Mythical fighter of the 2nd world war with its Napier Sabre engine of 24 cylinders in H without valves, capable of developing 3 000 horsepower.
Designed by Hawker's chief engineer Sydney Camm who designed it after the Hurricane.
The Tempest V was completed in only six months. Its fuselage was enlarged by one metre to accommodate an additional 400 litres of fuel. A true mechanical monster, it had a four-bladed propeller with a diameter of 4 metres and a landing gear with a track of 5 metres. Its wings are so thin, that special shortened Hispano-Suiza V-type guns are specifically developed for this model. Its tiny cockpit is set further back and a clear plastic bubble is used to increase visibility.
The Tempest with the Napier Sabre IIC engine offers unrivalled performance among the Allied aircraft inventory of World War II1 :
Maximum speed in level flight at 13 lbs. of intake and 3850 rpm approaches 735 to 745 km/h. In overdrive (emergency) power rises to 3000 hp and 4000 rpm, speed reaches nearly 820 km/h. In a nose-down attitude at 5,000 m, the Tempest reaches 800 km/h. In overspeed, during the war it was the only Allied aircraft to reach a transonic speed of 1100 to 1200 km/h.
In 1944, the Luftwaffe aligned new aircraft like the Focke-Wulf 190 D9 to remedy this situation, the Wing 122 of the RAF was sent to Holland on the airport of Volkel with Tempest. This squadron was an elite unit to which only the most experienced pilots who had already completed a tour of operations could gain access, as in the case of the Tempest NV723 which we present here, flown by the French ace with 33 victories, Pierre Clostermann, hero of the FAFL.
Until the end of the war there was only one squadron equipped with Tempests: the 122.