An air show, is a public event where aircraft are exhibited. They include aerobatics demonstrations, without they are called "static air shows" with aircraft parked on the ground; the largest air show measured by number of exhibitors and size of exhibit space is Le Bourget followed by Farnborough, while Dubai air show and Singapore Air Show are both claiming the third place. The largest air show or fly-in by number of participating airplanes is EAA AirVenture Oshkosh known as "Oshkosh" after its location in Wisconsin, with 10,000 airplanes participating each year; the biggest military airshow in the world is the Royal International Air Tattoo, at RAF Fairford in England. Some airshows are held as a business venture or as a trade event where aircraft and other services are promoted to potential customers. Many air shows are held in support of national or military charities. Military air firms organise air shows at military airfields as a public relations exercise to thank the local community, promote military careers and raise the profile of the military.
Air "seasons" vary around the world. The United States enjoys a long season that runs from March to November, covering the spring and fall seasons. Other countries have much shorter seasons. In Japan air shows are events held at Japan Self-Defense Forces bases throughout the year; the European season starts in late April or Early May and is over by mid October. The Middle East and New Zealand hold their events between January and March. However, for many acts, the "off-season" does not mean a period of inactivity; the type of displays seen at an are constrained by a number of factors, including the weather and visibility. Most aviation authorities now publish rules and guidance on minimum display heights and criteria for differing conditions. In addition to the weather and organizers must consider local airspace restrictions. Most exhibitors will plan "full," "rolling" and "flat" display for varying weather and airspace conditions; the types of shows vary greatly. Some are large scale military events with large flying displays and ground exhibitions while others held at small local airstrips can feature just one or two hours of flying with just a few stalls on the ground.
Air Displays can be held during day or night with the latter becoming popular. Shows don't always take place over airfields; the first public international airshow, at which many types of aircraft were displayed and flown, was the Grande Semaine d'Aviation de la Champagne, held Aug. 22-29, 1909 in Reims. This had been preceded by what may have been the first gathering of enthusiasts, June 28-July 19 of the same year at the airfield at La Brayelle, near Douai. Before the Second World War, air shows were associated with long distance air races lasting many days and covering thousands of miles. While the Reno Air Races keep this tradition alive, most air shows today feature a series of aerial demos of short duration. Most air shows feature warbirds and demonstrations of modern military aircraft, many air shows offer a variety of other aeronautical attractions as well, such as wing-walking, radio-controlled aircraft, water/slurry drops from firefighting aircraft, simulated helicopter rescues and sky diving.
Specialist aerobatic aircraft have powerful piston engines, light weight and big control surfaces, making them capable of high roll rates and accelerations. A skilled pilot will be able to climb vertically, perform tight turns, tumble his aircraft end-over-end and perform manoeuvres during loops. Larger airshows can be headlined by military jet demonstration teams. In the United States, those are the U. S. Navy Blue Angels and USAF Thunderbirds; the Canadian Forces Snowbirds will headline many airshows in the United States. Many airshows in the United Kingdom are headlined by the RAF's Red Arrows. Solo military jet demos known as tactical demo, feature one aircraft a strike fighter or an advanced trainer; the demonstration focuses on the capabilities of modern aircraft used in combat operations. The display will demonstrate the aircraft's short rolls, fast speeds, slow approach speeds, as well as their ability to make tight turns, to climb and their ability to be controlled at a large range of speeds.
