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#1 Doug Nye

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 17:51

There's a fascinating thread running currently on the Supermarine - as opposed to Triumph - Spitfire, so I hope I will be excused for presenting a look at the Spitfire's illustrious older sister, the Hawker Hurricane? Bonhams has been instructed to offer the Historic Aircraft Collection's Mk 12 for sale by auction at Mercedes-Benz World, Brooklands, early in December, so I have been investigating the machine's attributes and internal workings quite closely. I thought you might find a close look at this unusually original 'warbird' of interest?

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Here she is, hangared at the IWM Duxford.

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The wing, engine cowlings and cockpit sides are panelled in aluminium - the fuselage aft of the cockpit and tailplane covered in traditional doped linen fabric. The stirrup and open hand hold to help pilot and ground crew clamber up onto the wing root are ingenious. They are interlinked by an internal mechanism tensioned by a bungee loop. The hand-hold hatch is normally closed
and the stirrup retracted. From ground level pull the stirrup down and the hand-hold hatch opens in sympathy. Once you're up on the wing, close the hand-hold hatch and the stirrup springs back into its fuselage stowage - clack!

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This is NOT the airframe's construction plate but instead what is known as the 'Mod. plate' - modification plate, bearing relevant drawing numbers etc. It sits beneath this little perspex window on top of the starboard tailplane stabiliser. The constructor's serial number plate, I am reliably advised, is a matchbox-sized brass affair mounted within the cockpit. The Hurricane's stitched and doped fabric skin is very evident on the patch seen here, with saw-tooth cut edges to avoid fraying.

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Press photo call out on the aerodrome...

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Starboard side of the Packard Merlyn engine fitted...centrifugal supercharger at the rear (left). See how Hawker used mechanical joints for their multi-tubular spaceframe structures - in the engine brace - not welded joints...

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Port side of the engine bay - this shot also shows the classical fabric patch fairing-in the gun ports in the wings. This aircraft is quite rare in having twelve-gun wings, the hitherto standard four machine guns being mounted inboard as here, but in this case with two more added within each wing further outboard.

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This port-side access hatch gives access to the modern battery and to control-surface cable runs, as you can see.

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Under-belly radiator scoop and the undercarriage stowage bay... See how there's clear view clean through the radiator matrix to the pale-coloured hangar floor beyond...

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Undercarriage bay into which the oleo legs and wheels fold inwards, each leg's attached door panels then fairing-in the closed bay as they latch shut.

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Here's Sidney Camm's famously preferred method of fuselage construction, inherited by the Hurricane from the preceding biplane Hawker family of Hart, Hind, Nimrod, Demon and Fury. The mechanically-jointed tube frame is given a more rounded cross-section by the bolt-on wooden formers which are then linked and braced longitudinally by add-on stringers. The red-oxide-painted linen fabric is then stretched over the combined structure, dope shrunk and painted externally... This is the view down the fuselage, from just behind the cockpit - control cables very evident... There's the stirrup/hand-hold bungee loop on the right.

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The office - no cushion 'cos the pilot would sit on his parachute pack, lowered into that bucket seat. Shiny divergent panels are the heel boards for the intrepid pilot's size nines.

If anyone else is interested, I'll happily post some more. Makes a change from bloody racing cars, dunnit?

All Photos Strictly Copyright: The GP Library

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 01 November 2012 - 18:44.


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#2 Alan Cox

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 18:02

Thanks for posting those, Doug. A great set of snaps.
Is the the only one of the HAC's collection up for sale?

#3 Doug Nye

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 18:04

Yes - reluctant sale essentially to fund further opportunities...

DCN

#4 uffen

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 19:18

Yes, Doug, please post more photos!

#5 Allan Lupton

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 19:46

Yes, helpful photos!
There is a sound reason for the jointing of the tubes not being welding which is that it is very difficult to inspect a weld's internal integrity. Using brackets and fasteners was (and remains) a simple and repeatable way of achieving the planned-for strength.
(there's a comment somewhere on another thread about poor welding quality in Lotus' spaceframes!)

