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Hurricane Mk. II
Hawker Hurricane II: Designation change to signify introduction of two-speed, single-stage supercharged 1,390 hp Merlin XX, first flown (in a Mk I) on June 11, 1940. Production switched progressively as Merlin XXs became available, with deliveries to RAF beginning early September 1940. Hawker Hurricane HA retained same eight-gun wing as Mk I, with initial batch of Series 1 s having same fuselage and Series 2s having strengthened fuselage to accept modified wing with later armament options. About 12 Mk IIAs had lengthened nose (7 in/18 cm), but modification not adopted for production. Introducing a 'universal' wing, Hawker Hurricane IIB, starting late-1940, had 12 Browning 0.303 in (7.7 mm) machine guns, and Hawker Hurricane IIC (first flown February 6, 1941) had four 20 mm Hispano cannon. All Mk Us could have tropical filters for service in Middle and Far East, and could carry two 44 Imp gal (200-1) drop tanks, 88 Imp gal (400-1) ferry tanks, two 250 lb (113.5 kg) or (later aircraft) 500 Ib (227 kg) bombs. A Hawker Hurricane II armed with two 40 mm Vickers Type S cannon (and two Browning machine guns) first flew on September 18, 1941 and Hawker Hurricane IID entered production with this armament (or a few with Rolls-Royce BF cannorr). Some Hawker Hurricane IIBs and IICs carried six (later eight) 3 in (7.62 cm) rocket projectiles underwing, after tests starting February 1942. Designation Hawker Hurricane HE applied to aircraft wired to accept machine guns or cannon, and bombs, without the need to change wing sets.
Service use of Hawker Hurricane IIA began early September 1940; of IIB fighter in February 1941; of IIB fighter-bomber ('Hurribomber') in May 1941; of IIC in April 1941, IID in March 1942 and of HE in September 1941. A few Hawker Hurricane IIBs and IICs fitted in 1941-42 with AI Mk IV or Mk V radar for night fighting, either in fuselage radio rack or underwing pod in place of drop tank. All Mk II variants served with UK-based squadrons and also, extensively, overseas; by November 1941, 25 Hawker Hurricane squadrons based in Middle East and others in Malta, Iceland and Soviet Union. In Middle East, some 200 Hawker Hurricanes (including 20 Mk Is re-engined with Merlin XX) modified for tac-R (with one camera and full armament) or PR (with two cameras and no armament). Hawker Hurricane II squadrons extensively engaged in India/Burma, 1942-44. Other Hawker Hurricane roles included meteorological recce in UK and ME with unarmed Hawker Hurricane Met Mk IIC; anti-aircraft co-operation and training, using 'war-weary' fighters. Hawker Hurricane II production in UK (shared between Hawker, Gloster and Austin Motors) totalled 8,676, comprising 451 Mk IIA, 2,948 Mk IIB, 4,711 Mk IIC, 296 Mk IID and 270 Mk HE, plus 100 Mk Is converted (by Rolls-Royce) to Mk IIA. Several Commonwealth squadrons flew Hawker Hurricane Us alongside the RAF, especially RAAF and SAAF units in the Middle East and RCAF in the UK, using aircraft retained on RAF strength. In India, seven squadrons of the IAF flew Hawker Hurricanes (Mks IIB, IIC and IV) from June 1942, using some 300 aircraft transferred from RAF stocks. Following on from Mk I supplies, Turkey received 38 Hawker Hurricane IIBs and 91 IICs (of which, 44 equipped for recce), and two squadrons of the Royal Egyptian Air Force flew ex-RAF Hawker Hurricane Us (and some Is) from 1941 to 1945. Starting in 1941, several squadrons of the Free French Air Force flew Hawker Hurricanes in North and West Africa and the Middle East. Hawker Hurricane production ended with delivery of Mk IIC PZ866 (later G-AMAU) in August 1944.
Hawker Hurricane III: Proposed Mk II airframe with 1,390 hp Packard-Merlin 28. Not built.
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