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Belgian Hurricanes


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I'm slowly doing a Belgian Hurricane (despite being aware that they did not put up much of a fight during fall Gelb) and are curious about armament.

 

Did I read somewhere that they did not have 8 x Brownings?

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I was sure that I'd seen somewhere that Belgian Hurricanes carried only 4 guns, but in "Famous Fighters ofthe Second World War", William Green states that the Belgian machines "carried one 0.5in machine-gun in each wing".

But then, we've learned a lot more since that book was written. But have we learned a lot more about Belgian Hurricanes? . . .

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I believe that the Belgians intended an armament of four 0.5in Brownings for any future builds.  But I don't think that they actually received any in that fit.  I don't have any definitive source for these statements.

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Hello everyone, Belgian Hawker Hurricane where armed with 8 .303 machine gun. 4 per wing, fabric wing, because there where made in GB.  On the 20 ordered, only  15 where delivered. It was preview to build 80 more at Fairey Gosselies (Charleroi) with an armement of 4 .50. 2 per wings, only one was delivered and not in unit before the beginning of the German invasion of the 10 may40. 2others and a few cell finish where at Gosselies.

If you want more info, ask me.

 

Best regard

 

Alain

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Hawker Hurricane sales to Belgium in 1939, RAF and Belgian serials

RAF / Belgian

L1918 / 1

L1919 / 2

L1920 / 3

L1993 / 4

L1994 / 5

L1995 / 6

L1996 / 7

L1997 / 8

L2040 / 9

L2041 / 10

L2042 / 11

L2043 / 12

L2044 / 13

L2105 / 14

L2106 / 15

L2107 / 16

L2108 / 17

L2109 / 18

L2110 / 19

L2111 / 20

 

If built in serial number sequence, using RAF Pilot Dates of nearby serials, year of 1939.  L1918-20, 1-3 in April, L1993-7, 4-8 in June, L2040-4, 9-13 in July, L2105-11, 14-20 in September, the final 7 have delivered 19 November 1939 in their RAF Contract card entries and "Sold to Belgium" on the same date in the Delivery Logs.  AIR 8/362 reports 7 Hurricanes exported to Belgium in the final quarter of 1939.

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Thanks all, for sharing your knowledge with me. 

 

I was convinced that the Belgian Hurricanes had 4 x 0,5" guns. Such guns would have required modification under the wing to the ejection chutes, which I now can leave as they are - great.

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Would the  .50 caliber proposed armament have been 12.5mm or 12.7mm? I also found this passage on Wikipedia, but have no way of knowing if the information is accurate or not. Just curious.

Mike

 

In 1938, a contract for 80 Hurricanes was placed with Fairey's Belgian subsidiary Avions Fairey SA for the Belgian Air Force; it was intended to arm these aircraft with an arrangement of four 13.2 mm Browning machine guns. Three were built and two flown with this armament by the time of the Blitzkrieg in May 1940, with at least 12 more constructed by Avions Fairey armed with the conventional eight rifle calibre machine gun armament.[

Edited by 72modeler
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17 hours ago, Geoffrey Sinclair said:

...

If built in serial number sequence, using RAF Pilot Dates of nearby serials, year of 1939.  L1918-20, 1-3 in April, L1993-7, 4-8 in June, L2040-4, 9-13 in July, L2105-11, 14-20 in September, the final 7 have delivered 19 November 1939 in their RAF Contract card entries and "Sold to Belgium" on the same date in the Delivery Logs.  AIR 8/362 reports 7 Hurricanes exported to Belgium in the final quarter of 1939.

These would of course all be fabric wing?

 

EDIT: Just saw that MACLAIN has already answered this question, they had fabric wings.

 

 

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Unfortunately, the Belgian Wings site hasn't loaded up all it's photos since the recent move. None of the Hurricane pictures are showing.

 

 

 

Chris

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The Browning heavy machine gun installation on the Hurricane is intriguing.

Does any one have any diagrams or photos?

Did the Browning 12.7/13.2(?)mm barrels protrude beyond the leading edge of the wing, or were they flush like the Soviet UBK conversions?