#6 Dipster

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 19:54

There's a fascinating thread running currently on the Supermarine - as opposed to Triumph - Spitfire, so I hope I will be excused for presenting a look at the Spitfire's illustrious older sister, the Hawker Hurricane? Bonhams has been instructed to offer the Historic Aircraft Collection's Mk 12 for sale by auction at Mercedes-Benz World, Brooklands, early in December, so I have been investigating the machine's attributes and internal workings quite closely. I thought you might find a close look at this unusually original 'warbird' of interest?

Posted Image

Here she is, hangared at the IWM Duxford.

Posted Image

The wing, engine cowlings and cockpit sides are panelled in aluminium - the fuselage aft of the cockpit and tailplane covered in traditional doped linen fabric. The stirrup and open hand hold to help pilot and ground crew clamber up onto the wing root are ingenious. They are interlinked by an internal mechanism tensioned by a bungee loop. The hand-hold hatch is normally closed and the stirrup retracted. From ground level pull the stirrup down and the hand-hold hatch opens in sympathy. Once you're up on the wing, close the hand-hold hatch and the stirrup springs back into its fuselage stowage - clack!

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The airframe's construction plate sits beneath this little perspex window on top of the starboard tailplane stabiliser. The stitched and doped fabric skin is very evident on the patch seen here, with saw-tooth cut edges to avoid fraying.

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Press photo call out on the aerodrome...

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Starboard side of the Packard Merlyn engine fitted...centrifugal supercharger at the rear (left). See how Hawker used mechanical joints for their multi-tubular spaceframe structures - in the engine brace - not welded joints...

Posted Image

Port side of the engine bay - this shot also shows the classical fabric patch fairing-in the gun ports in the wings. This aircraft is quite rare in having twelve-gun wings, the hitherto standard four machine guns being mounted inboard as here, but in this case with two more added within each wing further outboard.

Posted Image

This port-side access hatch gives access to the modern battery and to control-surface cable runs, as you can see.

Posted Image

Under-belly radiator scoop and the undercarriage stowage bay... See how there's clear view clean through the radiator matrix to the pale-coloured hangar floor beyond...

Posted Image

Undercarriage bay into which the oleo legs and wheels fold inwards, each leg's attached door panels then fairing-in the closed bay as they latch shut.

Posted Image

Here's Sydney Camm's famously preferred method of fuselage construction, inherited by the Hurricane from the preceding biplane Hawker family of Hart, Hind, Nimrod, Demon and Fury. The mechanically-jointed tube frame is given a more rounded cross-section by the bolt-on wooden formers which are then linked and braced longitudinally by add-on stringers. The red-oxide-painted linen fabric is then stretched over the combined structure, dope shrunk and painted externally... This is the view down the fuselage, from just behind the cockpit - control cables very evident... There's the stirrup/hand-hold bungee loop on the right.

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The office - no cushion 'cos the pilot would sit on his parachute pack, lowered into that bucket seat. Shiny divergent panels are the heel boards for the intrepid pilot's size nines.

If anyone else is interested, I'll happily post some more. Makes a change from bloody racing cars, dunnit?

All Photos Strictly Copyright: The GP Library

DCN


Thanks for this Doug.

My late father always treated me as his favourite child causing occasional friction between my brother and me. I could never understand why.

It was only after my father's death that we discovered a picture of his little brother in 2nd world war flying kit (with a backdrop of a wall with one of the period tannoy speakers). I then saw that I was my uncle's (almost) double. This uncle went missing flying a Hurricane over France during that war.

So the Hurricane is a special plane to me. I had never seen such fine photographs or learned so much about them as I have today. So thank you and please post more. I hope others will not object. I wsh I had the means to bid for this plane!

#7 Paolo

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 20:01

Doug,
as an aeronautical Engineer I think you should seriously consider writing an aircraft book.
This short piece is about the best I read about any plane, and I have some 100 books on the subject.

#8 Bloggsworth

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 21:03

My father described the Hurricane as a "Gentleman's aircraft", but being a flying instructor he didn't get a chance to fly one more than once, a totally unauthorised flight - Unfortunately, no-one ever lent him a Spitfire for a quick circuit or two. Interestingly, or maybe not, he always said that Miles designed the most pilot-friendly aircraft.

#9 D-Type

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 21:09

It always surprises me that there aren't more Hurricanes about. Apart from the BBMF one and this one are there any others in airworthy condition?

I know the main wing spar is a rather unusual steel but apart from that they appear easier to "fettle" and keep flying than the Spitfire.

