Monday, October 15, 2007

RCAF Hawker Hurricanes Part 1

Over the last few years I've been collecting RCAF Hurricane photos and information to publish an article regarding misconceptions about the RCAF Hawker Hurricane fleet. I've acquired some neat photos, some never before published, so I thought I would publish some of that information here.

The first Hurricanes operated by the RCAF were fabric wing, two blade prop British built Mk. Is. They were carried RCAF serials 310 to 329.

Canadian Car and Foundry were soon contracted to provide Hurricanes both for the RCAF and RAF. A British build Hurricane Mk. I (L1848) was provided to CC&F as a pattern aircraft for production.

The first Hurricanes produced for the RCAF by CC&F were Hurricane Xs. These were basically Canadian built Hurricane Mk. Is with cut down Battle props without spinners, eight gun wings, and no glare shields. They carried RCAF serials 1351 to 1380.

The RCAF also received Sea Hurricanes. Yes, the RCAF got some Sea Hurricanes complete with hooks. They were built by CC&F for the FAA but were diverted to Canada. They were in the BW835 to BW884 serial range. The RCAF Sea Hurricanes were basically a Hurricane Mark I with a hook, a DH spinner with a cut down Battle prop, and an eight gun wing. Early in service they carried the Fleet Air Arm scheme of Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey over Sky. (A common misconception here is that they didn't have hooks. I can't confirm if they all had hooks or some did and some didn't but this one sure did.) This one is BW850 BV-T of 126 (F) Squ. RCAF.

I think what has tripped up many Hurricane researchers is that the RCAF Hurricane Xs and Sea Hurricanes were sent back to CC&F for conversion to Hurricane XII standard, though they retainted the eight gun wing. Here is one of the Sea Hurricanes, BW870, after conversion into a Hurricane XIIa.
The conversion included a Hamilton Standard prop (sometimes with a spinner, sometimes without), a Packard built Merlin along with the longer Mark II nose, and glare shields. I think BW870 belonged to Trenton Station Flight. Notice there is no yellow ring in the fuselage roundel.
Next up are two aircraft in the standard RCAF Hurricane XII configuration. Hamilton Standard propeller without spinner, glare shields, and twelve gun wing. Those these airplanes were build as XIIs by CCF. The new build XIIs were RCAF serial 5376 to 5775.
March of Dimes RCAF # 5398

RCAF # 5625 operated by 13 (Photo) Squ. RCAF. This aircraft has a unique camouflage pattern carried only by 13 Squ. Spitfires and Hurricanes.

Another fun misconception is that RCAF Hurricanes didn't carry spinners. So here are a few that do:

All of these aircraft are 1 (RCAF) OTU birds in XII configuration. All carry spinners and buzz numbers. Notice the spinners are the unique "Canadian" spinner over the Hamilton Standard prop. Sadly, I don't have serials for all of these planes, but notice that the first plane in the group photo has a tropical filter.


David M. Knights said...

Thanks for the nice primer on RCAF Hurricanes. I love the color photo. Is that from someone's collection?

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Pierre Lagacé said...

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