The first Hawker Hurricane Mk.I's were delivered to the RAF in October 1937 and were the RAF's first monoplane fighter (the Bristol M1c was withdrawn from service as a fighter before the RAF was formed). The early production aircraft had fabric-covered wings, a wooden fixed-pitch propeller, lacked armour to protect the pilot and self-sealing fuel tanks, even worse in the event of a "scramble" they had to have their engines started by several ground-crew simultaneously cranking twin starting handles located either side of the engine cowling.
The Hawker Hurricane Ib first saw action in France in the early part of WW2 with the BEF (British Expeditionary Force). Fortunately by the start of the Battle of Britain in 1939 the RAF was in possession of 497 improved Hawker Hurricane Mk.I's, these were now fitted with a Rotol or deHavilland constant-speed metal propeller, ejector exhaust stacks, armour for the pilot, self sealing fuel tanks, electric starters and stressed duralumin-skinned wings. During the Battle of Britain the Hawker Hurricane fighters primarily engaged the German Bombers whilst the less numerous but more agile Supermarine Spitfire Mk I fighters engaged their Messerschmitt Bf 109 Fighter fighter escorts. It has always been debated which was the better fighter, the reliable stable gun platform Hawker Huricane I, or the more agile Supermarine Spitfire Mk I, there however be no doubt that due to the number of aircraft in service that the Battle Of Britain and effectively WWII, would have defiantly been lost if it was not for the Hawker Hurricane Mk I as they were responsible for shooting down 80% of all enemy aircraft shot down in the Battle.