“It’s a standard stand with original equipment, I only had a map that flew on my way as I opened the cabin because it was hot, but it was only before landing in Eisenach, so it was fine,” Horák told Novinka after the flight. .
He clarified that the hurricane definitely does not offer any great comfort. “It’s just a war machine. The plane was created for war, it’s incredibly noisy, it’s very vibrating and it’s very hot in it, so flying with it for two hours is tiring, “he said.
The historic Hawker Hurricane combat aircraft arrived at Točná Airport on Monday, June 14, 2021.
Photo: Petr Hloušek, Právo
According to the pilot, the flight was no snail’s pace. “I flew 5,500 feet above sea level (1,700 meters), so during the flight it was between 3,000 to 4,000 feet above the ground (900 to 1,200 meters) at the speed of approximately 170 knots (315 km / h) indicated on the speedometer, so it was 190 200 knots, so almost some 400 km / h, “he described.
Arrival of Hawker Hurricane
The stopover was necessary due to the limited range of the machines. “In Eisenach, we had to stop for fuel, because the hurricane fighter, like the Supermarine Spitfire, was designed as an interception, an overflow, designed to defend the British Isles. Therefore, both do not have to have a long range, they can fly plus or minus an hour and a half. This machine has a longer range, because it has additional tanks of the same capacity, or a little smaller than the one that flew with it Karel Kuttelwascher (the most successful Czechoslovak war pilot of the RAF – editor’s note) during the war, but still the range is a maximum of about two hours, “said Horák.
He admitted that piloting was not easy: “Hawker Hurricane is said to be the last biplane among monoplanes, and it is true because its designer Sidney Camm designed the last biplanes and then created a hurricane. This aircraft has the same construction as biplanes and partially behaves anyway, its features are non-standard to date. This is due to the fact that it was constructed in 1935. “
Horák compared it to a more well-known spitfire, behind which the stick also sits. “The Spitfire is a more modern aircraft that has better flight characteristics, is more sophisticated. And the people who fly the mustang say that the mustang is a completely modern plane that is miles away from here to the machine. “
Czechoslovak pilots flew on it during World War II.
Photo: Petr Hloušek, Právo
“It is an unstable aircraft, it has the usual features that a spitfire does not have, it is much more stable,” said Horák.
He contradicted the claims of pilots who considered the hurricane to be an insidious machine that was easy to fly compared to the Spitfire. A different view may be due to the fact that they have trained on biplanes. According to Horák, experience with them is also important for piloting a hurricane.
“You have to fly a lot of old machines, like T-6 Harvard or various biplanes like the stearman and other old planes, that’s a good experience, but this plane is completely different, it has its own specifics and requirement, as they say in Czech, its own approach.” he said.
The draft horse of the Battle of Britain
We ourselves recommend obtaining a hurricane for the next step due to its historical role. “Hawker Hurricane is a neglected hard worker in the Battle of Britain, because it has the most downed German aircraft. If I say it in layman’s terms, the hurricane cut it off, “he said.
Pilot Nikola Lukačovič from Točná Airport, where the hurricane found a new home, sees the same. “The plane has been missing here for a long time and it really has a lot of attention for Czechoslovak fighter pilots who fought during World War II against Nazi Germany alongside the pilots of the Royal Air Force. Only now, after 76 years, he will be here, “he said.
He pointed out that to obtain a hurricane in an airworthy condition is necessary. “As for the number of flying aircraft of this type, I suspect that there are about fifteen in the world, and I dare say that this is in the best condition,” he said.
During World War II, he served in Italy, Greece and Yugoslavia. After the end of the conflict, he served briefly in Cyprus, Palestine.
Photo: Petr Hloušek, Právo
According to him, the first machines available were not in good condition, the one eventually purchased was part of a private collection. “The original owner is from Belgium and flew with him in Belgium. He was persuaded to sell, “Lukačovič said, adding that the money alone was not enough.
“It’s pure enthusiasm and of course a little money. When there are people behind us who are willing to invest in material things that have to do with history, then it is the best combination combined with the enthusiasm and enthusiasm of the others, “he added.
The color of the machines resembles an ace of aircraft
The machine bears the color of the Hurricane IIC, which was flown by Karel Kuttelwascher, the largest Czechoslovak ace fighting against the Nazis.
“The color represents his machine, which I use as my personal aircraft from September 1941 to the summer of 1942. This had the serial number BE 150, then got a new machine on which he shot down the most bomber aircraft over France,” said Horak.
“The color is identical to the hurricane on which Karel Kuttelwascher flew, but not only him, but also Dygrýn, Krátkoruký and Kopecký,” Lukačovič reminded other fighters.
The well-known Night Reaper, a machine codenamed JX E with serial number BE 581, on which Kuttelwascher won most of his 18 victories while on Night Intruder flights over airports in occupied France while waiting , when the Nazi bombers returned from night raids on England, the new owners did not want to.
“We didn’t want the black variant, we didn’t want a night fighter, we wanted a classic color, and historians found another JX E with the BE 150 series. And the look of the machines really matches the historical color. It was consulted with the greatest experts from Britain, “said Lukačovič.
The fighter will become part of the collection of the Točná Aviation Museum.
Photo: Petr Hloušek, Právo
As a result, upon arrival, the machine looked incredibly faithful, as if it had just returned from an action across the English Channel.
“Those pilots must have known that we did not have to return, and that is why we dedicated this flight to those who did not arrive,” said pilot Horák about the work of World War II pilots.
Both Josef Dygrýn and Bedřich Krátkoruký did not return from the event. Dygrýn died on the night of June 3-4, 1942, when he did not return from Operation Night Intruder, Short-handed fell on January 15, 1943 on his return from a flight over France.
Members of the families of these pilots also learned about their arrival. “It is a beautiful experience and a great honor for us, we were surprised that such an event was organized all the more, because it is a hurricane in these colors,” Jan Dygrýn told Novinky, adding that his relative flew on machines with this color in September 1941.
“We agreed to take a picture there with the Kuttelwascher family, similar to the photos taken by Dygrýn and Kuttelwascher as pilots, so we will try to stand there like the two of them, even though we are not direct descendants, we are sons of nephews,” he added. In the end, they did, taking a picture of the hurricane propeller.
The event was also attended by a military attaché at the British Embassy, Colonel David Catmur, who mentioned the importance of the activities of Czechoslovak pilots in the Royal Air Force.
“It was a great contribution, but it is not just about the pilots, but also about the members of the ground forces, who fought mainly in the Western Desert (in Egypt and Tobruk),” he said.
According to him, people are mainly important, but he admitted that technology can bring today’s destiny closer to their fate. “And this is especially true of aircraft,” he said.
He emphasized that cooperation between the British and Czech armed forces was not just a matter of the past. “The cooperation continues, BMATT (British Military Advisory Training Team) has been operating in Vyškov for twenty years,” he added.