Z7015 - Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk Ib, ©Nigel Key
After the success of the Hawker Hurricane during the Battle of Britain, the Navy decided to use the Hurricane to help defend the Atlantic convoys.
The Atlantic convoys were out of range of 'land based' aircraft so Hurricanes were modified with the addition of catapult spools to enable them to be launched from either Catapult Armed Merchant ships (CAM ships) or Fighter catapult ships, these were the first Sea Hurricanes Mk.1a. The attack on U-boats was co-ordinated by FW-200 Condor aircraft.
The use of the Sea Hurricanes Mk.1a or 'Hurricat' was not ideal as the aircraft was not able to be recovered by the catapult ship it was launched from and either had to make it back to land (if in range) or ditch close to the convoy.
To solve the problem of recovering the aircraft the Sea Hurricane Ib was introduced which was modified to include an arrester hook which would enable them to land on a small flight deck on modified merchant ships.
Hawker Hurricane Mk.I Z7015 was manufactured by Canadian Car and Foundry at the Fort William plant during 1940 and was shipped to the UK. It was converted to a Sea Hurricane Mk Ib in June 1941.
Close-up of Arrester Hook
In 1943 Z7015 was transferred to London Borough College and used as an Instructional airframe where it remained until it was transferred to the Shuttleworth Collection in 1961.
Z7015 was not airworthy and appeared in the film Battle of Britain as a static aircraft. Several unsuccessful attempts to restore the aircraft were made until an agreement was made between the Imperial War Museum and the Shuttleworth Collection. The restoration commenced early 1986 and was completed in mid-1995 with the first flight on 16th September 1995 flown by Andy Sephton.
The sea Hurricane Mk1b Z7015 '7-L' can be seen displayed at Old Warden as part of the Shuttleworth Collection in the Fleet Air Arm colours of 880 squadron and is the only airworthy Sea Hurricane Mk Ib in the World.
|SPECIFICATION (Mk Ib)|
|Length - 31ft 4in (9.55m)|
|Wingspan - 40ft 0in (12.19m)|
|Height - 12ft 11.5in (3.95m)|
|Engine - R.R. Merlin III|
|Power - 1,028 Hp|
|Max. Speed - 317mph (510km/h)|
|Range - 505 mile (813km)|
|Machine Guns - 8 x 0.303" Browning|