Key's Hawker Typhoon

Author/Artists: Tony Buttler


Key Books


$24.95 MSRP from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 128 pages, soft cover, 9.5 x 6.7.
ISBN: 978-1-913870-90-4

Development of the Typhoon started before the start of WWII. It was to be a replacement fighter for the Hurricane and so, to hedge their bets, there were two nearly idential types started, each with a different engine. The Typhoon was powered by the Napier Sabre while the Tornado was to be powered by a Rolls Royce Vulture. The Vulture was already powering the Manchester bomber but was fraught with difficulties and just did not turn out to be a reliable engine. Not that it was all roses for the Sabre as it had its usual teething issues. Development was not helped with all work on both planes was halted in 1940 in order to concentrate on building extant types.

Though work on the Typhoon eventually started back, the Tornado was soon seen as a dead end and work quit in 1941 after one production aircraft came off the line. The prototypes and production plane were then used mostly as engine test beds with one converted to the Centaurus radial engine used for development for the Tempest II.

Thanks to the Typhoon's thick wing, it was a stable gun platform and was strong enough to handle underwing rocket projectiles. It also allowed the aircraft to have a fairly high diving speed, something that came in handy. It also meant that the plane, while fast, was not the greatest dog fighter. After a period of time tackling German fighter bombers, Typhoons gradually were devoted to a task in which they exceeded, and that is ground attack. while not the 'rocket carrying tank buster' about which one often reads, their heavy 20mm armament was quite effective as was their ability to carry up to 1,000 lb bombs under each wing. As such, when the ground fighting moved to the continent, they made up the majority of units operating with the 2nd TAF. With the follow-on Tempest being an even better fighter, the Typhoon quickly disappeared once the war was over.

 In this book, the author covers the development, deployment, and changes in the airframe. Quite a bit is provided on its operational service. This is also a photo book with lots of period photos, some of them in color.  It is well done and informative, which is what I think most people are looking for. As such, the book is very much recommended to you.

July 2022

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