Edited by D-Type, 26 October 2012 - 21:27.


#10 BRG

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 21:17

With this apparent discovery of 60 crated unused Spitfires buried in Burma, there may become a glut on the market of Spits. Bad for Spit owners, but good for Hurricane owners?

#11 Odseybod

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 21:37

Fascinating stuff - thanks for posting them, Doug.

Dare I say, it looks very Kiel-Kraft, particularly the fuselage formers - but maybe we'd get into a dangerous chicken-and-egg conversation on that subject!


#12 Doug Nye

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 22:23

Funnily enough, the moment I saw those wooden formers it began a conversation on Kiel-Kraft kits we'd all built as nobbut mere lads...

Ahem...err...thus encouraged :blush: :

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Since the designed cockpit width was too narrow to permit full control deflection for a floor-hinged joystick, the Hurricane's is articulated just about pilot knee-joint level, roll to port selected here. This lower camera level shows the rudder pedals, left and right.

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Pilot Flt Lt Dave Harvey explained that the Hurricane requires quite a muscular workload. Its cockpit is deafeningly noisy, and gets hot (particularly in summer flying), and sweaty. This little intake nozzle is one of Hawker's very few concessions to habitability...feeding a ventilator on the cockpit's left-front...

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...seen here. Ford Aeroflow it was not...

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Cockpit port side - I was most taken with the polished ply trim wheel. That's the fuse/circuit breaker panel left of centre...

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Cockpit starboard side - not quite stowage capable of housing The Bod's legendary Rollei, but charts and maybe a tube of mints would fit.

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'HA-C' has been maintained continuously in flying condition for many years and has developed a wonderful patina - absolutely akin to that of a wartime machine in squadron service. Here's the tailplane leading edge, propwash debris from so many grass field take-offs having left its mark. Again we see the wonderfully tactile linen fabric texture that's so characteristic of the thoroughbred Hawker line - pre-Typhoon.

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Hand-finished aluminium fillet panels fair the rudder and tailplane attachment points to the fabric-covered fuselage. Somehow they remind me of a mediaeval knight's suit of armour.

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Rudder-control connections on the tailplane - horn-balanced down below, aluminium-skinned trim tabs on the fabric-skinned elevators to left and right.

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This wonderful old warhorse recently became the first Hurricane in decades to return to Malta - whose skies her sisters once so valiantly protected - while this past 'summer' saw it flown for President Putin, no less, in Moscow. Display pilot Dave Harvey also ferried her out to Russia and back, completing the six-hour plus journey in four or five noisy, hot, sweaty and (I suspect) deeply satisfying hops. It's an immensely evocative, hugely attractive and really rather discreet icon... I rather suspect that while the look-at-me Ferrari fanciers would be inclined to prefer the glamour of a Spitfire, the Hurricane is more one for the cool and discreetly sophisticated taste of Aston Martin man?

All Photos Strictly Copyright: The GP Library

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 26 October 2012 - 22:29.


#13 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 22:37

Doug, an excellent very informative article.And some more pics would be great.
The bolted construction has to be less rigid than a welded one, and harder to fabricate too. Though probably easier to repair.And in the engine area easier to remove the engine and ancillarys, just unbolt the section in the way.

The wooden formers for the fuselage I have seen elsewhere, but where I cannot remember.Simple, light and functional with that construction of aircraft. Really you could aluminium skin that section the same way if needed. I was never aware until now that they were not. Never looked!!

My thoughts looking at the first pic or two is that I wonder if the designers ever really allowed for all the humps and bumps , rivet rows, joins etc in the skin when doing their aero calculations. If not they must have more drag and turbulence than allowed for.

#14 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 22:45

Do not drop your pencil in the cockpit, the next people to see it would be the riggers doing maintenance!! Not quite built for creature comfort!

#15 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 23:53

http://s190.photobuc...nt=IMG_0652.jpg

There is a well restored (but not in flying condition) Hurricane at the Spitfire & Hurricane Museum at Manston in Kent.

#16 JacnGille

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 00:34

Thanks Doug!

