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Ken5421

Hurricane Aircraft used by Russia during WW2

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Hi there

 

Were not Hurricanes shipped to the soviet union by the British and used in the Battle of Moscow?

 

And also P45's

 

Are these aircraft going to be available?

 

cheers

 

Ken Lovegrove - Ken5421

 

 

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Yes, Hurricanes were went to Russia through the Lend Lease Program.  So were P-40s.

You mean Anglo-Soviet Military Supplies Agreement? ;)

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The Russians thought the Hurricane was a flying brown paper bag.

Yes but it was there in numbers. It was also well represented in the Med and North Africa..................................

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Were not Hurricanes shipped to the soviet union

I think the number was around 3000 for the hurricane, The P-39 was the most numerous with around 5000.

 

 

 

The Russians thought the Hurricane was a flying brown paper bag.

Thankfully it wasn't a flying brown paper bag during the BoB ;)

I also read somewhere that they didn't like Spits or the limited numbers of P-51's they had available that much either. Wasn't it something to do with the quality of fuel they had available (limited 100/150 octane fuel) and thereby having a reduction in the performance?

Maybe someone more knowledgeable on the subject than me can explain?

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The Soviets received quite a few Spit Vbs.  These went into action with the VVS from 1943 in the Kuban .  The Spits were in the main pretty second hand by the time they arrived in the Soviet Union, and of course, the Mk Vb was all but obsolete by this stage of the War. 

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Hi there

 

Were not Hurricanes shipped to the soviet union by the British and used in the Battle of Moscow?

 

And also P45's

 

Are these aircraft going to be available?

 

cheers

 

Ken Lovegrove - Ken5421

Also..

 

  • P-47's
  • B-25's
  • P-39's
  • A-20's
  • C-47's (Li-2's)

     

We could go so far as to add the B-29's they stole from America.

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It was a variant of the P-39.

 

Sort of. It's a P-39C which was originally designated P-45. That's a VERY obscure reference. I'm assuming that the original poster is thinking of the P-39.

 

After completing service trials, and originally designated P-45, a first order for 80 aircraft was placed 10 August 1939; the designation reverted to P-39C before deliveries began. After assessing aerial combat conditions in Europe, it was evident that without armor or self-sealing tanks, the 20 production P-39Cs were not suitable for operational use. The remaining 60 machines in the order were built as P-39Ds with armor, self-sealing tanks and enhanced armament. These P-39Ds were the first Airacobras to enter into service with the Army Air Corps units and would be the first ones to see action.[23]

 

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Sort of. It's a P-39C which was originally designated P-45. That's a VERY obscure reference. I'm assuming that the original poster is thinking of the P-39.

 

http://tbo.wikidot.com/p-45

 

Or a stop-gap between the P-39 and P-63. It looks like there was some confusion over designation somewhere.

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http://tbo.wikidot.com/p-45

 

Or a stop-gap between the P-39 and P-63. It looks like there was some confusion over designation somewhere.

I'm not sure I trust that source. It says large numbers were delivered but that seems spurious as there were only 3 XP-39E models constructed. And in years of reading about the Russian front I would have definitely come across info about it.

 

It was an intermediary prototype designed by Bell before they moved on and focused on the P-63.

 

Still curious where the OP would have come up with this. It's obscure. It's like many of the P-40 prototypes that existed as one-of test beds.

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Just to keep on the original topic, here's a nice shot of a field modified Hurricane, having had the Hispanos ripped out and replaces with a single ShVAK 20 mm auto-cannon in each wing. 

 

9c00860fd6ab405a694af5358ab0b6e7.jpg

 

The Russians complained that the Hurricane was too slow, and judging by the picture it isn't hard to see why. This one is weighted down with rocket rails and winter paint, and the torn engine housing plates and layers of soot must have mate it exceptionally draggy.

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The Russians thought the Hurricane was a flying brown paper bag.

Not when they were repolacing I-16s with them...

