The Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter of wood and metal construction. The prototype flew in November 1935 and the first serial production aircraft were completed in October 1937. By the beginning of the Second World War, nearly 500 Hurricanes had been built, although the type was nearing obsolescence. In the Battle of Britain in the late summer and autumn of 1940, the Hurricane was the most numerous fighter in the Royal Air Force and achieved success especially against German bombers.
The Finnish Air Force ordered 12 practically new Hurricane Mk Is in February 1940. Finnish pilots flew the aircraft to Finland from Britain, where they received a short familiarisation training on the type. The route was across the North Sea from Scotland to Norway, and then through Sweden to Finland. Two aircraft were lost on the ferry flights. The remaining aircraft arrived in Finland in early March 1940, too late to see combat in the Winter War.
Lack of spares hampered Hurricane operations from the onset of the Continuation War, and the type saw only limited operational use. In an attempt to obtain spares, the Finns even resorted to scouring the crash sites of downed enemy Hurricanes. Britain delivered almost 3,000 Hurricanes to the Soviet Union under the lend-lease agreement. One of them ‒ a Mk IIA that had force-landed near the front line ‒ was repaired and taken into Finnish service as HC-465.
The importance of the world-renowned Hurricane for Finland was small, mainly due to the small number of aircraft and the chronical spares shortage. Finnish Hurricanes were credited with 5½ victories. Finnish pilots found the Hurricane easy to fly but not very manoeuvrable at low altitudes. Instead, at altitudes of over 4,000 meters, for which the aircraft was designed, the type was very agile. The Hurricane was the first aircraft in the Air Force to exceed 500 kilometres per hour in level flight. With 208 flight hours, the museum’s HC-452 is the highest-time Finnish Hurricane and was credited with 2½ victories. It is also one of the best-preserved wartime fighters in the collection ‒ even the paintwork and fabric covering have survived in their original condition.
Hawker Aircraft Ltd, Great Britain
Wing span 12.19 m; Maximum speed 510 km/h; Length 9.58 m; Height 4.04 m.i 12,19 m; Suurin nopeus 510 km/h; Pituus 9,58 m; Korkeus 4,04 m.