#17 JtP1

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 02:13

Keil Kraft built as a lad? I'm planning to fly my Spectre on Sunday weather permitting, although I didn't actually build it. Not actually got round to finishing the one I'm building

#18 Nev

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 07:55

Wonderful to see these photos. This plane has been haunting me since I opened a recent motoring magazine and saw that it was to come up for auction. I can dream can't I? :)

Echoes of its method of construction (shown beautifully in some of the photos) can be seen in some of the tiniest details of my own particular passion - a stillborn 1960s racer designed by Malcolm Sayer of Jaguar. A man steeped in aeronautic principles of construction from the time these charismatic planes were assembled. These details show through in the cars he subsequently went on to design in the 1950s and 1960s.

I do envy your "wordsmithing" skills and also suggest you may want to turn your talents to these engineering works of art? You could certainly count me in as a customer for a book such as that!

#19 tsrwright

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 10:34

Posted Image

The office - no cushion 'cos the pilot would sit on his parachute pack, lowered into that bucket seat. Shiny divergent panels are the heel boards for the intrepid pilot's size nines.

If anyone else is interested, I'll happily post some more. Makes a change from bloody racing cars, dunnit?

All Photos Strictly Copyright: The GP Library

DCN


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Pardon me introducing a racing car :)

The Walton Special c1953 has a seat rather like the Hurricane seat but who knows what it was off. There are still tiny traces of similar green paint and much reshaping and repair but no restoration otherwise. I would think it could do another 60 years. I do have a cushion to sit on but the CAMS Certificate of Description thoughtfully notes that originally there was no upholstery.

I still don't get the hole in the back - its not even clear in Doug's unusual and informative view for which many thanks.

PS photos are not to the same scale - I would say both seats are the same size.

Edited by tsrwright, 27 October 2012 - 11:03.


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#20 David Birchall

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 17:51

while this past 'summer' saw it flown for President Putin, no less, in Moscow.


What a pity the guns are not working...

#21 Perruqueporte

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 17:55

Thank you Doug for putting up these photographs - I had not seen the interior of a Hurricane in such detail before. What a beautiful thing.

I was privileged to be invited to the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust's annual get-together at Capel-le-Ferne in July 2008, and when we sat down to lunch I said hello to the chap sitting to my right and asked if he had a particular connection to the memorial etc., to which he startled me by saying "I own a Hawker Hurricane which was flown in the Battle of Britain by that gentleman sitting opposite us". The fellow sitting next to me was called Peter Vacher, and he had found the Hurricane in India some years earlier, and had then negotiated for a considerable time with the Indian government before he was allowed to bring it back to his home here in the UK, where it was restored. Wonderful story, wonderful and admirable thing to have done. I forget the name of the former RAF pilot sitting opposite us (but remember having seen him in television documentaries over the years), and was just as impressed to be told that the elderly lady sitting next to that fellow had been a wartime ATS pilot of note, with an impressive number of hours and aircraft types in her logbooks.

Christopher Wigdor

#22 Mistron

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 22:38

I rather suspect that while the look-at-me Ferrari fanciers would be inclined to prefer the glamour of a Spitfire, the Hurricane is more one for the cool and discreetly sophisticated taste of Aston Martin man?


DCN


Funnily enough, I was once been taken through the starting procedure of a very special DB3S (they are all special) and I commented to the owner about the very war dept. type switchgear to which he replied "yes, most of it is the same as on my Hurricane" presumably the source for the works racing dept?

I think he actually had a pair of Hurricans under restoration at the time, but no spitfire. He did have a Ferrari or two as well though.........

But most definately a Gentleman.

#23 monoposto

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 22:54

The fellow sitting next to me was called Peter Vacher, and he had found the Hurricane in India some years earlier, and had then negotiated for a considerable time with the Indian government before he was allowed to bring it back to his home here in the UK, where it was restored. Wonderful story, wonderful and admirable thing to have done.


The story is told in the book Hurricane R4118 by Peter Vacher



#24 IrishMariner

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 04:37

I do envy your "wordsmithing" skills and also suggest you may want to turn your talents to these engineering works of art? You could certainly count me in as a customer for a book such as that!


I'd like to second that opinion. I recently got the Haynes book about the Lotus 72 and, decent enough as it is, all it made me do was think of your excellent piece about the car for Autosport sometime in the early 90's. Ditto for your 86 Williams and the 88 McLaren. Cracking articles all of em and equalled by your work since then. Along with Mr Matthews' cutaways, your articles were the main reason I got Autosport. Prior to the Internet there were precious few sources to which a technically minded youngster could turn to.

