Tuesday, October 23, 2012
This aircraft served with the Royal Aircraft Establishment and the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishement in 1941.
The Hawker Typhoon was a British single-seat fighter-bomber, produced by Hawker Aircraft. While the Typhoon was designed to be a medium-high altitude interceptor, and a direct replacement for the Hawker Hurricane, several design problems were encountered, and the Typhoon never completely satisfied this requirement. Other external events in 1940 prolonged the gestation of the Typhoon.
Nicknamed the Tiffy in RAF slang, the Typhoon's service introduction in mid-1941 was also plagued with problems, and for several months the aircraft faced a doubtful future. However, in 1941 the Luftwaffe brought the formidable Focke-Wulf Fw 190 into service: the Typhoon was the only fighter in the RAF inventory capable of catching the Fw 190 at low altitudes and, as a result, secured a new role as a low-altitude interceptor. Through the support of pilots such as Roland Beamont the Typhoon also established itself in roles such as night-time intruder and a long-range fighter. From late 1942 the Typhoon was equipped with bombs; from late 1943 ground attack rockets were added to the Typhoon's armoury. Using these two weapons, the Typhoon became one of the Second World War's most successful ground-attack aircraft.
Only one complete Hawker Typhoon still survives – serial number MN235 – and it is on display at the RAF Museum in Hendon, North London. It was previously on display at the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) (Smithsonian Institution) before being presented to the museum in commemoration of the RAF's 50th Anniversary in exchange for a Hawker Hurricane.
Several other partial air frames are extant: Typhoon Ib EJ922 (Private; Ex-Peter Smith Collection), Typhoon Ia JR505 (Brian Barnes Collection), Typhoon Ib JP843 (Roger Marley Collection) and Typhoon Ib RB396 (Fort Veldhuis museum, Netherlands). Unidentified cockpit sections are on display at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, and The Jet Age Museum in Gloucester.
A Hawker Typhoon replica at the Memorial de la Paix at Caen, France, was constructed using some original components.