Manoeuvres include aileron rolls, barrel rolls, hesitation rolls, Cuban-8s, tight turns, high-alpha flight, a high-speed pass, double Immelmans, touch-and-gos. Tactical demos may include simulated bomb drops, sometimes with pyrotechnics on the ground for effect. Aircraft with special characteristics that give them unique capabilities will display those in their demos. An F-22 pilot may hover his jet in the air with the nose pointed straight up, a Harrier or Osprey pilot may perform a vertical landing or vertical takeoff, so on. Air shows may present some risk to aviators. Accidents have occurred, sometimes with a large loss of life, such as the 1988 disaster at Ramstein Air Base in Germany and the 2002 air show crash at Sknyliv, Ukraine; because of these accidents, the various aviation authorities around the world have set rules and guidance for those running and participating in air displays. For example, after the breakup of an
Imperial War Museum Duxford
Imperial War Museum Duxford is a branch of the Imperial War Museum near Duxford in Cambridgeshire, England. Britain's largest aviation museum, Duxford houses the museum's large exhibits, including nearly 200 aircraft, military vehicles and minor naval vessels in seven main exhibition buildings; the site provides storage space for the museum's other collections of material such as film, documents and artefacts. The site accommodates several British Army regimental museums, including those of the Parachute Regiment and the Royal Anglian Regiment. Based on the historic Duxford Aerodrome, the site was operated by the Royal Air Force during the First World War. During the Second World War Duxford played a prominent role during the Battle of Britain and was used by United States Army Air Forces fighter units in support of the daylight bombing of Germany. Duxford remained an active RAF airfield until 1961. After the Ministry of Defence declared the site surplus to requirements in 1969 the Imperial War Museum received permission to use part of the site for storage.
The entirety of the site was transferred to the museum in February 1976. In keeping with the site's history many of Duxford's original buildings, such as hangars used during the Battle of Britain, are still in use. Many of these buildings are of particular architectural or historic significance and over thirty have listed building status, Duxford "retain the best-preserved technical fabric remaining from up to November 1918" and being "remarkably well-preserved"; the site features several purpose-built exhibition buildings, such as the Stirling Prize-winning American Air Museum, designed by Sir Norman Foster. The site remains an active airfield and is used by civilian flying companies, hosts regular air shows; the site is operated in partnership with Cambridgeshire County Council and the Duxford Aviation Society, a charity formed in 1975 to preserve civil aircraft and promote appreciation of British civil aviation history. The Imperial War Museum originated during the First World War in 1917 as the National War Museum committee, formed by the British government to record the war effort and sacrifice of Britain and her Empire.
The museum opened in 1920. With the outbreak of the Second World War, the museum's terms of reference were enlarged to include the conflict; the museum's terms of reference was broadened again in 1953 to include all modern conflicts in which British or Commonwealth forces were engaged. The effect of these expansions of remit was to cause the museum's collections to expand enormously, to the point that many parts of the collection those of aircraft and artillery, could not be stored or exhibited. Although the museum's south London home had been extended in 1966, by the end of the decade the museum was seeking additional space. RAF Duxford, a Royal Air Force fighter station had been declared surplus to requirements by the Ministry of Defence in 1969, the museum duly requested permission to use part of one of the airfield's hangars as temporary storage. Duxford featured three double bay hangars of First World War vintage, which together provided over 9000 m2 of space. Within two years, ten of the museum's aircraft had been brought to Duxford, were being restored by volunteers of the East Anglia Aviation Society.
While the museum's own aircraft were not restored to flying condition, by cooperating with private groups the museum was able to mount its first airshow in 1973. Further air shows followed, with a display in June 1976 attracting an audience of 45,000 people; the runway was bought by Cambridgeshire County Council in 1977. The success of these shows provided a valuable source of revenue, complemented the efforts of volunteers, so that the museum applied for the permanent transfer of the entire site to its use. Permission was received in February 1976 and Duxford became the first outstation of the Imperial War Museum. Open from March–October, Duxford received 167,000 visitors in the 1977 season, 340,000 in 1978. Two million visitors had been received by 1982 and Duxford welcomed its ten millionth visitor in August 2005. Duxford has been associated with British military aviation since 1917, when a site near the village of Duxford, in southern Cambridgeshire, was selected for a new Royal Flying Corps training aerodrome.
From 1925 Duxford became a fighter airfield, a role it was to retain until the end of its operational life, in August 1938 the Duxford-based No.19 Squadron RAF became the first to operate the Supermarine Spitfire. With the outbreak of war in September 1939 Duxford was home to three RAF squadrons engaged on coastal patrol duties. From July 1940, Duxford saw considerable action during the Battle of Britain as a sector station of RAF Fighter Command's No. 12 Group. In the middle years of the war Duxford was home to specialist units, such as the tacticians and engineers of the Air Fighting Development Unit. In April 1942 the first Typhoon Wing was formed at Duxford. Notable among the pilots of the Wing was Group Captain John Grandy who would rise to be Chief of the Air Staff and served as Chairman of the Trustees of the Imperial War Museum from 1978 to 1989. In March 1943 the United States Army Air Forces' 78th Fighter Group started to arrive at Duxford with their Republic P-47 Thunderbolts; the Group reequipped with North American P-51 Mustangs in December 1944 and until the end of the war in Europe the Group remained at Duxford carrying out bomber escort and fighter sweeps, ground strafing and ground attack missions.
