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Hawker Hurricane MK1

by Harry Twist

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Harry Twist11/05/2018 01:18:47
232 forum posts
135 photos


I reckon this years PSS mass build choice is fabulous - surely every aircraft enthusiast loves the Hawker Hurricane! Also very appropriate with this year being the 100th anniversary of the formation of the RAF.

Up front I would like to say many thanks to Matt Jones and Phil Cooke for inputting all the work and energy needed to bring this project to our building boards.

I've decided to go for a Hurricane MK1, precisely which aircraft and which colour scheme I'm not fully homed in on yet, but I need to get building so more thinking on that detail later.

So after several weeks of delay due to work/other projects and general "stuff", I have cleared my building board, affixed a new sheet of plasterboard to my worktop and got started on the fuselage. I cut my plan up ( sacrilege I know) but I feel it will help with "elevation" and "plan" views.

Two evenings of work now see me with two fuselage sides, the central "key" pieces were located with small strip needed to pack them out to a tight fit. The battery box and nose sub assembly are also now complete. This evening I located F7 and the wing bolt mounting plate. I have raised the location of the full length central doubler by approx 2mm - along its full length, this should aid fitting into the former recesses without modification. To get the location right - I dummy located F3 and F7 then and took careful measurements beyond F9 and at the rear, this gave me a new datum for the doubler. Hope I'm right! I cant really see any issues with raising the doubler other than it now doesnt sit perfectly square over the key piece nose extension.

I've not glued F1 onto the sub assembly yet - I may add a a 1mm ply plate into the front base of my battery box to add some more "beef" in there

Some photos of progress so far.





Tom Sharp 211/05/2018 02:21:31
2833 forum posts
16 photos

I have before me a cutaway drawing of Hurricane Mk 1 by 'The Aeroplane' magazine, very detailed, it would be worth anyone getting hold of a copy.

Phil Cooke11/05/2018 07:58:00
2041 forum posts
1409 photos

Good to see the blog up and running Harry and a nice intro - lI ook forward to seeing your build progress over the coming weeks!!

Peter Garsden16/05/2018 20:56:30
1266 forum posts
855 photos

Following this one. Watching with interest.

Peter Garsden16/05/2018 20:56:30
1266 forum posts
855 photos

Following this one. Watching with interest.

Harry Twist18/05/2018 18:22:15
232 forum posts
135 photos

Bit more progress to add. The two fuselage halves have now been completed and the nose sub assembly added in, as have been the wing mounting bolt and its sub former. I added a square of 1mm ply at the front of the battery box- between the end of it and the rear of F1 just to beef it up a little. Fuselage halves now joined, I was very happy as F3 and F7 located squarely on their respective positions. I have also now got the tail pulled in. Like Peter Garsden I found the overall length needed trimming by 6mm at the rear to sit square over the plan ( this is all as planned since the plan pack clearly has allowed excess material on top, bottom, front and rear of the sheets that form the fuselage sides - to allow for the curving nature of the end product, this is all trimmed as the curving is added in).

I have also just finished my first ammonia work (I assume everyone is using their ammonia neat and not diluting?) and have pulled in the front (in plan) - over F3, F2 and F1.

I think I can see a Hurricane in there!

Some process shots:

Fuselage halves joined and front sub assembly carefully supported. The old batteries act as masses.


Tail pulled in after trimming to length and chamfering to fit.


Using ammonia to pull the nose in and achieve a "set", awaiting drying and not glued yet. Battens used to protect the fuselage sides.


Alan Gorham_19/05/2018 06:46:32
434 forum posts
44 photos

Hi Harry - exciting progress, I can see a Hurricane in there too! Just a note that I don't bother diluting ammonia when using it to bend balsa - it makes it less effective, plus the added water makes the wood swell when wet and shrink as it dries much more than straight ammonia does.

Good job!

Harry Twist25/05/2018 00:55:20
232 forum posts
135 photos

Inching the fuselage on a little more...... I have completed the underside sheeting front and back and now moved on to some serious ammonia bending of the fuselage.

To encourage the fuselage sides to take on the necessary shape behind the cockpit I decided to wet with ammonia full length of the upper fuselage - nose to tail ( I tried it first with an unwetted front end and an ammonia soaked rear- this seemed to create a lot of stress in the unwetted front balsa).

I then held the front in place with numerous rubber bands ( basically "training" the balsa into shape) whilst I encouraged the balsa rear fuselage sides over the reentrant F5 and F6 formers into their curved shape. The guide pieces suggested by Chris Barlow and Phil Cooke I found invaluable and literally take minutes to make - so are highly recommend in my view. I found that careful / gentle pressure using fingers ( gloved to protect from ammonia) inside and outside of the fuselage side - doing one side at a time - encouraged the balsa to conform, then clamp up. The attached photo shows the rear fuselage in drying mode having been reclamped and glued once the ammonia has dried. F5 sits a little above the fuselage line so will need a sliver added to each side. Oddly I found all this much easier to do with the two side 1/4 inch square longerons not installed - I will add them as I shape up the cockpit area.

The keen eyed will note a piece from the front rolled over fuselage side missing... this happened not during ammonia work but whilst I had the fuselage upside down fitting the rear lower sheeting - too much side force and it snapped off ( basically me being clumsy!) I will shape it and refit or simply plank that area in.



Chris Barlow25/05/2018 01:24:20
1720 forum posts
1172 photos

Looks like you had a much easier fight than me Harry! Phils external jig formers are definitely the way to go!


Jon - Laser Engines25/05/2018 08:19:25
3686 forum posts
146 photos

i have been keeping a sneaky eye on the Hurricane builds and i keep thinking i should get one. Im sure i could wedge my little OS40 4 stroke in the nose and i even have some micro retracts that would fit. I wonder if it would take the weight.

steven kemp26/05/2018 10:34:23
4 forum posts

Yeh chris, I opted for Phil's External jigs also after it kept popping out between F6 and F8,after another dousing in ammonia and another former made i called it F6 and a half .lol,it finally took shape and stayed there,Nice one Harry and look forward to seeing you guys in august back on the Great Orme

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