean, McDonald regularly flew on convoy patrol. This was dangerous not only because of enemy planes, but also because of antiaircraft fire from the Allied ships the squadron was trying to protect. The naval gun crews were shooting first and questioning later. As an RAF squadron approached an Allied convoy, the squadron leader fired a Very pistol, a pistol that discharged colored signal flares, and sent up the identification colors of the day. Even with this, the RAF pilots were warned never to fly directly over a convoy.

The Monocle Squadron

Portrait of Don McDonald.

In early February 1942, Bob Davidson informed the squadron members that they were being transferred to Singapore to fight the Japanese. “Woolworth-type aircraft, fixed undercarriages, fixed pitch propellers. It’ll be a piece of cake,” he commented on the enemy he expected to face in the air. Davidson was wrong. The Japanese Zero fighters were the first carrier-based fighters to outperform similar land-based planes. They carried drop tanks and retractable landing gear and were definitely not Woolworth-type aircraft.

McDonald’s 30 Squadron flew to Heliopolis, a town some six miles northeast of Cairo. After checking into a hotel, the fliers went downtown to the local bars and nightclubs, where Davidson caused a stir. He had been given permission to grow a beard, and evidently some of the bars’ and nightclubs’ more hidebound British clients were unhappy at seeing an RAF officer wearing a beard. In several places, these stuffier patrons put on their monocles and stared disapprovingly at the pilots.

However, the pilots held their own. They purchased monocles. When anyone put on a monocle and sneered at Davidson, the pilots put on their monocles and sneered back. From then on, 30 Squadron was known as the Monocle Squadron.

The squadron was moved from Heliopolis to Ismâ’ilîya, a town on the Suez Canal. Equipment and personnel then sailed south to Port Sudan on the Red Sea and transferred to the aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable. The pilots of the Indomitable’s Fleet Air Arm Squadron looked on enviously. They flew the Hurricane I, as they were told that the Hurricane IIB was too fast to land on a carrier deck.

Deployed to Ceylon

The squadron was to be sent to Singapore, which was under Japanese attack, but the city fell before its arrival. With Singapore captured, Ceylon was in critical danger. Sir Winston Churchill said: “The most dangerous moment of the War, and the one which caused me the greatest alarm, was when the Japanese Fleet was heading for Ceylon and the naval base there. The capture of Ceylon, the consequent control of the Indian Ocean, and the possibility at the same time of a German conquest of Egypt would have closed the ring and the future would have been black.”

Therefore, 30 Squadron was redirected to Ceylon. When the Indomitable reached the island, the pilots were told they would take off from the carrier. This was interesting news since none of the pilots had ever flown from a carrier. The plan was for the pilots to clamp down their brakes and then rev up their engines. The brakes were then released as full power was applied. It was hoped that the Hurricane would then shoot off the carrier deck and lurch into the air.

On March 6, the first planes were launched. Davidson went first McDonald, his number two, was directly behind him. McDonald’s stomach dropped as he saw Davidson’s Hurricane go over the bow of the ship and then drop from sight. He breathed easier when he saw it climb into view.

All 24 planes of 30 Squadron reached Ceylon safely and landed at Ratmalana Airport, seven miles south of Colombo, the capital. The airport, almost on the shores of the Indian Ocean, had its runway doubled in length to accept both 30 Squadron and 11 Squadron, which flew the twin-engine, three-seat Bristol Blenheim light bomber. Several other units arrived or were placed on alert as the British struggled to shuffle together what was at best a makeshift defense. A newly constituted Hurricane 258 Squadron was readied. RAF Hurricane 261 Squadron was alerted, as were three Fleet Air Arm squadrons, Fairey Swordfish 788 Squadron and Fairey Fulmar 803 and 806 Squadrons.

However, nothing the British could hurriedly patch together matched the power of the attackers who moved against them: Japan’s elite striking force, the First Air Fleet, which had devastated Pearl Harbor. It consisted of five modern aircraft carriers, four battleships, and 14 other vessels. The Japanese were not to invade Ceylon but to destroy the Royal Navy’s Eastern Fleet, which the Japanese thought was still based there.

Attack on 30 Squadron

By April 4, 1942, the First Air Fleet was only 360 miles southeast of Ceylon when it was spotted by pilot Leonard Birchall of 413 Squadron. Birchall, who was the first of his squadron to arrive from the Shetland Islands, was piloting a Canadian Consolidated Canso PBY flying boat. He radioed a warning to Ceylon before his plane was shot down. The Japanese knew they had been discovered but continued with their plans, readying an attack for the following morning, Easter Sunday, April 5, 1942.

Line of RAF Hawker Hurricanes for which Don McDonald had mixed feelings.

The Japanese planes took to the air before dawn. Their attack was led by Commander Mitsuo Fuchida, who had led the attack on Pearl Harbor. The raid included 36 Zero fighters escorting 36 Aichi D3A1 Val dive-bombers and 53 Nakajima B5N Kate attack bombers. An additional 180 Japanese planes were on alert should they be needed. The Japanese achieved surprise despite Birchall’s warning. While 30 Squadron was on the alert, British radar was not.

McDonald later reported, “We stood at readiness from about 2 am … About 6 am half of us went for breakfast, and we had just arrived back … when we heard engines roaring overhead and looked up and saw formations of aircraft coming over the tops of large cumulous clouds. We later found that the radar shut down regularly on Sunday mornings for maintenance. Apparently no one alerted them….” There may have been more incompetence than that. It was possible that what little radar the British had at Colombo was unmanned not because of maintenance but because of carelessness during a shift change. Also, the RAF Colombo Fighter Operations Command was apparently unaware of the range of the Zero or that it could carry drop tanks they expected the attack the next day.

