The Hawker Hurricane Mk. IIB, sometimes called the Hurribomber, was a single-seat, single-engined fighter-bomber used by British and Commonwealth forces throughout World War 2.
Originally an interceptor, the Hurricane Mk. II was the primary British fighter in the Mediteranean and North African theatres, serving along side Curtis P-40 Tommahawks and the elusive Spitfire. It also saw some service in the late stages of the Battle of Britain, before being completely phased out by newer fighters. But in 1940, these newer fighters had yet to reach the North African front, and the Hurricanes were completely outmatched by the new German Bf-109F's and Italian Macchi 202's. Although it was inferior in performance, it still excelled in the ground-attack role.
The Hurricane was removed from fighter service in 1941 in favor of the P-40, but it still saw effective use. British forces began mounting bombs to the Hurricane, dubbing the creation "Hurribomber". With a total bombload of 500 lb (230 kg), the "Hurribomber" was a successful light/dive bomber and attacker.
During the Battle of Malta, the new "Hurribombers" were used in conjunction with Blackburn Skuas, but they were quickly outnumbered.
The "Hurribomber" saw much more success in North Africa. In 1942, six squadrons of "Hurribombers" claimed to destroy a total of 39 tanks, 212 trucks and armored troop-carriers, 26 fuel tankers, 42 guns, 200 various other vehicles and four small fuel and ammunition dumps. with only 11 losses. Another group in Tripoli knocked out six tanks, 13 armored vehicles, 10 lorries, five half-tracks, a gun and trailer, and a wireless radio van in 1943. None of these pilots were killed.
The "Hurribomber" saw its last major operation in Burma, 1943. It saw sparse use until the end of the war, serving with various air forces. Hurricanes continued to serve second-line tasks and training use from then onwards. Until 1947, old Hurricanes were used for coastal patrol, air-sea rescue, communications, war photography, and meteorological purposes. They were retired soon after.
- Model: Hurricane Mk. IIB
- Weights: Empty 5,743 lb (2,605 kg), Loaded 7,670 lb (3,480 kg)
- Dimensions: Wingspan 40 ft 0 in (12.19 m), Length 32 ft 3 in (9.84 m), Height 13 ft 1½ in (4.0 m), Wing Area 257.5 ft² (23.92 m²)
- Power: Rolls-Royce Merlin XX liquid-cooled V-12 Engine
- Performance: Max. Speed 340 mph (547 km/h), Ceiling 36,000 ft (10,970 m), Range 600 miles (965 km)
- Armament: 4 × 20 mm (.79 in) Hispano Mk II cannons OR 12x 7.7 mm (.303 in) Browning 1919 Machine Guns, 2 × 250 or 500 lb (110 or 230 kg) bombs