A vital weapon used by the Allies against the Luftwaffe will be put under the hammer in Melbourne, Australian next month.

A fully restored 1940 Hawker Hurricane MkIIA World War II fighter will be auctioned at the Bonhams & Goodman Military and Aviation Collectables auction on 27 September 2009 in Melbourne.

The unique and rare plane is one of only 11 airworthy Hurricanes in the world - restored by Air New Zealand Engineering Services (ANZES).

It will be the first time a fully-operational Hurricane has ever been auctioned. It is expected to bring AU$2-4m.

Described as 'the unsung hero of the Battle of Britain' by Bonham and Goodman, the Hurrican was one of the most versatile fighters of WWII.

It boasted exceptional manoeuvrability and tight turning radii as the first British-produced fighter to exceed 300 mph, and the first eight gun monoplane fighter.

It was the nemesis of the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain, proving particularly effective against the Messerschmitt Bf110 heavy fighter.

Its first test flight was on November 6, 1935 and from the outset of World War II.

 "So rarely do fighter aircraft of this calibre and quality appear on the market. This is an interesting and exciting campaign to undertake," said Catherine Davison, specialist at Bonhams and Goodman.

"I am sure that a discerning buyer will take on the custodianship of this historically significant plane."

 Few airworthy Hurricane's exist today due to lack of original tooling and the complexity of the manufacturing processes.

The aircraft has been restored to configuration as a MkIIA with eight 0.303 calibre machine guns, and is displayed in the colours of Number 73 Squadron, France, 1940.

Entries for the auction close on Friday 28 August.

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