MAGLF002 Ex Magazine 1/72nd scale Diecast Battle of Britain Hawker Hurricane MK1 Dunkirk and Junkers JU87B Stuka Duelling Fighters. Available to pre-order at Flying Tigers.
The Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft of the 1930s–40s that was designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd. for service with the Royal Air Force (RAF). It was overshadowed in the public consciousness by the Supermarine Spitfire’s role during Battle of Britain in 1940, but the Hurricane actually inflicted 60 percent of the losses sustained by the Luftwaffe in the engagement, and it went on to fight in all the major theatres of the Second World War.
The Hurricane originated from discussions during the early 1930s between RAF officials and British aircraft designer Sir Sydney Camm on the topic of a proposed monoplane derivative of the Hawker Fury biplane. There was an institutional preference at the time for biplanes and a lack of interest from the Air Ministry, but Hawker chose to continue refining their monoplane proposal, which resulted in the incorporation of several innovations which became critical to wartime fighter aircraft, including a retractable undercarriage and a more powerful engine in the form of the newly developed Rolls-Royce Merlin. The Air Ministry placed an order for Hawker’s Interceptor Monoplane in late 1934, and the prototype Hurricane K5083 performed its maiden flight on 6 November 1935.
In June 1936, the Hurricane was ordered into production by the Air Ministry; it entered squadron service on 25 December 1937. The manufacture and maintenance of the aircraft was eased by its use of conventional construction methods which enabled squadrons to perform many major repairs themselves without external support. The Hurricane was rapidly procured prior to the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, when the RAF had 18 Hurricane-equipped squadrons in service. The aircraft was relied upon to defend against the numerous and varied German aircraft operated by the Luftwaffe, including dogfighting with the capable Messerschmitt Bf 109 in multiple theatres of action.
The Hurricane developed through several versions, as bomber-interceptors, fighter-bombers, and ground support aircraft in addition to fighters. Versions designed for the Royal Navy were popularly known as the Sea Hurricane, with modifications enabling their operation from ships. Some were converted to be used as catapult-launched convoy escorts. By the end of production in July 1944, 14,487 Hurricanes had been completed in Britain and Canada.
The Junkers Ju 87 or Stuka (from Sturzkampfflugzeug, “dive bomber”) was a German dive bomber and ground-attack aircraft. Designed by Hermann Pohlmann, it first flew in 1935. The Ju 87 made its combat debut in 1937 with the Luftwaffe’s Condor Legion during the Spanish Civil War and served the Axis forces in World War II.
The aircraft was easily recognisable by its inverted gull wings and fixed spatted undercarriage. Upon the leading edges of its faired main gear legs were mounted the Jericho-Trompete (Jericho trumpet) wailing sirens, becoming the propaganda symbol of German air power and the so-called blitzkrieg victories of 1939–1942. The Stuka’s design included several innovations, including automatic pull-up dive brakes under both wings to ensure that the aircraft recovered from its attack dive even if the pilot blacked out from the high g-forces.
The Stuka operated with considerable success in close air support and anti-shipping at the outbreak of World War II. It led air assaults in the invasion of Poland in September 1939. Stukas were critical to the rapid conquest of Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium and France in 1940. Sturdy, accurate, and very effective against ground targets, the Stuka was, like many other dive bombers of the period, vulnerable to fighter aircraft. During the Battle of Britain its lack of manoeuvrability, speed and defensive armament meant that it required a heavy fighter escort to operate effectively.
After the Battle of Britain the Stuka was used in the Balkans Campaign, the African and Mediterranean theatres and the early stages of the Eastern Front where it was used for general ground support, as an effective specialised anti-tank aircraft and in an anti-shipping role. Once the Luftwaffe lost air superiority, the Stuka became an easy target for enemy fighter aircraft on all fronts. It was produced until 1944 for lack of a better replacement. By then ground-attack versions of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 had largely replaced the Stuka, but Stukas remained in service until the end of the war.