The famous Hawker Hurricane was designed by Sir Sydney Camm, and the prototype flew in 1935. The Hurricane I was fitted with a 990hp Rolls-Royce Merlin engine and had a speed of 330 mph at 17500 feet, with a service ceiling of 36000 feet. It entered service with 111 Squadron at Northolt in December 1937. A tough and reliable aircraft, Hurricanes were allotted the task of attacking German bombers in the Battle of Britain and shot down eighty percent of all aircraft claimed by the Royal Air Force during the Battle. Throughout the War, the aircraft performed well as an interceptor, fighter-bomber, night fighter and ground attack aircraft.
To commemorate this proud service, the Museum’s Hawker Hurricane I was unveiled on 20 August 2000 and installed as the gate guardian on 8 October 2000 by the Canadian High Commissioner, the Hon. Roy McLaren PC. It is painted as P3873 of No.1 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force, in which the Museum’s Canada Branch President, The Hon. Hartland de M Molson OC OBE KstJ, was shot down during the Battle of Britain in 1940.
Since that time the aircraft has been completely refurbished with new undercarriage and electrics and featured as the central display at the Royal Windsor Tattoo at Windsor Castle in May 2010. In celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, the Hurricane also signified the genious of its designer, Sir Sydney Camm, who came from Windsor.
The Hurricane was refurbished in late 2009 prior to display at Windsor Castle and the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) Fairford in May 2010.