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RAF Hurricanes in Russia

http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/sheppard/hurricanes/index.htm

 

 

http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/golodnikov/part1.htm

 

A. S. Nikolay Gerasimovich, what was your first impression of the Hurricane?

N. G. My first impression was “Hunchback!” Such a “hunchback” cannot be a good fighter. Subsequently my first impression did not change. I was particularly alarmed by the wings. They were so thick. The wings on the Hurricane were thicker than on the Pe-2.

A. S. Was the Hurricane easier to control than the I-16?

N. G. Yes, it was simpler. I did not experience any difficulties in learning the airplane or how to fly it.

A. S. What was the cockpit like for you after the I-16—visibility, bullet-proof glass, armored seat?

N. G. The cockpit, of course, was larger than in the I-16. The visibility forward was also better. Forward visibility was very good. To the side, and especially to the rear, it was poor. The canopy reminded me of the I-16 canopy. It had many sections and slid backward. The many sections greatly hindered lateral visibility. If you looked in any direction except toward the nose, a window frame blocked your view. Initially before combat we slid the canopy open to improve visibility. Later, when we had adapted to the canopy, we left it closed so as not to lose speed. The canopy slid on two lateral rails.

The control stick was a surprise. It was like that on a bomber. The upper portion was thick and had a ring, inside of which were two buttons, switches. In order to employ all the weapons, one had to use both hands. The stick at its base moved only forward and backward, and right or left movement was accomplished at the mid-stick level, from which cables controlled the ailerons.

It had bullet-proof glass and also an armored seat. They were reliable.

A. S. Was there a special heater in the cabin?

N. G. No, the heat came from the engine.

A. S. Were there any problems with the instrument panel in the Hurricane?

N. G. Not at all. It had all the instruments, but of course in pounds and inches. But we adapted to it quickly. The instruments were laid out exactly the same as in our UT-2, which of course used the metric system of measurement. It was simple for anyone who had flown the UT-2.

We had experienced pilots who literally upon questioning, “And this instrument—what is it?” would respond, “Don’t pay it any attention. You will never need this instrument. Here you have your altitude indicator, RPMs, coolant temperature, oil pressure and temperature—that’s all you need.”

We also had a boost pressure gauge, also in pounds. Our gauge had a scale of -4 to +12. We determined the power output of the engine by the magnitude of the boost pressure.

A. S. Did it have an artificial horizon? Radio compass?

N. G. Not all aircraft had an artificial horizon. There were none in our unit. It had an instrument analogous to our Pioneer. But in the English instrument were two indicator arrows rather than an arrow and a ball like in ours. One arrow showed bank and the other turn and slip. It was a reliable instrument.

A. S. Did it have a radio?

N. G. The Hurricane had UHF [ultra-high frequency] radios, six channels. They were reliable, good sets. Both receiver and transmitter. The only negative aspect of this was that the microphone was inside the oxygen mask. The mask itself and microphone were heavy and cumbersome in combat. If you wore the mask too tight it pinched, and if you wore it too loose it would pull away during heavy g-forces. The transmitter was simplex—duplex, that is, it could be activated to send—receive with a push-to-talk switch, and also with voice. When we spoke the transmitter turned itself on and when we were silent we could listen. We could select the mode ourselves. We had a special knob in the cockpit that we could place on voice-activate or push-to-talk. In the beginning we all used the voice-activation capability. Sometimes in combat someone would curse [Russian curses], the transmitter would put this out and the pilot would stop listening and another pilot was prevented from transmitting a necessary command. Later, on all aircraft we were required to switch control of the radio set to the push-to-talk mode, on the throttle control, and we wired down the knob for voice-activation.

Because of the microphone we always had the oxygen mask on our face. The oxygen system also worked reliably.

The landing gear operated efficiently, raised hydraulically by a special lever. This same lever was used to control the flaps.

