No Money Mondays: The Hawker Hurricane by domhenry
September 6, 2021
The Battle of Britain left us with a somewhat romantic view of the aircraft involved, most notable of which being the Spitfire. The Spitfire is known to any and all aviation enthusiasts as well as non-enthusiasts. It became a plane of legend while playing its role in that historical event. And for good reason, it squared up evenly against the German Messerschmitt and Focke-Wulf and was successful in defending Great Britain. But I’m not going to talk about the legend of the Spitfire. I am going to talk about the often-forgotten plane that fought alongside the Spitfire and was the workhorse of the RAF during and helped greatly to shape the outcome of the war, the Hawker Hurricane.
This offering of the Hurricane from domhenry uses a model, with permission from ND Art & Technology, from a previous payware version, it has a surprisingly good deal of detail for a freeware plane, particularly in the cockpit. The exterior, with its lack of polish, can easily be forgiven under the circumstance because overall, this is not a bad looking plane. The engine sound is great, giving us that throaty rumble of the Merlin V-12 nestled within its nose.
Inside the cockpit, you’ll find that many of the important controls, switches and dials are operational; there are a few that are inoperable however. One negative I must point out, is that the fuel mixture lever acts like fuel cut-off switch instead of a full range manipulator, but again being a freeware add-on, this can be forgiven. Where this plane really shines is where it really matters at the end of the day.
Taxiing this plane is much like one would imagine with the stiffness of the gear being pulled along the ground by the torquey engine driven prop up front and can be a little tricky without practice. There is a quirk however where one needs to lean back slightly on the stick to really plant the tailwheel down for better control. For take-off, the pilot needs to be gentle when increasing the throttle during the roll down the runway or else the torque from that heavy V-12 will pull you off the runway; a trait very common of fighters of this generation but not as harsh as the Spitfire or later Messerschmitt.
Once you are in the air, the Hurricane feels incredibly natural and performs aerial manoeuvres with an admirable ease, as the real plane did. Naturally, it’s liable to drift and wander while flying straight but that is of course, like all fighters of this age, to be expected. Lowering the throttle while descending can be a little disorienting, seeming like the engine is in a state of runaway, but this is just the windmill effect in action and it is present in the Hurricane.
That being said, descending is pretty straightforward with a bit of practice in this type of plane. Controlling the throttle as you decelerate reduces the likelihood of unwanted instability or the sudden lurch forward as the place starts to stall out of the air. Landing is smooth as long as you maintain enough speed to descend gently, stalling will cause you to bounce if you’re not careful.
As with all aircraft of this generation, the Hurricane is very much a hands-on flying experience, and I think that is represented well with this offering from domhenry. If you are a fan of the Spitfire or just World War 2 era aircraft in general, this is definitely one to try in X-Plane. Download the aircraft here.
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