R4118 - Hawker Hurricane Mk I, ©Nigel Key
Hawker Hurricane Mk I - R4118 was originally delivered to 605 squadron, which was based in Drem, Scotland, in August of 1940. In the following September 605 squadron was relocated south to Croydon Surrey with R4118 being flown by Pilot Officer C.F. 'Bunny' Currant.
On September 28th 1940, R4118 was flown four times by Bob Foster and on the second patrol a single JU 88 was attacked and claimed as a probable kill. Four days later on 1st October, Bob attacked another JU 88 destroying the aircraft gaining a confirmed 'shared' kill for R4118.
On its 49th sortie from Croydon during October 1940, R4118 was extensively damaged during combat and had to be sent for a rebuild. It was repaired and delivered to 111 Squadron in Dyce Aberdeen taking part in patrols over the North Sea and again seeing combat.
During 1941 and 1942 it was mainly used as a training aircraft and suffered various incidents, three of which were major each requiring a rebuild. During December of 1943, R4118 was sent to Cardiff Docks to go oversea to India.
R4118 was sent to India as a training aircraft but was never used and spent its time 'mothballed' in its transportation crate at Bombay until 1947. As it was no longer needed by the RAF, R4118 was donated to a University in Varanasi for Engineering students to study and gain practical experience.
In 1982 Peter Vacher who was a well-known restorer of vintage cars, came across the remains of R4118 while in India researching Rolls Royce's which had belonged to Maharajas. The aircraft had been dis-assembled with parts lying scattered about the bare fuselage on the ground. Out of interest Peter noted the serial number of the aircraft and upon arrival back in England he discovered that the aircraft was a 'Battle of Britain' Hurricane Mk I.
Peter had the notion to restore the historic fighter to its former glory and in 1996 he made an offer for the aircraft. After six years an agreement was made and R4118 returned back to England for restoration at Hawker Restorations Ltd in Milden, Suffolk.
R4118 was able to be completely restored as the majority of the original components were available down to the ammo boxes for the 0.303" Browning machine guns, working gun camera, and original gun sight. The rebuilt engine was fitted in August 2004 and the restoration was completed in December 2004.
The first flight of the newly restored Hawker Hurricane Mk I R4118 took place on 23rd December 2004 flown by Pete Kynsey. Due to the importance of this historic aircraft it will not be flown with any negative-g manoeuvres.
On 29th September 2012, R4118 was sold to Hurricane Heritage and it was sent to its new home at Old Warden Aerodrome.
|SPECIFICATION (Mk I)|
|Length - 31ft 4in (9.33m)|
|Wingspan - 40ft 0in (12.19m)|
|Height - 13ft 2in (4.02m)|
|Engine - R.R. Merlin III|
|Power - 1,028 Hp|
|Max. Speed - 325mph (509km/h)|
|Range - 585 mile (965km)|
|Machine Guns - 8 x 0.303" Browning|