MK.I R4118 / G-HUPW
THE ONLY AIRWORTHY HURRICANE FROM THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN
Even amongst warbirds R4118 is more than a little special, being the only surviving airworthy Hurricane that saw active service in the Battle of Britain in 1940. She really is a national treasure, and arguably the most important British aircraft to have survived the war.
Originally built in 1940 she was delivered to 605 Squadron at Drem on August 17th and flew almost 50 sorties from Croydon, shooting down five enemy aircraft. Damaged in combat in October she was rebuilt and delivered to 111 Squadron by January of 1941 where it started to patrol the North Sea. It would later serve as a training aircraft with 56 and 59 OTUs.
Crated in 1943 she was shipped to India and eventually used by a university to train engineers. It was not until 1996 that Peter Vacher began his quest to return her to British soil and airworthy condition. In 2001 R4118 was delivered to Hawker Restorations in Suffolk where the process began of restoring her to the exact condition she was in when flown in the Battle of Britain. From Irish linen fabric covering to a Merlin III engine and reconditioned .303 machine guns (picture below, courtesy Alan Wilson), every detail was painstakingly observed.
R4118 on a visit to Goodwood Aerodrome in late Summer 2016 for an air-to-air photoshoot together with Spitfire RR232.
Some of the restored Browning .303 machine guns revealed at an engineering open weekend at Old Warden (photo credit: Alan Wilson).
Seen here flying at the Victory Show, Cosby in 2015, the only surviving Battle of Britain Hurricane, R4118 (photo credit: Paul Lucas).