Built in 1940 by Hawker Aircraft Ltd at Kingston-on-Thames, then assembled and test flown at either Brooklands or Langley, Z2389 came from the 5th production batch of 1,000 RAF Hurricanes delivered from August 1940 to July 1941.
Z2389 served with five different RAF Squadrons in 1941, including the American volunteer 71 ‘Eagle’ Squadron at Martlesham Heath. As part of emergency war supplies for Russia, Z2389 was crated up and loaded on the merchant ship SS ‘S85’ which joinied Convoy PQ16. The convoy left for Murmansk on 21st May 1942. With 35 vessels, this was the largest Russian convoy so far - losing seven cargo ships en route.
On arrival the aircraft joined 767 Regiment of the Red Air Force on the Kola Penninsula. On the 20th June 1942, it engaged two Messerschmitt Bf109Fs and five Bf110s over a remote part of Murmansk but was shot down along with two other Hurricanes. Z2389’s pilot F/Lt Ivan Kalashnikov survived the forced landing.
Fifty years later, Z2389 was found by Russian historians and its remains were taken to St Petersburg in 1996. In 1997, the part-restored aircraft was first seen by WW2 recovery specialist, Jim Pearce, then inspected by Brooklands Museum in May. Z2389 arrived at Brooklands on the 14th October 1997 and was the first historic aircraft to be purchased with a Heritage Lottery Fund grant. Its restoration began in 1999 and it was unveiled on the 75th anniversary of the first flight of a Hurricane, which took place at Brooklands on the 6th November 1935. Restoration to taxying condition continues.
By Hurricane Z2389 is an exhibition opened in 2010 on ‘Brooklands in the Battle of Britain’, which traces the role of Brooklands in the famous World War Two battle, including the two air raids on the Brooklands site on the 4th & 6th September 1940.