The Tempest series was basically an aerodynamic refinement of the Typhoon series. The design of the new wing allowed for higher speeds and the flexibility to carry drop tanks, rockets and/or bombs. The cockpit featured a full vision bubble canopy. Because Napier’s troubles with reliability with the original Sabre engine series, the Tempest was built with the power egg concept. Five different engines were fitted and tested. Of those, only the Mk.II Bristol Centaurus Mk.V powered version, the Mk.V Napier-Halford Sabre II and the Mk.VI Napier-Halford SabreV powered versions saw service. The Mk.I Sabre Mk.IV engine and wing radiators had problems.The Mk.III and Mk.IV Rolls-Royce Griffon engined versions were cancelled due to Spitfire priorities. Because several engines suffered technical problems, the Mk.V was the first to enter service. It was cleared for service in April of 1944. The RAF retired the Mk.V series Tempest in early 1948.It returned to service as the TT.Mk.V/5 and served again until 1955.

       The Hawker aircraft company design philosophy, established early in its history was to develop an aircraft design to its limits. The design teams under the direction of Sydney Camm, (later Sir Sydney Camm) had developed the bi-plane Fury day fighter into their first monoplane fighter, the Hurricane in 1935. This design was a bridge combining traditional bi-plane construction with the new technologies of all metal airframes, enclosed canopies, retracting landing gear, more powerful engines and much heavier armament. The speed of advances in military aviation meant that the Hurricane was almost obsolete as it entered service with the RAF. In 1936, Hawker had already begun design work on its successor, eventually named Typhoon. Because of the pressures to produce the Hurricane, the RAF and the industry in general was in a great hurry to build as many aircraft as possible to get something ready for the coming battle. The Typhoon suffered from problems from the start of its life. The overall strain on the organization would cause problems later. The classic bad set-up of a new airframe combined with a new engine did not help. The rapidly changing operational demands also strained the design. The Napier Sabre engine suffered development problems. The basic airframe suffered from insufficient strength at the tail section. The original canopy design, known as the car door, limited the pilot’s vision and was difficult to exit in an emergency. The wing, although very strong, was heavy and thick which limited performance at altitude. The original AirMinSpec was outdated as soon as it was issued. Luckily the Typhoon found its true calling as a low altitude fighter and became the RAF’s premier ground attack fighter. The general trend of the war called for day fighters to fly faster and higher than ever before. The Typhoon could not do that. But, the ability to carry cannon armament and racks of rockets made the Typhoon a highly feared opponent of the Panzer units, especially in the battle to keep the beach head in Normandy. Rocket Typhoons created havoc with German logistics in France. No tank, truck or train was safe. The Typhoons in close air co-operation with the British Army literally became their ‘flying artillery’.

       Troubles with the Typhoon/ Sabre combination led Camm and his team to design the new airframe with the power-egg concept. Kurt Tank had also designed his FW190 series with this in mind. It meant that an airframe could be adapted to accept different engines without major re-design of a basic airframe. Later in the war, the Tempest (Typhoon II renamed) would do battle against the FW190D which had an inline engine, originally a bomber engine. The original FW 190A series flew with a BMW radial.

       The Tempest prototypes were planned to be equipped with several different engines to avoid the delays that could be caused by engine development problems. The Tempest Mk. I would use the Napier Sabre Mk. IV H-type engine The Tempest Mk.II would use the Bristol Centaurus Mk.V or VI air cooled radial engine. The Tempest Mk.III would use the R/R Griffon IIB V-12 engine. The Tempest Mk.IV would use the R/R Griffon 61. A later Tempest Mk. VI was added as a tropical/hot weather version with the Napier Sabre Mk. V engine with increased cooling and leading edge radiators finally perfected.

       The Tempest Mk.I prototype HM595 experienced problems with the Napier Sabre IV engine and leading edge radiators. The RAF and MAP were not big fans of leading edge radiators. It was decided to build a safety Mk.V version which was basically an aerodynamically refined Typhoon with the new wing. It was equipped with the now more reliable Napier Sabre II engine and kept the chin radiator. As flight testing continued, cockpit gained the new full vision ‘bubble’ canopy and the tail section was strengthened and the rudder shape was refined. The tailplanes were increased in size.

