Built in early 1940, Hurricane P3351 was immediately issued to No 73 Squadron in France and took part in defensive patrols covering the retreat of British Forces to the coast before they evacuated to England. Job done and back in the UK, it joined 72 and later 32 Squadron for the upcoming battle over its homeland. After spending some months with an American Eagle Squadron from early 1941, P3351 was modified to Mk IIA configuration, fitted with an upgraded engine and improved armament, and in May 1942 was shipped to Russia where it served on the Arctic Front. This Hurricane has an international combat pedigree!
Believed to have been shot down in 1943, the wreck lay undisturbed until recovered some 50 years later and brought back to the UK. New Zealand collector Tim Wallis purchased the Hurricane and joined forces with Tony Ditheridge, they forming a new company called Hawker Restorations Ltd, with the goal of returning the Hurricane to the air. Following a momentous effort by the now world renowned Hurricane restoration shop, and upon being shipped to New Zealand for final assembly by the equally professional Air New Zealand engineers, the aircraft took to the sky again on 12th January 2000 and starred at its new home of Wanaka during the international air show, presented in its authentic wartime markings. With the winding down of the Alpine Fighter Collection the Hurricane moved to France where it was operated sparingly, appearing on special occasions but otherwise cared for out of public view.