Hawker Typhoon 


The Hawker Typhoon was Great Britain's primary ground attack plane in the second half of World War II. Aproximately 3300 were built, although only one was tested by the Fleet Air Arm in 1939-1945.

In January 1938, two months after the debut of the first production Hurricane Hawker Aircraft received details of specification F.18/37, calling for a large single-seat fighter with a performance 20 per cent higher than that of the Hurricane with one of two 24-cylinder engines in the 2,000 hp class then under development --the Napier Sabre "H" type and the Rolls-Royce Vulture "X" type. Sydney Camm had commenced investigating the options of just such a fighter in March 1937. At the proposal of the Air Ministry, Camm also prepared studies for an alternative version of his fighter powered by the Rolls-Royce Vulture engine, and increased the ammunition capacity of both machines to 500 rpg.

On 30 December, 1939, the first Napier Sabre engine had been delivered to Hawker
Aircraft, and the first prototype Typhoon P5212 flew on 24 February, 1940. The Typhoon proving relatively easy to fly at high speeds, its low speed qualities left much to be desired, and it had a marked tendency to swing to starboard during take-off.

Development on the Typhoon with modified wings containing a total of six cannon, with thinner wings of reduced area and lower profile drag aroused interest at the Air Ministry and eventually result in the Hawker Tempest.

The first production Typhoon IA (R7082) with the 2,200 h.p. Sabre IIA engine was completed by Gloster and flown on 26 May, 1941, and the Air Ministry was pressing for its rapid service introduction to counter the new Focke-Wulf Fw 190, and 56 and 609 squadrons based at Duxford began to receive their Typhoons in September 1941, before the fighter was fully developed. In the first nine months of its service life far more Typhoons were lost through structural or engine troubles than were lost in combat, and between July and September 1942 it was estimated that at least one Typhoon failed to return from each sortie owing to one or other of its defects.

In total of 3253 aircraft were built, howver onnly one aircraft entered Fleet Air Arm service, DN419  which was sent to TOC 778 squadron at Arbroath for RN trials on 5 February 1943. It subsequently crashed and effectively destroyed on 12 February 1943 and no others were ordered by the RN for FAA service.

     Typhoon Mk.IA - 12x7.62 mm machine guns
     Typhoon Mk.IB - 4x20 mm cannons, capability to launch 127 mm rockets
     Typhoon FR.Mk.IB - reconnaisance version
     Typhoon NF.Mk.IB - night fighter

Fleet Air Arm history
Total FAA 1939-1945:             1 for trials only
First delivered to RN:               pre-war
First squadron 1939-1945:         778 sqdn 1943
Last served with RN                 778 sqdn 1943
Aircraft Type:
Hawker Typhoon
Primary Role:
ground attack plane with RAF, assessment only with FAA
First Flight: 
First Production Typhoon May 26, 1941.
Date operating with FAA squadrons:
5.2.1943-12.2.1943 until crashed.
Hawker Aircraft Limited, also built by the Gloster Aircraft Company
One 2200hp Napier Sabre engine
 Wing Span: Length: Height: Wing Area: 
Wingspan: 12.7 m 
Length: 9.7 m 
Height: 4.7 m 
Wing area: 25.9 sq. m 
Empty Weight: Max.Weight:
Empty weight: 3992 kg 
Takeoff weight: 5170 kg 



Max. speed: 673 km/h 
Cruise speed: 530 km/h 
Ceiling: 10360 m 
Cruise ceiling: 8000 m 
Range: 1530 km 
Range with maximum payload: 980 km 
four 20mm cannon
900 kg of bombs or 127 mm rockets 
778 at Arbroath for RN trials
Battle honours:
None with FAA
Additional references and notes:

Battle Honours and Operational History

None with the Fleet Air Arm although saw significant combat with the RAF most notably against the German V1 buzz bomber.

The Dieppe operations in August 1942 was the first official combat use of the RAF Typhoon, they bounced a formation of Fw 190s south of Le Treport, diving out of the sun and damaging three of the German fighters, but two of the Typhoons did not pull out of their dive owing to structural failures in their tail assemblies.

In November 1942 609 Squadron, led by Wing Commander Roland Beamont, was moved to Manston in an attempt to combat the near daily hit-and-run raids which were being made by Fw 190s and could rarely be intercepted by Spitfires. The Typhoon enjoyed almost immediate success. The first two Messerschmitt Me 210 fighter bombers to be destroyed over the British Isles fell to the guns of Typhoons, and during the last comparatively ambitious daylight raid by the Luftwaffe on London, on 20 January, 1943, five Fw 190s were destroyed by Typhoons.

The Typhoon IB, affectionately known as the "Tiffy", distinguished itself particularly in the Battle of Normandy, where it decimated a large concentration of armor ahead of Avranches, disposing of 137 tanks, and opening the way for the liberation of France and Belgium.

wartime colour photograph of RAF Typhoon MkIB  photographed on 24 August 1943 (was lost 24 Feb1945)

Surviving aircraft and relics
Only four extant in Europe and perhaps the world, of which only one is complete. They are found at the RAF Museum (UK), Brooklands Museum (UK) and the Imperial War Museum Duxford (UK).

The Brooklands Museum (UK) Aviation Collection has three parts of Typhoons, Typhoon 1A: EJ922 cockpit section and cockpit sections of two unknown Typhoons.

The only complete Typhoon inb the world is at the RAF Museum Hendon (UK): Typhoon Mk IB MN235/FE491

Associations and reunions
No information
Flightline and the Typhoon Summary of the Typhoon aviation career. Includes colour profiles of RAF Typhoons in squadron markings.
A Brooklands Aircraft Portfolio Hawker Typhoon Portfolio
Mosquito, Typhoon & Tempest - By Chaz Bowyer, Authur Reed and Roland Beamont.
Olivier warbirds, Le site sur l'aviation de la Seconde guerre mondiale  Details of the Typhoon [in french]
 Sturtivant, R. & Burrow, M (1995)   'Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939 to1945'  Published by Air Britain (Historians) Ltd, 1995 ISBN: 0 85130 232 7 
Created 3-4-1999, Modified 3-4-2000


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