If you do decide to turn your attention to aircraft, when considering your topic may I ask that you look at modern aircraft too. There's no end of 'definitive' books on warbirds, but less so on planes like Jumbo, A380 et al that all feature novel and interesting engineering,

The recent books by Leo McKinstry are very good and I recommend them to all

PS Nev, loved the XJ-13 site. That Disney video about flush rivetting amused us greatly in the office...where we specify remarkably similar methods now, some 70yrs later, in the structure of new airliners.'

Edited by IrishMariner, 28 October 2012 - 04:39.


#25 blackmme

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 07:11

I'd like to second that opinion. I recently got the Haynes book about the Lotus 72


Funnily enough as you bring up the subject of Haynes their is one of new series of Haynes books available covering the Hurricane. In my opinion wonderfully detailed it covers the history, engineering and operation of a Hurricane and is a really good read as well.

Regards Mike

#26 Wuzak

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 07:47

Very good pictures Doug. And nice words too.



#27 Wuzak

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 08:01

My thoughts looking at the first pic or two is that I wonder if the designers ever really allowed for all the humps and bumps , rivet rows, joins etc in the skin when doing their aero calculations. If not they must have more drag and turbulence than allowed for.


Doubtful, though I suppose an empirical factor may have been applied to compensate, based on previous experience with a particular type of construction.

Methods of construction and aerodynamics were advancing very fast in the years leading up to the war. As speeds increased new effects were discovered, such as compressibility. Aircraft such as the Typhoon, with very thick thickness to chord ratio wings, suffered more than others.

NACA developed the laminar flow aerofoil, which appeared on the Mustang/P-51. North American Aviation were quite keen to keep protuberances to a minimum, so the wings were filled and smoothed at the factory. Tests of the Supermarine Spiteful showed that its laminar flow wing was adversely affected by damage or dirt on it surface, losing its low drag properties.

#28 Wuzak

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 08:43

Further to that, the Hawker Tornado and Typhoon were intended to replace the Hurricane and Spitfire, the design competition being held before the Spitfire had even entered service.
The predicted top speed of the Hawker Tornado/Typhoon was approximately 460mph. But because of the immensely strong, thick wing and teh effects of compressibility the prototypes could only manage about 400mph. Later Typhoons with more power could get up to about 410mph.


#29 doc knutsen

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 09:02

The story is told in the book Hurricane R4118 by Peter Vacher


A very worthwhile read it is too, lesser humans would surely have thrown in the towel in the face of such incredible bureaucracy. R4118 is in fact a true Battle of Britain veteran.

I have always had a particular soft spot for the Hurricane, perhaps because the first book I read in English was Bader's "Reach for the Sky", in which he affectionately refers to the Hurricane as "bow-legged and hump-backed, like all of its ilk",
after he took over 242 (Canadian) Squadron, and painted the famous nose art of a flying boot with "242" on it, giving a certain Austrian corporal a good kick up his backside!

Wonderful detail studies, they will be of great use once my 1:1 scale workshop will give up some of its demands on my time, allowing me to complete my 1:32 Hurricane Mk 2.

#30 f1steveuk

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 16:19

Splendid pictures Doug, thank you.

In my museum days I did a little work on a Hurricane, and it was fascinating. We had a call about a Sea Hurricane for sale, and went to see it. I was getting somewhat puzzled as we turned into a pretty normal, small cul-de sac, to be faced by two garage doors. "Well", says I, "this can't be right!", but it was! One garage contained the main structure, wing beam/cockpit area (no engine) and the other, a series of tea chests filled with tubes and plates, this we were told, is all a Hurricane is. Each plate was numbered showing they were from the same airframe, and the tubes were in themselves, a work of art and engineering. The knack to a Hurricane is the round tubes have square ends, pressed on to them, but at specific angles, to give the tail it's shape. I recall being told at the time, Steve Vizard was the only man who had the press and dies to make all of these tubes from new. It was an eye opening education. I have always considered the Hurricane the aircraft that won the Battle of Britain. More of them, easier and quicker to build, and they could take a few more hits too. I suspect things have moved on since I dabbled, but those pictures certainly brought some of it back!!

Edited by f1steveuk, 28 October 2012 - 19:05.