       The Tempest Mk.III and IV versions did not fly because the Griffon engines were given priority to Spitfire production. The Tempest Mk.II was showing promise as the fastest Tempest, because the air cooled radial eliminated the chin radiator, but difficulties with the Centaurus engine would delay it’s entry into service until August of 1945.As a result of all these events, The Tempest Mk.V became the first of the series to enter service.

       The RAF test pilots were very enthusiastic about the Mk.V It put all the promise of the design into place. Easy to fly, full vision canopy, 20mm armament, wide track landing gear, drop tank, rocket and bomb capable and fast. It would be a hand full for the hard pressed Luftwaffe. Mr.Camm and Hawker felt the Tempest Mk.V was in the same league as the Spitfire Mk. XVI and the P-51D and equal to or better than the Bf 109 G10/G14/K4 and the FW 190D-9 and TA 152H-2.

       Beginning in early 1944, the Mk.V began to be delivered to RAF Maintenance Units and by spring to operational units. No.3 Squadron RAF and 486 Squadron RNZAF re-equipped and formed No.150 (Tempest) Wing. It was joined later in July by 56 Squadron. It was planned to deploy to the 2nd Tactical Air Force to support the invasion of Europe and the defeat of the Luftwaffe. The Wing was placed under command of Wing Commander R.P.Beaumont. The Wing began ops in late May against ground targets in France. An attack on May 27, on an airbase at Pontoise, resulted in hitting Ju-188s on the ground for no loss. The first direct air-to-air engagement with the Luftwaffe occurred on June 8, on air superiority patrol over the Normandy beaches. Four(or three) Bf 109s were destroyed for no losses. In answer to the invasion, Germany launched a massive robotic V-1 ( Fieseler Fi-103) rocket attack against England proper. No.150 Wing was called on to defend because of its low level speed. The battle with the V-1 continued until September when most of the V-1 launch sites were destroyed or over-run. Unbelievably, at this time, the production of Tempests was slowed by a labor strike at Hawker! By September, 6 squadrons were operational. The Tempest proved to be a most potent opponent to the Luftwaffe’s end of war day fighters. The Tempest units, organized into 122 and 150 Wings attached to the 2nd Tactical Air Force, fought across Europe into Germany. When German forces surrendered, the Tempest units became part of the British Air Force of Occupation (BAFO) post war.

       With the end of the war in Europe, the Centaurus powered Tempest Mk.II was planned to be deployed with the Tiger Force to end the war in the Pacific. The sudden end of the war in September 1945 ended this plan. The Tempest Mk.V, which had always been considered temporary until the Mk.II was available, was withdrawn, those units re-equipped with Tempest Mk.IIs until replaced by De Havilland Hornets, Bristol Brigands and the first jets. In the late 1940’s, the Tempest Mk.V returned to service as the Tempest TT. Mk.V (TT.Mk.5) and became the last version to be retired in 1955. The Mk.II (F.2) and the Mk.VI (F.6) served in the Middle East and Far East until the early 1950s.

       With the post war formation of the stand alone Royal Indian Air Force and Royal Pakistan Air Force, surplus Tempest Mk.II stocks were transferred to them and soldiered on into the mid 1950s.

       Hawker design P.1027 would have been the ultimate development of the Tempest. This design would use the 2,690hp Rolls/Royce Eagle 46 (also to be used in the Westland Wyvern, had it been successful) with a contra-rotating prop and the cooling radiator moved to a mid plane ventral position similar to the P-51. The failure of the Eagle engine and the promise of jet power meant this design remained on paper.