To make matters worse, the standing order regarding the Ratmalana control tower was that the controller, on hearing unidentified aircraft, was to step onto the balcony and fire a red warning flare from his Very pistol. However, in his excitement, the controller discharged his pistol inside the tower. The flare bounced around, and no alert was given. Despite the fact the Japanese had been flying over Ceylon for about half an hour, 30 Squadron was caught on the ground.

Fuchida’s main force roared over the airport on its way to the docks and the hoped-for destruction of the British Eastern Fleet, but some of his planes diverted to attack the airport. The Hurricanes of 30 Squadron were parked on the north side of the field. McDonald and other pilots jumped into a truck that sped them to their planes. When the truck arrived, McDonald saw Bob Davidson and another pilot taxiing across the runway as bombs started to fall around them.

One Hurricane was destroyed taxiing to the runway. Those planes that made it to the runway lined up in no particular order and took off in sections of two without the opportunity to operate as a squadron. The first heavy casualties of the Japanese attack included the native construction laborers working on the runway. They were used to planes taking off and the sound of guns. Nobody thought to warn them of a probable Japanese attack. They were caught in the open when the bombing began.

Shot Down over Colombo

McDonald took off flying number two to Flight Sergeant Tom Paxton. He managed to gain height, but when he came out of a cloud he saw six to eight Val dive-bombers flying toward Ratmalana Airport. McDonald attacked the end bomber. The Hurricanes were carrying straight ball-type ammunition because a few weeks earlier the incendiary bullets in one of the Hurricanes had started to explode. The bullets had been left uncovered in the sun, and the explosions had been caused by Ceylon’s intense heat.

Because of his ball-type ammunition, McDonald could not initially see if he was hitting the Val, but he suddenly noticed liquid pouring from under the dive-bomber’s wing. At the same time two Zeros jumped him. To McDonald’s surprise, the Japanese pilots appeared to know exactly what they were doing. He remembered thinking, “These guys didn’t come from Woolworth’s.” He knew his one chance of escape was to outdive the Zeros, but the Japanese fighters remained on top of him.

Bullets smashed into McDonald’s engine oil and glycol covered his windscreen. McDonald opened his canopy, and the slipstream yanked his goggles to the back of his head. He pulled them off and threw them away, realizing that he was flying over Colombo and away from the airport. He knew that without glycol his engine would quickly overheat and lock up.

Thus, a meager, ragtag air defense was pitted against the most powerful air fleet in the world, and after the battle the Japanese fleet never returned to the waters around Ceylon.

McDonald realized he had to crash-land soon, so he determined to try for Galle Face Green, a long, wide stretch of grass that was bordered on the west by the Indian Ocean. He had to fly over the harbor to get to the green, and he heard the explosions of friendly antiaircraft fire all around him. Some of the shipboard gunners were taking no chances they shot at anything above them. McDonald throttled back on his landing approach. His instruments were completely covered with oil and glycol. He had no idea how fast he was going and later stated that his Hurricane “must have been going at a pretty fair clip because when it touched down, the air cooler below the cockpit was torn off.”

“Cold Tea”

When the Hurricane finally stopped, McDonald was surprised to see the air cooler bounce along and land beside the port wing. He climbed out of his damaged plane and was greeted by two senior British Army officers. The three men started walking toward the nearby Colombo Club but were stopped by a small car driven by an RAF officer. McDonald got in and was driven to the Galle Face Hotel at the south end of the green. The lobby was filled with excited people, many still in their nightclothes. A man came up to him and said, “You need a drink.”

McDonald thought this was an excellent idea. The man quickly returned from the kitchen with a glass filled with an amber liquid that looked like Scotch whiskey. McDonald took a long gulp. “What the hell is this?” he demanded. “Cold tea,” the man replied. It was just 8:30 in the morning. The hotel bar was closed. The Japanese attack on Ceylon failed to destroy the British Eastern Fleet. Unknown to the Japanese, the British ships had been alerted and had moved to sea. The Japanese sank only an armed British merchant cruiser and an old destroyer.

There are conflicting figures on air losses. Including the Fleet Air Arm, the British may have lost between 25 and 37 planes. Five 30 Squadron pilots died in the action, and this is not disputed. One was Tom Paxton, who was badly burned and died on April 7. Paxton had shot down one of the two Zeros that attacked McDonald. He also confirmed that the Val McDonald hit crashed into the sea.

While figures on Japanese losses are also contradictory, 30 Squadron claimed 14 Japanese planes destroyed, six probably destroyed, and five damaged. This was part of a claim that a total of 19 Japanese planes were destroyed, seven were probably destroyed, and nine were damaged in air combat. Some historians dispute these figures, but if it is reasonable to assume the Japanese lost about 20 percent of their force, this would be a loss of 25 planes.

The allegedly invincible First Air Fleet received a bloody nose from the pitifully few planes the British scraped together. During the subsequent naval Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway, those experienced pilots lost in the skies above Ceylon were sorely missed by the Japanese.

McDonald survived the war, and in 1946 he served with Operation Muskox, a Canadian arctic military exercise. He left the Royal Canadian Air Force after this and spent many years working in the private sector.


Hawker Hurricane II

The development of the Hawker Hurricane started in fact already in 1930, when Hawker designed the Hawker PV3 based upon RAF specification F7/30. The PV3 was in fact an enlarged version of the Hawker Fury.
This design was rejected, so Hawker began designing a monoplane with four machine guns, and powered by a Rolls Royce Goshawk.

On paper, this design was ready in January 1934, but there is no order followed. Chief designer Syndey Camm developed the design further with a retractable landing gear and a Rolls Royce PV-12 engine (later known as the Rolls Royce Merlin).

For wind tunnel tests a 1/10th scale model was built and tested. The tests were satisfactorily and Camm approached the Air Ministry again. This time the response was positive, and there was an assignment for the construction of a prototype.

