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Biplane Hurricane

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Martin Gay19/03/2018 13:29:25
34 forum posts
8 photos

Are any of the master builders out there up for a challenge?



Alan Gorham_19/03/2018 13:31:42
467 forum posts
44 photos

It's not just a bi-plane. It's a slip-wing. The top wing enabled more fuel to be carried for longer range and when some of the fuel was burned, the top wing was jettisoned.

kc19/03/2018 13:40:28
5487 forum posts
161 photos

Is it 1st April already?

Martin Gay19/03/2018 13:46:00
34 forum posts
8 photos


you would think so, but as Alan says, it is a slip wing prototype. The link gives a little more info and a google search for "Biplane Hurricane" will provide a few more pictures.

Are you tempted to build it for the September meet?

Don Fry19/03/2018 13:49:11
2507 forum posts
30 photos

Wouldn't  fancy being in it if it went wrong.

Edited By Don Fry on 19/03/2018 13:49:28

Andy Meade19/03/2018 13:50:03
2333 forum posts
604 photos

Good grief, what a thing. You'd have to build the wing jettisonable though laugh

Nigel R19/03/2018 14:22:12
1296 forum posts
287 photos

Makes for surprising low passes smiley

Simon Chaddock19/03/2018 14:30:27
5156 forum posts
2696 photos

You have to remember at the time many RAF fields, particularly the 'satellite' ones, were grass. A fully loaded Hurricane had trouble getting off if the ground was a bit soggy.

The slip wing was simply to improve the grass field performance by reducing the take off speed to what the RAF were used to with say a Gloster Gladiator.

The all wood wing carried no fuel and would be slipped as soon as it was safe to do so.

The slip wing Hurricane was flown but the wing was never slipped in flight.

In 1941 F Hills & Son (Hillson) did build a one off small test prototype which flew both as a mono and biplane and did actually slip the wing over the sea off Blackpool.


The whole concept was largely made redundant by the concrete runways created by the massive war time airfield building programme.

Martin Harris19/03/2018 14:38:08
7634 forum posts
190 photos

From Mark Kettle's Hurricane video thread:

Posted by Martin Harris on 02/03/2018 10:57:16:
Posted by Mark Kettle 1 on 28/02/2018 21:43:04:

The Hillson FH.40 Slip Wing Hawker Hurricane

Despite the less than spectacular results of flight and jettison tests, there was just enough promise left in the project for the Air Ministry to grant Hillson the use of a somewhat clapped out former Royal Canadian Air Force Hawker Hurricane I to test the concept out further on a full-sized aircraft before committing to further design. The result was the Hillson FH.40, a Hawker Hurricane with a massive and identical second wing propped on slender N-struts high above the fuselage. I was not able to find any report that suggested that the biplane Hurricane ever attempted to jettison its wing, but it seems the project had changed to more of a study of how an extra wing might benefit a Hurricane for ferry flights and getting off the ground with heavier loads than as a possible slip-wing defensive fighter.

The strange aircraft was tested at RAF Sealand during May 1943, and at the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment at RAF Boscombe Down from September 1943. The upper wing was not released in flight before the program was terminated due to poor performance.

In 2008, I added a second wing to a 1/12 scale Hurricane and completed the Boscombe Down flight program by finally jettisoning a top wing in flight. Best not to ask how the flight went though as the decision to jettison was forced early on in the flight in an attempt to recover from one of those hand launches that is always destined to end in tears...

The model did actually survive with only minor damage but I've never got round to another attempt - perhaps I'll give it a go again now this has reminded me!


Edited By Martin Harris on 19/03/2018 14:39:44

Cuban819/03/2018 14:47:35
1993 forum posts
3 photos
There's a number of developmental blind alleys in aviation, and I suppose with the benefit of hindsight it's easy to scoff at things that seemed to be a good idea at the time. My favourite is the rubber landing deck intended for aircraft carriers. Much research work into this was carried out by the late, great, Eric Brown.
I can think of a few more, nuclear reactor powered aircraft...airships?
Nigel R19/03/2018 15:42:17
1296 forum posts
287 photos

I'm not sure that

"nuclear reactor powered aircraft..."

was a good idea, even at the time.

Although the concept of having a Stratofortress carrying nukes and remaining airbourne (and thus ready to deploy at a few moments notice) for weeks at a stretch was probably appealing during the slightly scarier parts of the cold war.

Circular runways is another idea that springs to mind.

TJ Alexander19/03/2018 15:44:02
95 forum posts


Don Fry19/03/2018 16:12:14
2507 forum posts
30 photos

Blackburn, I believe is was, who did a flying boat, with a retractable lower hull.

J D 819/03/2018 17:03:48
851 forum posts
53 photos

The slip wing was one of those blind alleys of aviation,one that could carry extra fuel to extend range was an idea overtaken by other developments noted by Simon.The Germans operating in Spain during the Spanish civil war experimented with drop tanks but they were unpopular with pilots, the extra weight made for uncomfortable takeoffs with the engine power available at the time. [ Would have been useful during the battle of Britain]

The British experimented with towing Spitfires up behind a Wellington bomber,a tow line from below the rear turret attached to a bridal that was fixed to the Spitfire's wings,this allowed the fighter to run its engine to get to hight before shutting down and being towed as a glider. Later the engine could be restarted and the tow released. The snag was getting an engine restarted because of the cold. After the experiment someone took a tape measure to the Wellington and found it had stretched several inches.

Any one fancy a model version?

onetenor19/03/2018 17:21:59
1670 forum posts

What did Hillson us as a basis for their version .Looks like one of Miles aircraft.

onetenor19/03/2018 17:54:10
1670 forum posts

Saro flying- boat fighter was another.

J D 819/03/2018 18:28:22
851 forum posts
53 photos

There was even an idea for a piloted slip wing that could be glided back to earth and reused !

onetenor19/03/2018 18:59:04
1670 forum posts

What about those ailerons .It is quoted that the Hurri had enlarged ailerons .One pic shows a set curved out backwards but others all show plain ones . Was that the only enlargement or was there another with a straight enlargement. or was the plain one not enlarged.Puzzling.

BTW It said the plane Hills used was an M5 Sparrohawk but the picture shown does look like a Miles aircraft but Sparrowhawk it ain't    See here ---

Edited By onetenor on 19/03/2018 19:12:58

Don Fry19/03/2018 19:46:25
2507 forum posts
30 photos
Posted by J D 8 on 19/03/2018 18:28:22:

There was even an idea for a piloted slip wing that could be glided back to earth and reused !

Way off topic, but my now dead brother, (19years older than me), related to me, when drunk, as a REME, during the Malaysian conflict, he once did a drop from the back door of a transport aircraft. Brother was in the driving seat of a Landrover and trailer. On a sledge. Dropped from a few feet onto the ground. And he pulled a lever to release the parachute to slow the sledge., Another lever, released the Landrover from the sledge.

He was attached to the Paratroop Regiment. But as much as I loved him he was a terrible liar. But it has a terrible but plausible logic. I am so grateful I never served in conflict.

J D 819/03/2018 21:17:26
851 forum posts
53 photos

That is a good one Don. A friend of mine also in the REME recounted experiments with dropping vehicles from aircraft on parachutes.His job was to shove them out of an Argosy mounted on different pallet designs.

As a result a good number of Mini Moke's were splatted over Salisbury plain before they got it right. John.

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