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Hawker Typhoon 1B

Hawker Typhoon 1B
Serial No: MN235
Period: WWII
Reference: 74/A/27
Museum: London
Location: Hangars 3 and 4
On Display: Yes

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Originally designed as a twelve-gun fighter, the Typhoon was intended to be the successor to the Hurricane. It suffered many development problems both with the airframe and its twenty-four cylinder Napier Sabre engine.

At the time of its introduction in 1941, it was the first 400mph fighter in the RAF and proved a match for the low level tip-and-run Focke-Wulf Fw190s. It was, however, in the low level close support role that the Typhoon excelled. From August 1942 it began offensive sweeps over France, Belgium and Holland, attacking enemy airfields and communications.

From the beginning of 1944 the build up of 2nd Tactical Air Force resulted in more and more Typhoon squadrons being formed and by D-Day there were no fewer than twenty-six equipped with the type. The Typhoon reached the height of its fame operating as a tank destroyer.

During the final European campaign, the aircraft flew in standing patrols, known as "cab ranks" awaiting calls from ground forces to make immediate strikes against any German target which lay in the path of Allied troops. They disrupted enemy communications and wrought havoc amongst his transport both on land and at sea, thereby playing a decisive part in many of the final battles.

With the end of the war in Europe the Typhoon's specialised role was finished and it quickly disappeared from service.

The aircraft displayed is believed to be the only surviving Typhoon. It was presented to the RAF Museum by the Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, USA.

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