1942 Hurricane IIB

BE505 – arriving for 2020 flying season

• Built at Canadian Car & Foundry Company factory in 1942 as construction number CCF/R20023. The aircraft was originally ordered as a Mk.1 for the RAF and allocated the military serial number AG287. The production batch was subsequently diverted to RCAF use and a new Canadian serial, 1374 was allocated.

 

• Delivered on 11 February 1942, she served with the RCAF until being returned to the factory in 1943 to be up-graded to Mk.XII standard – this included the installation of the more powerful Packard built Merlin 29 engine. Returning to RCAF use she was issued to No.1 (F) OTU (Bagotville, Quebec) where she remained until struck off charge on 6 September 1944.

 

• Following the end of hostilities the airframe was sold off to the private sector, as were many surviving RCAF Hurricanes at that time, often becoming much needed ‘hardware stores’ donating their parts to keep the tractors and machinery running on the many enormous farms of the Canadian prairie. BE505 was lucky and remained substantially whole and was acquired by collector Jack Arnold in the 1970’s.

• After passing through the hands of other collectors she was purchased by Tony Ditheridge of Hawker Restorations Ltd. Returning to the UK and initially stored as a future personal project, restoration work began in earnest in 2005 at HRL’s facility in Suffolk. The project made steady progress until it was acquired by Hangar 11 Collection in 2007 and re-registered as G-HHII. The comprehensive restoration was completed in January 2009 and saw this rare Hurricane rolled out in fighter-bomber configuration resplendent in the markings of BE505, a Manston based Mk IIB operated by 174 (Mauritius) Squadron in spring, 1942. Her first post-restoration flight took place from North Weald on January 27, 2009.

 

• Since then, BE505 has been converted to a two-seat configuration and moved to its new home at Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar, where flights are to be offered to the public for the 2020 flying season.