Hawker Hurricane Mk IIb trop

Another desert warrior.  For a significant period of time the Hurricane was THE key British fighter serving in North Africa until sufficient Spitfires arrived in theater.


Join me a brief look at a Hurricane that served during that transition period.

The last major change for Hawker’s Hurricane was the addition of the Merlin XX series engine in late 1940.  That is the difference going from Mark I to Mark II.  No surprise, this upgrade was almost wholly about adding power.


I chose this subject for its colorful markings.  The large fuselage flash was against wartime RAF regulations, but 73 Squadron had a long history they were proud of.  And since they were a long way from home, they flew with the markings in defiance of orders.


Several significant tweaks occurred during Mark II production.  The first Mark IIa was armed the same as the Mark I.  But the Mark IIb wing added some more options. It was delivered with 12 .303 mg and had a hard point under each wing.  Apparently Hawker recommended removing two machine guns from each wing when carrying external stores, but this was often not done.  Twelve light machine guns could put out a lot of bullets; but these were all light caliber with limited penetration ability.  So the next variant, the Mark IIc switched to four 20 mm cannon; and later yet the Mark IId carried two 40 mm cannon for a meaningful anti-armor punch.


But today we’re looking at a Mark IIb.  This is the Hasegawa kit with Third Group decals and represents a plane that served late in the North Africa campaign with 73 Squadron.  The 12 machine guns seen here could cause serious mayhem among troops and soft skinned vehicles.  With more Spitfires the Hurricane switched almost exclusively to that sort of work.



A look at a Hurricane Mk I alongside a Mk IIb trop.  The cowling is a little longer for the XX series engine, the tropical dust filter under the nose was a requirement for North Africa operations. The two addition .303 mg were added outboard of the four .303 in the earlier plane.

The only way to taxi in the desert!


A view the armament.  Six (!) .303 in each wing.


About atcDave

I'm 5o-something years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I was an air traffic controller for 33 years and recently retired; grew up in the Chicago area, and am still a fanatic for pizza and the Chicago Bears. My main interest is military history, and my related hobbies include scale model building and strategy games.
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15 Responses to Hawker Hurricane Mk IIb trop

  1. Pierre Lagacé says:

    I am so sorry Dave. I will have to reblog this post.
    My favourite airplane which brings fond memories of the 60s.

  2. Pierre Lagacé says:

    Reblogged this on My Forgotten Hobby and commented:
    My favourite airplane which brings fond memories of the 60s.

  3. Pierre Lagacé says:

    Mine was Monogram Hawker Hurricane II with multiple versions.

    • atcDave says:

      Oh yeah I’ve built that kit a few times!
      In fact, it was the first airplane I ever built. So now I get your ;60s quip!

  4. Pierre Lagacé says:

    And I would play with it… just a little.

  5. jfwknifton says:

    A wonderfully made kit. I’m sure that, from certain angles, I can see a few grains of desert sand…

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