Hawker Tempest MKV Aircraft Profile

coldwarwarrior

Lutterworth, United Kingdom

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The Hawker Typhoon, which was Sir Sydney Camm’s successor to the Hurricane was a disappointment in its intended role as a high altitude interceptor. This was due to the very thick wing, (the original intention had been to fit the Typhoon with a six cannon armament). In 1940 the Hawker design staff schemed a much thinner eliptical wing similar to that of the Spitfire and in 1941 Camm proposed a new fighter based on the Typhoon using the new wing and a more highly developed version of the Napier Sabre engine. An order for four prototypes, (initially called Typhoon II’s) was ordered. Camm also proposed replacing the chin radiator with more aerodynamic wing root mounted radiators. The new fighter was finally given the name Tempest.

It was the fate of the Tempest, because of it’s superb performance, that it was reserved for home defence for much of 1944 to combat the V1 offensive. It was the Hawker Tempest that destroyed more V1’s than any other weapons system, claiming 638 V1’s out of the 1771 claimed in total by the RAF. By the end of 1944 seven squadrons were equipped with Tempests and were carrying out operations deep into Germany, (unlike the Spitfire, the Tempest had a very useful range) from their new bases in the Netherlands with the 2nd Tactical Air Force. With their speed of about 450 mph and four cannon armament they began to take a steady toll of German aircraft, including the Me262, twenty of which were claimed by Tempest pilots by the wars end.

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