Hawker Typhoon: With 20/20 hindsight

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by gjs238, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    With 20/20 hindsight, would the resources put into this aircraft have been better used elsewhere?
     
  2. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    #2 Shortround6, Mar 24, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
    Kind of depends doesn't it?

    With 20/20 hindsight get rid of that whacking thick airfoil and pick-up some performance from the get go rather than wait for the Tempest to come along.

    With 20/20 hindsight beat Bristol management over the head with a club and get them to give the production "secret" of sleeve valves to Napier sooner to help sort out reliability and production problems.

    With 20/20 hindsight get more machine tools to England sooner to help with production of the Sabre

    With 20/20 hindsight get Napier to solve quality control of production engines rather than futz around with an increasing number of prototype engines including 3 speed two stage supercharger set ups.

    with 20/20 hindsight fairly reliable Tempest Vs could have been going into service in the fall/winter of 1942 instead of the Spring/summer of 1944 although perhaps a bit down on power.
     
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  3. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    #3 nuuumannn, Mar 24, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
    All good, SR, also, how about avoiding Napier and Halford's overly complex engines altogether and go with fitting a Griffon, which the not built Tempest III was to be powered by with a smaller chin radiator than the traditional one. This was a layout favoured by Camm as the Griffon was lighter than the Sabre, although longer. The Tempest III was to be fitted with a Griffon IIB and the also not built Tempest IV with a Griffon 61. The Air Ministry was worried about the time such an aeroplane would take to get into service and so neither was proceded with, despite Hawker being favourably disposed to the idea. There was actual discussion about fitting a Griffon to the Typhoon, but Camm felt instead of modifying the Tiffie, a new airframe was needed.
     
  4. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    making a tail section that would stay with the aircraft from take off to landing would be a big help (yes I know it wasnt so simplistic)
     
  5. Clayton Magnet

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    Didnt a tempest fly with a griffon engine, with leading edge radiators and oil cooler? I seem to remember it having blazing performance as well.
     
  6. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    Add to this better quality control at Napier and giving Hawker some information about sympathetic vibrations, as well as re-designing the exhaust system attachements for the Sabre, so Co2 doesn't leak into the cockpits.
     
  7. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Not a Tempest. You might be describing the Tempest I prototype, which had the leading edge radiators, but was powered by a Sabre. A Fury was powered by a Griffon though, LA610, but this was later fitted with a Sabre. The serial of this aircraft was to be allocated to one of the Tempest III prototypes, but since that was never built , it got used for the Fury instead.

    It was originally the Typhoon II that was to be powered by a Griffon.
     
  8. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    The Tempest III was to be powered by a Griffon II.
    The Tempest IV was to be powered by a Griffon 61.
    (Or vice versa).

    LA610 started life as a Griffon Tempest, but ended up as a Fury prototype.

    The problem with the Griffon in the Typhoon/Tempest/Fury series is that it wasn't as powerful as the others being contemplated (Sabre, Vulture - if it had continued, Centaurus, R-3350) and didn't gain any aerodynamic benefit from its lower frontal area because the airframe was designed to accept the others.
     
  9. Clayton Magnet

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    Thanks for the info. So why did Hawker continue with the giant chin radiator, when it was such a drag on performance? My guess was that it worked, it was available when required, and it was good enough.
     
  10. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Much of the performance gain for the Tempest I was through usage of the up-rated Sabre IV, however that engine remained in experimental stage. The Tempest I with LE radiators is a looker, that's for sure :)
    As for the crystal-ball Typhoon - mostly what SR6 said. I'd like to see it with wing increased to maybe 300 sq ft, and with 200 imp gal of internal fuel. The Griffon was probably not an option unless it's a two stage variety, and that means it will not enter combat until early 1944.
     
  11. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm, after reading all of the above, 20/20 seems to indicate a thumbs-down.
     
  12. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    #12 nuuumannn, Mar 25, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2014
    Exactly that order. Tempest I: Sabre IV (HM599), Tempest II: Centaurus IV (LA602 and LA607) Tempest III: Griffon IIB (LA610), Tempest IV: Griffon 61 (LA614), Tempest V Sabre II (HM595).

    Quite right! :oops: It was not completed before being modified as the Fury.

    A Typhoon I was sent to Derby for a trial installation with a Griffon and one of the Typhoon IIs was to be modified with a Griffon 61. Further plans were made with differing engine installations, but it was decided that a name change was in order and thus those prototypes became the list above.
     
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  13. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The thing is it can go either way. Given the amount of problems and the not so great return from the Typhoon/Tempest a case can certainly be made that the effort may well have paid better dividends if expended elsewhere. However since a number of those problems were actually rather easy to fix (with hindsight) a better performing plane with fewer problems could have been had with little or actually less change in overall effort. The effect of having a reliable "Tempest" in the fall of 1941 or spring of 1942 even if down several hundred horsepower from 1944 levels would certainly have affected the FW 190 situation.
     
  14. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    A less problematic better performing Typhoon might allow for good numbers to be deployed in the MTO too? Especially in case a decent internal fuel load.
     
  15. OldSkeptic

    OldSkeptic Active Member

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    Basically .... yes.

