BE505 - Hawker Hurricane Mk IIb, ©Nigel Key
The Hawker Hurricane Mk IIb 5403, was manufactured by Canada Car and Foundry Company Limited in Langley, Canada, and served as a home based fighter with the RCAF 135 squadron from 1942 to 1945.
5403 was decommissioned after the war, refurbished and sold in June 1947. Most aircraft sold in Canada were used for spares to keep farm equipment going but fortunately 5403 survived mostly intact until being discovered in 1991 by Hawker Restorations who then transported her over to the United Kingdom.
Peter Teichman bought 5403 and restoration began in 2005 by Hawker Restorations Ltd and after 28,000 man hours she was completed and ready for her first flight as BE505 on 27th January 2009 from North Weald airfield, to be flown by Stuart Goldspink.
The Hurricane Mk IIb, had a more powerful Merlin engine (Packard Merlin 29 fitted in BE505) and more effective armament than the Mk I Hurricanes. The 'b' wings were capable of housing twelve 0.303" Browning machine guns but were generally reduced to ten when carrying either two 250lb or 500lb bombs, indeed this latter configuration is that of 'BE505'. When equipped with bombs the Hurricane was known as a 'Hurribomber'.
Hurricane 5404 has been repainted in the colour scheme of RAF serial number 'BE505' XP-L which had been issued to 174 Squadron at Manston, Kent, which was formed from Hurribombers in March 1942.
BE505 saw action during the Dieppe amphibious landing on 19th August 1942 piloted by Flight Sergeant C. Bryce Watson who was shot down by flak, although he survived the experience he was captured and became a prisoner of war.
Hurricane Mk IIb BE505 ('5403') 'XP-L' is part of Peter Teichman's "Hangar 11 Collection" based at North Weald.
|SPECIFICATION (Mk IIb)|
|Length - 32ft 3in (9.84m)|
|Wingspan - 40ft 0in (12.19m)|
|Height - 13ft 1.5in (4.0m)|
|Engine - Packard Merlin 29|
|Power - 1,300 Hp|
|Max. Speed - 301mph (484km/h)|
|Range - 465 mile (748km)|
|Machine Guns - 10 x 0.303" Browning|
|Bombs - 2 x 250lb or 1 x 500lb|