For many it will be a dream come true: the world’s only two-seat Hawker Hurricane will be available for flights from April 2022.
Operated by Hurricane Heritage, custodians of Mk1 Hurricane R4118, widely regarded as the most significant aircraft to survive WWII, the two-seat aircraft BE505 will be based primarily at White Waltham Airfield, near Maidenhead.
White Waltham was one of 22 dispersal units for the Air Transport Auxiliary during the Second World War, delivering thousands of Hurricanes to squadrons around the country.
James Brown of Hurricane Heritage said, “Our aim is to continue preserving the legacy of the Hawker Hurricane and the brave pilots that flew her, for future generations to respect, admire and enjoy.”
The aircraft is painted in the colour scheme of RAF serial number BE505 ‘XP-L’ issued to No. 174 squadron at RAF Manston in Kent.
BE505 saw action during the Dieppe amphibious landings on the 19 August 1942, when it was flown by Flight Sergeant C. Bryce Watson. The aircraft was shot down with Watson becoming a prisoner of war.
The aircraft was struck off charge in September 1944, before being returned to the UK in the early 2000s where restoration began at Hawker Restorations Ltd in Suffolk. The first post-restoration flight was completed in 2009, and the two-seat configuration added in 2020.