A. S. Nikolay Gerasimovich, what was your opinion of the Hurricane’s armaments?

N. G. The Hurricane had either 8 or 12 machine guns, either 4 or six in each wing. The machine gun was a Lewis 7.7mm [.303 caliber]. In reliability it was analogous to our ShKAS. Initially we experienced stoppages due to dust and dirt. It was sensitive to dust. Here is how we dealt with this problem. We plugged all the holes along the leading edge of the wing with percale [a muslin-like fabric]. When we opened fire, the percale was shot through. The guns began to work reliably. They were not particularly effective when fired at ranges of 150—300 meters.

On the initiative of B. F. Safonov, our regiment commander, the mobile aviation repair facility began a program of mounting Soviet weapons in our regiment’s Hurricanes. We had an armaments technician, Boris Sobolevskiy, who supervised this effort. We had many other smart people as well. They mounted either two ShVAK in each wing or a ShVAK [20mm] and a BK [berezin 12.7mm]. Later the Englishman, without any special fuss, more or less pro forma, registered a complaint with us that we had made this modification without their permission and so on. Nonsense. Everyone understood that they had decided to protest just as a matter of preventing any future repercussions.

I will say that if you got close enough, the Lewis machine guns could be quite effective.

Our squadron commander was Aleksandr Andreevich Kovalenko (deceased, God took him). One of the first to receive the award Hero of the Soviet Union, he was a typical Ukrainian, contemplative and quiet. I was his wingman. I think this happened in ’42. Murmansk was under attack and six of us went up. Here is what they said to us on the radio (ground control was already working): “First [squadron]! Group of 109s!” I had a good view of the air space and transmitted to Kovalenko, “I see the 109s!” He quietly replied, “Good work. Boys, let’s go get the 109s.” Then from the ground vectoring station: “First! Group of 87s! Switch over to the 87s!” Again he quietly said, “Boys, let’s go get the 87s.” We spotted them on the approaches to Murmansk. There were about 20 of them, perhaps more. We attacked them from below at high speed. I watched as Kovalenko placed his Hurricane almost vertical and with a skid, fired up a Stuka from about 50 meters with 12 machine guns. Then as Kovalenko fell away, I also peeled off and observed how the tail of the Junkers went in one direction and the rest of the airplane in another. Kovalenko had sliced through the Junkers right in front of my eyes. “Almost all ammunition expended.” Then the ground [radio] intercept station informed us that the Germans were screaming, “We’re surrounded by Soviet fighters! They are killing us!” Along with another six fighters who went after the Messers, we shot down eight aircraft that day.

A. S. I thought it was an old wive’s tale, if I can use that expression, when during the Battle of Britain British pilots said that they cut through German aircraft with machine gun fire.

N. G. No, this could be done with Lewises, and of course also with our ShKASes. The ShKAS, in its rate of fire [approximately 1800 rounds/min], was a unique machine gun. From close range, from 50 meters, a battery of four ShKASes could cut off a wing and on occasion did. At this range, if you held the trigger and didn’t economize on the bullets, you would get some dispersion. It was possible to cut off a tail or a wing, literally to cut it off.

By the way, I had my first victory in a Hurricane. A 109. My aircraft still had English weapons. I was a wingman then, and he was attacking my pair leader but did not get there. He got between me and my leader, and I let him have it literally from a range of 20—15 meters.

A. S. How long did you fight with English machine guns?

N. G. About three months, and then they began to replace them with ours.

A. S. Did the placement of the guns in the wing cause any problems?

N. G. Did it ever! The distance between the two barrels [on each side closest to the fuselage] was about two and one-half meters. The dead zone in the dispersion of rounds between these two guns was significant.

A. S. Did you ever have Hurricanes with English cannons?

N. G. No. They began to mount English cannons on Hurricanes some time later than we did, based upon our successful experience.

A. S. Did they mount rockets on the Hurricane?

N. G. Yes, four under each wing.

A. S. Sights?

N. G. English sights. Collimator. Normal sights. I already said, we came in close and fired without any special lead.

A. S. What about the English engine, they say it was unreliable?

N. G. It was a good engine, powerful and sufficiently reliable. The engine worked very clean. It had exhaust stacks and flame suppressors, mounted like mufflers. This was very helpful because it prevented the pilot from being blinded. In this regard our own aircraft were significantly deficient.

