Sightings: Hazy’s Hits

A photo gallery of airplanes at the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center.

(Dane A. Penland)

Hurricane

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(Dane A. Penland)

A light glints off the rearview mirror mounted on the canopy of a British Hawker Hurricane, which ranks with the most important aircraft of all time. Designed in the late 1930s, when monoplanes were thought to be unstable, this became the first British monoplane fighter, as well as the first fighter to top 300 miles an hour in level flight. The airplane is often touted as more important than the Supermarine Spitfire in having warded off the German Air Force during the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940. This Mark IIC was built at the Langley factory, near today’s Heathrow Airport, in early 1944, and was a training aircraft during the war. It was donated by the Royal Air Force Museum.

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