Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Hawker Hurricane Mk. IIC, with Northrop P-61C Black Widow in the background
Image by Chris Devers
Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Hawker Hurricane Mk. IIC:
Hawker Chief Designer Sydney Camm’s Hurricane ranks with the most important aircraft designs in military aviation history. Designed in the late 1930s, when monoplanes were considered unstable and too radical to be successful, the Hurricane was the first British monoplane fighter and the first British fighter to exceed 483 kilometers (300 miles) per hour in level flight. Hurricane pilots fought the Luftwaffe and helped win the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940.
This Mark IIC was built at the Langley factory, near what is now Heathrow Airport, early in 1944. It served as a training aircraft during the World War II in the Royal Air Force’s 41 OTU.
Donated by the Royal Air Force Museum
Hawker Aircraft Ltd.
Country of Origin:
Wingspan: 12.2 m (40 ft)
Length: 9.8 m (32 ft 3 in)
Height: 4 m (13 ft)
Weight, empty: 2,624 kg (5,785 lb)
Weight, gross: 3,951 kg (8,710 lb)
Top speed:538 km/h (334 mph)
Engine:Rolls-Royce Merlin XX, liquid-cooled in-line V, 1,300 hp
Armament:four 20 mm Hispano cannons
Ordnance:two 250-lb or two 500-lb bombs or eight 3-in rockets
Fuselage: Steel tube with aircraft spruce forms and fabric, aluminum cowling
Wings: Stressed Skin Aluminum
Horizontal Stablizer: Stress Skin aluminum
Rudder: fabric covered aluminum
Control Surfaces: fabric covered aluminum
Hawker Hurricane Mk. IIC single seat, low wing monoplane ground attack fighter; enclosed cockpit; steel tube fuselage with aircraft spruce forms and fabric, aluminum cowling, stressed skin aluminum wings and horizontal stablizer, fabric covered aluminum rudder and control surfaces; grey green camoflage top surface paint scheme with dove grey underside; red and blue national roundel on upper wing surface and red, white, and blue roundel lower wing surface; red, white, blue, and yellow roundel fuselage sides; red, white and blue tail flash; Rolls-Royce Merlin XX, liquid cooled V-12, 1,280 horsepower engine; Armament, 4: 20mm Hispano cannons.
• • • • •
The P-61 Black Widow was the first U.S. aircraft designed to locate and destroy enemy aircraft at night and in bad weather, a feat made possible by the use of on-board radar. The prototype first flew in 1942. P-61 combat operations began just after D-Day, June 6, 1944, when Black Widows flew deep into German airspace, bombing and strafing trains and road traffic. Operations in the Pacific began at about the same time. By the end of World War II, Black Widows had seen combat in every theater and had destroyed 127 enemy aircraft and 18 German V-1 buzz bombs.
The Museum’s Black Widow, a P-61C-1-NO, was delivered to the Army Air Forces in July 1945. It participated in cold-weather tests, high-altitude drop tests, and in the National Thunderstorm Project, for which the top turret was removed to make room for thunderstorm monitoring equipment.
Transferred from the United States Air Force.
Northrop Aircraft Inc.
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Overall: 450 x 1500cm, 10637kg, 2000cm (14ft 9 3/16in. x 49ft 2 9/16in., 23450.3lb., 65ft 7 3/8in.)