Hawker Hurricane PZ865 was the last of 14,533 Hurricanes to be built and rolled off the production line at the Hawker factory at Langley, near Slough in July 1944. In honour of this she received the inscription “The Last of the Many” on her port and starboard sides and was immediately purchased back from the Air Ministry and retained by manufacturer Hawker Aircraft and used as a test aircraft. At this time she was painted in Hawker Aircraft’s dark blue colour scheme with gold lettering and lining was given the civil registration G-AMAU. Highlights during her stay with Hawker includes second place in the 1950 Kings Cup Air Race as well as being used as a chase plane during early development of the aircraft that would lead to the Hawker Harrier.
In the 1960’s Hawker Hurricane PZ865 was changed back to her war time camouflage scheme and again known as PZ865. She was often flown by Bill Bedford, a famous fighter pilot in displays around the country. PZ865 also appeared in the film ‘The Battle of Britain’.
After extensive refurbishment by Hawker Siddley in 1972, Hawker Hurricane PZ865 was presented to the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight in its scheme of JX-E “Night Reaper” flown by 1 squadron fighter ace Flt Lt Karel Kuttelwascher DFC.
In 2010 Hawker Hurricane PZ865 was rebuilt and a new scheme applied representing Hurricane Mk IIC HW840, coded ‘EG-S’, of 34 Squadron, South East Asia Command. India Command adopted blue-white or dark blue/azure blue roundels to eliminate the red, which could be interpreted as the red sun marking on Japanese aircraft.