#31 Tony Matthews

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 18:55

I have told the story in the Cutaway Thread that shortly after I started my aprenticeship with Jim Allington, I boldly declared that I was going to do a cutaway of a Hurricane. At this, Jim said "And where are you going to get the information?" Collapse of plan. If you don't have the info you are snookered. Now, if I'd had photographs of the quality and clarity of Doug's, things may have been different...

#32 David Birchall

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 19:31

Doug, the photos are really very good-and I recall you couldn't work out how to post photos on TNF a few years ago! May I ask what camera and lighting arrangements you used for these photos?

#33 Alfie

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 19:42

QUOTE (Lee Nicolle @ Oct 27 2012, 09:37) *
My thoughts looking at the first pic or two is that I wonder if the designers ever really allowed for all the humps and bumps , rivet rows, joins etc in the skin when doing their aero calculations. If not they must have more drag and turbulence than allowed for.


Doubtful, though I suppose an empirical factor may have been applied to compensate, based on previous experience with a particular type of construction.

Methods of construction and aerodynamics were advancing very fast in the years leading up to the war. As speeds increased new effects were discovered, such as compressibility. Aircraft such as the Typhoon, with very thick thickness to chord ratio wings, suffered more than others.

NACA developed the laminar flow aerofoil, which appeared on the Mustang/P-51. North American Aviation were quite keen to keep protuberances to a minimum, so the wings were filled and smoothed at the factory. Tests of the Supermarine Spiteful showed that its laminar flow wing was adversely affected by damage or dirt on it surface, losing its low drag properties.


Bear in mind that we look at this piece of engineering with significant hindsight now, and sometimes forget the pace of development at that time.

The rounded head of the rivet was then leading technology and IIRC it was on the Spitfire that the engineers found an additional 6-8 mph/knots - whatever - when the ability to reliably countersink the rivet head was developed.

Edited by Alfie, 28 October 2012 - 19:46.


#34 Doug Nye

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 19:54

Doug, the photos are really very good-and I recall you couldn't work out how to post photos on TNF a few years ago! May I ask what camera and lighting arrangements you used for these photos?


Indeed - right on all counts.

I seem to have chosen the perfect, pocket-sized (as long as it's a sizeable pocket) idiot camera - the Canon G11. It has extraordinary low-light capability and almost every shot (apart from the fuselage interior for which I resorted to the integral flash gun) was merely handheld in available light - select auto with one or two common sense fine-tunes and so long as you have a steady hand it just does the rest. Just a little bit of Photoshop cheating - which I adore doing - and much is revealed. Damn clever these rice rockets.

The most startling shots it has ever captured for me were actually in late dusk on the Mille Miglia Retro, picking out the Mercedes SS cockpit and nose detailing against the headlamp flare and the shapes and lights of cars running ahead of us.

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 28 October 2012 - 19:57.


#35 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 22:11

Indeed - right on all counts.

I seem to have chosen the perfect, pocket-sized (as long as it's a sizeable pocket) idiot camera - the Canon G11. It has extraordinary low-light capability and almost every shot (apart from the fuselage interior for which I resorted to the integral flash gun) was merely handheld in available light - select auto with one or two common sense fine-tunes and so long as you have a steady hand it just does the rest. Just a little bit of Photoshop cheating - which I adore doing - and much is revealed. Damn clever these rice rockets.

The most startling shots it has ever captured for me were actually in late dusk on the Mille Miglia Retro, picking out the Mercedes SS cockpit and nose detailing against the headlamp flare and the shapes and lights of cars running ahead of us.

DCN

I had a Fuji camera with similar characteristics and on occasion I could take some excellent pics, both detail like those or just good scenery pics.after about 5 years it stopped working as they do, though it had been dropped and abused a lot so I cannot complain. The one I have now I hate, but it does fit in my pocket but the claims made were crap. It is a happy snap camera and that is all, the flash is a waste of time. I now know what NOT to buy!!

#36 Doug Nye

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 22:39

While we are off topic on cameras - here is the Mille Miglia shot with which the Canon G11 so impressed me. I merely disabled the flash, pointed and pressed the tit. Then returned to reading the map. You can see the Merc's shadow thrown ahead of us by the xenon lights on the following modern, which I recall as a BMW carrying a TV crew. They soon passed us in an impossibly dangerous place,throwing all caution to the winds. It was interesting to have a run in the MM Retro, but not an experience I am too keen to repeat. Re the photograph, Cartier-Bresson I am not, but I love this image...