In November 1934, the Air Ministry released Specification F.5/34, which was based on recommendations by Squadron Leader Ralph Sorley, who stated that fighters should be armed with eight machine guns.
The work on the mock-up was too far advanced to have it adjusted. In January 1935 the wooden mock-up was ready, and with a number of recommendations for some detail changes, the construction of the prototype was approved and a new specification (F.36/34) was written around the design.

In July 1935 this specification was changed and now included the installation of eight machine guns.
On November 6, 1935 the prototype K5083 made its first flight with Hawker's chief test pilot, Flight Lieutenant (later Captain Group) George Bulman.

The RAF trials started in February 1936 and the test results were favourable. The name "Hurricane" proposed by Hawker was approved on 26 June the same year.
Further investigation revealed that the Hurricane had a bad spin-recovery and a modification from the 61st production aircraft was made: an extension of the bottom of the rudder and the adjustment of the bottom of the hull solved the problem.

Initially, the unit was equipped with a Watts two-bladed propeller with fixed pitch, but from April 1939 it was replaced by a De Havilland three-blade variable pitch propeller. This especially reduced the take-off distance with about 140 m to 230 m.
In the summer of 1940, the De Havilland propeller was replaced by a three-blade hydraulic "constant-speed 'propeller.

The Hurricane construction was rather conventional, a metal frame covered with linen. Initially, the wing was also covered with linen.
In April 1939 Hawker introduced an all-metal wing, with which a higher dive speed was possible. Moreover, this wing could handle higher loads.

These wings are also applied to most (operational) Hurricanes.

An overview of the production of the Hawker Hurricane van be found here.

Versions.

  • Sea Hurricane IA : by General Aircraft Limited modified version for use from CAM ships, which were equipped with a slingshot. They could return on deck.
  • Sea Hurricane Mk IB : Customized Hurricane Mk I version equipped with catapult spools plus an arrester hook. They were used from HMS Furious later from MAC ships.
  • Sea Hurricane Mk IC : Hurricane Mk I equipped with slingshot, an arrester hook and the four-cannon wing. 400 aircraft were modified from February 1942 and on.
  • Hurricane Mk IIB Trop : for us in North Africa with a Vokes dust filter and an desert survival kit.
  • Hurricane Mk T.IIC : two examples of a two seat trainer version built for the Persian air force.
  • Sea Hurricane Mk IIC : Hurricane Mk IIC version wit a naval radio equipment 400 examples were modified.
  • Sea Hurricane Mk XIIA : modified Hurricane Mk XIIA.
Technical information
Dimensions:
Length: 9,84 m Wingspan: 12,19 m
Height: 4 m Wing area: 23,92 m 2
Weights:
Empty weight: 2605 kg Max. start weight: 3480 kg
Performances:
Max. speed: 547 km/hr Climbing speed: 846 m/min
Cruising speed: - km/hr
Range: 965 km Service ceiling: 10970 m
Miscellaneous:
Engine type: One Rolls Royce Merlin XX rated 1200 hp
Crew: one aviator
Armament: Twelve Browning .303" (7.7 mm) wing mounted machine guns [the Mk. IIa had eight machine guns and a shorter propeller compared with the Mk. IIB]

Several marks Hurricanes are mentioned as possibility for the Hurricanes used by ML-KNIL. G. Casius mentions Hurricanes IIA, but P.C. Boer mentions Hurricanes IIB. Both state the aircraft were equipped with eight machine guns, so this eliminates the Mk. IIC and Mk.IID versions.

According to Max Schep the outward machine guns were removed to improve the manoeuvrability of the aircraft. The Hurricanes were delivered wit additional wing mounted fuel tanks, but these weren't probably not mounted during assembly in the Dutch East Indies.

Regarding the Japanese war thread the Dutch government was looking for new fighters in 1940 and 1941 to set up five new Fighter squadrons. August 11, 1941 a order was signed for the delivery of 100 Hurricanes Mk.II, to be built by the Canadian Car and Foundry Co. Ltd. at Fort Williams.

Because of the possible purchase of 72 Bell P-39's, the number of Hurricanes was decreased temporarily to 72 aircraft. January 5, 1942 delivery would start with a first batch of fifteen aircraft a month. The definite contract was signed November 29, 1941, and delivery would start in May 1942. Because of the surprisingly rapid Japanese progress this delivery was cancelled because the Dutch East Indies capitulated on March 8, 1942.
The ML-KNIL used several Hurricanes Mk. II though, these were originally meant for RAF Singapore.

Arrival at Java

A total of 29 Hurricanes arrived February 4, 1942 with HMS Athene in Batavia. The aircraft were assembled by RAF personnel of the 266 Fighter Wing. Unfortunately these men were inexperienced with this, so the work progressed slowly. ABDAIR, advised by Generaal-majoor Van Oyen, decide to add a Dutch assembly team, consisting of about ninety men of the technical services of ML and KNILM! They men worked around the clock for five days and the last fighters were ready on February 15.
The aircraft were transported across the road to Kemajoran and prepared to fly. RAF personnel made the test flights. The Hurricanes were flown by RAF and ML pilots to Tjililitan and handed over to operational units. Soon seventeen aircraft were passed to Palembang (Sumatra) to reinforce 266 Squadron RAF twelve Hurricanes were handed over to ML-KNIL, ordered by ABDAIR. They were added to 2 Vl.G.-IV, equipped with Curtiss Wright Interceptors.

Troubles.

