Britains first-ever wartime fighter plane, the Hawker Hurricane shot down more enemy planes than any other fighter. It was the true aviation hero of the Battle of Britain.
Often eclipsed by the legend and aerial heroics of the Spitfire, the Hurricane was the authentic warhorse of aviation history. Stable, rugged, less expensive to build - and far more easily repaired and maintained than the Spitfire - the Hurri as it was affectionately known, proved to be the most fearsome fighter plane in aerial combat - at a time when Britains survival was at stake like never before.
During the Battle of Britain in 1940 the Hurricane made its mark: more than half of 1,200 German aircraft were shot down by Hurricanes during the Battle of Britain. At the time, the RAF could call on 32 squadrons of Hurricanes and 19 Spitfires: the Hurricane was, in fact, the dominant British fighter plane, developing a reputation as a plane that could take more than a few hits from the enemy - and continue to fly. The Spit was the aviation thoroughbred, superb until damaged. The Hurri was much stronger.
Using documents, letters and first-hand accounts, this is the historic untold story of the Hawker Hurricane and the lives of the men and women who flew, helped design and construct, fit and worked behind the scenes of the Hurri, all contributing in ways big and small, to its outstanding success as a legend of World War II aviation.
Jacky Hyams has written several bestselling non-fiction books, among them The Female Few: Spitfire Heroines of the Air Transport Auxiliary and Bomb Girls: Britains Secret Army, a history of Britains female munitions workers. She has written for many newspapers and magazines, including The Times, the London Evening Standard, Rolling Stone and the Sydney Morning Herald. She lives in Brighton.