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Hawker Sea Hurricane

United Kingdom (1941)
Picture of Hawker Sea Hurricane Carrier-Borne Fighter Aircraft

The Hawker Sea Hurricane of World War 2 was a forced navalization of the successful, war-winning, land-based Hawker Hurricane monoplane fighter.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Hawker Sea Hurricane Carrier-Borne Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 6/26/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

When the need arose for British shipping to be protected from air attack during World War 2, the land-based Hawker Hurricane was selected for conversion into the "Sea Hurricane". Work was handled by the General Aircraft Limited company which took a Hurricane Mk I model fighter and added some 80 modifications to the design, making them adaptable for service about specially-modified Merchant Fleet and Naval Auxiliary vessels. Additional service found later Sea Hurricane marks fielded from Royal Navy escort carriers. 250 Mk I fighters were initially converted to the "Sea Hurricane Mk IA" standard and their appearance was first marked in 1941. Pilots were taken from the ranks of the Royal Air Force despite the aircraft's naval-centric combat role.

These early Sea Hurricanes were outfitted with "catapult spools" used for catapult-launching the aircraft from ships that did not have deck facilities built into their design (unlike an aircraft carrier). As such, Sea Hurricanes could be launched from these ships but not recovered in turn, leaving airmen to manage their fuel stores wisely and find an Allied base in which to land on or simply bail out of their aircraft in the hopes that they would be picked up by passing Allied vessels and not the enemy.

The Sea Hurricane Mk IB then introduced carrier deck arrestor equipment while it still retained the catapult spool function. The combination gear enabled the aircraft to operate from both merchant vessels and carrier decks without additional work added. The Mk IB appeared across 340 total conversions.

The Sea Hurricane Mk IC followed and contained the equipment of the Mk IB variant but introduced the all-cannon wing of its land-based Hurricane brethren (4 x Hispano cannons, two per wing). Their Rolls-Royce Merlin III series engines of 1,400 horsepower were also altered for improved service at lower altitudes, making this mark a more potent form. Service entry of the type was during February of 1942 and 400 conversions were added.

The Sea Hurricane Mk IIC was next in line with its uprated Rolls-Royce XX engine of 1,460 horsepower. These were further evolved over-water warfighters by way of specialized naval radio kits installed. They also retained the all-cannon wing of the Mk IC variant. These Mk IICs went on to serve aboard Royal Navy carriers once carriers became more available in the numbers required.

The Sea Hurricane Mk XIIA was a Canadian-built Hurricane Mk XIIA land-based model though converted to the Sea Hurricane standard. Canada also contributed over 1,400 land-based versions to the Hurricane 14,000+ total during the war.

Sea Hurricanes served in quantity for a good portion of the war, from their inception in 1941 up until 1943 to which then more dedicated naval fighter types were becoming available to the British including Supermarine Seafires (naval conversions of the classic Spitfire) and American Grumman F4F Wildcats.

Any available statistics for the Hawker Sea Hurricane Carrier-Borne Fighter Aircraft are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (314mph).

    Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk IIC's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1390
1390


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: United Kingdom
Year: 1941
Type: Carrier-Borne Fighter Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Hawker - UK
Production: 1,390
Global Operators:
United Kingdom
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk IIC model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
32.25 ft


Meters
9.83 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
40.03 ft


Meters
12.2 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
13.12 ft


Meters
4 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
5,769 lb


Kilograms
2,617 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
7,740 lb


Kilograms
3,511 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Rolls-Royce Merlin XX V-12 piston engine developing 1,280 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
314 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
505 kph


Knots
273 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
750 mi


Kilometers
1,207 km


Nautical Miles
652 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
34,501 ft


Meters
10,516 m


Miles
6.53 mi

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

INITIALLY:
8 x 7.7mm Colt-Browning machine guns in wings (four per wing element.

LATER:
4 x 20mm Hispano cannons in wings (two per wing element).
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Sea Hurricane Mk IA - Initial Conversion Model appeaing in 1941; provision for catapult launching; machine gun armament.
• Sea Hurricane Mk IB - Fitted with carrier arrestor gear in addition to catapult equipment; machine gun armament.
• Sea Hurricane Mk IC - Fitted with 4 x 20mm cannons in place of machine guns.
• Sea Hurricane Mk IIB - Versions of the Mk IC when fitted with Rolls-Royce Merlin XX engines; machine gun armament; limited production.
• Sea Hurricane Mk IIC - Versions of the Mk IC when fitted with Rolls-Royce Merlin XX engines; 4 x 20mm cannons; limited production.
• Sea Hurricane Mk XIIA - Canadian production/conversion of Hurricane Mk XIIA land fighter.