During negative g-forces the engine choked. There was no compensating tank. This was very bad because any maneuver should be able to be executed with positive g-forces. We mastered this peculiarity quickly but, initially, in the heat of battle we forgot about it. Later, with experience, we never permitted this condition to develop. An abrupt, unanticipated lessening of g-force changes the maneuver, and in combat this is dangerous.

A. S. Nikolay Gerasimovich, didn’t you get the impression that the engine was somewhat underpowered?

N. G. This was a heavy air frame that did not glide well. The Rolls-Royce engine was good, but could not stand up to prolonged operation at maximum output. It broke down. Of course, it was a weak engine for this particular air frame.

Let me say something else about the air frame. The Hurricane had a very light tail. We were based on sandy, insufficiently packed airfields. It was mandatory that a technician or mechanic sit on the tail when we were taxiing to keep it on the ground. We even flew with a technician sitting on the tail. We had a technician named Rudenko who flew around in a circle sitting on the tail. He sat with his back forward and was unable to jump off because his hands got caught in the skin of the vertical stabilizer. He sat there until the pilot landed the aircraft. There were cases when men fell off the tail and died.

A. S. Were holes in the Hurricane covered with percale?

N. G. We used percale on the fuselage and very thin duraluminum on the vertical stabilizer and wings.

A. S. Was there a special high-output regime? In the handbooks it is written that there was some kind of switch that permitted the pilot to increase the engine power sharply for a brief period of time.

N. G. We did not have such a device. We simply used the throttle to control RPMs. As I said, these aircraft were manufactured for use in North Africa, and perhaps were not the latest models. Perhaps on later models such capability existed.

A. S. How much fuel did you carry?

N. G. Sufficient for one hour twenty or thirty minutes.

A. S. Was the Hurricane engine capable of more altitude than the I-16 engine?

N.G. I wouldn’t say so. It was the same. The engine was not high-altitude.

A.S. What about propeller?

N. G. It was interesting. We had a variable pitch propeller, but with wooden blades. We changed the pitch manually with levers and rods. It was not difficult. We had one propeller technician for every four aircraft in the squadrons.

A. S. Nikilay Gerasimovich, what was it like to fly the Hurricane after the I-16? Better, worse?

N. G. One had to become accustomed to flying in the Hurricane. I liked the I-16 more. Though, in principle, the Hurricane was approximately the same as the -10, -17, and -21 types of the I-16. But if I had never seen a Hurricane, I wouldn’t miss it.

A. S. Marshal G. V. Zimin, on one of the first to master the Hurricane, wrote in his memoirs that “fighting in a Hurricane was the same as fighting astride a pterodactyl.” It was unique, he said, from an aerodynamic point of view. The airplane did not accumulate speed in a dive and momentarily lost carburetion. Is this a propagandistic putdown?

N. G. He is correct. Precisely a pterodactyl. It had a very thick profile and poor acceleration characteristics. At maximum speed it was somewhat faster than an I-16. But until it had attained this speed, many things could happen. It was not slow in responding to the control stick, but everything happened smoothly, in its own time. In the I-16, if you moved the stick, the airplane inverted right now. With this beast, it would roll over very slowly.

It had good lifting strength and could therefore equal the I-16 in rate of climb.

It was very good in horizontal maneuverability. If four Hurricanes established a circle, it was impossible to break out of it. No Germans could break into the circle either.

It was very poor in vertical maneuver, the thick profile. Primarily we tried to conduct battle in the horizontal and avoid the vertical plane.

The Hurricane had a short take-off run, again because of the thick wing.

In its technical and tactical characteristics the Hurricane was somewhat behind the Messerschmitt Bf-109E, primarily in the vertical. It was not inferior in the least in the horizontal. When the Bf-109F arrived, the Hurricane was well outclassed but continued to contest the skies.

The Hurricane burned rapidly and completely, like a match. The percale covering.