Duxford was returned to the RAF
A warbird is any vintage military aircraft now operated by civilian organizations and individuals or, in some instances, by historic arms of military forces, such as the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, the RAAF Museum Historic Flight or the South African Air Force Museum Historic Flight. Restored warbirds are a frequent attraction at airshows. Modified as well as "stock" warbirds can frequently be seen at air races, since World War II-era fighters are among the fastest propeller-driven airplanes built; some of the most popular warbirds for races are the North American P-51 Mustang, the Hawker Sea Fury, the Grumman F8F Bearcat and the North American T-6 Texan. Although the term implied piston-driven aircraft from the World War II era, it is now extended to include all airworthy former military aircraft, including jet-powered aircraft. Vintage jet aircraft in airworthy condition, are much rarer due to technical complexity. Sometimes, modern production aircraft such as Allison V-1710-powered Yakovlev Yak-9s from Yakovlev and replicas and reproductions of vintage aircraft are called "warbirds", such as Messerschmitt Me 262s built by the Me 262 Project and Focke-Wulf Fw 190s by Flug + Werk.
Such replicated warbirds may be powered by vintage engines from the era of the aircraft design being flown, as Cole Palen and others associated with his institution did at Palen's Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome aviation museum with accurate and airworthy reproductions of the Fokker Dr. I, Fokker D. VII, Fokker D. VIII, Sopwith Camel and Sopwith Dolphin World War I aircraft. Alpine Fighter Collection of New Zealand Fighter Pilots Museum Amicale Jean-Baptiste Salis Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum Shuttleworth Collection Temora Aviation Museum The Fighter Collection In the United States: Army Aviation Heritage Foundation, Georgia United States Aviation Museum, Ohio EAA AirVenture Museum, Wisconsin American Airpower Heritage Museum, Texas Lone Star Flight Museum, Texas Cole Palen's Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, Red Hook, New York Collings Foundation Fantasy of Flight Planes of Fame Museum, Chino, CA Yankee Air Force Military Aviation Museum, Virginia Beach, Virginia Vintage warbird restoration, or classic aircraft restoration, is the process of taking aircraft from the previous era, performing processes such as maintenance and refurbishments in order to restore these military aircraft to their original wartime state.
According to Classic Warplanes, some of the tasks performed on these vintage aircraft include: Structural repairs Standard maintenance Interior and exterior paint Decals and stamps Upholstery replacements Control heads and radios Parachutes, ejection seats, ejection seat cartridges Rewiring Replacement of real weaponry with non-operating replicas There are several different types of warbirds such as the fighter, bomber, transports, etc. Examples of aircraft types include the North American P-51 Mustang, Vought F4U Corsair, Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, North American T-6 Texan, Beechcraft T-34 Mentor, Messerschmitt Bf 109, Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire. There are great warbirds air-shows all over the world annually. Warbird Alley claims that some of the best-known air shows in the United States that feature warbirds are: EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Wisconsin Alliance Airshow, Fort Worth, Texas Dayton Airshow, Ohio History of Flight Airshow, New York Indianapolis Airshow, Indiana Miramar Airshow, California Orlando Air Fair, Florida Spirit of Flight Airshow, Texas Commemorative Air Force AIRSHO, Texas Warbirds over the Beach, Virginia Beach, Virginia Warbirds over Monroe, North Carolina Classic Fighters Omaka, New Zealand Warbirds over Wanaka, New Zealand Warbirds Downunder, AustraliaIn Europe, one of the best known warbird air show is the annual Flying Legends arranged in Imperial War Museum Duxford in UK.