2 Vl.G.-IV, was banned from their home base Soerabakja, because of the fast Japanese approach. The squadron arrived February 13, 1942 at air base Andir, with the six remaining Interceptors. February 16 they departed with the Hurricanes to Kalidjati for a training program. Because of bad weather and the war the runway was in poor condition. Pilot Bruinier damaged his Hurricane during landing. During the training pilot Hermans suffered an engine failure on February 17. and he made a crash landing. So two Hurricanes were lost during the first few days.

Because the installed radio could be used with the Dutch frequencies, problems with the oxygen supply and lack of the English tooling needed for maintenance, the Hurricanes were hardly to be used operational.
For support thirty or fourty RAF specialist were added to the technical services. The technical officer advised to remove the tropical filters, so the machines were about 10 miles per hour faster.

Operational use Kalidjati

The British Hurricane squadrons were irritated because the Dutch hadn't used their Hurricanes operational yet. For the temporary Commander Air Forces, Captain-observer Leyden, this was a reason for ordering Standing Patrols.

February 25, 1942 the Japanese attacked Kalidjati. At the first alarm eight Hurricanes took off and flew a patrols for about two hours at a height of 6000 m, when lack of fuel necessitated the aircraft to land. Two aircraft had just landed and a third, with pilot Jacobs, was just approaching, when the Japanese attacked the air base and bombed it.

Jakobs took off again, but was shot down soon and made a belly landing. His Hurricane was total loss. The two aircraft just landed, were damaged by bullets and shells. The other Hurricanes were incorporated in a dog fight, but had to withdraw because of the fuel situation. Two aircraft moved to Tjikampek, where, special for the Hurricanes, stock with 100 octane fuel was available. The others landed on Kalidjati. Hamming run into a bomb hole, damaging his aircraft.
When both pilots had returned from Tjikampek, Kalidjati was attacked and bombed again. Hamming's aircraft was now shot to pieces and the runways were severely damaged.

Action from Ngoro

February 26 it was decided to send most of the ML personnel on West-Java to the East of Java to support the 17 Pursuit Squadron RAF. The six Hurricanes departed also and flew via Madioen to Ngoro. Also the ground crew was moved to the East of Java. February 27 a seventh, repaired Hurricane arrived. Kalidjati was lost just a week later on March 1.

The left and cannibalized (to repair the seventh Hurricane) Hurricane was captured by the Japanese.
For servicing the needed ammunition, oxygen and hydraulics arrived on February 27 and 28. Just in time, because March 1 from Ngoro a massive allied attack of the Japanese invaders was done. The Dutch Hurricanes joined this attack.

The wooden propeller of the aircraft of Elt.Vl.Wn. Bruinier was damaged during this attack. He managed to make a safe landing at Madioen.
Sgt.maj.Vl. Boonstoppel also made a safe landing at Madioen. A third Hurricane (serial Z5664 ?) made an emergency landing in a rice field near Bodjonegoro.

At the front line again

After the safe return of the other Hurricanes at Ngoro, a Lockheed 12 arrived with the radio crystals needed/ The Lockheed had been attacked by some returning P-40's, but these stopped when they noticed the flags of the Lockheed.
During the debriefing Ngoro was attacked by two Japanese Navy O's and "strafed". Because Ngoro was in fact a hiding field, very lightly FLAK was available.
When the attack was finished all USAAC- and ML- aircraft were heavily damaged or destroyed except for two Hurricanes. The Lockheed 12, which lacked camouflage and wasn't hidden yet, was also destroyed.

Failed withdrawal.

Because of the attacks 17 Pursuit Squadron was withdrawn from Ngoro. The two Hurricanes left also for Bandoeng. Pilot Vdg.Vl.Wnr. Wink, who has flown only Brewster Buffaloes thus far, was flying one of the aircraft. He had received a cockpit instruction of five minutes.
The rest of the Ml crew left Ngoro by car.
When they had left Ngoro was attacked for a second time.
Wink, encountering problems with the fuel system, made an intermediate landing at Wirasaba. While taxiing his aircraft suddenly stood on its nose, damaging the wooden propeller. A new prop was unavailable, so he was stuck at Wirasaba.
Because this airfield was to be evacuated, the Hurricane and two Glenn Martins were set to fire.
Pilot Lt.Vl. Marinus wasn't lucky either. Due to fuel problems he had to make an emergency landing at air base Surakarta, which wasn't finished yet. No 100 octane fuel was available only car fuel. His aircraft was filled with this fuel and on March 2, Marinus tried to take off from a dry rice field. The runway had been destroyed already because of the Japanese approach. His aircraft crashed in take off and was total loss.

The last Hurricane

Pilot Sgt.maj.Vl. Boonstoppel, who has landed earlier with his Hurricane at air base Madioen, arrived at Andir. He heard by phone that Ngoro was evacuated and was sent to Pameumpeuk for refuelling. As only 90 octane fuel was available, he went on to Maospati. This air base was being evacuated also, so he returned to Andir.
It was intended that he joined an attack on Japanese units near Eretan Wetan. In the morning he discovered that ground crew has removed his propeller in order to repair the aircraft of pilot Wink (mentioned above) The prop was mounted again, but to late. The last Hurricane was captured by the Japanese on March 8.

Serials are not certain. According to P.C. Boer one of the Hurricanes was serialled Z5664. The other Hurricanes might have serials in the Z56 range. In a letter he notes the only known serial to be Z5663.
Via Hans Berfelo I received the following listing:

Hurricanes IIA: Z2581, DG614.

Hurricanes IIB: Z5317, Z5319, Z5341, Z5437, Z5546, Z5546, Z5555, Z5556, Z5602,Z5609, Z5612, Z5616, Z5619, Z5622, Z5664, Z5682, Z5683, Z5690, Z5691,BD778, BG677, BG677.

and probably Hurricanes IIB: BD890, BD892, BD896, BD927, BE149, BE194,BE206, BE210, BE218, BE225, BE293, BE332, BE333, BE362, BE363

This list is based on the cargo-list of HMS Athene and English archives, researched by J. van der Wei.
So in fact 38 of the 39 Hurricanes are determined.

