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Great Britain's Hawker Tempest fighter

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Hawker Tempest fighter:
Great Britain's Hawker Tempest fighter
Hawker Tempest fighter:
Great Britain's Hawker Tempest fighter
Hawker Tempest Mk V B fighter:
Great Britain's Hawker Tempest Mk V B fighter
Hawker Tempest fighter captured by the Germans:
Great Britain's Hawker Tempest fighter captured by the Germans
Hawker Tempest fighter:
Great Britain's Hawker Tempest fighter
Hawker Tempest fighter:
Great Britain's Hawker Tempest fighter
Hawker Tempest fighter:
Great Britain's Hawker Tempest fighter

Design

The Hawker Tempest was to be an improved Hawker Typhoon.1,4 Sydney Camm designed the Tempest.2,4

Initially the design was called the Typhoon Mk II.4

The Tempest was to have a new wing and more powerful engine.1

Wings

The designer of the Hawker Tempest, Sydney Camm, said that he designed the Tempest's particular wing shape because of the RAF's fixation with the Spitfire.1 The wing was a thin elliptical, laminar flow design.1,3,4

Fuselage

The forward fuselage contained the Tempest's engine and fuel tanks.1,3,4 It also was formed from a rigid rectangular tubular structure.1 The rear fuselage was a monocoque structure with oval frames, longitudinal stringer, and stressed skin.1

Propeller

The four bladed propeller, a de Havilland Hydromatic constant speed, was on a large spinner.1

Cockpit

The cockpit was a single piece bubble canopy that had bulletproof glass.1 There was armor plating in front of and behind the pilot.1

Tail

The tail was a cantilever all metal unit with a dorsal fin extension.1 The rudder was fabric covered and the tail plane and fin were stress skin covered.1 All the control surfaces had trim tabs.1

Prototype

The first Hawker Tempest to fly, the Mk V, was converted from a Hawker Typhoon.1 The prototype first flew on September 2, 1942.2,3,4

Production

The first production Tempest flew in June 1943.3

  • Tempest Mk II: 4523
  • Tempest Mk V: >8004, 8053
  • Tempest Mk VI: 1423,4
  • Total: 8002, 1,4001, 1,4183
    • Manufacturer: Hawker Aircraft Ltd.4
    • Production: ? - August 19454

Variants

  • Tempest Mk I: Sabre IV engine, 24 cylinder.3,4 Only a prototype built.4
  • Tempest Mk II: Had Bristol Centaurus engine, 18 cylinder.1,2,3,4 Was intended to fight the Japanese, but the war ended before it was ready for operational use.1,2 Entered service in 1946.1
  • Tempest Mk III: Had Rolls-Royce Griffon 12 cylinder engine.4 Design abandoned.4
  • Tempest Mk IV: Rolls-Royce Griffon.3
  • Tempest Mk V: The first to be produced.1 Sabre 24 cylinder engine.4
  • Tempest Mk V Series 1: Four long barrelled 20 mm Hispano Mk II cannons.2,3 First 100 produced.3
  • Tempest Mk V Series 2: Four short barrelled 20 mm Hispano Mk V cannons.2,3
  • Tempest Mk VI: Had a Sabre V engine (2,300 HP4) and a bigger radiator for use in the tropics.1

Usage

Britain and New Zealand used the Tempest.3

Pilots said that the Tempest was maneuverable, pleasant to fly, with no major handling faults.1 It was found that the Tempest could take a lot of hits and would still be flyable.1

The top Tempest ace, with 11 aircraft kills, was the American D. C. Fairbanks who was a member of the RAF.1

Total aircraft kills for all Tempests were 240 German planes, 80 Messerschmitt Bf 109s, 115 Focke-Wulf Fw 190s, and 11 / 203 Messerschmitt Me 262s.1

Tempest were used for taking down German V-1 rockets and are credited with 638 of the 1,771 destroyed.1,2,3,4 One Tempest pilot shot down 60.1 Some Tempests were equipped with additional fuel tanks so that they could stay in the air up to 4 1/2 hours waiting for V-1s.4 They would stay at around 10,000' waiting for ground radar stations to tell them where to go.4 When out of ammunition a few pilots would try to flip the V-1 with their wing.4

First Use

The No 3 and No 486 Squadrons received the Tempests in April 1944.1,2,4

Squadrons

The Royal Air Force (RAF) had 113 / 12 squadrons equipped with Tempests.2

After War Use

The Tempest was in service with the RAF until July 1955, as target tugs.1

Specifications

  Hawker Tempest Mk II1
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type) Bristol Centaurus Mk V piston1
Cylinders 241
Cooling  
HP 2,3661, 2,5264
Propeller blades 41
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
  Hawker Tempest Mk V1,2,3,4
Type Fighter1,2, Fighter-bomber1,2,3,4
Crew 11,2,4
Engine (Type) Napier Sabre II piston2,4
Napier Sabre IIA/B "H" piston1
Napier Sabre IIA3
OR Napier Sabre IIB3
OR Napier Sabre IIC3
Cylinders Inline2, 241, "H" 243,4
Cooling Liquid4
HP 2,1801,2,4
IIA: 2,1803
IIB: 2,2003
IIC: 2,2603
Propeller blades 41,3
Dimensions  
Span 41'1,2,3,4
12.5 m1,2,3
Length 33' 8"2,3,4, 34'1
10.26 m1,2,3
Height 16'1, 16' 1"2,3,4
4.9 m1,2,3
Wing area 302 ft2 1,2
28.06 m2 1,2
Weight  
Empty 8,980 lb1, 9,000 lb2, 9,250 lb3
4,082 kg1,2, 4,196 kg3
Loaded 11,500 lb4, 13,412 lb1, 13,540 lb2, 13,640 lb3
6,142 kg1,2, 6,187 kg3
Performance  
Speed at sea level 392 mph3
631 kph3
Speed @ 4,600' /
1,400 m
416 mph3
669 kph3
Speed @ 17,000' /
5,182 m
435 mph3
700 kph3
Speed @ 18,500' 436 mph4
Speed @ 18,500' /
5,640 m
425 mph1
686 kph1
Speed @ 18,500' /
5,660 m
426 mph2
685 kph2
Cruising speed 210 mph3
338 kph3
Climb 4,700'/minute3
1,432 m/minute3
Climb to 15,000' /
4,570 m
5 minutes2
Climb to 20,000' /
6,096 m
6.1 minutes3
Service ceiling 36,000'3, 36,500'1,4, 38,000'2
10,973 m3, 11,125 m1, 11,580 m2
Range 740 miles1,2,3, 1,530 miles4
1,190 km2,3, 1,191 km1
Ferry range 1,530 miles3
2,462 km3
Armament 4: 20 mm4
Wings 4: 20 mm2,3
4: 20 mm Hispano Mk V1
Bombs - wing racks 2: 500 lb1
2: 227 kg1
OR 2: 1,000 lb1,2,3
2,000 lb4
2: 454 kg1,2,3
OR  
Rockets 8: 60 lb1,2,3
8: 3"2
8: 27 kg1,2,3
3: 0.762 m2

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  4. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site

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