Hawker Hurricane Mk.XIIa “Z5140”
Operator: Historic Aircraft Collection Ltd
Year of Manufacture: 1942
Powered by: RR Packard built Merlin 29. 1,460hp
Colour Scheme: 303 Squadron Royal Air Force R4175 RF-R flown by Sgt. Josef Frantisek, a Czechoslovak national.
The Hurricane was the RAF's first monoplane fighter, going into service before its famous partner in RAF service the Spitfire.
The Hurricane was available in greater numbers for its finest hour in the Battle of Britain, where it played a crucial role in the defence of this country, shooting down more enemy aircraft than the Spitfire.
Hurricane Mk.XIIa 5711 (G-HURI) was rebuilt in the 1980’s from the best original Hurricane parts sourced, in the previous 10 years, from all over Canada. It was given the identity of aircraft CCF c/n 72036 as that aircraft was the source of the airframe used in the rebuild. RCAF 5711 had been built in 1942 by the Canadian Car Foundry as part of their sixth production batch and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1943. It is believed to have served with 123 Squadron at Debert before going to 127 and 129 Squadrons at Dartmouth and onto 1 Operational Training Unit at Bagotville.
It made its first post-restoration flight in 1989 painted in RAF markings as Z3781 coded XR-T of No 71 Eagle Sqdn.
Historic Aircraft Collection acquired the Hurricane in 2002 and after undergoing an 18 month extensive programme of repairs and maintenance the Hurricane reappeared in an entirely new paint scheme for 2004, Z5140 coded HA-C of No. 126 Sqdn the paint scheme that was worn by a Gloster-built Hurricane IIB, flown with 126 Squadron during the siege of Malta. In September 2005 Hurricane Z5140 became the first Hurricane to return to the Mediterranean island of Malta since the Second World War. It flew there together with Spitfire BM597 as part of the ‘Merlins Over Malta’ project. In August 2012 she flew to Moscow to display in their centenary airshow.
For the 75th anniversary in 2015 of the Battle of Britain G-HURI has been repainted in the RAF markings as P3700 a Hurricane Mk.I, coded RF-E of No 303 (Polish) Sqn. P3700 was abandoned by Sgt Kazimierz Wunsche over Poynings, Kent on 9th September 1940 after sustaining damage from a Bf 109 during combat over Beachy Head.
In August 2020 the markings on G-HURI were changed slightly to represent another 303 Sqn machine, R4175 RF-R. This aircraft was flown by Sgt Josef Frantisek, a Czech national, when he crashed and was killed during an operational patrol on 8 October 1940.