|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.
- Role: single-seat fighter and attack plane
- Conception: Sydney Camm, for Hawker Aircraft Ltd
- Production: 800 Mk V, 142 Mk.VI.
- First flight of prototype: Typhoon: February 24th, 1940; Tempest Mk.V: September 2nd, 1942
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.
- The Tempest Mk.I should have been powered by the Napier Sabre IV, but this version of the engine was delayed
because of technical problems and the Tempest Mk.I was cancelled.
- As the Centaurus-powered Tempest Mk.II was not ready to enter production, the first operational version was the
Tempest Mk.V, still powered by the 2,180 hp Napier Sabre II of the Typhoon.
The new wings were thinner than the Typhoon's, so the fuel tanks had to be relocated in the fuselage,
resulting in a slightly longer plane, with a new dorsal fin for increased stability.
The Tempest Mk.V Series 1 retained the Hispano Mk.II cannons of the Typhoon;
100 were built and delivered in Spring of 1944.
The Tempest Mk.V Series 2 had the new shorter 20 mm Hispano Mk.V cannons,
now completely contained into the wings.
It could also use external fuel tanks, and was operational in June of 1944. 700 were built.
Hawker Tempest Mk.V Series 2
Napier Sabre II, liquid-cooled 24 cylinder in H
empty: 4,128 kg (9,100 lb) - with full load: 6,130 kg (13,515 lb)
Four wing-mounted Hispano Mk.V 20 mm cannons
Max speed: 688 km/h (428 mph)
Ceiling: 11,280 m (37,000 ft)
- The Tempest Mk.VI had an upgraded Napier Sabre V engine, giving 2,340 hp, and a redesigned cooling system.
142 were built.
- The Tempest Mk.II, powered by the 18-cylinder Bristol Centaurus, finally entered service at the end of 1945.
|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])