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View Full Version : Why did everyone hate the Hurricane except the RAF?



mynameisroland
02-08-2008, 05:38 AM
Read another post where someone said the Finns liked pretty much everyplane they operated except the Hurricane. Which although probably an exageration there is an element of truth in that. The Russians didnt like it either, and their stuff was mostly junk. The Germans absolutely hated the Hurricane, so much so that everytime a Luftwaffe pilot got shot down by one they would chalk it up to a Spitfire.

Ok so the Hurricane during WW2 was never a Class A fighter but surely it wasnt that bad. I mean compared to a Fiat G.50 or an I-16 or even an early Bf 109 E the Hurricane was very competitive.

I think that because the Hurricane didnt directly evolve in to later better aircraft it gets a bad reputation. Hawker didnt develop the Hurricane along the lines of the Spitfire or Bf 109, instead it gambled on making a new fighter every 3 or 4 years.

In its time, especially in the late 30's when the Bf 109 still had not received the DB 600 engine the Hurricane was top drawer. Even in 1939/40 it was a good fighter. After that it was still useful in a tactical role or as a nightfighter/intruder.

TgD Thunderbolt56
02-08-2008, 05:48 AM
I think you hit the nail on the head. After 1940, it was just another outdated model that performed marginally better than some of the other outdated models.

flyingloon
02-08-2008, 05:50 AM
don't know why they'd complaini so heartily about it. some of the things i have seen written about the hurricane point it out as being rather a pleasant plane to fly, stable gunnery platform, dumpily reliable. issues that could be taken with it after 40-41 would basically be along the lines of it being too slow and lacking cannon armament (on the ones that were shipped out on lend-lease or export). perhaps they had problems with it being a largely canvas fuselage, lacking pilot armour, having a propensity to cook it's pilots due to the fuel tank placement, glycol tank placement being particularly vulnerable to return fire from bombers... that kind of thing?

JG53Frankyboy
02-08-2008, 05:52 AM
and im not sure if the Hurri I used by the Finns and Romanians , the Hurri II used by the soviets and the RAF over Singapore and later Burma were able to perform like the variants used in the UK ?!

Bewolf
02-08-2008, 06:08 AM
AFAIK, a pilot flying both restored I16s and the Hurri mentioned even the I16 in Australia (New Zeeland?)is a better aircraft.

Can't back that up, sorry, just thought I'd throw that in after the question came up.

Low_Flyer_MkIX
02-08-2008, 06:13 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/76210854/p/3

[QUOTE]<Low_Flyer>
Posted Sun August 17 2003 20:25

"At the end of June 1940, I was made a Squadron Leader and given command of 242 (Canadian) Fighter Squadron. It was equipped with Hurricanes Mark I. The only time I had flown a Hurricane, and then just for a short time, was at Upavon five months previously. That model had had a two-bladed, fixed-pitch airscrew. Now I got to know three-bladed constant speed propellors. They were better, providing shorter take-off, faster climb.

The Hurricane was slower than the Spitfire, with a maximum speed of 335 m.p.h. against 367 m.p.h. The Hurricane was also less elegant to the eye, but then there has never been such a beautiful aeroplane as the Spitfire. For all that, like other fighters from the Hawker stable, and the the result of the design genius of Sydney Camm, the Hurricane was a thoroughbred and looked it. Like the Spitfire it was immensly strong: a pilot had no need to fear the danger of pulling the wings off, no matter how desperate the situation became.

When I first flew the Hurricane in June 1940, I was areeably surprised at the compact feel of the aeroplane. It had seemed big on the ground in comparison with the Spitfire; in the air it felt nothing of the sort. You could see out of it better and the controls were perfectly harmonized. It climbed steeply and at a lower speed but required a good deal of right rudder in the climb to counteract the engine torque. I found this a considerable nuisance on a long climb. The Spitfire had the same left-hand pull in a climb but it also had a manually operated bias in the cockpit so that the pilot could trim it out on the rudder.

