18 May 1940 Combat Report of P/O John Bushell, 151 Squadron

This combat occurred while 151 Squadron was operating from Vitry, France. Bushell's statement "I used full 12 lb boost (pulled the plug) and overtook EA rapidly" is significant in that it demonstrates conclusively that Hurricanes operating from France, during the Battle of France, were using 100 octane fuel. This grade of fuel allowed for the use of 12 lbs/sq.in boost in the Hurricane’s Merlin engine. The Combat Power Rating for the Merlin II and III was 1310 horsepower/3000 RPM/9000' with a Rated Boost of 12 lbs/sq.in. 151 Squadron's Operations Record Book noted that the entire squadron had converted to 100 octane fuel enabling +12 boost as of 16 February 1940:

Bushell also recorded "I gave chase and after pulling the boost plug and giving full throttle I gradually overhauled him" during Emergency Patrol No. 2 8 miles South of Vitry on 18 May 1940; "pulling the boost cut out" in a combat 3 miles N.E. of Boulogne on 22 May 1940; and "I pulled the boost plug and gave full throttle" in a combat 2 miles South of Merville Aerodrome on 23 May 1940.

151 Squadron Hurricane I's equipped with Rotol Constant Speed Propellers take off from North Weald, June 1940. The squadron's first Rotol Hurricane was delivered 14 April 1940. 151's Operations Record Book noted on 15 May 1940 "The squadron can now put up 12 Rotol Hurricanes if required."

WWII Aircraft Performance     Hurricane Mk I Performance