Hawker Hurricane Mk IIB
Hawker Hurricane Mk IIB '01' Z5252, Major-General
A A Kuznetsov Commanding Officer Naval Air Forces, Soviet Northern Fleet,
With Soviet Russia an ally of Great Britain following the German invasion
in June 1941 war material was sent to her aid, probably the best-known
British contribution in the early stages being the despatch of an entire
Hurricane wing. No. 151 Wing, composed of Nos. 81 and 134 squadrons
took a mixture of Hurricane Mk IIAs and Mk IIBs with pilots and ground
crew. With twenty-four aircraft assembled and ready to fly and the remaining
fifteen in crates. Their operational task was to give air cover to the
northern Russian ports that received the convoys, before training the
Russians in their use and the repatriation of the RAF personnel. Z5252
had been built by Glosters as a Hurricane Mk IIB, this mark carrying
twelve Browning machine guns, and was one of those that arrived crated.
It had been built with a "tropical" filter which it retained
in its new Arctic environment. It was assembled at Keg-Ostrov, a mile
from Archangel, and with others of the same batch was flown in September
to Vaenga, where it was kept as a reserve aircraft.
On the 25th of September Major-General A A Kuznetsov, an experienced
pilot who was Commanding Officer Naval Air Forces, Soviet Northern Fleet,
arrived to test fly a Hurricane, and was presented with Hurricane Mk
IIB Z5252 as his personal aircraft, the British markings being replaced
with red stars, and the identifying number '01' painted on the fuselage.
The remaining Hurricane Mk IIs were handed over to the Soviet Air Force
on the 20th of October, where they equipped 78 IAP. Z5252 failed to
return from a mission on the 2nd of June 1942, but it has been recently
recovered from a lake, and the fascinating story of the aircraft and
this operation is told on the website noted below.
Scale 1:72 Wingspan 5.41" (137.5 mm)
Base size 6.37" (162 mm) square (No. 4)
Weight not including base 5.5 ozs (153 grams) Limited edition of 100 only