Note that serial Z5663 is not on this list, but serial Z5664 is! It is possibly a mistake in his letter??
Perhaps sometimes a photo is found of a Dutch Hurricane. Personally i think it outstanding that thus far in the Japanese archives nothing is found about captured Dutch Hurricanes.

Any information is welcome.

Scale 1/72

  • Airfix
    • Kit 02082 : A Mk.I/Mk.II. This kit is originally a Mk.II.
      • Options added are bombs, a 40 mm gun and extra fuel tanks. The fuselage behind the canopy is to low, the canopy itself is to flat and the spinner added is not correct.
      • Kit 24AP135 / 24AP147 : Kits of the IIB and IIC respectively. These are very good and nice kits.
      • Kit 269 : A Mk.IIC.
        • Also a nice model, though for a Mk. IIB the armament needs to be replaced. Size and form of the tail unit and wing tips needs to be corrected. Best replace them.
        • Kit 0842 : A Mk.IIC. This is the same as the Heller kit.
        • Kit 04144 : A kit of the Mk.IIc.
          • A review van be found at the Dutch IPMS-site.
          • Kit 2129 : A Hurricane Mk. IIC

          Two models of the Hawker Hurricane, built by Peter Banis.

          Modelling add-on

          • Aeroclub
            • Set P051 : Watts Air screw:
            • Set C050 : Canopy
            • Set 72045 : Detailling set for Academy IIC
            • Set 72083 : Detailling set for Revell IIB
            • Set SS117 : Detailling set for Revell Mk. II
            • Set E72-289 : Detailset Hawker Hurricane MkIIb (Revell)
            • Set XS003 : Express Mask Hawker Hurricane MKII (Hasegawa)
            • Set A7010 : Hurricane MKII Interior set (Revell)
            • Set D7202 : 40 Gallon Long range tanks for Hurricane MKII
            • Set d7258 : Hawker Hurricane MKII-IV Late type wheels
            • Set 7319 : Hawker Hurricane MKII Wheels
            • Set M72002 : Hawker Hurricane MKIIc Canopy masking (Smer/Heller)

            Decals

            • Dutch Decal .
              • Set 72035 : Set for e.g. Do-24 Fokker T-IVa Hurricane IIa/IIb
              • Set FD72-003 : ML KNIL 1942-1947 Part 1.

              Scale 1/48

              • Airfix
                • Kit A05127 / A04102 : Hurricane MKI
                • Kit 09065 : Hurricane MKI
                • Kit 342726 : Hurricane MKIIc
                • Kit 37011 : Hurricane MKI

                Modelling add-on

                • Aires
                  • Set 4050 : Hawker Hurricane MKII Cockpit Detail set
                  • Set SC4829 : Hawker Hurricane MKIID/MkIV Bomb Racks
                  • Set SC4830 : Hawker Hurricane MKIID/MkIV Drop Tanks
                  • Set SC4828 : Hawker Hurricane MKIID/MkIV Armoured Radiator
                  • Set C-421 : Hawker Hurricane MKII 44 gal External Fuel tanks
                  • A4011 : Hawker Hurricane MkII interior set (Hasegawa)
                  • Set FE536 : Detailset Hawker Hurricane MKIId Interior Self Adhesive (Hasegawa)
                  • Set E49-536 : Detailset Hurricane MKIId Self Adhesive
                  • Set E49-253 : Detailset Hawker Hurricane MKII (Hasegawa)
                  • Set E48-009 : Detailset Hawker Hurricane MKII
                  • Set XF008 : Express Mask Hawker Hurricane MkII (Hasegawa)
                  • Set AM-48-085 : Hawker Hurricane MKIIc Hispano MK2 20mm Cannon with round recoil springs (4x)
                  • Set AM-48-084 : Hawker Hurricane MKIIc Hispano MK1 20mm Cannon with flat recoil springs (4x)
                  • Set S48035 : Hawker Hurricane MkIIc (Hasegawa)
                  • Set S48039 : Hawker Hurricane MKIID (Hasegawa)

                  Decals

                  Camouflage

                  The Hurricanes were from a RAF batch and had the standard RAF camouflage of dark-green and dark earth on the upper surfaces and sky on the undersides. The spinner was dark green.
                  [Max Schep has interviewed several former NEIAF personnel. These men confirm these colours.]

                  It is not exactly known whether the sky bond on the rear part of the fuselage was applied. This was standard on RAF aircraft, such as the RAF Brewsters used in the same area and period.

                  National insigna.

                  At the time the Hurricanes entered service with NEIAF, the orange triangles were used.
                  The RAF roundels were painted over with paint available, the dark green of the NEIAF and with light grey on the undersides.
                  The RAF fin flashes were also painted over with dark green.
                  February 24 and on the Dutch flag was applied on the Dutch aircraft.

                  According to Max Schep the Hurricanes had the flags applied on February 28 when they were being serviced, this is certainly done before March 3.
                  P.C. Boer mentions that the markings were not applied on the same location as the RAF markings, but more aft, almost against the serial, with just a half letter space left.

                  This is reasonable with the hurry in mind and the time the paint needed to dry.
                  The broad of the flags was about 1,67 times its height. The height was approximately the height of the RAF roundel minus the yellow bond. No markings were applied on the upper side of the wings.

                  Scheme Colour name BS number Humbrol XtraColor Vallejo Model Color Vallejo Model Air
                  Standard #1 Upper surfaces Dark Green BS:641 163 X001 70.892 71.013
                  Dark Earth BS:450 29 X002 70.921
                  Undersides Sky BS:210 90 X007 71.103

                  Check www.paint4models.com for an extensive conversion table with lots of colour and paint systems.

