On Monday, December 3rd, Bonhams will auction off Hurricane Mk XIIa 5711 (G-HURI) at the Collectors’ Motor Cars and Automobilia at Mercedes-Benz World Brooklands in Weybridge, Surrey, UK. Brooklands is a fitting location to auction off the aircraft as the first Hurricane was assembled and flown in prototype form there back in 1935 and ultimately more than 3,000 were produced on site – approximately one fifth of the total number built.
Hurricane fighters were also one of many fighters that took part in the Battle of Britain where they shot down more aircraft than the more famous Spitfire and they also saw action in other battles during World War II but the service history of Hurricane Mk XIIa 5711 (G-HURI) is apparently not well documented. What is know is that the aircraft was built in 1942 and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force the following year. It remained in Canada for the duration of the war and may have protected convoys on the east coast from German U-boat attacks or it may have been used as a training aircraft.
In 1947, Hurricane Mk XIIa 5711 (G-HURI) was bought by a Canadian syndicate and later restored to flight with its first post-restoration flight taking place in 1989. It was then acquired by the Historic Aircraft Collection in 2002 and housed at the IWM Duxford in Cambridgeshire.
The aircraft then had another extensive programme of refinements that included the fitting of the correct Merlin engine and it was given the Battle of Britain colours worn by a Hurricane IIB that flew with 126 Squadron during the siege of Malta. In fact, it became the first Hurricane to return to Malta since World War II as well as the first to fly to Russia since the war in order to make a showing at the Moscow Airshow. In other words and while Hurricane Mk XIIa 5711 (G-HURI) may not have taken part in any important battles during the war, it has since made history.
Today, the aircraft flies as “Z5140” with the code letters HA-C. It’s 32 ft long and 13ft high, has a wingspan of 40ft, is equipped with 12 Browning .303 machine guns and its capable of a range of 900 miles along with a maximum speed of 322mph.
And the price? Bonhams estimates it will sell for between £1.4 million and £1.7 million ($2.24 million to $2.72 million) – a small price to pay considering that there are only a few such aircraft (around a dozen according to Wikipedia) still able to fly today. To learn more about or see additional photos of Hurricane XII Z5140, visit the aircraft’s page on the website of the Historic Aircraft Collection (HAC).