Category Archives: Fighter


Westland “Whirlwind” Mk.I (Airfix)

TYPE: Escort fighter, fighter-bomber


POWER PLANT: Two Rolls-Royce Peregrine liquid-cooled engines, rated at 885 hp each

PERFORMANCE: 360 mph at 15,000 ft

COMMENT: The Westland “Whirlwind” was a British twin-engine heavy fighter developed by Westland Aircraft.. A contemporary of the Supermarine “Spitfire” and Hawker “Hurricane”, it was the Royal Air Force’s first single-seat, twin-engine, cannon-armed fighter. When it first flew in 1938, the “Whirlwind” was one of the fastest and most heavily-armed combat aircraft in the world. Protracted development problems with its Rolls-Royce “Peregrine” engines delayed the project and only a relatively small number of “Whirlwinds”, in total 116 aircraft, were built. During the Second World War, only three RAF squadrons were equipped with the Whirlwind, and despite its successful use as a fighter and ground-attack aircraft it was withdrawn from service in 1943. At least 67 Mk.I fighters were converted into Mk.II aircraft, nicknamed “Whirlibombers”. Lessons learned from the “Whirlwind” influenced the development of the high altitude fighter Westland “Welkin” (Ref.: 23).

Miles M.23 Milefire (Unicraft, Resin)

TYPE: Interceptor fighter. Project.


POWER PLANT: One Rolls-Royce Griffon liquid cooled engine, rated at 1,600 hp

PERFORMANCE: 470 mph at 15.000 ft

COMMENT: In 1941 a proposal was submitted to the Ministry of Aircraft Production for a high-speed single-seat fighter powered initially by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, and later – when in full production – by a more powerful Rolls-Royce Griffon engine. The aircraft was of wooden construction with the exception of the wing spars, which were of metal. Rather unusual it was fitted with a reverse tricycle undercarriage, the rear unit of which was provided with two positions, giving either a horizontal or a tail down attitude to the fuselage. The main undercarriage was folded inwards into the wings, giving a wide track. In order to reduce the frontal area, the windscreen and canopy were very low. To enable the pilot to have an adequate view for take-off and landing, he could raise his seat, the top of the canopy hinging up to form a windscreen. The wings were of elliptical planform, the root thickness rather high. The wing area was substantially less than on other existing fighter, resulting in a higher wing loading. The M.23 was not ordered, possibly because it was of wooden construction and possibly because the Ministry did not believe that, even with a Rolls-Royce Griffon engine, a speed of 470 mph would be attainable with a 20 percent thick wing (Ref.: Unicraft).

Hawker P.1030 Super Tempest (Unicraft, Resin)

TYPE: Fighter, fighter bomber. Project


POWER PLANT: One Rolls-Royce R. 46 supercharged, liquid-cooled engine, rated at 2.500 to 4.000 hp

PERFORMANCE: 508 mph at 25.000 ft

COMMENT: In 1944, in response to F.13/44 specification of the Air Ministry Sydney Camm, chief designer of the Hawker Aircraft Company, started a design, the P.1027, for a slightly enlarged “Tempest” fighter powered by a Rolls-Royce R. 46 engine, which was projected to develop around 2.500 to 4.000 hp. The engine would have driven eight-blade contra-rotating propellers. The radiator was to be moved into a ventral bath under the rear fuselage and wing center section. This design was soon rejected in favour of the P.1030, which featured wing leading edge radiators and larger overall dimensions. Top speed was expected to be app. 508 mph with a rate of climb of 6.400 ft/min and a service ceiling of about 42.000 ft. Both projects were dropped in favour of more promising turbojet engine designs Camm and his team was working on (Hawker P.1048) (Ref.: Unicraft)

Hawker Tempest V (Matchbox)

TYPE: Low- and medium-altitude fighter, fighter bomber


POWER PLANT: One Napier Sabre IIB liquid-cooled engine, rated at 2,200 hp

PERFORMANCE: 435 mph at 17,000 ft

COMMENT: The Tempest V preceded the Tempest II into production and squadron service, and was, in fact, the only variant of the Tempest series of fighters to be employed operationally during WW II. The Tempest V employed the well-tried Napier Sabre II engine of the Typhoon yet, despite its close family resemblance to the earlier fighter and the use of the same engine, it possessed a markedly superior performance, being an object lesson in aerodynamic refinement. The first production tempest V flew on June 1943 and the type entered service in April 1944. Within a couple of months the Tempest V was the fastest low-medium altitude fighter available to the RAF and had become the mainstay of Britain’s fighter defence against the German Fieseler Fi 103 Flying bomb (V 1). In total 801 Tempest V had been built. A further development of this famous fighter was the Tempest VI (Ref.: 12)



Hawker Tempest II (Matchbox)

TYPE: Interceptor, fighter bomber


POWER PLANT: One Bristol Centaurus V radial engine, rated at 2,520 hp

PERFORMANCE: 440 mph at 15,900 ft

COMMENT: The Tempest II was developed in parallel with the Tempest I and Tempest V, and owed much to experience gained with the Centaurus-powered Tornado prototype. The first Tempest II prototype flew initially on June 1943, being followed on September 1943 by the second prototype, but production priority was given to the Tempest V, and deliveries of the Tempest II did not commence until October 1944. The Tempest II was the most powerful fighter powered by a single piston engine to see service with the R.A.F. and was intended primarily for operations against the Japanese in Far East where its excellent range would undoubtedly have proved most useful. It was proposed that a wing of fifty Tempest IIs be sent to the Pacific in May 1945, but in the event, hostilities terminated before the fighter had been issued to the squadrons. A total of 462 Tempest II had been built (Ref.: 12).