    The Typhoon was a disaster. At a critical time it took away resources from the British war effort. There was nothing it could do that a Spit couldn't do (with the correct engine).
    Hawker should have been forced to make Spits.

    But, as usual political connections help. While RAF pilots were being slaughtered in obsolete Hurricanes in 41 and 42 and 43....

    But Sydney Camm, (in some ways he has so many parallels to Willy) was well connected politically. So Hurricanes kept being made.
    Plus, like Willy he 'promised' a lot...
    So much so that the Spitfire was going to be cancelled in 1940 (really), because the new 'super' Typhoon was going to be (amongst others) the new RAF planes in 1941.

    Didn't work. Because Sydney stuffed up. Thick wing, massive harmonic/structural issues, huge and heavy (Stanley did like his big planes, the Hurricane was massive compared to the 109 or Spit). Didn't like thin wings. The weight meant to have any performance needed a huge engine...and that meant a non RR one ... and RR were the unequaled kings of supercharger performance (compared to anyone)... so no matter how good it was (and it wasn't) it was going to be a slug at high altitude (as was the Tempest, good as it was).

    To be fair, unlike Willy, though he was a similar political autocrat, he learned. Hence the Tempest, with a thin semi ellipitical wing (that he hated) for the same technical reasons that Mitchell's team did (and his was a proper team, he was no autocrat).
     
  16. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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    Was tail failure really that big of a problem? Going thru the Typhoon lost list there is only a few and that was early.
     
  17. OldSkeptic

    OldSkeptic Active Member

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    Yep it was.
     
  18. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    #18 tomo pauk, Mar 28, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2014
    Agreed with what you said, but the 1st quoted paragraph is a misleading one.
    The Typhoon was smaller than US fighters with R-2800. Even with ones without turbos. The Typhoon have had the wing area of 279 ft², P-47 was at 300 ft² (F4U and F6F have had more), Hurricane was at 257.5 ft². The Spitfire was at the ballpark with Hurricane at 242.1 sq ft. Tempest have had a thinner, but also a bigger wing - 302 ft².
    The Bf-109 was the small fighter, wing area of 173.3 ft². Compared with it, both Hurricane and Spitfire were huge.
    As for the what was wanted/needed - RAF was eager to move to 2000 HP class of engines, and so was tailoring their specifications. A big engine demands a big airframe, anyway we cut it. Let's not forget the Tornado, that have had a huge RR engine installed. Also the prototype (prototypes?) with Centaurus was tested.
    The Tempest was no slug at altitude - it was faster than acclaimed Fw-190D-9, being available a half a year earlier. The Typhoon with a thinner wing from the get-go, even if it is a conventional 15% thick NACA 230 profile, should beat any Fw-190A at all altitudes.
    Did Camm really hated semi-elliptical wings??
     
  19. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Might be placing a bit too much blame on Sydney.
    In 1938/39 if you wanted big power you needed a big engine. Rolls-Royce Vulture ( about 1000lbs heavier than a Merlin), Sabre (also around 1000lbs heavier) and Bristol Centaurus (also....) are not going to fit into a Spitfire or Hurricane sized/weight airframe. Rolls-Royce, while perhaps a small bit ahead of other companies in supercharger design doesn't make any big leaps forward until after they hire Hooker in Jan 1938 first results don't show up until late 1939 (?) with prototype Merlin XX? and now it is almost 2 years into design work on the Typhoon. Typhoons are in combat before the Spitfire IX with the two stage Merlin so it is a little hard to blame Sir Sydney for not using the 2 stage Merlin.

    Camm was not the only British designer who went down the thick wing trail. Apparently the 'boffins" at the RAE were telling British designers that there no drag problems with thick wings. Since I doubt that ANY British company had their own wind tunnels at the time they could either believe the RAE or not. Mitchell and his team did not but they din't have much more than gut feelings for doing so. Initial 'estimate' for the Beaufighter called for 370mph so somebody had some bad data or formula.
     
  20. Aozora

    Aozora Well-Known Member

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    What resources did the Typhoon take away from the war effort? At the time the prototypes were being built and tested the RAF was receiving as many Spitfires and Hurricanes as it could handle, while there were other aircraft in production that could also be accused, with far more justification, of taking resources from the war effort. By the time the Typhoon was in production the Spitfire was being hoarded for the European theatre at a time when it was desperately needed in the Mediterranean and S/E Asia - not the fault of the Typhoon.

    As it was the Typhoon proved timely enough to be able to intercept the pesky low-altitude jabo 190s and 109s, when the Spitfire XII, as good as it was, was only just getting into service and in insufficient numbers

    There were a lot of things the Typhoon could do that the Spitfire couldn't; for one thing - partially because of that thick wing - it proved capable of lugging a pair of 1,000 lb bombs, or up to 12 3" rockets (the Brits really should have adopted the zero-length rails a lot sooner than they did) plus 4 20mm cannon with plenty of ammo along with about 700 lbs of armour and, of course, it was a rock-steady weapons platform at lower altitudes. With 2 drop tanks - something the Spitfire couldn't carry, it could range all over France and the low countries.

    So, no the Typhoon was not a disaster.
     
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