Tag Archives: ejector exhausts

Hawker Hurricane Mk I, 4/27/1939-6/5/1940 dH 2-position prop, “B” pattern camo, starboard profile, 1/2 white underside, v.10


<Hawker Hurricane Mk I, 4/27/1939-6/5/1940 dH 2-position prop, "B" pattern camo, starboard profile, 1/2 white underside, v.10

Mid-production Hawker Hurricane, Mk I, with de Havilland 2-position propeller.  This is what one would look like if it was painted all together, and they stopped before applying the national and service markings. Just “B” pattern camouflage on top, Dark Green and Dark Earth. Starboard side white, port side black, underneath, meeting at the centerline. Nothing of the original “Aluminum” finish remains outside, but the wheel wells and inside of the undercarriage doors might well be “Aluminum”, still. Black spinner.

The “A” and “B” camouflage patterns were mirror images, so this starboard, “B” scheme, is the same as a port-side “A” scheme, except reversed left to right
The black/white underside recognition features was ordered in August 1938. While the requirement for black under the port wing was made known fairly readily, how to treat the starboard wing, horizontal stabilizers and fuselage underside was somewhat to very unclear between 8/38 and 4/39. The intent was to have the port side black up to the center of the fuselage, and the starboard side white, up to the center of the fuselage, as this drawing and its companion show.

Fixed pitch, variable pitch and constant-speed propellers: De Havilland’s 2-position propeller was hydraulically actuated, the design licensed from Hamilton-Standard. The 2 positions were “Fine” for takeoff, “coarse” for maximum speed.  Better than the fixed-pitch, solid wood Watts propeller, but quickly replaced by the British engineered Rotol constant-speed design. A constant-speed propeller changes pitch in response to engine power- open the throttle and the blades bite deeply. Close the throttle and the blades barely nibble. Inertia of the moving pieces has little effect on changes in power, no waiting for the engine itself to speed up or slow down.

Hamilton Standard’s own constant-speed design was the “Hydromatic”. Curtis-Wright backed a constant speed design operated by an electric motor, which had the advantage of being able to “feather”, go to super-coarse pitch, for least drag, whether or not the engine was running. Hydraulic operation required the engine-driven hydraulic pump to change pitch, so feathering  had to be done *while* shutting down a failing engine.

 

Hawker Hurricane, 1939, port profile, “A” pattern camo, de Havilland 2 position prop, Blk Wht Alu under v.12


Hawker Hurricane, 1939, dH 2speed, "A" pattern camo, Port profile, Blk Wht Alu under v.12

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A mid-production Hurricane Mk I. “A” pattern camouflage. Underside finished in Aluminum but outer wing panels are black on port side and white on starboard. De Havilland 2 position prop (their build of the Ham.-Std patent), ejector exhausts, anti-spin strake and rudder extension. Port profile.

de Havilland’s metal prop and related hydraulics weighed 350lb more than the Watts wooden prop, but offered a fine (for acceleration from low speed) and coarse (for high speed) settings. With a takeoff speed under 100mph and a maximum speed above 300mph, the Hurricane with a fixed pitch prop was like an automobile with one gear from 20mph to 60. Unresponsive and twitchy at low speed, screaming like a banshee, unnecessarily, at top speed.

The camouflage pattern looked quite different from port side than from starboard, intended to disrupt the outlines of multiple planes parked on the ground.  The “B” scheme was the mirror image of the “A” scheme, so that a line of planes parked in a single direction wouldn’t all look exactly the same.

At the beginning of the war, the “Dark Green” area was always painted Dark Green and the “Dark Earth” always painted Dark Earth, but in the later part of the war, colors were sometimes seen reversed, particularly if re-applied or revised in the field.