A. S. Did the I-16 burn more readily? It also was percale-covered.

N. G. Worse. The I-16’s engine was more reliable. And the little I-16, one had to hit it.

A. S. Nikolay Gerasimovich, if you had a choice, in which airplane would you prefer to fight, the I-16 or the Hurricane?

N. G. Of course in the I-16, on the type-28, which I fought. But there was no choice. I made some 20 combat sorties on the Hurricane and fought perhaps 3—4 air engagements. Then I transitioned to the P-40.

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I'll have to upload my interview with Eric Carter who flew Hurricanes with 81.Squadron in Murmansk. I have since re-interviewed him and asked more in-depth details about Murmansk and his time there. It's interesting to hear his thoughts about the state of the runway :)

I need to finish the third part of my Checkertails Documentary first, but I will upload these interviews once I get a chance. Cheers, MP

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What fuel did the VVS use with these planes, I've read somwhere that they used lower octane fuel which didn't allow some of the lend lease aircraft's engines to run at max efficiency...

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@Heliopause; what a very interesting article.  The Soviets had approx. a thousand planes for the defence of Moscow - the majority of which were Hurricanes?  Didn't know that.  Hmmm.....so the next expansion is BoM but we won't have the Hurricane.

 

I like the 'Macchi but remind me why we have it again?

 

Edit; a Murmansk map is also under development so Hmmm..... #2.  I wonder if anyone can produce figures for how many Hurricanes were delivered to the USSR by December 1941?

Edited by DD_Arthur

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Hmmm.....so the next expansion is BoM but we won't have the Hurricane.

 

My thought exactly!

 

Btw, wonder if german pilots ever claimed a "hurricane" during their time fighting for Moscow.

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@Heliopause; what a very interesting article.  The Soviets had approx. a thousand planes for the defence of Moscow - the majority of which were Hurricanes?  Didn't know that.  Hmmm.....so the next expansion is BoM but we won't have the Hurricane.

 

He state that "some 400 Hurricanes took part in the defence of the North".

 

Murmansk map, just sayin'...

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The Russians complained that the Hurricane was too slow, and judging by the picture it isn't hard to see why. This one is weighted down with rocket rails and winter paint, and the torn engine housing plates and layers of soot must have mate it exceptionally draggy.

 

Well, even in mint condition with 100 octane fuel etc. the Hurri Mk. II was still pretty darned slow for 1941/42. It climbed well, turned well and handled well (in part thanks to its very low wing loading) but man was it slow, only marginally faster than the I-16.

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Well, even in mint condition with 100 octane fuel etc. the Hurri Mk. II was still pretty darned slow for 1941/42. It climbed well, turned well and handled well (in part thanks to its very low wing loading) but man was it slow, only marginally faster than the I-16.

 

Whatever its performance was,  if it made up a substantial part of the soviet fighter force around Moscow in October 1941 - shouldn't it be in the game?

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Whatever its performance was, if it made up a substantial part of the soviet fighter force around Moscow in October 1941 - shouldn't it be in the game?

Absolutely! Not saying it shouldn't.

 

I simply pointed out, that the Soviets weren't alone in thinking the Hurricane was too slow.

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Absolutely! Not saying it shouldn't.

 

 

 

Sorry Finkeren,  should have made that a statement rather than an accusatory question, lol.   :salute:

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Well, even in mint condition with 100 octane fuel etc. the Hurri Mk. II was still pretty darned slow for 1941/42. It climbed well, turned well and handled well (in part thanks to its very low wing loading) but man was it slow, only marginally faster than the I-16.

 

It was slow, but quite fast enough to get at He111s and Stukas and make their lives miserable! So still useful in a defensive role, I would have thought. Quantity has a quality all of it's own, as someone once said....

 

Gordon's book has a lot about Hurricanes - apparently used in Moscow counter offensive and as far south as Voronezh in summer 1942, as well as the far north and Leningrad regions. Deserves representation, far more Hurricanes in Soviet service than Mig3s,  and fun for those of us who like crap planes. ;)

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