|Engine||Rolls-Royce Merlin XX||Packard built Rolls- Royce Merlin 28|
|Power (hp)||1,280 (take-off)||1,300|
|Wing Load (kg/m2)||134.6||138.4||?|
|Power load (kg/hp)||2.52||2.59||?|
|Speed at 0m||?km/h|
|Speed at 6,706m||550km/h||550km/h||?km/h|
|Guns (original)||8*mg 7.7mm Browning Mk.II||12*mg 7.7mm Browning Mk.II|
|Guns (re-armed)||2*mg 12.7mm UB and 2*g 20mm ShVAK||2*mg 12.7mm UB and 2*g 20mm ShVAK|
|Bombs||2*113 or 227kg|
The Hurricane Mk.II was a development of the basic design intended to take the two-stage supercharged Rolls-Royce Merlin XX engine delivering 1,280hp (with 100-octane fuel) for take-off. On June 11, 1940 the first prototype (P3269, a converted Mk.I airframe) flew for the first time and with a top speed of 560km/h was the fastest Hurricane ever flown. The first production variant was the Hurricane Mk.IIA Series 1, an interim type which retained wings and armament (eight 7.7mm Browning Mk.II guns) of the Mk.I. But a new wing was already under development for the Hurricane. This was able to accommodate an armament of either twelve 7.7mm guns or four 20mm cannon and could carry also external stores (two 200l auxiliary tanks or two bombs of 113 or 227kg). This new wing, together with a strengthened and slightly longer (0.18m) fuselage produced the Hurricane Mk.IIA Series 2. Due to a shortage of Browning guns most of these aircraft carried only eight guns. The Hurricane Mk.IIA became operational with the RAF in September/October 1940.
The twelve-gun wing finally became standard with the Mk.IIB variant, which reached operational RAF units in 1941. At this time the Hurricane had largely been relegated to fighter-bomber and night fighter tasks over Western Europe, but on other theaters of operation (especially the Mediterranean) it still was the most numerous daylight fighter.
The Mk.X was the first Mark number of the Hurricane produced by CCF in Canada (Canadian mark numbers had to begin with "X", because Hawker demanded a large "number gap" to have enough free numbers left for designating its own planned further developments of the Hurricane) and equipped with the 1,300hp Packard-built Merlin 28 and Hamilton Standard propeller (before them CCF had already built 166 standard Hurricane Mk.Is with British Merlin III engines). It was basically similar to the Mk.IIB, but normally carried only eight 7.7mm guns. However, the machines of this type delivered to the Soviet Union were all upgraded with the twelve-gun armament (some even with the four 20mm cannon of the Mk.IIC). Production of this type commenced in mid- 1941.
From the available documentation it is not possible to trace down exactly, how many examples of each of the variants mentioned above have been delivered to Russia. But it seems likely that most of them were Mk.IIBs and - to a lesser extent - Mk.Xs. The Russians did some modifications to the Hurricane. They mainly concerned the armament, for the small-caliber 7.7mm machine-guns of the models IIA, IIB and X were no longer satisfactory at this stage of the war. The Soviets instead installed (from February 1942) two 20mm ShVAK cannon and two 12.7mm UB guns in the inner weapons bay (as can be seen on the photo below). One source quotes that this modification was made on the instigation of Lt. Col. B.S.Safonov. They also equipped the Hurricane for the use of Russian rocket projectiles. Another modification was the conversion into a two-seater with a rear-firing gun position.
|19k color drawing of a Hurricane Mk.IIB of the 1st GvIAP, Moscow region, 1942 from "Red Stars in the Sky", also used for the background of this page.|
|Created for RAM November 12, 1999
by Thomas Heinz