by Bjørn Jacobsen
One of World War II’s most potent ground attack aircraft
and the first plane to provide efficient ‘close air support’
Building the Typhoon
The model is 1/48 from Hasegawa and quite simple and easy to put together.
The only modification I made was for the propeller. Since this model will mostly be displayed in flight, it is important that I can make the propeller spin.
What I did was to glue a 2mm brass tube from the cockpit and to the front of the airplane. Then I glued a 0,8mm brass rod into the spinner as a kind of propeller shaft.
When placing the rod into the tube and lubricate with graphite, the propeller will easily spin with a little help from a vent (I often use a hairdryer)
When the plane was ready, I painted it with Alcad Aluminium, then the white on the aft fuselage and wings (for the stripes) and then the black stripes.
All paints are diluted with 10-15% white to compensate for the scale-factor, and for the white, I used the off-white colour, added a little grey.
The black/white stripes was called Distinctive Markings (or invasion stripes) and was painted by the ground crew over the normal camouflage shortly before the D-day in a water-based matt distemper.
The stripes was painted just a day or two before the invasion, and there was many variation in the location and size of the markings, both between the squadrons and even within the same squadron.
The camouflage of the Typhoon was in the conventional Day Fighter Scheme of Dark Green and Ocean Grey on the upper surfaces and Medium Sea Grey on the under surfaces. Of course, most of the camouflage was covered by the black/white markings
The next step in painting the model was
to apply Duck Egg Green on the spinner and tail band, and then the ordinary camouflage.
I have so far made the model with the wheel doors closed.
The reason is that I want to take some pictures of the Typhoon in flight, hence no wheel.
When the “in flight” pictures have been taken, the wheels will be glued on.
The next steps are decals and the weathering.
Nicknamed the “Tiffy”, the prototype Typhoon first flew in Feb1940
and was delivered for operational purposes in September 1941.
One of the many initial problems with Typhoon was the Sabre
engine which failed to perform well above 4.500m (15,000ft)
However, at low level, the Typhoon was very agile and fast.
The Spitfire and Hurricane had problems when meeting the
legendary Fw 190’s at low level, but the Typhoon had not, in fact
the Typhoon was the only British fighter which could match the
190’s speed.This was very important because low-level Luftwaffe
attacks were common in 1942. The Typhoon was therefore rushed
to the front without fully being tested.
Frantic efforts were made to overcome the problems with the Sabre
engine. In mid-1943 the engine problems was solved, which greatly
increased the operational value of the Typhoon.
And additional “problem” with the Typhoon was the profile which
resembled an Fw 190 from some angles. This caused more than
one “friendly fire” incident with Allied anti-aircraft units and other
This led to Typhoons being marked up with high visibility black and
white stripes under the wings, long before this marking was made
as a D-day recognition marking.
In late 1942, the Typhoon was given a bomb-carrying capability,
but it is most famous for carrying rocker projectiles (RP’s).
Initially the Typhoons bomb racks for its 250 or 500 lb bombs racks
could be interchanged with RP racks. However, the procedure for
changing was long and time wasting and as a result, the Typhoon
became a platform for either bombs or RP’s – but not both.
The Typhoon started carrying RP’s in October 1943. Mostly eight
high explosives or semi-armour piercing RP’s were used, four on
each wing for low level attacks against trains, tanks etc.
On D-Day, the Typhoon was the main close support aircraft for the
RAF’s 2nd Tactical Support Force (TAF) that assisted British and
Canadian troops as they landed in Normandy. Eighteen Typhoon
squadrons flew on June 6th 1944. Eleven were RP carrying and
the rest carried bombs.
The Typhoon was frequently in action as the Allies drove east
across Europe to Nazi Germany.
Typhoon pilots maintained a ‘cab rank’ 10.000`feet over a battle
field so that they could strike immediacy when they were required.
The Typhoon gave very effective cover during the ‘Battle of the
Hedgerows’ as the Allies moved out of Normandy and further into
Although very effective against trains, trucks, wagons, artillery,
half-tracks, armoured cars and infantry, the Typhoon only rarely
destroyed German heavy tanks.
In one British study, it was found that the average Typhoon pilot
firing a barrage of all eight rockets had only a four percent chance
of striking a target the size of a tank. Besides, only the engine
doors and the tracks of the heavy tanks were vulnerable to the
rockets and 20 mm canon fire of the Hawker Typhoon
On the other hand, a rocket attack from the Typhoons often had a
fierce deterrent effect on the German soldiers who often
abandoned their vehicles and fled away during a Typhoon attack.
3.317 Hawker Typhoons were built, the last delivered in Nov 1945.
One year later, all of them were scraped. Just one Typhoon which
had had been sent to US in 1944 for evaluation, survived the
This is now at display at RAF Museum, Hendon (picture to the right)
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