The Hawker Tempest 

Great Britain
Great Britain

side view front view under view

The Tempest was the successor to the Typhoon. Not happy with the rush work they had on the Typhoon, Hawker decided to make a more clean design, get rid of the 'chin' radiator, and go for a pure fighter type in stead of a fighter-bomber.
The Tempest's wings were redesigned, and the radiator was moved to the wing roots. Besides that the Napier Sabre IV H-type engine was given a chance to show it's worth. To overcome the reduced fuel capacity which was situated in the Typhoon's wings, the fuselage was lengthened to accomodate a tank.. By now the number of changes were great enough that a change of name was logical. But not only the Napier Sabre IV was planned as the powerplant for the Tempest, also the Bristol Centaurus (for the Mk II), Rolls Royce Griffon (Mk II and Mk IV) and Napier Sabre V (Mk VI) were planned to power one of the respective versions. So when the development of the Napier Sabre IV was discontinued, the Tempest Mk I was dropped but other versions were still ordered.

Versions:

Further pictures:

Hawker Tempest in a very unpopular position for the Enemy
Hawker Tempest in a very unpopular position for the Enemy

 

Technical data on the Hawker Tempest F.Mk V Series 2
Powerplant 1 × Napier Sabre IIC H-type, rated at 2260 hp (1684.81 kW) Role during war
  • Fighter
  • Fighter-bomber
Length 33 ft 8 inch Height 16 ft 1 inch
Empty weight 9250 lb Operational weight 13640 lb max
Wing Span 41 ft 0 inch Wing Aspect ratio 5.57
Wing Area 302 sq ft Service ceiling 36000 ft
Maximum speed 435 mph at 17000 ft Cruising speed 391 mph at 18800 ft
Initial climb rate 4,700 ft per min,
Climb to 20,000 ft in 6 min 6 sec
Range 820 miles typical,
1300 miles max
Fuel capacity internal unknown Fuel capacity external 90 Imp gal (108 US gal) in 2 drop tanks
Machine guns - Cannons 4 × 20 mm Hispano V fixed forward-firing in the wing leading edges, 150 rounds each
Bomb load Up to 2,000 lb carried on 2 underwing hardpoints, rated at 1,000 lb each. General load out:
2 × 1,000 lb or 500 lb bombs
Torpedoes/rockets 8 × 60 lb rockets in stead of bombs
Crew 1 Naval or ground based Ground
First flight (prototype) 2 September 1942 Operational Service Januari 1944 - 1953
Manufacturer Hawker Aircraft Co. Ltd. Number produced 1.418 total, 805 this version (Mk V)
Metric system
Length 10.26 m Height 4.9 m
Empty weight 4196 kg Operational weight 6187 kg max
Wing Span 12.5 m Wing Aspect ratio 5.57
Wing Area 28.06 m² Service ceiling 10973 m
Maximum speed 700 km/h at 5182 m Cruising speed 629 km/h at 5730 m
Initial climb rate 1.433 m per min,
Climb to 6.095 m in 6 min 6 sec
Range 1320 km typical,
2092 km max
Fuel capacity internal unknown Fuel capacity external 409 liters in 2 drop tanks
Machine guns - Cannons 4 × 20 mm Hispano V fixed forward-firing in the wing leading edges, 150 rounds each
Bomb load Up to 907 kg carried on 2 underwing hardpoints, rated at 454 kg each. General load-out:
2 × 454 kg or 227 kg bombs
Torpedoes/rockets 8 × 27 kg rockets in stead of bombs

Here is a quick overview of all different versions, without the full technical specifications:

Different versions of the Hawker Tempest 
Hawker Tempest F.Mk II The Tempestwas a redesignation of the Typhoon Mk II, but since the number of changes and the impact of those chages were so big, you could speak of a new aircraft. The Mk I never took to the air beacause Napier discontinued the engine on which it was based shortly after the prototype reached the flying state. So the list starts with the Mk II in stead.
The Mk II was powered by 1 × Bristol Centaurus V radial, rated 2,520 hp (1.879 kW). The production was delayed in favour of the Mk V, so when production finally started the War was almost over.
Technical details are as follows: length of 34 ft 5 in (10,49 m), height of 15 ft 10 in (4,83 m), empty, normal and max weights of 9,300 lb (4.218 kg), 11,800 lb (5.352 kg) and 13,900 lb (6.305 kg) respectively, max level speed of 440 mph (708 km/h) at 15,900 ft (4.845 m), max range of 1,700 miles (2.736 km), typical range of 775 miles (1.247 km), initial climb rate of 4.520 ft (1.378 m) per minute, climb to 20,000 ft (6.095 m) in 5 min 36 sec, and service ceiling of 37,000 ft (11.280 m).
Number built: 450
Hawker Tempest F.Mk V This is the only version that really saw action during Wolrd War 2. See details above. Contrary to the F.Mk I which had no Chin radiator, the F.Mk V had one. Nevertheless it had a remarkable increase in performance and handling because of other changes. The F.Mk V is most well know for it's incredible speed at low and medium altitudes, and for their successes against the Fieseler Fi 103 V-1 Flying Bomb. Two sub series were produced:

Tempest F.Mk V Series 1 This subversion was armed with 4 × 20 mm Hispano Mk II cannons with slightly protruding barrels.
Number built: 100
Tempest F.Mk V Series 2 This subversion was armed with 4 × 20 mm Hispano Mk V cannons with shorter barrels, a detachable rear fuselage, smaller main wheels, and other small changes. Early aircraft were powered by 1 × Napier Sabre IIB, rated at 2,200 hp (1.640 kW), the rest was powered by 1 × Napier Sabre IIC, rated at 2,260 hp (1.685 kW)
Number built: 705


Number built: 805
Hawker Tempest F.Mk VI This is the tropicalised version of the Tempest F.Mk V, and was powered by 1 × Napier Sabre VA, rated at 2,340 hp (1.745 kW). The inlets for the oil cooler and carburetor were moved from the nose to the wing roots to accomodate a larger radiator. This version was introduced after World War 2, and were exported to Pakistan and India.
Number built: 142

Remarks:

The specifications of the F.Mk II made it probably most usefull for the Far East Theatre, but the War ended before there was even 1 squadron fully equiped with it. Nonetheless, it turned out that the aircraft was an excellent fighter and fighter-bomber.
This was proven in the ETO (European Theatre of operations), where the Tempest Mk V saw more action. It was the fastest Allied fighter on low and medium altitudes, and it has claimed 20 confirmed Messerschmitt Me 262 kills. Also, the speed was put to good use, it accounted 638 of the 1771 Fieseler Fi 103 V-1 'Doodlebug' Flying Bombs claimed by the RAF between June and September 1944.

Strengths:

Weaknesses:

 

 

© by Frans Bonné, 2000
Last revision: 11/8/00