The latest release from AVI-8 honors the legendary Royal Air Force (RAF) Squadron Leader Karel “Kut” Kuttelwascher” and the No. 1 Squadron from World War II. Squadron Leader Karel Kuelwascher, renowned as one of the RAF’s most successful Czechoslovak pilots and a top ace during World War II, leave an indelible mark on aviation history. Known as “The Czech Night Hawk” in wartime media, his exceptional achievements earned him fame and recognition worldwide. No. 1 Squadron, where Kuelwascher served, was tasked with night intruder sorties (a term for individual aircraft missions) in 1942.
These missions demanded not only extraordinary flying skills but also exceptional navigation abilities, keen eyesight, and a hunter’s instinct, all in the most perilous flying conditions. Adding to the challenge, their black-painted Hurricanes carried a mere 91 rounds of ammunition per gun, providing just nine seconds of firing time for each mission. Kuelwascher’s Hurricane, distinguished by its black paint and adorned with a yellow scythe and a red “Night Reaper” banner, quickly justified its name through his remarkable feats. The black camouflage was carefully chosen to enhance the aircraft’s elusiveness during missions where short burst firing was the only option.