PZ865 - Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIc, ©Nigel Key
The Hawker Hurricane Mk IIc - PZ865, was manufactured at Langley, Buckinghamshire in mid-1944 and was the last Hurricane to be produced, it was marked on each side with the inscription "The Last of the Many".
The Air Ministry purchased PZ865 and stored her until she was used as a Company communications and test aircraft.
In 1950 PZ865 was changed to civilian registration number G-AMAU and was entered into the Kings Cup Air Race, flown by Group Captain Peter Townsend, and came second.
In the 1960's it was changed back to its war time camouflage and again known as PZ865. It was often flown by Bill Bedford, a famous fighter pilot, who flew many displays around the country. PZ865 also appeared in the film 'The Battle of Britain' in 1968.
Hawker Siddeley carried out a complete overhaul on PZ865 and then gave it to the Memorial Flight in March 1972. It then appeared for many years as 'The Last of the Many' until the inscription was removed when the aircraft was put on display at the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) headquarters.
PZ865 then had the colour scheme of 'Night Reaper' JX-E, (BE581) which was flown by Flight Lieutenant Karel 'Kut' Kuttlewascher, who was a Czech fighter ace. PZ865 was flown during night intruder operations by Flight Lieutenant Karel 'Kut' Kuttlewascher who shot down 15 enemy bombers in 15 missions from Tangmere in 1942, he went on to achieve 18 kills during the war.
'Night Reaper' starboard graphic
The reproduction of 'BE581' JX-E faithfully reproduces the 'Night Reaper' graphic on the starboard engine cowl, the eleven swastika's representing his kills to date (5th May 1942 when he scored three kills in one night) on the port side by the canopy and even down to the replacement Rudder and port wing panel which came off a 'Turbinlite' Hurricane which was seen painted black.
In 2010 the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight began a rebuild of PZ865 which now bears the colours of Hawker Hurricane Mk IIc HW840, coded EG-S of 34 Squadron as flown by Flight Lieutenant Jimmy Whalen DFC during the South East Asia Command 1944.
|SPECIFICATION (Mk IIc)|
|Length - 32ft 3in (9.84m)|
|Wingspan - 40ft 0in (12.19m)|
|Height - 13ft 1.5in (4.0m)|
|Engine - R.R. Merlin XX|
|Power - 1,280 Hp|
|Max. Speed - 340mph (547km/h)|
|Range - 460 mile (740km)|
|Cannon - 4 x Hispano 20mm|