For the first time, Bonhams can offer video footage of the 1942 Hawker Hurricane set to go under the hammer at its pre-Christmas sale at Mercedes-Benz World – the spiritual home of the Hurricane – in Weybridge, Surrey, UK, on Monday 3rd December.
The footage features period clips of the iconic Hurricane – the Royal Air Force's first monoplane fighter and an aircraft which shot down more enemy aeroplanes than its famous service partner the Spitfire during the Battle of Britain. These clips are interspersed with modern footage of the aeroplane Bonhams is to sell - Hurricane Mk XIIa 5711 (G-HURI) – in flight.
Brooklands, where the Bonhams sale will take place, has its own history with the Hurricane: it was assembled and first flown in prototype form there in 1935, and altogether more than 3,000 Hurricanes were produced on site – one fifth of the total built.
Hurricane Mk XIIa 5711 (G-HURI), equipped with 12 Browning .303 machine guns, was built in 1942 and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force the following year, remaining in Canada for the duration of the war. Its detailed service history has proved elusive, but it may have protected convoys on the east coast shore line from German U-boat activity, or been used as a training aircraft.
Struck off charge from the RCAF in 1947, it was bought by a Canadian syndicate. It was later restored to flight, making its first post-restoration flight in 1989, before being acquired by the Historic Aircraft Collection in 2002 and housed at the IWM Duxford in Cambridgeshire.
Following an extensive program of refinements including the fitting of the correct Merlin engine, G-HURI now flies as 'Z5140', with the code letters HA-C and in the Battle of Britain colors worn by a Hurricane IIB flown with 126 Squadron during the siege of Malta. During the Collection's ownership it became the first Hurricane to return to Malta since World War II, and this summer was the first to fly to Russia since that time, where it flew in the presence of Russian president Vladimir Putin at the Moscow Airshow.
At 32ft long and 13ft high, with a wingspan of 40ft, the Hurricane is capable of a range of 900 miles and a maximum speed of 322mph. It is offered for sale with an estimate of £1.4 million - £1.7 million.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and appraisal services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com