Submitted by JulianEarl on Wed, 29/03/2017 - 19:04
I have sometimes wondered which aircraft the pilot's look most forward to flying? The Spitfire or the Hurricane? The Spitfire has the glamour and I've heard pilots say that you wear a Spitfire, but if I was a pilot, I think that the rugged and stable reputation of the Hurricane would appeal to me personally? But what do I know? Nothing, hence my question for those with the real experience. Which is the nicest/the best/ the most pleasing etc., etc.to fly? Over to you.
Thanks in anticipation for replies...
Hi Julian, thanks very much for your question. I sent it across to BBMF Fighter Pilot Flt Lt Andy Preece, who replied as follows:
"It is the greatest privilege, particularly as a present day RAF pilot, to have the opportunity to fly both of these two classic aircraft types. To compare the two, the Spitfire handles like an aircraft at least 10 years more advanced than the Hurricane, despite their first flights occurring less than a year apart. She is somewhat less forgiving during landing though, which is why all BBMF Fighter Pilots begin their flying on the Hurricane. The forward view during landing from the Hurricane is better due to both the seating position being further forward and the shorter length of its nose. The Hurricane would be the choice for landing on a shorter runway; particularly it was a rough airstrip for example. The Hurricane does have heavier, less responsive controls and the cockpit environment is far hotter and noisier than that of a Spitfire. As is often said, you do get the impression of ‘strapping a Spitfire on’.
Both aircraft are extremely rewarding to fly and both have remarkable pedigrees. Sadly the Hurricane is often overshadowed by the Spitfire despite being responsible for a higher number of kills during the Battle of Britain. The Hurricane served in pretty much every theatre of WWII, time and time again demonstrating its ruggedness and resilience to battle damage. If I had to choose between the two though, in terms of pure pleasure to fly, then it would have to be the Spitfire."
Best wishes, Amy from the RAF Memorial Flight Club
Thank you Amy for finding that out. It is exactly the sort of answer that I was looking for. Which aircraft and why...!For me, I wouldhave preferred the Hurricane but I now nothing, obviously! Unless someone offered me a flight in a Hawker Tempest of course, that would trump them all! My uncle flew a Tempest in the fifties and loved it. Fast/agile and well-armed. Who could ask for more in a fighter?
Thank you again.