La Ferté-Alais air show in France collects warbirds annually too. Warbirds fly in most of the Shuttleworth Collection flying days in UK every summer; some organizations in the United States are: Experimental Aircraft Association. The primary focus of the group started with building individual airplanes, it soon grew to include antiques, warbirds, aerobatic aircraft, ultralights and contemporary manufactured aircraft. Warbirds of America is a non-profit organization formed in 1964. A year after its start, it became a branch of the EAA. Classic Jet Aircraft Association Antique aircraft Aviation archaeology EAA AirVenture Museum Historic Aircraft Restoration Museum Category:Lists of surviving aircraft Warbirds over Wanaka Australian Warbirds Association Classic Jet Aircraft Association Commemorative Air Force Experimental Aircraft Association EAA AirVenture EAA Warbirds of America. Federal Aviation Administration New Zealand Warbirds The Fighter Collection Imperial War Museum Duxford Shuttleworth Collection
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is a four-engined heavy bomber developed in the 1930s for the United States Army Air Corps. Competing against Douglas and Martin for a contract to build 200 bombers, the Boeing entry outperformed both competitors and exceeded the air corps' performance specifications. Although Boeing lost the contract because the prototype crashed, the air corps ordered 13 more B-17s for further evaluation. From its introduction in 1938, the B-17 Flying Fortress evolved through numerous design advances, becoming the third-most produced bomber of all time, behind the four-engined B-24 and the multirole, twin-engined Ju 88; the B-17 was employed by the USAAF in the daylight strategic bombing campaign of World War II against German industrial and military targets. The United States Eighth Air Force, based at many airfields in central and southern England, the Fifteenth Air Force, based in Italy, complemented the RAF Bomber Command's nighttime area bombing in the Combined Bomber Offensive to help secure air superiority over the cities and battlefields of Western Europe in preparation for the invasion of France in 1944.
The B-17 participated to a lesser extent in the War in the Pacific, early in World War II, where it conducted raids against Japanese shipping and airfields. From its prewar inception, the USAAC promoted the aircraft as a strategic weapon, it developed a reputation for toughness based upon stories and photos of badly damaged B-17s safely returning to base. The B-17 dropped more bombs than any other U. S. aircraft in World War II. Of the 1.5 million tonnes of bombs dropped on Nazi Germany and its occupied territories by U. S. aircraft, 640,000 tonnes were dropped from B-17s. In addition to its role as a bomber, the B-17 was employed as a transport, antisubmarine aircraft, drone controller, search-and-rescue aircraft; as of May 2015, 10 aircraft remain airworthy, though none of them were flown in combat. Dozens more are on static display; the oldest of these is a D-series flown in combat in the Caribbean. On 8 August 1934, the USAAC tendered a proposal for a multiengine bomber to replace the Martin B-10.
The Air Corps was looking for a bomber capable of reinforcing the air forces in Hawaii and Alaska. Requirements were for it to carry a "useful bombload" at an altitude of 10,000 ft for 10 hours with a top speed of at least 200 mph, they desired, but did not require, a range of 2,000 mi and a speed of 250 mph. The competition for the air corps contract was to be decided by a "fly-off" between Boeing's design, the Douglas DB-1, the Martin Model 146 at Wilbur Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio; the prototype B-17, with the Boeing factory designation of Model 299, was designed by a team of engineers led by E. Gifford Emery and Edward Curtis Wells, was built at Boeing's own expense, it combined features of 247 transport. The B-17's armament consisted of five.30 caliber machine guns, with a payload up to 4,800 lb of bombs on two racks in the bomb bay behind the cockpit. The aircraft was powered by four Pratt & Whitney R-1690 Hornet radial engines, each producing 750 hp at 7,000 ft; the first flight of the Model 299 was on 28 July 1935 with Boeing chief test pilot Leslie Tower at the controls.
The day before, Richard Williams, a reporter for The Seattle Times, coined the name "Flying Fortress" when – observing the large number of machine guns sticking out from the new airplane – he described it as a "15-ton flying fortress" in a picture caption. The most unusual mount was in the nose, which allowed the single machine gun to be fired toward any frontal angle. Boeing had it trademarked for use. Boeing claimed in some of the early press releases that Model 299 was the first combat aircraft that could continue its mission if one of its four engines failed. On 20 August 1935, the prototype flew from Seattle to Wright Field in nine hours and three minutes with an average cruising speed of 252 miles per hour, much faster than the competition. At the fly-off, the four-engined Boeing's performance was superior to those of the twin-engined DB-1 and Model 146. Major General Frank Maxwell Andrews of the GHQ Air Force believed that the capabilities of large four-engined aircraft exceeded those of shorter-ranged, twin-engined aircraft, that the B-17 was better suited to new, emerging USAAC doctrine.
