Hawker Tornado

Orthographic projection of the second prototype Tornado, with the distinctive “beard” radiator, modified tail and fitted for four cannons. Inset profile of the first prototype in the original configuration looking very much like an enlarged Hurricane.

Hawker’s proposals for a Hurricane replacement comprised two alternative projects, one with a Napier Sabre engine, known initially as the Type N, and the other with a Rolls-Royce Vulture, referred to as Type R. The former later became the Typhoon and the latter the Tornado, both developed to Air Ministry Specification F. 18/37 which called for a high performance single-seat fighter with 12 0.303-in (7.7-mm) machine-guns. It was to have a minimum speed of 400 mph (644 km/hi at 15,000 ft (4570 m), and a service ceiling of 35,000 feet (10 670 ml.

Two prototypes of each design were ordered on 3 March 1938, both structurally similar the major differences being dictated by the characteristics of the respective engines. The front fuselage of the Tornado was extended by 1 ft (0.30 m), the wings fitted three inches (0.08 m) lower on the fuselage, and the radiator located beneath the fuselage; the general appearance was, therefore, very similar to that of the Hurricane.

The first prototype was moved from Kingston to Langley for completion and its first flight was made on 6 October 1939, the pilot being P. G. Lawrence. Flight trials revealed airflow problems around the radiator, which was relocated to a chin position, and the aircraft was test-flown in its new configuration on 6 December. Later changes included increased rudder area, and the installation of a Rolls-Royce Vulture V engine.

The second prototype, completion of which was delayed by concentration on Hurricane production, featured the chin radiator, additional window panels in the fairing behind the cockpit, and four 20-mm cannon in place of the 12 machine-guns. Its first flight was made on 5 December 1940, powered by a Vulture II, although as in the case of the first machine, a Vulture V was later installed.

Five hundred production aircraft were ordered in late 1939, and sub-contracted to Avro at Manchester; only one was actually completed and flown, at Woodford, on 29 August 1941. Shortly afterwards the Vulture programme was abandoned, closely followed by cancellation of the Tornado order. One other Tornado, the third prototype, was flown on 23 October 1941, powered by a 2,120-hp (1581-kW) Bristol Centaurus CE. 4S engine, and this was the progenitor of the Hawker Tempest II.


General characteristics

    Crew: One, pilot

    Length: 32 ft 10 in (10.01 m)

    Wingspan: 41 ft 11 in (12.78 m)

    Height: 14 ft 8 in (4.47 m)

    Wing area: 283 ft² (26.3 m²)

    Empty weight: 8,377 lb (3,800 kg)

    Loaded weight: 9,520 lb (4,318 kg) for P5219

    Useful load: 2,291 lb (1,039 kg)

    Max. takeoff weight: 10,668 lb (4,839 kg)

    Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce Vulture II or V [C 1] X-24 piston engine, 1,760 hp (1,312 kW) Vulture II

    (Vulture V: 1,980 hp (1,476))[C 2]

    Propellers: 3 or 4 bladed propeller

        Propeller diameter: 13 feet 3 in (Vulture: 12 feet 9 in)

    Fuel capacity: 140 gallons (636 Litres)


    Maximum speed: 398 mph (641 km/h) for Vulture V at 23,300 ft (7,102 m).[C 3]

    Service ceiling: 34,900 ft (10,640 m)

    Wing loading: max takeoff: 37.7 lb/ft² (184.81 kg/m²)

    Power/mass: max takeoff 5.38 lb/hp (3.58 kg/Kw)

    Time to height: 7.2 min to 20,000 ft (6,100 m)


    Guns: Provision for 12 × .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns (1st prototype P5219) or 4 × 20 mm Hispano cannon. (2nd and Centaurus prototypes P5224, HG641).


TR 9 VHF R/T fitted (P5224)

    or Bristol Centaurus CE 4S

    Centaurus: 2,210 hp (1,648 kW)

    Centarus gave 402 mph (647 km/h) at 18,000 ft (5,486 m)

BOOK: Hawker Tornado, Typhoon, Tempest V

Spotlight ON • 2016 Authors Janusz Światłoń Illustrator Janusz Światłoń

Janusz Swiatlon authors the ninth book in Mushroom Model Publications’ series that presents detailed illustrations of celebrated aircraft (and in one case, AFV). This volume’s focus is on the Hawker Tornado, Typhoon, and Tempest V fighters that display a variety of authentic camouflage schemes and markings. A native of Krakow Poland, Janusz Swiatlon, is an aviation history enthusiast and military modeler. He has retired for the Polish military after serving with the 6th Airborne Brigade. He has a long history of being published as an illustrator and as an author for many magazines and books from publishing houses as Osprey, Kagero, AF Editores, Chevron, and Mushroom Model Publications.

There are forty-six color profiles of Hawker Tornados, Typhoons, and Tempests along with several top and front views. Where appropriate, enlarged scrap views focus on unique markings. All of the subject aircraft have a short biography that discusses the camouflage in British colors as well as the pilots and service history where available. Although not advertised on the cover, this edition includes “Extra 1 Big Profile”. This huge side profile is a fold out of four pages and features a Hawker Typhoon Mk Ib of 609 Squadron RAF. I particularly enjoyed a Hawker Typhoon Mk Ib that where Janusz Swiatlon provided left and right profiles as well as a top view and a frontal view. This aircraft was the personal aircraft of 145 Squadron Leader Anthony Zweigbergk, MP197, and featured a big shark mouth painted on the radiator scoop. Mushroom Model Publications’ has provided a page by page preview at: http://mmpbooks.biz/ksiazki/317

The Table of Contents includes the following sections:

  1. Introduction (Page 1)
  2. Hawker Tornado (Page 3)
  3. Hawker Tornado Mk Ia (Page 6)
  4. Hawker Typhoon Mk Ia
  5. Hawker Typhoon Mk Ib (Page 11 and 31)
  6. Hawker Typhoon TT Mk I
  7. Hawker Tempest Mk I
  8. Hawker Tempest Mk V (Page 47)

This edition of ‘Spotlight On’ provides an interesting view into a chapter of aviation history. A quick search of the wild world web shows that there are plenty of Typhoon and Tempest decals, so re-creating any of the featured aircraft should be of no issue. The Hawker Tornado is a separate issue since only four airframes were produced and to my knowledge has only been kitted in 1/72 (LF Models 7213 kit of the first prototype, P5219, with the belly radiator.

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