Posted Image

Photo Strictly Copyright: The GP Library

DCN

#37 David Birchall

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 01:50

That is a remarkable photo isn't it? Beautifull!
I looked up the specs of the camera and it was designed to do this sort of thing apparently.

Would love to hear more of your opinion of the MM Retro but I suppose this isn't the place...

#38 packapoo

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 06:05

Fascinating and informative post, many thanks Doug.

#39 Sunbeam74

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 14:36

Interesting restoration of a Hurricane.

http://www.jneaircra...AM274/2012.html



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#40 ZOOOM

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 16:06

Great stuff Doug...

While being from this side of the pond, I'm partial to the Mustang, Lightning and Corsair, I really understand the significance of the Spitfire and Hurricane.
Your photos show insights that I have never seen before and are truly beautiful.

Thanks!
ZOOOM

#41 kayemod

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 16:30

While being from this side of the pond, I'm partial to the Mustang, Lightning and Corsair, I really understand the significance of the Spitfire and Hurricane.


Given where you're posting from, perfectly understandable. I'd hope it won't come to that here on TNF, but when planes like the Spitfire are discussed, arguments often start on what was the 'best' fighter of WW2. I read a book years ago by an RAF man whose job it was to test fly and evaluate any plane that came their way, both Allied and Axis. Having flown just about everything that was around back then, his considered opinion was that the Spitfire was the best defensive fighter of that time, while the Mustang was the best 'offensive' machine. I'd have thought the FW190 would be in with a shout in the first category, but can't remember his reasons for rating it slightly below the Spit.

#42 La Sarthe

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 17:53

You mentioned DCN that the 12-gun configuration was rare. In fact the 'B' in the Mk.IIB designation indicated that it had the 6-gun wings, with the option of fitting bomb racks underneath - it commonly became known as the Hurri-bomber. This variant was actually one of the most-produced, along with the Mk.IIC. The latter had four 20mm cannon. For the record the Mk.IIA had the original eight Browning machine guns, the Mk.IID had two 40mm cannon and two sighting Brownings, whilst the Mk.IIE was a purpose-built ground attack variant with only two permanent Brownings but with the ability to carry a range of munitions under the wings, including rockets. The latter was soon redesignated the Mk.IV.

Hope that's clear :)

#43 kayemod

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 18:06

From late 43, all Hurricane production was MkIVs, and these were built with what was referred to as the 'universal' wing, which could be equipped with any of the MkII armament options listed by La Sarthe.

#44 Doug Nye

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 18:14

Not at all as certain as La Sarthe - this is a hobby interest for me, not my core subject - but I believe only two of the flyable Hurricanes surviving today sport six gun wings? HA-C as photographed and Peter Teichmann's Hurribomber?

For a fascinating insight into the difficulties of Hurricane restoration or replication, see here:

http://www.hawker-re...icles/loop.html

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 29 October 2012 - 18:53.


#45 Peter Morley

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 18:33

It always surprises me that there aren't more Hurricanes about. Apart from the BBMF one and this one are there any others in airworthy condition?

I know the main wing spar is a rather unusual steel but apart from that they appear easier to "fettle" and keep flying than the Spitfire.


I heard that the wing spar was the biggest problem but someone started remanufacturing them so it was possible to restore more Hurricanes to flying condition, the drawback being that the wing spar alone cost quarter of a million quid, there are around a dozen airworthy Hurricanes these days.
Apparently everything else is more time consuming than a Spitfire so Hurricane restoration costs are even higher.

#46 Garsted

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 19:36

Doug, an excellent very informative article.And some more pics would be great.
The bolted construction has to be less rigid than a welded one, and harder to fabricate too. Though probably easier to repair.And in the engine area easier to remove the engine and ancillarys, just unbolt the section in the way.

The wooden formers for the fuselage I have seen elsewhere, but where I cannot remember.Simple, light and functional with that construction of aircraft. Really you could aluminium skin that section the same way if needed. I was never aware until now that they were not. Never looked!!

