Following on from my initial post last week taking a look at UK based Hurricanes this week attention turns to the other examples flying in Europe, Canada and the United States.
AG244/G-CBOE – Germany
Returning to the air in 2015, G-CBOE is one of the most recent aircraft to join the airworthy ranks. In a short space of time this example managed to appear in two unique paint schemes. The Hurricane completed its flight testing before being painted into a temporary Finnish scheme for an airshow appearance In Finland in August 2014. On return from these special duties the airframe had the temporary scheme removed revealing the stunning all over silver Rhodesian scheme, resulting in a stunning looking aircraft.
The airframe was sold to Germany soon after those initial public displays in 2014 and has since made very rare appearances in the UK. To my knowledge the airframes only UK public appearance was taking part in the Battle of Britain commemorative flypast at Goodwood in September 2015. Hopefully this machine makes the journey back across the channel before too long.
RCAF 5481 – Scone, Australia
This Canadian built Hurricane saw service during the war at various training units in Canada. The airframe was acquired by Charles Church in the 1980s and following his death the restoration was completed by Dick Melton, first flying in 1991. Shortly after this flight the airframe was sold to the US, initially based in California. After many years of operation the Hurricane was purchased by Ed Russell in 2004, which saw the aircraft move to Canada. The Russell Collection, which also comprised of Spitfire MK912 and BF109E White 14, was put up for sale in 2013 and the airframe was sold to Australia shortly after. After a short restoration process the Hurricane flew again in 2016.
RCAF 5667/N943HH – Military Aviation Museum Virginia Beach
The first of the US based airworthy Hurricanes to feature in this post is ‘5667. As the serial number suggests this airframe is a Canadian built example that initially entered service in 1943. The aircraft saw out the war in service in Canada. Following a series of owners the airframe ultimately returned to flight in May 1994, before being sold to the Military Aviation Museum in 2001. This airframe wears the course of V6793.
When I visited Virginia Beach in 2014 I was lucky enough to see this Hurricane in the air on a local flight and get a few shots of it in the hangar.
P3351/F-AZXR – J Roozen, France
Unlike the majority of the overseas based Hurricanes this airframe was constructed in the UK, at Brooklands. The airframe rolled off the production line in 1940 and went on to see considerable service with 73 squadron during the Battle of France.While ‘351’s RAF service life was a busy one, it was already over by September 1941, when the airframe was transferred to Russia. The airframe crashed in 1943 and would go untouched until 1991 when Jim Pearce and his team recovered the airframe. The project would eventually join the Alpine Fighter Collection with the first flight taking place in New Zealand in early 2000. In early 2013 the aircraft was sold and shipped to France where it has been operated ever since by J Roozen. This is another airframe that will be familiar to UK enthusiasts as it has been a welcome guest to the Flying Legends show at Duxford on a number of occasions, typically being energetically flown by Keith Skilling.
BW881 – Flying Heritage Collection
This airframe was initially build in Canada in 1941 to a Sea Hurricane Mk I standard. Much like the other Canadian built examples in this post, the airframe spent a lot of time with Canadian based squadrons. Ultimately this airframe would find its way to Hawker Restorations. The rebuild would ultimately come to a conclusion in 2006 with a series of test flights from Wattisham. Shortly after this the aircraft was dismantled and shipped to Paul Allen’s Flying Heritage Collection where the Hurricane flies regularly alongside the other aircraft based in Seattle.
KZ321/C-FTPM – Vintage Wings of Canada
This airframe will, I’m sure be the source of many fond memories for any UK based enthusiasts. Hurricane Mk IV KZ321 has a largely unknown history, with confusion over the correct serial number for this aircraft. The remains of the aircraft passed through a number of UK based private owners before being acquired by Stephen Grey in 1991. This aircraft was another Hawker Restorations project and first flew in July 2003. Shortly after the first flight the aircraft arrived at Duxford. Sadly this beautiful example of the Hurricane, which was always flown in a spirited manner, only appeared at UK airshows for two years before being sold to Canada in 2006. The airframe, the only airworthy Mk IV in the world, is now operated by Vintage Wings of Canada and is currently for sale.
That concludes the Warbird Tails look at the airworthy Hurricanes around the world. I would again suggest that anyone interested in learning more about the surviving aircraft take the chance to purchase the excellent Hawker Hurricane survivors book.