His opinions were shared by the air corps procurement officers, before the competition had finished, they suggested buying 65 B-17s. Development continued on the Boeing Model 299, on 30 October 1935, Army Air Corps test pilot Major Ployer Peter Hill and Boeing employee Les Tower took the Model 299 on a second evaluation flight; the crew forgot to disengage the "gust locks", which locked control surfaces in place while the aircraft was parked on the ground, after takeoff, the aircraft entered a steep climb, nosed over, crashed, killing Hill and Tower. The crashed Model 299 could not finish the evaluation. While the air corps was still enthusiastic about the aircraft's potential, army officials were daunted by its cost. Army Chief of Staff Malin Craig cancelled the order for 65 YB-17s, ordered 133 of the twin-engined Douglas B-18 Bol
North American P-51 Mustang
The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang is an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II and the Korean War, among other conflicts. The Mustang was designed in 1940 by North American Aviation in response to a requirement of the British Purchasing Commission; the Purchasing Commission approached North American Aviation to build Curtiss P-40 fighters under license for the Royal Air Force. Rather than build an old design from another company, North American Aviation proposed the design and production of a more modern fighter; the prototype NA-73X airframe was rolled out on 9 September 1940, 102 days after the contract was signed, first flew on 26 October. The Mustang was designed to use the Allison V-1710 engine which, in its earlier variants, had limited high-altitude performance; the aircraft was first flown operationally by the RAF as a tactical-reconnaissance aircraft and fighter-bomber. Replacing the Allison with a Rolls-Royce Merlin resulted in the P-51B/C model and transformed the aircraft's performance at altitudes above 15,000 ft, allowing it to compete with the Luftwaffe's fighters.
The definitive version, the P-51D, was powered by the Packard V-1650-7, a license-built version of the two-speed two-stage-supercharged Merlin 66, was armed with six.50 caliber M2/AN Browning machine guns. From late 1943, P-51Bs and Cs were used by the USAAF's Eighth Air Force to escort bombers in raids over Germany, while the RAF's Second Tactical Air Force and the USAAF's Ninth Air Force used the Merlin-powered Mustangs as fighter-bombers, roles in which the Mustang helped ensure Allied air superiority in 1944; the P-51 was used by Allied air forces in the North African, Mediterranean and Pacific theaters. During World War II, Mustang pilots claimed to have destroyed 4,950 enemy aircraft. At the start of the Korean War, the Mustang, by redesignated F-51, was the main fighter of the United Nations until jet fighters, including North American's F-86, took over this role. Despite the advent of jet fighters, the Mustang remained in service with some air forces until the early 1980s. After the Korean War, Mustangs became air racing aircraft.
In April 1940 the British government established a purchasing commission in the United States, headed by Sir Henry Self. Self was given overall responsibility for Royal Air Force production and research and development, served with Sir Wilfrid Freeman, the Air Member for Development and Production. Self sat on the British Air Council Sub-committee on Supply and one of his tasks was to organize the manufacturing and supply of American fighter aircraft for the RAF. At the time, the choice was limited, as no U. S. aircraft in production or flying met European standards, with only the Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk coming close. The Curtiss-Wright plant was running at capacity, so P-40s were in short supply. North American Aviation was supplying its Harvard trainer to the RAF, but was otherwise underused. NAA President "Dutch" Kindelberger approached Self to sell the B-25 Mitchell. Instead, Self asked. Kindelberger said NAA could have a better aircraft with the same Allison V-1710 engine in the air sooner than establishing a production line for the P-40.
The Commission stipulated armament of four.303 in machine guns, a unit cost of no more than $40,000 and delivery of the first production aircraft by January 1941. In March 1940, 320 aircraft were ordered by Freeman, who had become the executive head of the Ministry of Aircraft Production and the contract was promulgated on 24 April; the NA-73X, designed by a team led by lead engineer Edgar Schmued, followed the best conventional practice of the era, but included several new features. One was a wing designed using laminar flow airfoils, which were developed co-operatively by North American Aviation and the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics; these airfoils generated low drag at high speeds. During the development of the NA-73X, a wind tunnel test of two wings, one using NACA five-digit airfoils and the other using the new NAA/NACA 45–100 airfoils, was performed in the University of Washington Kirsten Wind Tunnel; the results of this test showed the superiority of the wing designed with the NAA/NACA 45–100 airfoils.
