Hawker Typhoon

Hawker Typhoon

Hawker Typhoon


An interceptor that failed, the Hawker Typhoon was nearly canceled before it blossomed in the finest close support aircraft of World War II. With its pugnacious snub nose, four long-barreled cannon and whining Sabre engine, the big fighter-bomber wreaked havoc on its foes. Ranging far and wide over the battlefields of northwest Europe, swarms of Typhoons mad an indelible mark on the history of warfare.


Hawker Typhoon

Hawker Typhoon Drawing

Hawker Typhoon


Designed as an interceptor, the Hawker Typhoon was plagued by numerous problems, which almost led to its cancellation. It was to emerge however, as the RAF's most important close support aircraft of the war. The Typhoon's origins date to a 1938 Air Ministry request for a heavily-armed single-seat fighter an craft capable of 400 mph. Hawker's chief designer Hurricane enter production and in 1937 had started work on a new design anticipating the Air Ministry requirement.



The new fighter was to be armed with four 20-mm cannon and would be tested with two engines: the Vulture. The air-cooled Bristol Centaurus was overlooked due to the official distrust of this type of powerplant, a decision that would later be regretted. Named Tornado the Vulture-powered version showed much promise but Rolls-Royce's decision to abandon the project to concentrate on Merlin production left the way clear for the Sabre-powerd typhoon.



With Hawker factories running to capacity production was initiated by Gloster factory at Hucclecote and the first production example flew from here on 27 May 1941. Trials carried out shortly afterwards were to prove to be extremely disappointing. The Napier engine was extremely unreliable, often failing in flight and requiring major overhaul every 25 hours. Performance and climb rate were also well below expectations especially at altitude where most of the dogfights were likely to occur. Problems in production of the intended cannon armament resulted in many of the first production Typhoons being fitted with an eight-machine gun wing as the Mk IA before production finally centered on the cannon armed Mk IB. No 56 Squadron received its first Typhoons in September 1941 with No 266 Squadron following on in February; however, by now an even more serious problem had been identified. Elevator flutter at low speeds was leading to structural failure of the tail assembly and many Typhoons were lost during the first half of 1942. The two operational squadrons were achieving little success in the interception role and there was a growing feeling within the Air Ministry that the Typhoon should be cancelled.



Hawker Typhoon

The turning point in the Typhoon's career came in the autumn of 1942 when feelings against the Typhoon were running at their highest. Squadron Leader Roland Beaumont requested to transfer his unit, No 609 Squadron, to Manston to support Hurricane and Spitfire Rhubarb ground-attack missions against targets in the Low Countries. In the next five months the squadron destroyed over 100 locomotives and numerous other ground targets as well as 14 Focke-Wulf FW 190s in low-level combat. No 609 Sqn's efforts combined with the much-needed cure for the structural problems secured the Typhoon's future in a new role.


The addition of bomb racks and rocket projectiles beneath the wing, tested in the spring of 1943 turned the Typhoon into a formidable attack aircraft. As more bomb- and rocket- equipped versions reached an increasing number of RAF squadrons, the attacks on targets of opportunity such as trains and convoys, pioneered by No 609 Sqn, increased in frequency. Typhoons also made a valuable contribution to the Channel Stop operations, firing salvos of rockets against German shipping in the English Channel. Eventuality, 26 squadrons flew the Typhoon and many of these were involved in attacking German radar stations and lines of communication throughout northern France in preparation for D-Day.

Following the D-Day invasion 2nd Tactical Air Force Typhoons played a vital role in the Allies breakout from the beachheads. With air superiority assured the Typhoons destroyed columns of troops, artillery, tanks and machinery at will, causing monumental damage to the German defenses. The 'cab rank' system of standing patrols was established as the Allies advanced, allowing specific targets to be destroyed on request, at short notice by army units. Rocket-equipped Typhoons of the 2nd TAF continued to wreak havoc on ground targets throughout 1945 . However, after VE-Day having played such a vital role in the Allies victory, the Typhoons were rapidly withdrawn from service and reduced to scrap.

Hawker Typhoon


Hawker Typhoon Armed
Armed Hawker Typhoon.


Hawker Typhoon Factory
Factory of the Hawker Typhoon.


Cockpit of the Hawker Typhoon.



3 View of a Hawker Typhoon

Length: 31 ft 11.5 in
Wingspan: 41 ft 7 in
Height: 15 ft 4 in
Wing area: 279 ft²
Empty weight: 8,840 lb
Loaded weight: 11,400 lb
Max takeoff weight: 13,250 lb
Powerplant: 3 or 4-blade de
Havilland or Rotol propeller× Napier Sabre IIA, IIB or IIC
liquid-cooled H-24 piston engine, 2,180, 2,200 or 2,260
hp each

Maximum speed: 412 mph with
Sabre IIB & 4-bladed propeller
at 19,000 ft Stall speed: 88 mph
IAS with flaps up
Range: 510 mi
Service ceiling: 35,200 ft
Rate of climb: 2,740 ft/min
Wing loading: 45.8 lb/ft²
Power/mass: 0.20 hp/lb

Guns: 4 × 20 mm Hispano Mk
II cannon
Rockets: 8 × RP-3 unguided
air-to-ground rockets.
Bombs: 2 × 500 lb or 2 × 1,000
lb bombs


Hawker Typhoon Callout Top
A: Originally carrying 12 Browning 7.7-mm machine guns, the Typhoon was soon to be equipped as standard with four harder-hitting 20-mm Hispano cannon and eight 60-lb. rockets. B: All Allied aircraft were painted with large "invasion stripes" just before the invasion of France in June 1944. C: Typhoon pilots were well protected, with a bulletproof canopy, a huge engine in front of them and superb armor plate behind.


Hawker Typhoon Callout
A: The Typhoon was much improved as a combat aircraft when a sliding bubble canopy was installed. B: The Napier Sabre was a hugely powerful engine, but initially suffered from chronic problems, with engine life as low as 20 hours. C: The Typhoon wing was a solidly built structure, allowing the aircraft to carry large bombs and to make power dives at almost 496 m.p.h. D: The early tail problems of the Typhoon were cured by the fitting of "fish plates" to strengthen the structure.


Polikarpov I-16 Cutaway
This fabulous Typhoon cutaway comes in full size 8.5x11 PDF for FREE included in your MyModels folder!


Hawker Typhoon Crash
Burned out and damaged Tyohoons on the field, in total 19 were lost when the Luffwaffe attcked the field.