                  Literature.

                  IPMS-UK Magazine Nr. en jrg. Onbekend
                  'Stabelan': De Luchtoorlog bij en boven Nederlands-Indië tot maart 1942, dl 8 en 9 C.R. Patist, m.m.v. Sectie Militaire Lucht­vaart Historie jrg. n.b. - [via M. Schep]
                  Militaire luchtvaart in Nederlands-Indië. H. Hooftman p. 43-14 1978 Europese Bibliotheek Zaltbommel
                  AeroData International No 5 Hawker Hurricane I Philip J.R. Moyes Pag. 1978 Uitgever: Vintage Aviation Publications Ltd., Oxford
                  "Bloody Shambles: The First Comprehensive Account of Air Operations over South-East Asia December 1941-April 1942. Volume Two - The Defense of Sumatra to the Fall of Burma" C. Shores, B. Cull en Y. Izawa 1983 Grub Street, London [ Via M. SChep]
                  'Modelbouw In Plastic' jaargang 1984, nr. 2: KNIL Nationaliteitskenmerken M. Schep p. 26-29 1984 IPMS NL
                  Aircraft Number 72 Hurricane in Action. Jerry Scutts Pag. 23 - 30 1986 Uitgever: Squadron/Signal Publications Inc., Carrolton, Texas
                  De Militaire Luchtvaart in Nederlands-Indië B. van der Klaauw & B.M. Rijnhout p. 23-24. 1987 De Bataafsche Leeuw Amsterdam
                  40 Jaar lucht­vaart in Indië GJ. Casius & The . Postma, p. 61, 82-83, 152. 1989 Uitgeverij De Alk Alkmaar
                  De Luchtstrijd om Indië. P.C.Boer e.a. p. 136-139, 162-164, 171-174, 221-225, 332. 1990 Unieboek Houten
                  Nieuwsbrief nummer 60 januari 1997: Nederlandse Hurricanes op Java Wilko Jonker Pag. 18 - 20 1997 Uitgever: St. Vrienden v.h. Mil. Luchtv. Museum, Soesterberg
                  Camouflage en Kentekens J.Greuter e.a. 1997 Bonneville – Bergen (NH)

                  Websites.

                  Special thanks to Max Schep and Hans Berfelo for all information supplied. Special thanks also for Theo van Schaik for the modelling information.


                  Hurricane IIB Hurribomber being armed - History

                  Nº 5 Squadron had a long history in-theater, starting with Mohawks in the early, dark years, transitioning to Hurricanes and then P-47s for the fighter-bomber role. It also deployed the IId heavy cannon armed tank busting variant of the Hurri. Japanese tanks were a rare occurrence, but bunkers were highly developed and the cannon armed Hurris were very effective against those. Japanese also used river barges as main transportation method and these were also very vulnerable to them. Within the 221st Fighter Wing of the 3rd Tactical Air Force, it took part in the battles of Imphal and Kohima Japanese Army Air Force tried to the last to keep air superiority so the theater was rather lively in air combat even in the late war period, with large Japanese fighter sweeps not uncommon.

                  KX121 is a Hawker built machine, one out of a contract 62305/39/C for 1.200 delivered from 20.11.42 to 19.04.43. The batch was completed mainly as II with some conversions to Sea Hurricane IIC. Some were also finished as Mk.IV, the lowest known serial is KX813.

                  Until Airfix wakes up and develops its excellent Mk.I into a II, the classic Hasegawa kit remains the best option for a model of such a version. It has been much maligned for its &ldquomultiversion&rdquo design, and for the incorrect (though &ldquoconventional&rdquo) way of depicting the turtledeck aft of the cockpit (with a deep indentation to allow the canopy to seat -frankly, aside from two completely different pieces to choose as appropriate, the design of the actual aircraft doesn&rsquot allow for much else).

                  The kit is currently available only in the #0097 &ldquoKing&rsquos Cup Air Race&rdquo boxing (a modified Mk.IIc) and still commands a high price on ebay, even in its Mk.I incarnations (rather unexplainably in view of the widely available and reasonably priced Airfix kit). It looks completely accurate, with some caveats. The rear turtledeck calls for action (at least, if you leave the canopy closed, do not paint it Gray-Green) The wing also, for it is a Mk.IIc&rsquos. Hasegawa has molded only two wings, a Mk.IIb and a Mk.IIc, dealing with the differences with inserts or panels you have to erase.

                  Now, the wing in the Mk.IV, the cannon armed attack Hurri par excellence, has different, simplified upper panels (in an &ldquouniversal&rdquo wing able to carry rockets or fuel tanks &ndashoften both, in dissymmetrical configuration). I could not find a clear reference for the IId (every surviving example is a IV), but IMHO the wing was a quick adaptation from the IIc, just as that in the kit. Therefore, I let the panel configuration on the upper wing surface. It must be said that the four small bulges for the Hispano cannons&rsquo breeches are not included (though the cannon base inserts are).

                  To this kit, obtained at ebay.de at a relatively high price, I added an Eduard Zoom PE (mainly because of the instrument panel and harness), a Barracuda resin wheel bay, and the real motivation of the build, the Model Alliance decals for the Burma attacker.