Hawker Tempest Mk. VI with two 40 mm cannon (Matchbox)

TYPE: Low- and medium-altitude interceptor fighter, fighter-bomber


POWER PLANT: One Napier Sabre VA liquid-cooled engine, rated 2,340 hp

PERFORMANCE: 435 mph at 17,000 ft

COMMENT: The Tempest VI was derived from the Tempest Mk. V and was powered by a Napier Sabre VA engine. The prototype flew for the first time on May 1944. It showed an excellent performance and exceeded those of the Tempest V. Consequently, orders were placed, but the Tempest VI was too late to see operational service. It was the last piston-engine fighter of the RAF entering series production before the end of WW II and 142 Tempest VI were delivered. (Ref.: 13)

Hawker “Fury (Centaurus)” (Frog)

TYPE: Interceptor fighter, fighter bomber


POWER PLANT: One Bristol Centaurus XV radial engine, rated at 2,400 hp

PERFORMANCE: 455 mph at 24,000 ft

COMMENT: The fortuitous presentation of a Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-3 to the RAF in 1942 had profound influence on fighter-design thinking in the U.K. The authorities were surprised by the maneuverability, speed, and handling characteristics of this light-weight fighter. Thus, specification F.6/42 was released and Hawker Aviation offered a design called “Tempest Light Fighter (Centaurus)”. Earlier in 1941 the Hawker design team already had several projects as follower of the Hawker “Tempest”, a Sabre IV-powered P.1018, the Griffon 61-powered P 1019, and the Centaurus IV-powered P.1020. But all these remained in a project status. Early 1943 it was decided to combine the new specification F.2/43 for a land-based fighter and N.7/43 for a naval interceptor. Thus the responsibility for the development and construction of the land-based fighter (“Fury”) was taken by Hawker and Boulton-Paul accepting the task of adapting the aircraft for shipboard operations (“Sea Fury”). By December 1943 six prototypes had been ordered, two of these being powered by the Griffon, two by the Centaurus XXII, one by the Centaurus XII, the remaining prototype being a test structure. In April 1944 orders were placed for 200 F2/43 fighters for the R.A.F. and 200 fighters for the Royal Navy. The first flight of the Centaurus-powered prototype flew on September 1944, the second on November that year with the Griffon 85 engine, driving three-blade contra-rotating propellers. However, the third Fury prototype flew on July 1945 with the Centaurus XV engine. With the termination of the hostilities, the R.A.F. by now committed to a jet programme, cancelled all production contracts except a small number of “Sea Fury’s” for other foreign Allied Air Forces. (Ref.: 12).

Martin-Baker M.B.5 (Pegasus Models)

TYPE: Interceptor fighter


POWER PLANT: One Rolls-Royce Griffon 83 liquid-cooled engine, rated at 2,340 hp, driving a six-blade contra-rotating propeller

PERFORMANCE: 460 mph at 20,000 ft

COMMENT: The Martin-Maker M.B.5, developed on the basis of the Martin-Baker M.B.3,  was considered by many to represent the extreme limit of piston-engined fighter development. Apart from its superlative performance and handling characteristics, the M.B.5 had a number of outstanding qualities and the general design and layout was excellent and infinitely better than any other similar type of aircraft. It first took-off into the air on May 1944. Although all pilots who flew the M.B.5 in the following time were fulsome in their praise of its qualities it was not put into production, remaining one of the minor mysteries of the war (Ref: 12).

Gloster F.18/37 Boosted Fighter (Unicraft, Resin

TYPE: Fighter, interceptor. Project


POWER PLANT: One Rolls-Royce Griffon inline engine, rated at 1,730 hp, and one Whittle W.1A turbojet engine, rated at 390 kp

PERORMANCE: No data available

COMMENT: In 1939 the British Air Ministry issued Specification F.18/37 for a heavily armed interceptor. Beside the Bristol Aircraft Company, Gloster Aircraft proposed a design that, a novelty at that time, was to be powered by a Rolls-Royce Griffon piston engine and additionally by the brand new Whittle W.1A turbo engine. At least Hawker Aircraft Company submitted the best design that later became the Hawker Tornado. So in 1940 development of the Gloster Boosted Fighter was cancelled.

Martin-Baker M.B.3 (Airmodel, Resin)

TYPE: Interceptor, fighter


POWER PLANT: One Napier Sabre II liquid-cooled engine, rated at 2,020 hp

PERFORMANCE: 415 mph at 20,000 ft

COMMENT: In early 1942 the British Air Ministry issued specification F.18/39 that called for a single-seat fighter with a maximum speed of not less than 400mph at 15,000 ft, a service ceiling of not less than 35,000 ft, a fuel capacity sufficient for thirty minutes at maximum power, two hours at economical cruising speed plus thirty percent reserves, and a loaded weight not exceeding 12,000lb. To meet these requirements, the Martin-Baker Aircraft Company designed an aircraft, M.B.3, with remarkably strong structure, a phenomenally heavy armament, and good handling qualities. Two prototypes of the M.B.3 were ordered and the first of these was flown on August 1942. Trials indicated that the prototype was extremely maneuverable and processed excellent handling characteristics. On September 1942, during landing approach, the Sabre engines failed and the aircraft was completely destroyed. Construction of the second prototype, powered by a Rolls-Royce Griffon engine and the designation M.B.4 was abandoned in favor of an extensively redesigned model, the Martin-Baker M.B.5 (Ref.: 12)