Hawker Tempest

Tempest Mk.V (25 kb)
Hawker Tempest Mk.V Series 2
One of the problems of the Hawker Typhoon was the bad high-speed performance of its rather thick wing.

So the Hawker designers started working in 1941 on a much more modern wing: an elliptic-shaped laminar-flow wing. This new wing was to be introduced on the production line on what was at first called the Typhoon Mk.II. However, several other structural improvements had been done to the plane, enough for the resulting fighter to earn a new name: the Tempest.

Another problem of the Typhoon was the lack of reliability of its Napier Sabre engine, so it was decided to power the Tempest with the Bristol Centaurus, a huge 18-cylinder radial engine with twice the displacement of a Rolls-Royce Merlin.

However, production of the Centaurus-powered Tempest was much delayed, and all Tempests fighting in World War II still used the Napier Sabre 24-cylinder engine of the Typhoon.

With its improved high-speed performance, the Tempest became an even more impressive V-1 "buzz bomb" hunter than the Typhoon.


Hawker Tempest Mk.V Series 2
Engine Napier Sabre II, liquid-cooled 24 cylinder in H 2,180 hp
Weight empty: 4,128 kg (9,100 lb) - with full load: 6,130 kg (13,515 lb)
Armament Four wing-mounted Hispano Mk.V 20 mm cannons
Performance Max speed: 688 km/h (428 mph) Ceiling: 11,280 m (37,000 ft)
Tempest Mk.II (28 kb)
Hawker Tempest Mk.II from No.26 Squadron, in Germany in 1946

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(Pictures and info from "Hawker Typhoon" by Mister Kit and C.H. Thomas [Atlas])