This book covers the design, development, production and operations of the Hawker Hurricane before, during and after the Second World War. Without the courage and perseverance of the young men from Britain and the Commonwealth, who risked their lives to beat the Luftwaffe and forestall the enemy invasion of Britain, there would not have been a 'Battle of Britain.' The Hurricane was a simple rugged metal structure that did not require expensive assembly jigs, absorbed a lot of battle damage, and was also simple to repair. Its wide-track undercarriage allowed operations from rapidly prepared grass fields, and the ultimate cannon armament and rocket projectiles could destroy both soft skin and armoured targets. Following the Battles of France and Britain, Spitfires took over much of the air-to-air interception, while Hurricanes roamed around occupied Europe destroying enemy ground targets. They operated off merchant ships on the Russian convoys and were vital in the defence of Malta.Hurricanes worked with the Soviet Air Force within the Arctic Circle, and supported the Eighth Army against the forces of Rommel in the deserts of North Africa, as well as serving with distinction in Asia.
Philip Birtles joined the de Havilland Aeronautical School as an engineering apprentice in September 1957. Following training, he joined John Cunningham- the chief test pilot as PA. Philip was then appointed deputy PR Manager at Hawker Siddeley Aviation, before moving to BAe Dynamics Group at Stevenage as PR Manager. A return was made to Hatfield with responsibility for customer acceptances for the BAe.146 airliner, until the factory closed in early 1994. Philip has written some 40 books on aerospace, his first one being published in 1980 and has been involved with the de Havilland Aircraft Museum for over 40 years.