Mystery Plane

by wjw on November 24, 2012

I won’t say where in my travels I encountered this, but it’s a most unusual aircraft.

What do we see here?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Clyde November 24, 2012 at 9:15 am

That appears to be a Hawker Hurricane.
Not as famous as its contemporary, the Submarine Spitfire, but claimed by some to have been the better gun platform.

wjw November 24, 2012 at 9:26 am

May I just point out how smart my readers are? That answer took less than ten minutes.

That is indeed a Hawker Hurricane, for all that it’s painted in Soviet colors, as No. 01 of the Hurricanes that were delivered to the Red Air Force during World War II. (The British pilots who trained their Soviet colleagues, and who led them in combat missions, were among the few Westerners to win the Order of Lenin.)

This Hurricane is, I believe, a replica made for the Battle of Britain movie, and was delivered to New Zealand by no less a figure than Air Marshal Park, who— in addition to being a Battle of Britain hero— was in fact a Kiwi.

The Hurricane was painted in Soviet colors to honor a visiting Russian rugby team, which must have made sense to everyone at the time.

Andrew November 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm

It is probably this one
Hurricane Mk IIa DR393 (registered ZK-TPK) was originally a Mk I P3351. It was delivered to the RAF, and crashed near Prestwick on 21 July 1940. Rebuilt as Mk IIa DR393 the aircraft was delivered to the Soviet Air Force in May 1941, serving for about two years before again crashing near Murmansk, Russia in 1943. The hulk was eventually restored as a Mk IIc in the UK from 1992 to 1995. It was transferred to New Zealand in 1995, and acquired by the New Zealand Fighter Pilots Museum in Wanaka, New Zealand. Its first flight after restoration occurred in Christchurch on 12 January 2000.[7]

Which seems to be the only Hurricane in NZ, It’s not that unnusual an aircraft if you’re British

Lektu November 25, 2012 at 12:03 am

Clyde, shouldn’t that be “Supermarine” Spitfire? 😉

Clyde November 25, 2012 at 4:13 am

Yes indeed — “Supermarine Spitfire” is correct. Brain fart I guess.

***Essentially, all models are wrong, but some models are useful. — John Tukey***

wjw November 25, 2012 at 7:09 am

Andrew, you’re right that it’s not that unusual an aircraft. I was hoping the Soviet markings would send people diving into the Yakovlev catalogue of weird aircraft, but y’all were just too smart.

TC/Writer Underground November 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

Gotta love the Hurricane — it had more kills during the Battle of Britain than its better-known counterpart, the Spitfire. A noted by Clyde, a lot of pilots felt it was a better gun platform than the Spitfire but it was slower and less zippy, so it was tasked with taking on the German bombers while the Spitfire drivers tangled with the Messerschmitts.

When my brothers were building models of Mustangs and Lightnings, I built a Hurricane.

d brown November 29, 2012 at 7:35 am

From what I remember reading the Hurricane had a lot of .50 guns and the Spitfire had fewer .303’s. They said nothing still fly’s as good as a Spitfire. But the Hurricane was simper to make and a better killer. Look at what a cool name will do.

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