Hawker Tempest

British flagBritish fighter-bomber Hawker Tempest.

A fine color air to air picture from a Hawker Tempest Mk VI

A fine color air to air picture from a Hawker Tempest Mk VI.

Hawker Tempest Mk V
British fighter-bomber.


The Hawker Typhoon was noted for its thick wing – occasional erratic flight behaviour at high speeds was traced to compressibility (local airflow exceeding the speed of sound), which had never before been encountered. In 1940 Hawker schemed a new laminar-flow wing with a root thickness five inches less and an elliptic planform rather like a Supermarine Spitfire . This was used on the Typhoon II, ordered in November 1941 to Specification F.10/41, but there were so many changes the fighter was renamed Hawker Tempest.

Fuel had to be moved from the thinner wing to the fuselage, making the latter longer, and a dorsal fin was added. The short-barrel Mk V guns were buried in the wing. Though the new airframe could take the promising Centaurus engine it was the Sabre-engined Hawker Tempest Mk V that was produced first, reaching the Newchurch Wing in time to destroy 638 out of the RAF’s total of 1,771 flying bombs shot down in the summer of 1944.

After building 800 Mk Vs Hawker turned out 142 of the more powerful Hawker Tempest Mk VI type with bigger radiator and oil coolers in the leading edge. After much delay, with production assigned first to Gloster and then to Bristol, the Centaurus­powered Mk II – much quieter and nicer to fly – entered service in November 1945, and thus missed the war. A few Mks 5 and 6 (post-war designations) were converted as target tugs.

Users: British RAF.

Pictures of Hawker Tempest

Data for Hawker Tempest Mk V

Technical data
Hawker Tempest Mk V data
Type fighter-bomber
Power plant 1 x 2,180 hp Napier Sabre II 24-cylinder flat-H sleeve-valve liquid cooled engine
Accommodation 1
Wing span 41 ft
Length overall 33 ft 8 in
Height overall 16 ft 1 in
Weight empty 9,100 lb
Weight loaded 13,500 lb
Maximum speed 427 mph
Initial climb 3,000 ft / min.
Service ceiling 37,000 ft
Range 740 miles
Hawker Tempest Mk V data
in outer wings Four 20 mm Hispano guns
bomb load underwing racks for eight rockets or up to 2,000 lb bombs
Service statistics
Hawker Tempest Mk V data
First flight 2 September 1942
Production delivery 21 June 1943
Total production figure 800

Animated 3D model of Hawker Tempest Mk V

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