The Paper Hurricane

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Engineering meets Art – The Paper Hurricane

Suhail Shaikh, 2021

This 1:3 scale sculpture of the Hawker Hurricane is made entirely out of paper. The use of simple material, cut and glued by hand, echoes the traditional construction of the original. The skeletal frame reveals its complexity, including a fully detailed engine, saluting the excellence of British Engineering.

The work is a tribute to those who built and flew the Hurricane, and to the genius of its designer, Sydney Camm. By omitting the weapons and national markings, the artist draws our attention away from the ‘glory of war’ to the human genius of creation and invention. The sculpture took more than 3,000 hours to build over 14 months.

The Hurricane first flew in November 1935. Where the Spitfire had an advanced and complicated construction, the Hurricane used tried-and-tested methods of steel tubes, cables, wood and canvas. Both aeroplanes were built around the new Rolls-Royce Merlin engine.

There were more Hurricanes than Spitfires available to the RAF during the Battle of Britain and they accounted for about 60% of enemy aircraft destroyed. The Spitfire was faster and more easily updated, but the rugged Hurricane was easier to build and repair. Spitfires focused on enemy fighters whilst Hurricanes targeted bombers.

During construction
The Paper Merlin engine installed in the Paper Hurricane

Discover More

Engineering meets art – discover more about these ‘paper planes’

Paper Planes

Paper Planes

A blog series about the construction of these paper sculptures.
Life size

Life size

Watch KMF apprentices build a life size version of Suhail's Spitfire sculpture (Youtube)

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