Aviation of Word War II
Hawker Typhoon IB of No 486 Squadron RAF, 27 October 1943
The Hawker Typhoon was a single-seat 'heavy' fighter evolved to succeed Hurricane and designed around all-new Napier Sabre 24-cylinder sleeve-valve engine, to comply with Specification F.I8/37. Four prototypes ordered early 1938, of which two with R-R Vulture (see Hawker Tornado).
First prototype (P5212) flown February 24, 1940, with 2,100 hp Sabre I, 'A' wing but no armament fitted, rear-cockpit fairing and side-entrance door.
Second prototype (P5216) flown May 3, 1940, with 'B' wing and cannon fitted. Pilot production batch of 15 Hawker Typhoons with Sabre I engines built by Hawker, 1941; all other production by Gloster, totalling 3,300 with 2,180 hp Sabre IIA, 2,200 hp Sabre IIB or 2,260 hp Sabre IIC engines and com pleted by November 1945.
First production aircraft flown at Brockworth on May 27, 1941. Five Hawker and 104 Gloster aircraft completed as Hawker Typhoon IA with armament of 12 Browning 0.303 in (7.7 mm) machine guns; all others as Hawker Typhoon IB with four 20 mm Hispano cannon. First 163 aircraft retained 'solid' fairing aft of cockpit, fo lowed by transparent fairing of similar profile and then (from aircraft No 1700) a one-piece aft-sliding 'bubble' canopy. Final batches had four-bladed propellers ajid enlarged tailplanes. Service introduction commenced September 1941 in No 56 Sqn, RAF, and first operation on May 30, 1942.
Early operations dogged by engine problems, structural failures and some performance shortfall, eventually leading to diversion of Hawker Typhoon to fighter-bombing role, with up to two 1,000 Ib (454 kg) bombs or eight (eventually 12 or 16) 60 Ib (27 kg) rocket projectiles.
First fighter-bomber operations late-1942 by Nos 181 and 182 Sqns and by June 1945 some 27 squadrons (including three RCAF and one RNZAF) had flown Hawker Typhoons operationally and with great success in close-support role against ground targets, entirely in European ETO.
One Hawker Typhoon (R7881, first flown March 23, 1943) equipped with AI Mk IV radar to evaluate night fighting potential.
Prototype P5216 flown for several months (starting on November 9, 1941) with long-span wings and long ailerons to assess potential improvement in high-altitude performance (identified as Experimental Aeroplane 174 in the recognition manual).
Conversely, Hawker Typhoon IA R7577 flown (starting July 27, 1942) with clipped wings to check possible low-altitude performance improvement (Experimental Aeroplane 185). Max speed, 405 mph (652 km/h) at 18,000ft (5,486 m). Most economical cruising speed, 254 mph (409 km/h) at 15,000ft (4,572 m). Time to 15,000 ft (4,572 m), 6.2 min. Service ceiling 34,000 ft (10,363 m). Empty weight, 8,800 Ib (3,992 kg). Gross weight, 11,400 Ib (5,171 kg). Span, 41 ft 7 in (12.67 m). Length, 31 ft lll/2 in (9.73 m). Wing area, 279 sq ft (25.92m²).
Hawker Typhoon FR Mk IB: Approximately 60 (of 200 planned) conversions for fighter-reconnaissance role, carrying one 14 in (35.6 cm) and two 5 in (12.7 cm) cameras in port wing, replacing inboard port cannon. Forward-facing cine camera replaced inboard starboard cannon in some aircraft. Used operationally, August 1944-February 1945, by Nos 268 and 4 Sqns.
Hawker Typhoon II: Renamed Tempest, described below.
1 - with added tanks