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British Fighter Airfraft : Hawker Tempest (Mk. V)

The Hawker Tempest is a British fighter aircraft that was primarily used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the Second World War. The Tempest, originally known as theTyphoon II, was an improved derivative of the Hawker Typhoon, intended to address the Typhoon's unexpected deterioration in performance at high altitude by replacing its wing with a thinner laminar flow design. Since it had diverged considerably from the Typhoon, it was renamed Tempest. The Tempest emerged as one of the most powerful fighters of World War II and was the fastest single-engine propeller-driven aircraft of the war at low altitude.

Upon entering service in 1944, the Tempest performed low-level interception, particularly against the V-1 flying bomb threat, and ground attack supporting major invasions like Operation Market Garden. Later, it successfully targeted the rail infrastructure in Germany and Luftwaffe aircraft on the ground, as well as countering similar attacks by German fighters. The Tempest was effective in the low-level interception role, including against newly developed jet-propelled aircraft like the Messerschmitt Me 262.

The further-developed Tempest II did not enter service until after the end of hostilities. It had several improvements, including being tropicalised for combat against Japan in South-East Asia as part of the Commonwealth Tiger Force.

Tempest Mk.V

During early 1943, a production line for the Tempest Mk.V was established in Hawker's Langley facility, alongside the existing manufacturing line for the Hawker Hurricane. Production was initially slow, claimed to be due to issues encountered with the rear spar. On 21 June 1943, the first production Tempest V,JN729, rolled off the production line and its maiden flight was conducted by test pilot Bill Humble.


The first 100 Tempest Vs were fitted with 20mm (.79in) Hispano Mk.IIs with long barrels which projected ahead of the wing leading edges and were covered by short fairings; later production Tempest Vs switched to the short-barrelled Hispano Mk.Vs, with muzzles flush with the leading edges. Early Tempest Vs used Typhoon-style 34 by 11 inch (83.4 by 28cm) five-spoke wheels, but most had smaller 30 by 9 inch (76.2 by 22.9cm) four-spoke wheels. The new spar structure of the Tempest V also allowed up to 2,000lb (907kg) of external stores to be carried underneath the wings. As a result, several early production Tempest V aircraft underwent extensive service trials at Boscombe Down for clearance to be fitted with external stores, such as one 250–1,000lb (110–450kg) bomb or eight 60lb (27kg) RP-3 rockets under each wing. On 8 April 1944, the Tempest Mk.V attained general clearance to carry such ordnance, but few Tempest Mk.V deployed bombs operationally during the war. Rockets were never used operationally during the war.

As in all mass-produced aircraft, there may have been some overlap of these features as new components became available. In mid-to-late 1944 other features were introduced to both the Typhoon and Tempest: A Rebecca transponder unit was fitted, with the associated aerial appearing under the portside centre section. A small, elongated oval static port appeared on the rear starboard fuselage, just above the red centre spot of the fuselage roundel. This was apparently used to measure the aircraft's altitude more accurately.


Model Specifications [wikipedia]