                  Construction

                  Should I say it was uneventful? For all its crazy multipiece design (and the addition of the Barracuda resin bay, which involved some hacking, which is not required with the Ultracast one, for instance) the kit went together almost perfectly. I added the nose halves to each fuselage half first, and took special care with the &ldquosingle .303&rdquo wing inserts. I made the customary &ldquofill&rdquo of the turtle deck recess with Milliput. The biggest problem of any Hase Hurri build, the join between the lower rear wing to fuselage (easily in the &ldquotop ten&rdquo of the Worst Designed Join Lines Ever &ndashwhat were they thinking?) gave me the fits: I started by thinning the wing on the inner side to minimize the eventual step, but a mild one developed, as well as a sink, all of them very difficult to eradicate without obliterating the &ldquostring-n-fabric&rdquo detail (the fact that it is rather heavy overall doesn&rsquot mean you can do that) After several sessions of very carefully application of putty and sanding in a longitudinal direction it ended up looking acceptably good.

                  Gun pods are NOT handed! Both eject cartridges to the right. With no way of checking the accuracy of this scheme, I let them be. The big &ldquomuzzle brake &ndash reinforcement &ndash flash hider &ndash whatever&rdquo you see in the gun&rsquos muzzles is actually a mistake (well, sort of): it depicts the bag usually put over the muzzle to avoid dust coming in (just as the Red tape). To be honest, the instructions command you to paint them in Red. Just do not drill the muzzle (as in the Quickboost replacement parts)! If I were brave, I would have erased them, restoring the tube, and drilling the muzzle hole that would have given it a more &ldquooperational&rdquo look but I am not.

                  Cockpit was absolutely uneventful, almost boring.

                  Do not bother in adding any detail below the &ldquoconsoles&rdquo (such as the myriad of cables and tubing you, like me, assume will be seen from the open cockpit) because, unless you open the door trap on the right, they will be invisible. Add instead some detail to them and over them. Paint the space in the middle of the instrument panel, as well as the gunsight mounting, in Gray-Green.

                  I followed the method of gluing the upper wing halves to the fuselage and then adding the undersurface half, that ensured an almost perfect wing root join.

                  The resin bay roof had to be thinned to its near extinction. Wing diedhral (man, that wing is thick!) and undercarriage angle were perfect in one go, even the funny angled wheel (added later). Vokes filter, instead, had to be heavily puttied and sanded.

                  I replaced the canopy with a Rob Taurus vac. I usually replace only the hood, keeping the kit&rsquos windscreen (even if I have to cut it loose) they usually fit better than the vac part. In this case, I spotted a hair flaw on its surface (or rather, on the inside of the clear plastic) that certainly showed at some angle of the light (I checked another kit and showed the same flaw) Reluctantly, I carefully cut of the RT windscreen and fitted it. It must be said its fit was exemplary.

                  Painting and Markings

                  A late TLS machine, in the MA instructions it is shown as sporting &ldquoinverted&rdquo colours I doubted that would be correct that late in the war. I couldn&rsquot find any pictures of this machine, but most I did find (all Mk.IIcs from 28th Sqn) showed &ldquonormal&rdquo camouflage, so I went that way (later, a still from IWM I found showed this machine taking off from a distance and seem to confirm this &ndashthe dark area around the cockpit is a tell-tale).

                  Undersurface is quoted as &ldquoLight Mediterranean Blue&rdquo it could have been Medium Sea Grey (or Azure Blue, though this was not favoured in India). I made a mix of PRU Blue and Azure Blue to get this. European wing roundels are painted out in DG over and &ldquofresh&rdquo LMB under wing those in fuselage are always painted out following the camouflage pattern so I left them alone.


                  World War II: The Royal Air Force Gave Japan a Bloody Nose in This 1942 Battle

                  Don McDonald and a relative few Royal Air Force pilots fought the Japanese to a bloody draw above the island of Ceylon.

                  Here's What You Need to Know: In the 40 minutes between 7:50 and 8:30 am, on April 5, 1942, Royal Air force pilot Don McDonald experienced his air base being bombed in a Japanese surprise air raid that should never have been a surprise. He struggled to get his plane into the air as bombs rained down around him. He shot down a Japanese dive-bomber and crash-landed after his Hawker Hurricane was hit by fire from a Japanese Mitsubishi Zero. After all this, he drank iced tea in a plush hotel.

                  Training on the Hurricane

                  Although McDonald was flying with the Royal Air Force, he was a Canadian who first joined the Royal Canadian Air Force on August 14, 1940. He trained on a Fleet Finch and the North American Harvard and completed his flight training in April 1941. Rated a leading aircraftman, he was ordered to Halifax, Nova Scotia, for an overseas assignment. While traveling to Halifax, he received a telegram informing him that he had been promoted to pilot officer and that his pay would be raised from $2.25 per day to $6.25 per day, the equivalent increase of about $10,467 per year to $29,082 per year in current Canadian dollars.

                  McDonald was sent to Scotland and posted to 59 Operational Training Unit in June 1941. He soon found he had some unlearning to do when he started training on the Hawker Hurricane. In the Harvard, the pilot could handle both the throttle and undercarriage controls with his left hand, but in the Hurricane Mk I the throttle lever was on the left while the undercarriage lever was on the right. This meant that when taking off, if the pilot held the control column in his right hand, he had to use his left hand to open the throttle. Once in the air, he would have to take the control column in his left hand and use his right hand to operate the undercarriage lever.

                  McDonald recalled that in his first days of training he saw his plane’s wings dip as he changed hands and raised the undercarriage. He also recalled that many of his fellow trainees experienced the same problem.

                  In August 1941, McDonald was assigned to RAF 245 Squadron, stationed at Ballyhalbert, Northern Ireland. He soon learned to fly the Hurricane Mk IIB, a significant upgrade from the Hurricane Mk I. It carried a two-speed supercharger as well as a new and more powerful engine. A 1280 horsepower Rolls-Royce Merlin XX engine replaced the Hurricane I’s 1030 horsepower Merlin II engine. While the Hurricane I carried eight .303-inch Browning machine guns, the Hurricane IIB was armed with 12 of these .303 Browning machine guns and also could carry two 250- or two 500-pound bombs.

