The Hawker Hurricane MkI hade been powered by a relatively old single-speed supercharged Merlin design, during 1940 the new Merlin XX (Mk.20) engine went into production, if incorporated a new two-speed supercharger, which could have its impeller-speed ratio changed by the pilot in response to the ambient air pressure, this resulted in an improved power to altitude performance curve, Hawker Hurricanes fitted with the new Merlin XX engines were designated Hawker Hurricane Mk II's fighters.
Hawker Hurricane MkII's had various changes made to their wings dependent on the role and environment they were to be used in, the Mk 2A had 8 machine guns, the Mk 2B had 12 machine guns, the Mk 2C had four 20mm Hispano cannon and two under wing 225kg bombs, the Mk 2D had twin 40mm Vickers anti-tank cannon, eventually a universal wing version was introduced, the Hawker Hurricane MkIV.
Hawker Hurricane Mk IIc Specifications:
- Crew: Pilot only
- Length: 32 ft 3 in (9.84 m)
- Wingspan: 40 ft 0 in (12.19 m)
- Height: 13 ft 1½ in (4.0 m)
- Empty weight: 5,745 lb (2,605 kg)
- Loaded weight: 7,670 lb (3,480 kg)
- Engine: Single 1,185 hp (883 kW) Rolls-Royce Merlin XX liquid-cooled V-12
- Maximum speed: 334 mph (505 km/h) at 21,500 ft (5,400 m)
- Range: 600 miles (965 km)
- Service ceiling: 36,000 ft (10,970 m)
Hawker Hurricane IIC Armament:
- 4× 20 mm Hispano Mk II cannon
- 2× 500 lb bombs or 2× 250 lb bombs
There were 14,533 Hurricanes built, 4,700 examples being Mk IIc's like the aircraft pictured above, PZ865, which was the last Hawker Hurricane built, this Mk IIc rolled off the production line at Langley, Buckinghamshire, in the summer of 1944 inscribed on both sides of the fuselage 'The Last of the Many', appropriate for the aircraft flown by so many of 'the few'. The aircraft was mothballed by Hawkers until used as a company test aircraft. In 1950, registered as G-AMAU, HRH Princess Margaret entered PZ865 in the Kings Cup Air Race, Piloted by Group Captain Peter Townsend, where it obtained second place.
WW2 fighter aces who flew Hurricane's to victory include these pilots (victories only whilst flying Hurricanes)
American pilots:Lance Wade (11 aircraft)
Australian pilots:Leslie Clisby (16 aircraft)Richard Cullen (9 aircraft)