First flight for the WW2 Hawker Tempest

First flight for the WW2 Hawker Tempest

What’s believed to be the world’s only airworthy Hawker Tempest made its first flight last week after a 34-year restoration. The flight of Hawker Tempest Mk.II MW763, registered as G-TEMT, was at Sywell Aerodrome on 10 October 2023. Regular warbird pilot Peter Kynsey flew the aircraft which was then flown to IWM Duxford.

The Hawker Tempest was a British fighter aircraft that served during and after World War II. It was a single-seat fighter and ground-attack aircraft, designed to be a successor to the Hawker Hurricane. The Tempest was one of the fastest piston-engine aircraft of its time and played a crucial role in the later stages of the war.

Key features and information about the Hawker Tempest:

  1. Development: The development of the Hawker Tempest began in the early 1940s, and it was designed to address the shortcomings of the Hawker Typhoon, an earlier Hawker design. The Tempest featured a sleeker airframe and improved aerodynamics.
  2. Role: The Tempest primarily served as a low-level interceptor and ground-attack aircraft. It was designed to combat the threat of German V-1 flying bombs and to provide air support for ground forces.
  3. Engine: The Tempest was powered by a powerful Napier Sabre II or Sabre V engine, which gave it impressive speed and climb rates. The Tempest V variant, in particular, had a top speed of around 432 mph (695 km/h).
  4. Armament: The Tempest was typically armed with four 20mm Hispano Mk II cannons, which were effective against both air and ground targets. It could also carry bombs and rockets for ground-attack missions.
  5. Variants: The most common variant of the Hawker Tempest was the Tempest V, which was the main production model and saw extensive service in the latter part of World War II. There was also a Tempest II, which featured a Centaurus engine, but it saw limited use.
  6. Combat Record: The Hawker Tempest had a successful combat record, particularly in intercepting and destroying V-1 flying bombs, which were a significant threat to the United Kingdom during the later stages of World War II.
  7. Post-War Service: The Tempest continued to serve in the post-war period as a part of the Royal Air Force (RAF) and other air forces. It was used in various roles, including in the defense of the British Empire and in conflicts such as the Malayan Emergency.

The Hawker Tempest is remembered as a formidable and effective aircraft in the latter stages of World War II. Its speed and firepower made it a valuable asset for air defense and ground-attack missions.

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