Hurricane Walkaround

Aviation historian Ron Dick takes a closer look at an old warbird.

A Hawker Hurricane Mark IIC is on permanent display at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in northern Virginia. (Dane Penland/NASM)

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5. The Hurricane's big radiator created a lot of drag, but the structure was necessary to keep the liquid-cooled Merlin engine from overheating. Air entering the radiator's intake cooled the liquid (70 percent water, 30 percent glycol) cycling between the engine and radiator.

6. The Hurricane's thick wings created a lot of drag, but the thickness yielded at least one advantage. "This is an old-fashioned-type wing," says Ron Dick. "But it did something for the Hurricane's designers: It allowed them to place a lot of armament in the wings." In the case of the Mark IIC, two Hispano 20-mm cannons per wing.

7. Hard points underneath the wings enabled Mark IICs to carry 250-pound and 500-pound bombs, expanding the airplane's mission to that of fighter-bomber.

8. A mirror mounted at the forward canopy gave Hurricane pilots a view of action to the rear.

9. The rear third of the Hurricane fuselage is fashioned from fabric over a framework of wood and metal. "If you stand at the side of the Hurricane and look at it, you can see Sydney Camm's biplanes," says Ron Dick. "Because if you take a Hawker Fury from the early '30s—the beautiful biplane that they built—and take the top wing off, you'll see where the Hurricane came from. This section of the Hurricane, in particular, is almost identical [to the Fury biplane]."

10. On December 20, 2007, British aviation historian Ron Dick gave a lecture on the Hawker Hurricane at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

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