The Hurricane Mk I in Aces High II
An early model Hurricane, the Hurri I is quite out-classed in most fashions in the main arena and is likely more suited to special events. It is not common to see a Hurri I although you can't be sure what type of Hurricane you are encountering so need to be careful and treat it like a more dangerous version. Still, there are a couple of pretty fair pilots who throw some flights in the Hurri I into the mix and can catch the un-prepared in some close range, slow, gun fights.
The Hurri I is very rare, though other variants of the Hurricane tend to pop up from time to time, often in the same use as something like a Zero. While some Hurricanes are more dangerous than others, this one tends to be the least dangerous of the bunch. Still, most people aren't going to assume you are in a Hurri I when they see that Hurricane icon and will often give you more respect than you deserve.
The engine performance of the Hurri I is terrible. It is tied, with it's Hurri IID brother, for slowest fighter in AH. Even some bombers are going to pass you easily. Top speed at sea-level is only 253mph (261mph with WEP), increasing to ~320mph @ 16K. There is really nothing good about that and it means that you are unlikely to be able to catch anything. Climb rate is poor at only around 2,700ft/minute with WEP, barely 2,500 without. That leaves the Hurricane I with a serious lack of speed/climb related options for fighting.
Aces High II Performance Charts
Firepower is also not terribly impressive though can be effective. Eight .303 calibre machine guns with 333 rounds/gun are mounted in 2 groups of four on each wing. Mercifully, the groups are very close together with all four guns on a wing fitting into only a foot or two of space. This gives a reasonable amount of convergence, intrinsically, for each set of four. If you can set them to a reasonable convergence you can get enough firepower into a single point to cause damage. One option is to set the convergence on the Hurri I to a zone between D250 and D300. This creates a larger zone where a large number of weapons are firing through and thus a larger firing "sweet spot". The .303s themselves don't present a lot of punch, but if you can get enough of them hitting then you can saw off pieces, or get critical hits. Tracking shots are better if you can get them as they will give your large number of weapons time to work. Snapshots are dense, but you are only likely to land a couple of very small hits. Still, it's worthwhile trying to take any shot you deem possible and hope for some lucky hits.
Maneuverability is very good. The Hurricane can turn like crazy, better than a Spit and more in the class of something like a Zero. It's pretty easy to see why with a weight of only 6,500 pounds and a wingspan of 40 ft. This gives a significant weight and lift advantage over many opponents. Roll rate is fair, and performance slowly degrades with speed.
Fighting in the Hurricane Mk I
Offensively, you need to slow people down, or convince them to stay to fight you. Climb slightly higher than they are if you can, or if you can find a low fur-ball to join then you know you will have targets you shouldn't have to chase. Almost all Hurricane fights tend to end up as close in maneuvering fights, though these are also the least survivable in the long term. Getting low and slow may exploit a turn-rate advantage, but it also increases the likelihood of someone coming by and blasting you in a slashing style attack. If you have some altitude, you may be able to dive and corner someone and force them to face you in a turning fight.
Defensively, try and convince people that you are a Hurricane IIC. The icon won't give you away although your dark colouring will. Also, once people hear the pings of your little .303s bouncing off they will know that you aren't either of the two more dangerous Hurricanes and will likely prosecute you a lot more aggressively. You can't run away, can't dive away, and can't climb away so you will most likely need to turn, a lot. Try and ensure that even though you are turning you are slowly moving towards friendly lines, not away. A slow plane that is chasing you is a prime target for help from anyone near by so you often attract help quickly. The Hurricane is a wonderful slow turner too, so only a Zero should be able to turn with you for any extended period of time. You should be able to beat everyone else in the long term turning game.
Fighting against the Hurricane Mk I
The Hurricane I is a pretty weak ride that can be exploited in any number of ways once you know you are dealing with a Hurri I. That's key too, all Hurricanes have the same icon in the MA so you can't tell them apart until you get close enough to see the paint job. The Hurri I is painted a very dark colour, the Hurri IIC is a blue and green, while the IID is a tan desert finish. Always treat all Hurricanes as IICs until you clearly identify them as something else.
The Hurricane I has poor firepower, especially if it only gets brief shots. The volume of fire is high, so you are always risking a lucky shot when taking a couple of pings, but the chances of each ping causing serious damage is low. You don't want to stay in the stream of bullets long though as they will get the job done in the sheer numbers of hits they can inflict.
Offensively, slash or BnZ the Hurricane I, take every shot you can and just try to land some hits. The Hurri I is not a very tough aircraft and can't stand up to most hits from serious guns. It doesn't feel very armoured, so cannon and larger calibre machine guns tend to make short work of it. There should be no need to get into turn-fights at low speed or altitudes. This is a sucker maneuver by the Hurricane to draw you into a slow turning fight where you cannot escape. If you are sure you aren't facing a IIC or IID model you can HO them or even allow them very brief shots at you at long ranges. Extensions need not be as far or as long as the firepower of the Hurri I is mostly in close.
Defensively, simply run away if you find a Hurricane trying to hunt you. Climb and dash away at a reasonable speed. The Hurricane I is so slow that anything over 220mph is a tough acceleration at sea-level. This is prime acceleration zone for most fighters and you should be able to leave a Hurricane in the dust. Just be sure you aren't dealing with a Hurri IIC or IID. Those planes have the firepower to make a pure running attack a real problem since they can cannon you to death with only a couple of hits if you try and straighten out and extend. The Hurricane I is a great turner though, don't get caught in the web of a slow turn fight or you won't have many options.
The Hurricane I should never be able to dictate a fight on you. If you are getting caught by them, even if they come in with steep dives, then you aren't being very vigilant in your situational awareness. Hurricanes take a long time to arrive from icon range to firing range, so watch for them. The Hurri I is one of the least dangerous planes in the arena because it doesn't have the speed to say with anything else, and not the guns to get the job done quickly enough except under very good conditions.
Soda's Aircraft Evaluations