Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pic(k) of the week 29: Hurricane, the forgotten WW II fighter

Last Saturday I attended one of the worlds largest Warbird aviation events...
The "Flying Legends Airshow"in Duxford, UK has been on my bucket list for a long time! 

This weeks Pic(k) of the week is a teaser from this great aviation event which will be covered in an entire blogpost as soon as the photo editing is complete.

Asking anybody with the slightest interest in aviation if he/she can identify a Spitfire, the answer will more than likely be positive. Far less known and often confused with the Spitfire, is the Hawker Hurricane. What makes it even more remarkable is that the Hurricane far outnumbered the Spitfire during the famous Battle of Britain; in absolute numbers as well as in the number of victories.

It is often said that the Hurricane is workmanlike, rugged and sturdy while the Spitfire is much more slender and ballerina like...

Of the 14533 Hurricanes built only a dozen are still airworthy, while about 50 Spitfires are still in flying condition today.

2013 Pic(k) of the week 29: Hurricane, the forgotten WWII fighter

The Hurricane I photographed above is one of only a dozen still in flying condition. This particular one is the only airworthy one that participated in the Battle of France, illustrated by the French flag on its tail. The lower wings have a special paint job that was used in the beginning of the war to make friendly aircraft recognition easier ; one in white, the other one being black.

Hurricane P3351 crashed twice during its WW2 flying career; once near Prestwick, UK, the second time near Murmansk, Russia. 

After recovering the wreckage in 1991, New Zealander Sir Tim Wallis, set up a joint venture between a British and New Zealand company to start a very long and intensive restoration process. Almost 60 years after its last flight, P3351 took to the skies again early January 2000 at the Christchurch airport.

Unfortunately the aircraft wasn't flown much over the last 5 years in NZ and earlier this year a private person in the South of France bought the aircraft and after a complete inspection has made it back into flying condition.

The full history of the aircraft can be found here.

Seeing the aircraft in its original habitat at the old WWII airport Duxford was a joy! Lets hope we will see the aircraft more frequently in the European warbird/vintage circuit over the coming years!

Image details:
Nikon D800 with Nikkor 70-200 2.8 VR2
ISO800, 120mm,  f5.6, 1/1600s
RAW development in Lightroom 5
Nik ColorEfex for contrast and detail enhancement 


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