1940 Hawker Hurricane

This exhibit

R4118 is widely regarded as one of the most historic British aircraft to survive in flying condition from the Second World War. Built by the Gloster Aircraft company, R4118 was delivered new to 605 (County of Warwick) Squadron at Drem on 17 August 1940. She flew 49 sorties from Croydon during the Battle of Britain and shot down or damaged five enemy aircraft.

After being battle damaged on 22 October 1940, the aircraft was rebuilt and taken on charge by 111 Squadron at Dyce on 18 January 1941. There she was flown on patrol over the North Sea and was again in combat. Over the following two years R4118 was used primarily as a training aircraft with 59 and 56 OTUs.

In December 1943, R4118 was shipped to India as a training aircraft. However she was never needed and remained in a packing case in Bombay until 1947 when she was struck off charge and donated to a university for engineering instruction. There she remained, exposed to the elements until 1996, when Peter Vacher – a British retired businessman and restoration enthusiast – discovered her. Peter spent the next six years negotiating her return to the UK.

In June 2001 the airframe was safely delivered to Hawker Restorations in Suffolk Meticulous attention was paid to make sure R4118 was restored to a condition exactly as she had been flown in the Battle of Britain. The original Browning .303 machine guns were reconditioned before being de-activated and refitted. The airframe was covered in original Irish linen and painted by Vintage Fabrics. The early Merlin III engine was rebuilt by Maurice Hammond and the Rotol propeller was constructed by Skycraft.

Purchased by private UK company Hurricane Heritage in September 29th 2015, R4118 was moved to Shuttleworth in early October.

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