                  McDonald quickly learned that flying the Hurricane IIB was not a trivial task. To get the feel of the supercharger, the student pilots were ordered to take their planes up to 15,000-16,000 feet but to turn on the supercharger at 13,000 feet. Climbing to 13,000 feet was no problem since the plane had a ceiling of some 34,000 feet, but when McDonald attempted to loop after turning on the Hurricane IIB’s supercharger his plane would not pull back at the top of the loop but climbed straight up no matter what he did. His engine quit, and the plane fell into a spin. McDonald managed to restart the engine and recover control.

                  Patrolling the Mediterranean

                  In September 1941, the squadron was transferred to Chilbolton, Hampshire, in southern England, from where it engaged in offensive sweeps across the English Channel. The squadron also provided air cover for convoys, sometimes flying in formation through heavy clouds. In September, the squadron was re-equipped with the Hurricane IIC, which was armed with four 20mm Hispano cannons as well as having bomb-carrying capabilities.

                  McDonald’s comments about the plane’s cannons were not enthusiastic. “You had the impression when practice firing them, that the Hurricane stopped from the cannons’ recoil,” he said. “If one side jammed—as they did— you would yaw violently off target.”

                  On October 24, 1941, McDonald was posted to 30 Squadron, flying the Hurricane IIB, in the Middle East. He traveled with others through Freetown, Sierra Leone, and then to the Gold Coast (now Ghana) there an American pilot flying a Douglas DC-3 transported them to Khartoum in the Sudan. McDonald could make out the words “American Airlines” lightly painted over on the DC-3’s fuselage.

                  At Khartoum, a BOAC flying boat took them to Cairo, and from there they traveled by land to an advance base near Sidi Barráni, an Egyptian town 59 miles east of the Libyan border. On the trip, Don met Flight Lieutenant R.T.P. “Bob” Davidson, who had rejoined the squadron after serving with it in Greece and Crete. McDonald felt fortunate that he was assigned to Davidson’s B Flight.

                  McDonald’s group reached Sidi Barráni during a time of heavy fighting. German and Italian units attacking from Libya were engaged in seesaw battles with British, Australian, and other British Empire forces for control of North Africa.

                  The RAF had created a unique antiaircraft system to protect its airfields. A string of rockets spaced about 40 feet apart were wired to a manned and heavily sandbagged sentry post. When enemy planes strafed the field, the sentry fired the rockets, which went up with chains trailing behind them. A parachute then opened and kept the chains in the air for a few minutes, hopefully long enough to entangle any enemy plane that flew through.

                  Because Sidi Barráni was near the Mediterranean, McDonald regularly flew on convoy patrol. This was dangerous not only because of enemy planes, but also because of antiaircraft fire from the Allied ships the squadron was trying to protect. The naval gun crews were shooting first and questioning later. As an RAF squadron approached an Allied convoy, the squadron leader fired a Very pistol, a pistol that discharged colored signal flares, and sent up the identification colors of the day. Even with this, the RAF pilots were warned never to fly directly over a convoy.

                  The Monocle Squadron

                  In early February 1942, Bob Davidson informed the squadron members that they were being transferred to Singapore to fight the Japanese. “Woolworth-type aircraft, fixed undercarriages, fixed pitch propellers. It’ll be a piece of cake,” he commented on the enemy he expected to face in the air. Davidson was wrong. The Japanese Zero fighters were the first carrier-based fighters to outperform similar land-based planes. They carried drop tanks and retractable landing gear and were definitely not Woolworth-type aircraft.

                  McDonald’s 30 Squadron flew to Heliopolis, a town some six miles northeast of Cairo. After checking into a hotel, the fliers went downtown to the local bars and nightclubs, where Davidson caused a stir. He had been given permission to grow a beard, and evidently some of the bars’ and nightclubs’ more hidebound British clients were unhappy at seeing an RAF officer wearing a beard. In several places, these stuffier patrons put on their monocles and stared disapprovingly at the pilots.

                  However, the pilots held their own. They purchased monocles. When anyone put on a monocle and sneered at Davidson, the pilots put on their monocles and sneered back. From then on, 30 Squadron was known as the Monocle Squadron.

                  The squadron was moved from Heliopolis to Ismâ’ilîya, a town on the Suez Canal. Equipment and personnel then sailed south to Port Sudan on the Red Sea and transferred to the aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable. The pilots of the Indomitable’s Fleet Air Arm Squadron looked on enviously. They flew the Hurricane I, as they were told that the Hurricane IIB was too fast to land on a carrier deck.

                  Deployed to Ceylon

                  The squadron was to be sent to Singapore, which was under Japanese attack, but the city fell before its arrival. With Singapore captured, Ceylon was in critical danger. Sir Winston Churchill said: “The most dangerous moment of the War, and the one which caused me the greatest alarm, was when the Japanese Fleet was heading for Ceylon and the naval base there. The capture of Ceylon, the consequent control of the Indian Ocean, and the possibility at the same time of a German conquest of Egypt would have closed the ring and the future would have been black.”

                  Therefore, 30 Squadron was redirected to Ceylon. When the Indomitable reached the island, the pilots were told they would take off from the carrier. This was interesting news since none of the pilots had ever flown from a carrier. The plan was for the pilots to clamp down their brakes and then rev up their engines. The brakes were then released as full power was applied. It was hoped that the Hurricane would then shoot off the carrier deck and lurch into the air.

                  On March 6, the first planes were launched. Davidson went first McDonald, his number two, was directly behind him. McDonald’s stomach dropped as he saw Davidson’s Hurricane go over the bow of the ship and then drop from sight. He breathed easier when he saw it climb into view.


                  Watch the video: 40MM HURRICANE. WAR THUNDER (January 2022).