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The Hawker Typhoon nicknamed "Tiffy" by its pilots was a fighter-bomber that was used by Great Britain.

Description

The first production model of the Typhoon series was the Mk Ia It was single-seat fighter and had a Napier Saber IIA Engine that was capable of propelling it at speeds of up to 652 km/h.

The total length of the Typhoon was about 9.7 meters long while the total weight was about 3,992 kg. The armament of the Mk Ia consisted of twelve 7.7mm Browning machine guns mounted in the wings along with up to eight rockets or two 450 kg bombs.

The Hawker Typhoon had a maximum range of approximately 1,530 kilometers while its service ceiling was about 10,360 meters.

Development

The Typhoon's early life was almost total disaster. Though the concept of so big and powerful a combat aircraft was bold and significant, expressed in Specification F18/37, the Griffon and Centaurus engines were ignored and reliance was placed on the complex and untried Vulture and Sabre. The former powered the R-type fighter, later named Tornado, which ground to a halt with abandonment of the Vulture in early 1941. The N-type (Napier), named Typhoon, was held back six months by the desperate need for Hurricanes. Eventually, after most painful development, production began at Gloster Aircraft in 1941 and Nos 56 and 609 Sqns at Duxford began to re-equip vvith the big bluff looking machine in September of that year. But the Sabre was unreliable, rate of climb and performance at height were disappointing and the rear fuselage persisted in coming apart. There was much talk of scrapping the programme, but. fortunately for the Allies, the snags were gradually overcome. In November 1942 the Typhoon suddenly sprang to favour by demonstrating it could catch and destroy the fastest fighter-bombers in the Luftwaffe which were making low-level hit-and-run raids. In 1943 'Tiffy' squadrons shot up and blasted everything that moved in northern France and the Low Countries. and in the summer of 1944 the hundreds of Typhoons — by now thoroughly proven and capable of round-the-clock operation from rough forward strips — formed the backbone of 2nd Tactical Air Force attack strength, sending millions of cannon shells, rockets and heavy bombs into German ground forces and in a single day knocking out 175 tanks in the Falaise gap. Gloster built 3,315 of the 3,330 Typhoons, the final 3,000 odd having a clear bubble hood instead of a heavy-framed cockpit with a car-type door on each side.[1]

Variants

The Hawker Typhoon only had a few variants with the first being the Typhoon Mk Ib which was given Hispano-Suiza HS.404 Autocannons as a replacement armament for the 7.7mm machine guns.[2][N 1] The next variant was the FR. IB model which was fundamentally a tactical recon version, produced by fitting vertical and oblique cameras to 60 Mk IBs.[4] Furthermore, the aircraft was often field modified to suit special needs. For example, in North Africa several models had their air filters modified for desert warfare.

One example was tested with an annular radiator, while another was fitted with AI Mk IV radar and tested for suitability as a night fighter.[4]

Specification

  • Origin: Hawker Aircraft Ltd (Most examples were built by Gloster Aircraft Company)
  • Type: Single-seat fighter bomber.
  • Engine: (Production IB) one 2,180hp Napier Sabre ll, 24-cylinder flat-H sleeve valve liquid-cooled.
  • Dimensions: Span 41ft 7in (12.67m): length 31ft llin (9.73m); height 15ft 3 1/2in (4.66m).
  • Weights: Empty 8,800lb (3,992kg); loaded l3,250lb (6,010kg).
  • Performance: Maximum speed 412mph (664km/h); initial climb 3,000ft (914m)/min; service ceiling 35,200tt (10,730m); range (with bombs) 510 miles (821km), (with drop tanks) 980 miles (1,577km).
  • Armament: (IA) l2 0.303in Brownings; (IB) four 20mm Hispano cannon in outer wings, and racks for eight rockets or two 500lb (227kg) (later1,000lb,454kg) bombs.
  • History: First flight (Tornado) October `1939; (Typhoon) 24 February 1940, (production Typhoon) 27 May i941; final delivery November 1945.
  • Users: Canada. New Zealand, UK (RAF).[1]

Notes

  1. At least one example of the Mk IA entered operational service - R7635 was delivered in late 1941 and assigned to 266 Squadron.[3]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Gunston, Bill. Illustrated Directory of Fighting Aircraft of World War II. Salamander Books. 1988. ISBN 0-86101-390-5 Pages 50-51
  2. http://www.militaryfactory.com/aircraft/detail.asp?aircraft_id=407
  3. Gunston, Bill. St Michael Aircraft of World War 2. Octopus Books. 1982. ISBN 0-86273-014-7 Page 100
  4. 4.0 4.1 Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. Complete Book of Fighters. Salamander Books. 2001. ISBN 1-84065-269-1 Page 288

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