As I was continually leading formations on long climbs from take-off to 20,000 feet, the maximum height at which the Hurricane I could successfully fight, I got fed-up with this. The Hawker test-pilot, Philip Lucas, was a chum, so I rang him up and complained. There were instant results (as was always the case in those days). I flew my Hurricane over to Langley were they fitted a rudder bias in hours.

Like all pilots who flew and fought in the Hurricane I, I grew to love it. It was strong, highly manoeuvrable, could turn inside the Spitfire and of course the Me 109. Best of all, it was a marvellous gun platform. The sloping nose gave you a splendid forward view, while the eight guns were set in blocks of four in each wing, close to the fuselage. The aeroplane remained rock steady when you fired. Unlike the Spitfire with its lovely elliptical wing which sloped upwards to the tip, the Hurricane wing was thicker and straight. The Spitfire was less steady when the guns were firing because, I have always thought, they were spread further along the wing, and the recoil effect was noticeable."



Douglas Bader "Fight For The Sky" 1973.


There you have it. Perhaps the greatest exponent of the Hurricane's capabilities, with his opinions on the plane's strengths. His preferred tactic was the aforementioned long climb to gain a favourable (up-sun) position from which to use this stable gun platform. As the war progressed Bader would employ 'big wing' tactics to deliver maximum firepower to the most threatening point of an enemy attack. The Hurricane was a good tool when used in the right circumstances. It has been (rightly) pointed out elsewhere on these boards that it was unsuited for some of the rigours of the Eastern Front, but used correctly, this plane can be an effective - if unspectacular - fighter.

Let's put this one to bed now, eh? [QUOTE]

leitmotiv
02-08-2008, 06:17 AM
Good to see you, LF, been boring as hell around here without you!

danjama
02-08-2008, 06:25 AM
pleasant to fly in but not pleasant to fight in

leitmotiv
02-08-2008, 06:26 AM
As long as you were under direction from a Sector Controller who could place you higher than the Germans over the UK, I would imagine the Hurricane didn't annoy the user, but in North Africa against 109Fs, or over France in 1941 where the Germans were lurking in the sun high above under control of their directors, the Hur would have driven me to drink. The greatest Commonwealth ace of the war, Pattle, flew Hurricane Is in Greece against the Luftwaffe. As always, tactics and skill can overcome an airplane's insufficiencies ---as long as they were not colossal---recall the Finns with the Buffalo. Compared to the Finn Buffalo, the Hur IIB was a rocket ship. Bader nailed it---the Hur's sloping nose, like the Wildcat's, allowed for great deflection shooting, while the Spit's straight nose made it impossible. If you were a great shot, this would matter.

JG53Frankyboy
02-08-2008, 07:10 AM
it realy become harder for the Hurri to fight its oponents 1941 onwards.
the 109F got even faster then the 109E.
the italian fighters were not bad turners.
the japanese were very good turners and some were at least almost as fast (Hurricanes had dustfilters there IIRC).
soviet -16 , -153 and MiG-3 had also their qualities !


anyway, together with the Bf110 the Hurricane is THE fighter i'm looking forward to fly in SoW:BoB http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif - much more than the typical Spit/109 stuff..................

leitmotiv
02-08-2008, 07:16 AM
I hear ya, FB. I am a 110 fiend. I look forward to it and the Ju 88A-1.

SeaFireLIV
02-08-2008, 07:18 AM
Before I started reading books on WWII aircraft I use to think that the Hurricane was correct in early FB, where it turned on rails and never stalled. To me, it was simply slightly less good looking than the Spit. That was all.

Then I discovered that in reality it was an outdated plane by 1941 and that it was relegated to mostly ground attack later! That was a bit of a shocker. Still, she was a goodwork horse and could fill in a lot of gaps leaving aircraft like the Spit to do the dogfighting mostly. Anyway, the present version of the Hurri I would say is pretty accurate now.

