Hawker Hurricane tail-brace wires?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Hamiltonian, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. Hamiltonian

    Hamiltonian Member

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    Mason's monograph on the Hawker Hurricane has a number of plan views of various Hurricane marks, and all of them show a pair of bracing wires on the tail. (Example below.)

    I haven't encountered this in other plans or photographs.

    Is this a feature of the Hurricane that I just haven't noticed?


    scan0001.jpg
     
  2. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    I think that's a radio antenna wire variation.
     
  3. Hamiltonian

    Hamiltonian Member

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    The side elevation of the same aircraft on the same page (which I chopped off to reduce the size of my pic) shows the antenna wire in the standard position.
    So it would have to be in addition to the usual.
     
  4. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Nearly, it's the antenna for the IFF system. It's equivalent to the wires running from the horizontal stabilisers to the roundels on Spitfires. Most of the wire ran internally on the Hurricane which, unlike the Spitfire, did not have an all metal fuselage. This antenna, for the Mk I IFF, was quite separate from the fin to mast wire of the HF TR9 wireless or the antenna (within the mast) for the VHF TR 1133 wireless.

    Here's a contemporary drawing to show the exact position of the wires.

    [​IMG]

    I make an attachment point from some thin plastic card.

    [​IMG]

    And use 0.5 Kg nylon monofilament for the wire.

    [​IMG]

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  5. Vic Balshaw

    Vic Balshaw Well-Known Member

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    If memory serves right, the tailplane to fuselage wires were for the earlier IFF and usually entered the fuselage a little further forward of the position shown.
     
  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #6 stona, Jul 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
    The earlier IFF (Pipsqueak) used the same antenna as the HF radio. It prevented use of the wireless for the 14 seconds per minute that it broadcast a signal to allow controllers to fix the position of the aircraft.

    The antenna for the Mk I IFF entered the fuselage of the Spitfire much further forward (near the centre of the fuselage roundel). It is supposed that the non-metal fuselage boom of the Hurricane allowed more of the antenna to be run internally. The IFF system was the same on both aircraft.

    The later Mk III IFF dispensed with the wire antenna and used a rod antenna under the starboard wing.

    Between late 1940 and early 1943, chances are that a Spitfire or Hurricane in the ETO would have had these wire antennae fitted. Many modellers miss them.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  7. Hamiltonian

    Hamiltonian Member

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    Many thanks for this, Steve. :)
    Very educational for me.

    I'm in the planning stages of modelling two Hurricanes:
    LB545, a IIc flown by 135 Sq. RAF in India and Ceylon in 1944
    KZ138, a IIb attached to 71OTU Ismailia in 1944

    Would I be correct in assuming that, because of the theatre and late date, these aircraft would not be fitted with tail IFF antennae?
     
  8. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    That was pretty interesting, well done gents!
     
  9. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    I'm willing to bet that by 1944, the "cheese cutter" IFF aerials would have been removed.
     
  10. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I don't know what, if any, IFF system was in use out there but as the Mk III IFF (with rod antenna) was introduced in early 1943 I would be amazed if the stabiliser/fuselage antenna wires were present on your subjects.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  11. Hamiltonian

    Hamiltonian Member

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    So, I learn something new, and I don't need to do anything about it! Win-win.
    Thanks again.
     
  12. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    From research I did when building the three models of aircraft flown by Bob Cross, highest-scoring RAF pilot in SEAC, by late 1944, the Spitfire V and then the Spitfire VIII had the dipole rod under the starboard wing. His earlier Hurricane appeared to still have the IFF wires from tail planes to fuselage, but that was in early 1943.
    For your period, the Hurricanes would have the rod antenna.
     
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