We’re delighted to welcome the BBMF Spitfire and Hurricane to Throckmorton Airshow 2016.
The Hawker Hurricane is one of the classic fighters of all time, designed and built for war. It was at the forefront of Britain’s defence in 1940 and it played a major part in achieving the victory of 1945.
Sir Sydney Camm CBE commenced the design work for the Hurricane in 1934 (Camm went on to design the Typhoon, Tempest, Hunter and Harrier). The prototype Hurricane (K5083) made its maiden flight on 6thNovember 1935 and deliveries to the RAF commenced just before Christmas 1937 to 111 Squadron at Northolt (8 months ahead of the Spitfire).
The Hurricane was the first British monoplane eight-gun fighter, the first RAF aircraft to exceed 300 mph in level flight and the first production fighter with a retractable main undercarriage.
During the Battle of Britain, RAF Fighter Command fielded more Hurricanes than Spitfires, and Hurricanes achieved a similarly greater proportion of combat kills during the Battle.
A remarkable total of 14,533 Hurricanes were built and the aircraft served operationally on every day throughout hostilities, in every operational theatre and in many roles. At the end of World War Two in 1945, Hurricanes were still in the front-line helping to ensure final victory in the Far East.
With the end of the war, Hurricanes were quickly retired from service as the rapid progression of aircraft design and capabilities had effectively rendered them obsolete and the aircraft’s job was done. The vast majority were simply scrapped and broken up. Sadly, today, there are only 12 Hurricanes still airworthy worldwide; only 6 of those in UK. The BBMF is proud to operate two of these historically important and rare aircraft.
The Spitfire: Produced in greater numbers than any other British combat aircraft before or since the War, 20,341 Spitfires were built in 22 different variants (excluding the navalised Seafire) and the aircraft remained in production for 12 years.
The prototype’s maiden flight took place on 5th March 1936 and Mk1 Spitfires entered RAF service (with No 19 Squadron) in August 1938.
The development potential of the original design allowed the Spitfire to establish and then maintain the air superiority so vital to the defence of Britain and to keep pace with the improvements in performance of enemy fighters throughout World War Two.
Spitfires fought in every operational theatre of the War and remained in RAF front-line service up to 1954. At the end of its development the Spitfire carried an engine producing more than twice the power of the original, its maximum take-off weight and rate of climb had more than doubled, its firepower had increased by a factor of five and its maximum speed had been increased by a third; all this in essentially the same airframe.
The Spitfire played a major part in achieving ultimate victory in World War Two and truly deserves its place as probably the most successful fighter design ever, and certainly as the most famous and charismatic of all time.
The Dakota is representing at other shows to maximise the display teams exposure and deliver the iconic and commemorative Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. The Lancaster is sadly still in sick bay.
For more information about the full BBMF aircraft display team, please visit their website: www.raf.mod.uk/bbmf