The Hawker Hurricane was the first modern monoplane fighter flown by the Royal Air Force. Design work began as early as 1932, but the prototype did not take to the air until November 1935. In addition to being the first British fighter to have both a single wing and retractable landing gear the Hurricane also introduced much heavier firepower with a total of eight machine guns mounted in its wings. After initial testing the RAF placed a huge order for 600 Hurricanes. It was this model, the Hurricane Mk. I, that bore the brunt of the Battle of Britain during the summer of 1940. Late in 1940 the Hurricane Mk. II appeared in RAF service. This version of the fighter was slightly larger and had a more powerful version of the Merlin engine. The Mk. II became the most produced version of the Hurricane with 8,000 built in England and Canada.
Royal Air Force, 257 Squadron, 1940
Hurricane Mk. II
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