6th November 1935 – First flight of the Hawker Hurricane

The Hawker Hurricane, iconic RAF fighter plane of World War Two, took to the air for the first time on 6th November 1935.

On 3 November 1935, George Bulman taxied the fighter out onto the Brooklands grass, so beginning the steady task of acclimatising himself to the aircraft.

A potential set back reared its head on 4 November, when Rolls-Royce informed Hawker that the Merlin had failed to pass its 50-hour certification test. A quick inspection had failed to reveal why the engine lost power after just 40 hours.

On 6 November Bulman taxied K5083 out for its first flight. No press were informed, let alone invited, and photography was not permitted, such was the level of secrecy surrounding Hawker’s latest product. Taxiing to the end of the runway, the silver monoplane turned into the wind and, with a roar from its Merlin, seemed to be into the air and over the banking of the old racing circuit in no time at all.

In the years ahead the Hurricane served throughout World War 2. From the Battle of Britain to service on aircraft carriers, in the Western Desert and Burma, and in the skies over Murmansk, the Hurricane gave faithful service.

Hampshire libraries have many books about the Hurricane, in particular our Aviation Collection at Farnborough Library. Maybe try Hurricane Aces, 1939 – 1940 by Tony Holmes or Soviet Hurricane Aces by Yuriy Rybin.

For hundreds of contemporary reports about the Hurricane take a look at British Newspaper Archive. It is free to register and then you can look at newspaper reports from across Britain about the Battle of Britain and other actions featuring the Hurricane.