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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Battle of Britain Hawker Hurricane P3717 - Fresh Restoration to Airworthy Part 1

The aerial savior of Britain and incredibly adaptable to duties ranging from interception to ground-attack, anti-shipping and anti-tank roles, Sydney Camm's Hawker Hurricane is without doubt one of the most effective and heroic combat aircraft of World War II. It marked a number of significant firsts for the Royal Air Force, including its first monoplane fighter to enter service, the first with 8-gun armament, and the first to exceet 300 mph in level flight. 

The Hurricane prototype, K5083, just prior to its maiden flight in 1935.
The Hurricane performed yeoman service in the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain, in which it accounted for the most air-to-air victories of the Battle. The Hurricane went on to bolster the air forces of the USSR on the Eastern Front through Lend-Lease, and it was highly regarded by the Soviet pilots and crews for its toughness, effectiveness, and all-around capabilities. 

Wonderful wartime (1942) image of Hurricanes under construction.
Incredibly few Hurricanes remain today, with estimates numbering 11 or 12 in airworthy condition. Of those, only a few of the remaining examples were British-built by Hawker, with most of the survivors being license-built in Canada by Canadian Car & Foundry. Most survivors, while having trained combat pilots and served as coastal patrol aircraft in Canada, do not carry significant combat history, either. 

The Hurricane offered here, RAF number P3717, is a wonderful exception with full and unbroken provenance from new, as confirmed by the British Air Ministry Form 78 and confirmed Battle of Britain combat history. According to the RAF Squadron Combat Report, this Hurricane and its pilot were part of a scramble to intercept a large number of German bombers and their Bf 110 "Zerstorer" escorts. The pilot of this Hurricane, Pilot Officer W.M.C. Samolinski, was part of a two-flight formation scrambled to intercept the German raiders. In a wild 20-minutes from scramble to return to Kenley, Samolinski attacked two Bf 110s and sent one down smoking and another heavily damaged. While he silenced both Bf 110 tail gunners, the Hurricane was so badly damaged by their return fire that P3717 had to be returned to Hawker for a complete rebuild. When it was complete, P3717 was upgraded to Mk II standard. In May 1942, the Hurricane was sent to the USSR, where it was recovered in 1990. Sadly, P/O Samolinksi died at the controls of another Hurricane on either September 26 or 27 1940, depending upon the source used.
The Hurricane on offer in a late stage of expert restoration to airworthy condition.

A full restoration to certified airworthiness is almost complete now, and the Hurricane will return to the skies in tribute to all who defended Britain during some of its darkest days in 1940. It is now being offered for sale on behalf of its caring owner, and marks an incredible opportunity to own and operate a true artifact of living history. Its importance cannot be overstated and P3717 is accompanied by unbroken provenance from new supported by British Air Ministry Form 78), expert airworthy restoration, and Battle of Britain combat history. Feel free to contact me via email at for further details and to discuss its availability and pricing.

Update: Wings Fitted April 21 2013

If you want to learn more about restoring and operating a Hurricane fighter and what makes it tick, check out this affordable Haynes manual! 

Here is an image and brief flypast video of another Hurricane in action (below), and I hope you will enjoy  them!

A Hurricane in flight during a low pass at the Tillsonburg Municipal Airport,  taken Summer 2010 at one of the Canadian Harvard Association's wonderful Flying Days. This particular example was from Ed Russell's Russell Aviation Group. 

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