       After the war, a Griffon 85 engined Tempest was developed to AirMinSpec F.2/43 as the ‘Tempest Light Fighter’ and finally as the Fury but no orders resulted. With a Sabre Mk.VII engine, the Fury achieved 485 mph in level flight, making it the fastest piston powered aircraft to be built by Hawker. A navalized version powered by a Centaurus radial was developed for the Royal Navy as the Sea Fury. It was the final design development by Hawker of the direct line of piston powered day fighters which started with the bi-plane Fury to the Hurricane to the Typhoon to the Tempest to the Fury and Sea Fury. It was an exceptional example of design development. Hawker went on to develop the Sea Hawk, Hunter, Harrier, Sea Harrier fighters and the Hawk all purpose trainer.

       This kit was built OOB in the early 1980’s. I didn’t care for the raised panel line details. I used the raised features as a guide and carefully rescribed all the detail lines with an Xacto blade. I then sanded the surface smooth, followed up with a complete polish. I decided to finish the aircraft in the same fashion as a real one. I airbrushed the basic camouflage pattern first. I then added the national markings via decals. I didn’t use the kit decals. I subbed from my stash of Microscale sheets. The tactical marks followed and lastly I sprayed the “D-Day stripes” over the wings and fuselage using Magic Masker and tape to give them a ‘hurried’ look. Weathering was added to give the operational look of aircraft in the busy days of June, 1944. The kit makes an accurate looking Tempest without any trouble. With care to detail, any level modeler can make a good looking model of a good looking airplane.

       The model was painted in this scheme based on a much repeated b/w photo available at that time. The Profile No.197 lists EJ766 as ‘JF-Z’ which has been verified. BUT, EJ766 was ‘Z’ later in that summer, not at the time of D-Day. Warpaint No.55 shows the D-Day JF-Z to be JN862 and that the codes have a thin red outline. Scale Aviation Modeller International Vol.12 Issue 11 profile artwork shows JF-K having a partially obscured serial ending in 08 and no red outline. Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 27 shows a copy of the exact photo I used back in 1981. Described as the most famous Tempest photo ever taken, saying that the true identity of this JF-Z was recently (1999) discovered to be JN862, flown by Belgian Lt. ‘Monty’ Van Lierde, the ‘B’ flight commander with 3SQ. RAF. It also notes 3 stripes on the spinner, possibly the colors of the Belgian flag, but, does not mention red outlines to SQ.codes. None of this was verifiable in 1981. As I have continued to collect reference materials and discovered this many years later, I refer you to that ancient IPMS wisdom, “You can never have enough reference materials”

      

Bibliography:

       World War II Wings Line Hawker Tempest Mks.I, V, II, VI, TT Mks.5, 6

                         Authors : Michal Ovcacik, Karel Susa

                         Pub : Mark I Ltd.

                         ISBN : 80-902559-2-2

       Camouflage & Markings RAF Fighter Command 1936-1945 - Hawker Tornado,Typhoon & Tempest

                         Authors : James Goulding, Robert Jones

                         Pub : Doubleday & Company, Inc.

                         ISBN : N/A

       The Typhoon & Tempest Story

                         Authors : Chris Thomas,Christopher Shores

                         Pub : Arms And Armor Press

                         ISBN : 0-85368-878-6

       Profile Publications Number 197 - The Hawker Tempest I – VI

                         Author : Francis K. Mason

                         Pub : Profile Publications Ltd.

                         ISBN : N/A

       Warpaint Series No.55 - Hawker Tempest Mks. II to VI

                         Author : Richard J Caruana

                         Pub : Warpaint Books Ltd.

                         ISBN : N/A

       Typhoon and Tempest At War

                         Authors : Arthur Reed, Roland Beamont

                         Pub : Ian Allan Ltd.

                         ISBN : 0 7110 0542 7

       Scale Aviation Modeller International Vol.12 Issue 11 - Profiles : Hawker Tempest

                         Artist : Jerry Boucher

                         Pub : SAM Publications

                         ISBN : : 1356-0530

       Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 27 - Typhoon and Tempest Aces of World War 2

                         Artist : Chris Thomas

                         Pub : Osprey Publishing

                         ISBN : 1 85532 779 1

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