With the technology of the Hurricane being at the end of the biplane combat aircraft era, there was an urgent requirement for a modern fighter with a capability ahead of the anticipated German fighter development for the Luftwaffe. The Hawker design team lead by Sydney Camm created the all-metal stressed skin structure Typhoon powered by the revolutionary Napier Sabre engine. Whereas the Hurricane had been developed in peacetime, the Typhoon was designed in wartime, when the urgency of the programme caused the development of both the airframe and engine to be accelerated, resulting in teething troubles not being fully solved when the aircraft entered service with the RAF. The much improved Tempest used the same engine and basic fuselage with thinner lamina flow wings, giving improved performance at altitude, and allowing the destruction of the V1s at low altitude. Both aircraft made a significant impact on the victory by the Allies in WW2, although their low level ground attack missions were extremely hazardous, and resulted in high pilot losses.
|Dimensions||172 × 248 mm|
Philip Birtles spent most of his career in the aerospace industry, mainly at what started out as de Havilland at Hatfield. Following a five year engineering apprenticeship, much of his work was in public relations and marketing. For over 40 years he has been actively involved with the de Havilland Aircraft Museum at Salisbury Hall, latterly working on restoration of Mosquitos. He has written over 40 books on aerospace subjects and has a comprehensive collection of contemporary photographs of aircraft, and also his own illustrations from 1954. He has also had articles and photos published in global aviation media.