Also does anyone have any idea of the number of rounds per gun for this Belgian HMG setup?

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6 hours ago, Gazontipede said:

The Browning heavy machine gun installation on the Hurricane is intriguing.

Does any one have any diagrams or photos?

Did the Browning 12.7/13.2(?)mm barrels protrude beyond the leading edge of the wing, or were they flush like the Soviet UBK conversions?

Also does anyone have any idea of the number of rounds per gun for this Belgian HMG setup?

Never seen a picture of these airplanes, if somebody have one, it will be interesting.

Most of the archives of this period were lost.

 

Alain

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6 hours ago, Gazontipede said:

Did the Browning 12.7/13.2(?)mm barrels protrude beyond the leading edge of the wing, or were they flush like the Soviet UBK conversions?

AFAIK the VVS used the UBT gun, and it was not flush with the leading edge,  the tip of the barrel stuck out by what looks like 2 or 3 inches, but I don't know how this was jiggled in with the 20 mm ShVAK cannon. which may have affected it's position, and I have not seen a drawing or a photo of the gun bay layout.

I have photos elsewhere showing a VVS gunbay without the guns,  but with new brackets added to the existing structure. 

The Belgian layout would have been built in from the factory and would liable to be neater. 

Npot finding the manual layout image, but this shows the 0.303 on the wing, and they are way forward of the gun bay here,

77feb45061370833dbb98ad79d7f5150.jpg

so you need to know how the long the proposed Belgian gun was, and then do some measuring. 

 

I suspect that it would be possible to totally enclose the gun in the wing though.

 

 

 

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Four Hurricanes reported interned in Belgium
Delivery Logs, which make no mention of country.
L1619, 87 Sqn, interned
L1628, 87 Sqn, interned
L1813, 43 Sqn, France 3 November 1939, rest of entry illegible, no obvious mention of interned.
N2361, 43 Sqn 6 December 1939, interned, SOC Dec 1939

 

John Foreman
L1619 Force Landed Belgium 10 Nov 1939 and interned
L1628 Force Landed Belgium 14 Nov 1939 and interned
L1813 Force Landed Belgium 14 Nov 1939 and interned
N2361 interned Belgium? Dec 1939.

 

http://www.rafcommands.com/database/serials/details.php?uniq=L1628  Covers the first three with pilot names and fates.

 

https://ww2aircraft.net/forum/threads/belgian-hurricane.24836/  says N2361 arrived on 9 December and has reports of 15 or 20 Hurricanes bought by Belgium.  There seems to be a lively debate about the number delivered, but the RAF documents, and the export report for the final quarter of 1939 are saying 20.  The 15 figure seems to assume the 4 interned Hurricanes were put into service with Belgian serials to explain the reported serial numbers.

 

Apologies, in my previous message I recorded the index number of the Belgian Hurricanes rather than the serials H20 to H39.  The delivery logs make no mention of metal or fabric wings.

 

Photographs, https://www.asisbiz.com/il2/Hurricane/Belgium-AF.html

 

In terms of any proposed Belgian Hurricane armament a note from the US Army supply histories, at Liege (in 1944) is the company Fabrique Nationale des Armes de Guerre, which holds the Browning patents, enabling it to manufacture much US army equipment.  Belgian industry will supply around 1,000 different types of items before the war is over.  This includes 200 complete 60 mm mortars and modifications to 60 and 81 mm mortars.  No mention of machine guns though.

 

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On 11/9/2020 at 3:51 PM, 72modeler said:

Would the  .50 caliber proposed armament have been 12.5mm or 12.7mm?

 

There's no such thing as a WW2 12.5mm machine gun cartridge. Earlier in firearms history there was a straight-case 12.5x60R which appeared in 1877 but that was entirely obsolete by the end of WW1.  

 

FN's Browning M2 derivative was known as the FN M.1939. The limited pre-invasion Belgian production, and at least some subsequent Swedish production was chambered for the souped up 13.2x99 Hotchkiss cartridge, which was said to be a very effective cartridge but rather overtaken by world events. The later Finnish production was chambered for the bog-standard 12.7x99 (.50BMG) that continues to this day

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