The other feature was a new cooling arrangement. They discovered that, after much development, the cooling assembly could take advantage of the "Meredith effect", in which heated air exited the radiator with a slight amount of jet thrust; because NAA lacked a suitable wind tunnel to test this feature, it used the GALCIT 10 ft wind tunnel at the California Institute of Technology. This led to some controversy over whether the Mustang's cooling system aerodynamics were developed by NAA's engineer Edgar Schmued or by Curtiss, although NAA had purchased the complete set of P-40 and XP-46 wind tunnel data and flight test reports for US$56,000; the NA-73X was one of the first aircraft to have a fuselage lofted mathematically using conic sections. To aid production, the airframe was divided into five main sections—forward, rear fuselage, two wing halves—all of which were fitted with wiring and piping before being joined; the prototype NA-73X was rolled out in September 1940, just 102 days after the order had been placed.
Sally B is the name of an airworthy 1945-built Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, it is the only airworthy B-17 left in Europe, as well as one of three B-17s in the United Kingdom. The aircraft is based at the Imperial War Museum Duxford, England,Sally B flies at airshows in the UK and across Europe as well as serving as an airborne memorial to the United States Army Air Forces airmen who lost their lives in the European theatre during World War II; the aircraft was delivered to the United States Army Air Forces on 19 June 1945 as 44-85784, too late to see active service in the war. After being converted to both a TB-17G training variant and an EB-17G it was struck off charge in 1954. In 1954 the Institut Géographique National in France bought the plane for use as a survey aircraft. In 1975 it moved to England and was registered with the CAA as G-BEDF to be restored to wartime condition; the Sally B was first fitted with accurate gun turrets and other much needed additions for her role as Ginger Rogers, a B-17 bomber of the fictitious bomber unit featured in the 1981 LWT series We'll Meet Again.
During the winter of 1983–84, Sally B was painted in an olive drab and neutral grey colour scheme, in place of the bare metal scheme she had worn since construction, in order to protect the airframe from the damp UK weather. At the same time, she received the markings of the 447th Bomb Group; the Sally B was used in the 1990 film Memphis Belle as one of five flying B-17s needed for various film scenes, it was used to replicate the real Memphis Belle in one scene. Half of the aircraft is still in the Memphis Belle livery, following restoration of the Sally B nose art and the black and yellow checkerboard pattern on the cowling of the starboard inner engine, carried as a tribute to Elly Sallingboe's companion Ted White, whose Harvard aircraft had the same pattern on its cowling. Sally B was reworked to B-17F configuration for filming. Since 1985, Sally B has been operated by Elly Sallingboe's'B-17 Preservation Ltd and maintained by Chief Engineer Peter Brown and a team of volunteers; the aircraft is flown by volunteer experienced professional pilots.
The B17 Charitable Trust exists to raise funds to keep the plane flying. In 2008, Elly Sallingboe was awarded the Transport Trust'Lifetime Achievement Award' in recognition of over thirty years of dedication to the preservation and operation of Britain's only airworthy Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress as a flying memorial to the tens of thousands of American aircrew who lost their lives in her sister aircraft during the Second World War. One of the key events in the flying calendar for Sally B is an annual tribute flypast following the Memorial Day service at the American Military Cemetery at Madingley, Cambridge; this takes place over the May Bank Holiday weekend. Flypasts over former Eighth Air Force bases are carried out whenever possible during the summer months. B-17 Preservation Ltd Related pictures taken by Robert Roggeman, Belgium Imperial War Museum Duxford
The Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft of the 1930s–40s, designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd. for service with the Royal Air Force. It was overshadowed in the public consciousness by the Supermarine Spitfire's role during Battle of Britain in 1940, but the Hurricane inflicted 60 percent of the losses sustained by the Luftwaffe in the engagement, it went on to fight in all the major theatres of the Second World War; the Hurricane originated from discussions during the early 1930s between RAF officials and British aircraft designer Sir Sydney Camm on the topic of a proposed monoplane derivative of the Hawker Fury biplane. There was an institutional preference at the time for biplanes and a lack of interest from the Air Ministry, but Hawker chose to continue refining their monoplane proposal, which resulted in the incorporation of several innovations which became critical to wartime fighter aircraft, including a retractable undercarriage and a more powerful engine in the form of the newly developed Rolls-Royce Merlin.
