Only twelve out of 50 originally ordered were delivered. Because the war had begun, the
British government received priority from Hawker. Anyway, after Romania joined the Axis
the acquisition of new Hurricanes from England was out of the question.
The available Hurricanes were assigned to the 53rd Fighter Squadron, which in 1941 was
included in the Dobruja Air Comand. Its main mission was to defend the Constanta harbor and
Cernavoda railway bridge. It also carried out bomber escort missions.
During the first day of war (22 June 1941) the Romanian Hurricanes shot down four I-16s,
opening the kill list of one of the most successful fighter squadron of the 1941 campaign,
during which they claimed 35 Soviet aircraft. The lack of spare parts was a very big
problem for the Romanian Hurricanes and after more IAR-80s became available in late 1942 and
early 1943 they were taken out of active duty.
One notable thing to mention is that the top Romanian ace, cpt. Constantin Cantacuzino,
got his first four kills on this aircraft in 1941.
Picture from "Rumanian Air Force, the prime decade 1938-1947" by
Dénes Bernád, Squadron/Signal Publications, 1999
|Climbs to 5040 m
||Rolls Royce Merlin III 1030 HP