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The Shuttleworth Aircraft Collection

1941 - Hawker Sea Hurricane Ib

1941 - Hawker Sea Hurricane Ib

1941 - Hawker Sea Hurricane Ib

After the early success of the Hawker Hurricane in RAF service during the Battle of Britain, the Royal Navy decided to introduce the Hurricane as protection for the Atlantic convoys. These convoys were being monitored by FW-200 Condor aircraft, which operated far outside the range of land based aircraft, and co-ordinated the attacks of the U-boats on the convoys. An interim measure gave birth to the 'Hurricat', a modified Hurricane which was mounted on a catapult located on the bows of some modified merchant ships. The only modifications to the Hurricane for this role was the addition of catapult spools and as such were designated Sea Hurricane Ia's. These Sea Hurricanes were not ideal, as once they were launched they either had to make it back to a land base or ditch in the sea near to the convoy. An improved Sea Hurricane was the Ib, this had the catapult spools and an arrester hook to enable them to land back on merchant ships modified to have a small flight deck. Hurricane Z7015 was built by Canadian Car & Foundry at its Fort William, Ontario, plant during 1940 as a Mk I, after flight testing Z7015 was shipped to the UK. On June 27 1941 it was converted to Sea Hurricane Ib standard. Z7015 had a patchy wartime flying career, which ended in 1943, when it was delivered to Loughborough College as an instructional airframe. It remained there until it was transferred to the Shuttleworth Collection in 1961. Z7015 was used statically in the 'Battle of Britain' film, before restoration to flying condition began. Several attempts to restore the aircraft were made, until in 1981, Z7015 was transferred to Duxford and another restoration was started, this time by the Duxford Aviation Society. This restoration was progressing slowly until a formal agreement was reached between the Imperial War Museum and the Shuttleworth Collection, which meant that the same team that had restored the Collection's Spitfire would restore Z7015. The renewed restoration started in earnest in February 1986, and led to the first flight of the Worlds ONLY Sea Hurricane Ib, in the hands of pilot Andy Sephton, on September 16 1995. Height: 12ft 0.5in Length: 31ft 9in Wingspan: 40ft 0in Engine: one 1030hp Rolls Royce Merlin V12 Max. Speed: 254mph Armament: eight 0.303in Browning machine guns.