The Air Ministry placed an order for Hawker's Interceptor Monoplane in late 1934, the prototype Hurricane K5083 performed its maiden flight on 6 November 1935. In June 1936, the Hurricane was ordered into production by the Air Ministry; the manufacture and maintenance of the aircraft was eased by its use of conventional construction methods which enabled squadrons to perform many major repairs themselves without external support. The Hurricane was procured prior to the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, when the RAF had 18 Hurricane-equipped squadrons in service; the aircraft was relied upon to defend against the numerous and varied German aircraft operated by the Luftwaffe, including dogfighting with the capable Messerschmitt Bf 109 in multiple theatres of action. The Hurricane developed through several versions, as bomber-interceptors, fighter-bombers, ground support aircraft in addition to fighters. Versions designed for the Royal Navy were popularly known as the Sea Hurricane, with modifications enabling their operation from ships.
Some were converted to be used as catapult-launched convoy escorts. By the end of production in July 1944, 14,487 Hurricanes had been completed in Canada. During the era in which the Hawker Aircraft company developed the Hurricane, RAF Fighter Command comprised just 13 squadrons, equipped with the Hawker Fury, Hawker Demon, or the Bristol Bulldog, all biplanes furnished with fixed-pitch wooden propellers and non-retractable undercarriages. At the time, there was an institutional reluctance towards change within the Air Staff. In 1934, the British Air Ministry issued Specification F.7/30 in response to demands within the Royal Air Force for a new generation of fighter aircraft. Earlier, during 1933, British aircraft designer Sydney Camm had conducted discussions with Major John Buchanan of the Directorate of Technical Development on a monoplane based on the existing Fury. Mason attributes Camm's discussions with figures within the RAF, such as Squadron Leader Ralph Sorley, as having provoked the specification and some of its details, such as the preference for armaments being installed within the wings instead of within the aircraft's nose.
Camm's initial submission in response to F.7/30, the Hawker P. V.3, was a scaled-up version of the Fury biplane. However, the P. V.3 was not among the proposals which the Air Ministry had selected to be constructed as a government-sponsored prototype. After the rejection of the P. V.3 proposal, Camm commenced work upon a new design involving a cantilever monoplane arrangement, complete with a fixed undercarriage, armed with four machine guns and powered by the Rolls-Royce Goshawk engine. The original 1934 armament specifications for what would evolve into the Hurricane were for a similar armament fitment to the Gloster Gladiator: four machine-guns, two in the wings and two in the fuselage, synchronized to fire through the propeller arc. By January 1934, the proposal's detail drawings had been finished, but these failed to impress the Air Ministry enough for a prototype to be ordered. Camm's response to this rejection was to further develop the design, during which a retractable undercarriage was introduced and the unsatisfactory Goshawk engine was replaced by a new Rolls-Royce design designated as the PV-12, which went on to become famous as the Merlin engine.
In August 1934, a one-tenth scale model of the design was produced and dispatched to the National Physical Laboratory at Teddington. A series of wind tunnel tests confirmed the aerodynamic qualities of the aircraft were in order, in September 1934, Camm again approached the Air Ministry; this time, the Ministry's response was favourable, a prototype of the "Interceptor Monoplane" was promptly ordered. In July 1934 at a meeting chaired by Air Commodore Tedder, Air Ministry Science Office Captain F. W. Hill presented his calculation showing that future fighters must carry no less than eight machine guns, each capable of firing 1,000 shots a minute. Hill's assistant in making his calculations was his teenage daughter. Of the decision to place eight machine guns in fighters, Keith says'The battle was brisk and was carried into high quarters before the implementing authority was given. My Branch had made out a sound case for 8-gun fighters and if this recommendation had not been accepted and we had been content with half-measures, it might indeed have gone ill for us during the late summer of 19