JG53Frankyboy
02-08-2008, 07:22 AM
one should propably also not forgett that the Fins and Romanians had nocht much Hurris, around a dozen each !
and i belive it was not easy to keep them airworthy after the two countries went "axis"......... so no spar parts from UK anymore ?!?!
the Rumanians put them out of action spring 1942 , after they had defended the homeland agianst soviet bombers, replacing them with IAR80s.
the Finnish saw also not much action i guess:
http://www.sci.fi/~ambush/faf/fafincolor.html (http://www.sci.fi/%7Eambush/faf/fafincolor.html)

leitmotiv
02-08-2008, 08:02 AM
We know Russian taste was, shall we say interesting. They loved the P-39 when everybody else hated it. They especially loved the P-39's radio equipment because Russian radios were horrible. Likes and dislikes were based on more than performance sometimes. The excellent U.S. radios allowed them to adopt Western-style tactics which required very good two-way radio communications. Like with their tanks, they had been getting by with communications where the leader could transmit orders to subordinates who had receive-only radios. With equipment like this, they could not use Western-style tactics. The P-39 was a dream come true in this respect.

WOLFMondo
02-08-2008, 08:25 AM
Russian love planes with the guns in the nose. Anything else they hated.

Friendly_flyer
02-08-2008, 08:44 AM
Hallo Low_Flyer, good to see you about!

One of the real benefits of the Hurricane to the RAF during BoB was it's ease of maintainance. Camms design was very traditional with canvas and ribs, a design the ground crew knew well. You could even use some spare parts from Furys and Hearts for it. Bullet holes could be patched up with glue and canvas with a little luck. Best of all: Pilots fresh from school would survive a rough landing in it.

All this made the Hurricane loved despite it's shortcomings. Once loved, the plane remained popular for its strong points, and forgiven for its shortcomings.

In Finland and Russia the plane had to fight newer designs (1941). The ground crew where not familiar with the design and build. Spare parts could not be nicked from older or out of comission planes. The "Hawker tool", necessary to effectively operate the Hurricane was not laying around the hangar from old Furys and Hearts. The Merlin, a reliable workhorse in Britain did not take well to -30 centigrades at noon. That it was used at all is a tribute to Camms brilliant design.

Friendly_flyer
02-08-2008, 08:52 AM
Originally posted by WOLFMondo:
Russian love planes with the guns in the nose. Anything else they hated.

... oh, and that.

MB_Avro_UK
02-08-2008, 04:36 PM
Ok this is the OT forum so I will vent !!

The Hurricane does not have an accurate Flight Model.

In 1940 BoB many Hurricane pilots prefered the Hurricane to the Spitfire after having flown both. They should know.

After 1940 the Hurricane became outclassed by the Me 109F. The Hurricane could not be developed further as a fighter.

But in this sim/game a fight against the Me 109E is difficult for the Hurricane.

End of whine http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

joeap
02-08-2008, 05:19 PM
Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
Ok this is the OT forum so I will vent !!

The Hurricane does not have an accurate Flight Model.

In 1940 BoB many Hurricane pilots prefered the Hurricane to the Spitfire after having flown both. They should know.

After 1940 the Hurricane became outclassed by the Me 109F. The Hurricane could not be developed further as a fighter.

But in this sim/game a fight against the Me 109E is difficult for the Hurricane.

End of whine http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Got track got chart?

Actually the Hurri usually attacked bombers not fighters.

leitmotiv
02-08-2008, 06:48 PM
Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
Ok this is the OT forum so I will vent !!

The Hurricane does not have an accurate Flight Model.

In 1940 BoB many Hurricane pilots prefered the Hurricane to the Spitfire after having flown both. They should know.

After 1940 the Hurricane became outclassed by the Me 109F. The Hurricane could not be developed further as a fighter.

But in this sim/game a fight against the Me 109E is difficult for the Hurricane.

End of whine http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Yep, the in-game Hur I is a wheezer. Must be due to its being modeled as a Finnish Hur I without the constant speed Rotol prop, and without 100 octane U.S. Texaco gas. Another thing that annoys me is that the Hur I was given the later II's rectangular-glassed gunsight.

