Belgian Hawker Hurricanes controversy

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Will Hunter

Jun 27, 2006

Me and my mate 'Winjeel' are putting together some very early Hurricane models for CFS3. He 'pushes the polygons', I paint the textures, does the flight dynamics modelling.

These are the original Mark I Hurricanes with the Watts fixed pitch, two bladed props, fabric skinned wings and different shaped gun bays etc.

Anyhow, we've been working through RAF Battle of France Hurricane. Done Paul Richey's for No.1 Sqn., 'Cobber' Kain's for No.73 Sqn., John ****'s for No.87 Sqn. and 'Dickie Lee's for No.85 Sqn.

Now I'm nearly finished a Belgian Hurricane skin. I'm trying to get some information about the Belgian Air Force's use of Hurricanes.

I've been searching the web and found a few interesting things but not much.

I have a Hurricane book that says the Belgians Air Force were very interested in having .05 inch machine gunes for their Hurricanes. They were planning a four gun armament for their order of Hurricanes. (Two .303s and two .05s) However, due to a delay in the manufacture of European .05 inch guns the standard British armament was installed.

Adolf Galland in his 'First and the Last' book claimed he and his wingman attacked a Belgian Squadron of Hurricanes on May 12th 1940, who 'ran away' but not before he knocked two of them down. He claimed a third Belgian Hurricane the next day.

Other sources claim most of the Hurricanes were destroyed on the ground two days earlier!

"Belgian Hawker Hurricane: Contract for 80 aircraft placed with Avions Fairey SA on behalf of the AeM (Belgian Air Force) in 1938. Similar to Hawker Hurricane I but with wing armament of four 0.50 in (12.7 mm) FN-built Browning guns. Three built and two flown by May 1940, when German invasion terminated production. Nineteen British-built Hawker Hurricane Is (including four which force-landed in Belgium in 1939) on AeM charge in May 1940. They saw no action."

Galland's claim in his book clearly upset Belgian pilot Willy Coppens who wrote this:

Alternate Views on Adolf Galland's WW2 Kills

Was Galland mistaken or lying?

Just how many Hurricanes were there in Belgium on May 12th 1940?


Some screenies of the Belgian Hurrie so far. Winjeel is going to add a little pitot tube on the port side, forward of the cockpit yet.


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Did you found what you were searching for?
I have good references but i must search a bit about them so i won't say anything because i'm not 100% sure.
Anyway, what i can tell you is that the ".50" were in fact 13.2mm guns made by FN, in fact an adaptation of the Browning design to Hotchkiss' 13.2x99mm ammo, wich was more powerfull than the .50.
Cf. FN-Browning M2 - 13.2mm
FN-Browning M2 - 13.2mm - Sim-Outhouse Forums

Is this skins available somewhere?


Actually there was no significant difference in the power of the .50 Browning cartridge (12.7x99) or the 13.2x99 Hotchkiss - they were basically the same, except for the fractional difference in calibre, although the 13.2mm was available with explosive bullets which the .50 wasn't.

It may be hard to imagine now, with the .50 having been so dominant during and since WW2, but before the war the 13.2mm cartridge was far more common, and it would have been the natural choice for Belgium.

FN did lighten and speed-up the Browning gun (to over 1,000 rpm). It was probably the most effective fighter gun around in 1940.

Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and discussion forum
Hello Tony,

due to it's slower Mv, the AP ammo is a little bit less powerfull than the 12.7x99 in fact but, as you said, the HE ammo was available for the 13.2x99 and it was definitevelly more effective.

Ammunition - FN 13.2mm ammo

As far as i know along Belgium, France and Great Britain planned to use it on their planes but the german invasion did not allowed it.
After the invasion, at least two countries will use it, Sweden and Romania but i don't know if the weapons were sold under german authority or before may 40.


Interesting, what is the white logo on the side? Is that meant to be a dragon's head?

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