Airfield and Aircraft Production

Hawker Hurricanes in assembly shops Brooklands, credited to Brooklands Museum archive courtesy of BAE Systems

Hawker Hurricanes in assembly shops Brooklands, credited
to Brooklands Museum archive courtesy of BAE Systems

Spring 1940 saw the abrupt end of the phoney war as the German offensive reached the coastline of France and Belgium. The range of their heavily-laden bombers thus increased. In an effort to break British resolve, Hitler withdrew the ban on bombing London and, with around four times more aircraft than RAF Fighter Command, Germany got ready to invade England. The Battle of Britain had begun.

Aerial veiw of Brooklands airfield 1939, credited to Brooklands Museum archive courtesy of BAE Systems

Aerial veiw of Brooklands airfield 1939, credited to Brooklands
Museum archive courtesy of BAE Systems

The Hurricane was produced at the Hawker factories in Canbury Park Road, Kingston-upon-Thames, and then assembled at the Hawker shed at Brooklands, Weybridge, or, from 1942, at the Hawker aerodrome at Langley, near Slough.

Women working on Hurricane assembly and production, credited to Brooklands Museum archive  courtesy of BAE Systems

Women working on Hurricane assembly and production,
credited to Brooklands Museum archive
courtesy of BAE Systems

As the greatest battle in the history of air warfare raged in the skies overhead, aircraft production increased so that by September 1940 the number of Hurricane squadrons had almost doubled from 18, a year earlier, to 32.

The Hurricane will always be remembered for the crucial role it played in the Battle of Britain during the summer of 1940. Its partner, the Spitfire, may have been the highest performing allied aircraft in 1940 and the most famous British fighter aircraft in history but it was the Hurricane that destroyed more enemy aircraft during the Battle of Britain than all the other air and ground defences combined.

Hurricanes in Hawker assembly shops Brooklands,  credited to Brooklands Museum archive courtesy of BAE Systems

Hurricanes in Hawker assembly shops Brooklands,
credited to Brooklands Museum archive
courtesy of BAE Systems

The Hawker Hurricane was designed by Sidney Camm of the Hawker Aircraft Company in 1934 and first entered service in 1937. It equipped the RAF with a fighter 100mph (160kph) faster than the aircraft then in service and had an increased fire power of eight machine guns.

One thought on “Airfield and Aircraft Production”

  1. Dave King says:

    Then we had stupid people complain about the R.A.F. bombing Germany? hy did they expect the British to not retaliate???

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