My thoughts looking at the first pic or two is that I wonder if the designers ever really allowed for all the humps and bumps , rivet rows, joins etc in the skin when doing their aero calculations. If not they must have more drag and turbulence than allowed for.


Not my finest hour with a camera, but this picture taken at Brooklands sheds a bit more light on the construction.

https://www.dropbox....w7/CIMG2865.JPG

The fabric was not only tightened by dope; the U-sectioned stringers had another piece inserted into them from the outside in order to take out any slack. If you zoom in you can also see more detail of the bolted joints.

Steve

#47 D-Type

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 20:43

I heard that the wing spar was the biggest problem but someone started remanufacturing them so it was possible to restore more Hurricanes to flying condition, the drawback being that the wing spar alone cost quarter of a million quid, there are around a dozen airworthy Hurricanes these days.
Apparently everything else is more time consuming than a Spitfire so Hurricane restoration costs are even higher.

Although not disputing this for a minute, I find it difficult to reconcile with the Hurricane's in period reputation for being easier to repair when battle damaged. Is it a case of the difference between a fully equipped facility and an advance base in France, North Africa, Burma or wherever with limited tooling?

#48 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 21:42

Providing you have facory parts to bolt in it probably was. But to restore without them means you effectivly have to make a jig for all those bolt holes and sleeves.Wheras a welded comstruction is cut and mouth a piece of tubing and either Mig or Tig it in. A lot cheaper and less time consuming. And these days the equipment to do it properly is so readily advailable at a decent price. Unlike during the war.

#49 Peter Morley

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 22:08

Although not disputing this for a minute, I find it difficult to reconcile with the Hurricane's in period reputation for being easier to repair when battle damaged. Is it a case of the difference between a fully equipped facility and an advance base in France, North Africa, Burma or wherever with limited tooling?


The Hawker Restorations website mentions the following:

Unlike the Spitfire and it's contemporaries which are simple monocoque construction. Hawker Restorations had to have specialised steels manufactured, invest in extensive jigging and tooling and the acquisition of all the information to enable us to specialise in the restoration of this historic Mark...

Sydney Cam the Chief Designer for Hawker's did not believe in welded structures, only mechanically constructed joints. Thus involved taking special round tube and squaring it at each bay within the fuselage. This involved many precision parts, a typical joint in a Hurricane of which there are 100 's comprises of anywhere between a minimum of 20 items up to over 150 items per joint. The tolerances on every hole are less than 0.0005 thou. Specialised tube squaring equipment and jigging had to be developed to accomplish this...

...this consists of a front and rear spar that are roll formed and are 12 sided with an interference fit overlapping additional 12 sided spar. The spars are manufactured out of a high tensile spring steel which entailed sourcing and purchasing specialised steel and heat treatment. Over 120 pairs of specialised rolls had to be designed and manufactured to be used in conjunction with the sole remaining roll forming machine in England.


So manufacturing the components is rather tricky, once you have them it is presumably relatively easy to fit them in the battle field.

#50 Wuzak

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 23:20

Given where you're posting from, perfectly understandable. I'd hope it won't come to that here on TNF, but when planes like the Spitfire are discussed, arguments often start on what was the 'best' fighter of WW2. I read a book years ago by an RAF man whose job it was to test fly and evaluate any plane that came their way, both Allied and Axis. Having flown just about everything that was around back then, his considered opinion was that the Spitfire was the best defensive fighter of that time, while the Mustang was the best 'offensive' machine. I'd have thought the FW190 would be in with a shout in the first category, but can't remember his reasons for rating it slightly below the Spit.



A saying I heard from a friend of mine was "The P-51 can't do what a Spitfire can, but it can do it over Berlin".

The Fw 190A clearly outclassed the Spitfire V, leading to the rapidly developed Spitfire IX (basically Mk V with Merlin 60-series engine). As often was the case in the war, the interim IX was manufactured in far greater numbers than the definitive VIII (same engine, upgraded airframe).

The IX bested the Fw 190A, often helped by the fact that the Germans would mistake the IX for a V.

The Fw 190 evolved into the Fw 190D with Junkers Jumo 213 engine, whihc gave much better performance at altitude, and finally the Ta 152H high altitude interceptor.

The Fw 190D-9 was highly regarded, rated as one of the top 3 fighters of the war, along with the Spitfire XIV and P-51, by Eric "Winkle" Brown.