09 November 2022
A spotlight exhibition at IWM Duxford unites half the world's airworthy Hurricanes under one roof whilst the reopening of a historic hangar will present live conservation on never-before-seen objects.
IWM Duxford is looking ahead to two new openings this winter with a celebration of World War II’s most hard-working fighter aircraft, the Hurricane, opening to visitors in December and the Conservation in Action hangar will welcome the public back through its doors after eight months of closure. Meet members of IWM’s Conservation Team as they set to work on new restoration projects and get up close to seven airworthy Hurricanes, brought together under one roof for the first time.
After the success of last year’s Spitfire: Evolution of an Icon, this December will see the Hawker Hurricane take centre stage with the opening of Hurricane: Unsung Hero in the Conservation Hall in AirSpace on 27 December 2022. With only 14 airworthy Hurricanes remaining in the world, this spotlight exhibition will offer a unique opportunity to see seven of these brought together under one roof to explore the rich history of fighter command’s finest enemy destroyer. Often overlooked in favour of the Spitfire, the Hurricane accounted for around 60% of air victories in the Battle of Britain. Highlights of this new spotlight exhibition include a Hurricane Mk1 veteran from the summer of 1940, the world’s only two-seater Hurricane and a Sea Hurricane Mk1b which was received by No. 880 Squadron, the first Fleet Air Arm Squadron to be equipped with Hurricanes.
Rebecca Harding, Head of Technological Objects at IWM Duxford, said, “With its impressive service history and distinctive appearance, the Hawker Hurricane is a true legend of aviation which revolutionised aerial combat during World War II. This winter, IWM Duxford will shine the spotlight on its historical significance and design and give visitors the unique chance to see seven airworthy variations up close to better understand why this famous fighter deserves such a prominent place in history.”
Hurricane: Unsung Hero will be open to general admission visitors to IWM Duxford from 27 December 2022 – 19 February 2023 with associated events and activities taking place throughout.
Following an extensive refurbishment, the doors to IWM Duxford’s Conservation in Action hangar will reopen from Thursday 17 November, enabling visitors to see the museum’s dedicated team of conservation staff and volunteers work to safeguard the history of its large objects for future generations to enjoy. Work will be taking place on a number of objects which have never been seen before, including a World War II Crusader II Cruiser Tank, the only one to be displayed in Europe, and a Staghound Armoured Vehicle believed to have served with the Free Belgian forces in Normandy in 1944. Other restoration projects include an Avro Shackleton, a British post-war maritime patrol aircraft used extensively during the Cold War, a German WWII jet powered Heinkel He 162 A-1, the only known complete surviving A-1 variant of this type, and a Jagdpanther self-propelled anti-tank gun, one of only seven surviving in the world and the only one in the UK to have seen operational service during the war. In addition to these large objects, there will also be an engine display with photos and archival film footage about some of the engines featured. Visitors can see live conservation works taking place from 10am-3pm every Monday to Friday.
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