Following the success of the Hawker Hurricane during the Battle of Britain the Royal Navy decided to introduce the Hurricane as protection for the Atlantic convoys and the Sea Hurricane ‘Hurricat’ was born. Hawker Sea Hurricane Z7015 was manufactured as a Mk.I by the Canadian Car and Foundry at the Fort William plant during 1940. The Atlantic convoys were out of range of land based aircraft so Hurricanes were modified with the addition of catapult spools to enable them to be launched from either Catapult Armed Merchant ships (CAM ships) or Fighter catapult ships. These Sea Hurricanes Mk.1a were not able to be recovered by the catapult ship it was launched from and either had to make it back to land or ditch in the sea close to the convey. Hawker Sea Hurricane Z7015, after being shipped to England was issued to General Aircraft for conversion to Sea Hurricane IB standard which included an arrester hook to enable them to land on a small flight deck on modified merchant ships.
After transferring to 880 Squadron in 1941 Hawker Hurricane Z7015 went unserviceable before she could embark on embark on HMS Indomitable and was returned for repair before being used by Naval Fighter School 759 Squadron and finally Loughborough College as an instructional airframe.
Several restoration attempts were made until a formal agreement was reached between the Imperial War Museum at Duxford and the Shuttleworth collection which meant that the team who had restored Shuttleworths Spitfire would restore Z7015. This restoration started in 1986 and led to the first flight in the hands of pilot Andy Sephton, on September 16 1995
Hawker Sea Hurricane Z7015 is now in the Fleet Arm Arm colours of 880 Squadron and is the only airworthy Sea Hurricane Mk.Ib in the world