My fav Hur is the IIB---Merlin XX, 12 .303s---I love it. Hurricane-ness at its pinnacle.

jarink
02-08-2008, 08:29 PM
Why did everyone hate the Hurricane?

Who cares? What I wanna know is why this obviously on-topic thread is in the Off Topic forum!!
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-mad.gif

Friendly_flyer
02-09-2008, 12:27 AM
This really should be in General discussion.

I believe Avro is right. The Hurri should be able to turn inside the Spitfire. The flight characteristics is has now are not what you get from reading pilots opinions. It should handle a turn a lot better, and the stall is way too nasty. The earlier versions where better.

CUJO_1970
02-09-2008, 08:09 AM
Originally posted by mynameisroland:

In its time, especially in the late 30's when the Bf 109 still had not received the DB 600 engine the Hurricane was top drawer. Even in 1939/40 it was a good fighter. After that it was still useful in a tactical role or as a nightfighter/intruder.

I don't think anyone could argue with that.

I think a major contributing factor to an airplanes reputation when flown by a different nation is always heavily influenced by a number of factors:

1. Spare parts - all aircraft needed regular maintenance and this means a steady supply of spare parts. Many aircraft operated by foreign nations were hand-me-downs, previously damaged, or war weary. They had to operate on spark plugs that weren't designed for them and/or a blend of avgas that did not agree to their particular engines. In many cases they were outdated models measured against the latest and fastest machines.

2. Trained mechanics - all aircraft need mechanics that are specifically trained to maintain that aircraft. Not just knowing how to tune and diagnose engine issues, but how to adjust control surfaces and components etc.

3. Familiarity - many of these types of fighters were flown in relatively small numbers and pilots did not gain a tremendous amount of experience with them. Add to this the fact that they were likely transferring from their own native country's fighter that they were familiar with, experienced with, and very comfortable flying. Now they have an aircraft that feels different, requires different tactics, and likely has maintenance issues to boot.

Anyway, just some things to consider when reading aircraft evaluations...

Plelv44_Mangrov
02-09-2008, 11:20 AM
Finnish pilot about their Hurricanes

Virtualpilots - Air Warfare School Guild Anniversary 2003 (http://www.virtualpilots.fi/hist/WW2History-Ilmasotakoulu03English.html)

Aaro Siro:
The plane wasn't properly designed for wartime action. It had all the radio compasses, artificial horizons and such. But when there was a scramble, a mechanic had to open the oxygen valve for me. It was under a hatch behind the cockpit. The Brewster had the valve right here (gestures, in the cockpit at arms reach).

(Once) when I was in hurry for intercept I told the mechanic to forget it (turning the oxygen on), there's no time. Just close the canopy, I'm going like this. I had to be careful not to fall asleep, when flying at 5,000 meters without oxygen.

What is Your personal opinion of the Hurricane as a Finnish warplane?
Not a warplane. The Hurricane was an intermediate type, not a proper warplane for me. It was well equipped radio compass, gyrocompass, radio equipment, everything you need. But not a real warplane.
This was my last flight from Malmi, the Messerscmitts came next. They took over Malmi. The Hurricane was said to be the fastest plane in Finland, but the Messerschmitt put an end to that. The Hurricane couldn't catch a Pe-2. But I remember when I was on watch at Kymi with a course mate. He took off with a Me and shot down a Pe-2.

Another from the enemy Hurricanes

Virtualpilots - Captain H. Wind's Lectures On Fighter Tactics (http://www.virtualpilots.fi/hist/WW2History-CaptainWindsAirCombatTacticsLecture.html)

The Hurricane and Spitfire are slow and clumsy fighters at low altitudes. They seek dogfights at high altitudes (over 5,000 m.) where their characteristics are extremely good. Used these days as night-fighters by the enemy. The Spitfire is faster than the Hurricane.