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Posted 01 November 2015 - 07:31 PM



     This is one of the truly great piston engine fighters that just missed becoming operational in WW2. The following information comes from a report with the heading CENTRAL FIGHTER ESTABLISHMENT and is dated 5th May 1945. The actual title of the report is TACTICAL TRIALS - TEMPEST II, COMPARISON WITH TEMPEST V AND THUNDRBOLT II. REPORT NO. 30  (A.F.D.S. REPORT No. 164).

Note: There is a graph accompanying this report. The following performance figures are from this graph. I apologize ahead of time for the climb figures. They may be off a little. The speed performance line was fairly easy to read but the climb performance line was somewhat difficult.


Altitude / Speed / Climb

Meters / mph / fpm

S.L.      417 / 4685

1,000   425 / 4195

2,000   425 / 4180

3,000   439 / 3960

4,000   449 / 3475

5,000   449 / 2995

6.000   447 / 2515

7,000   443 / 2035

8,000   435 / 1550

9,000   422 / 1070



Full throttle height low s/c: 425 mph./1,535 ft.

Switch low/high s/c: 425 mph./7,235 ft.

Full throttle height high s/c: 449 mph./11,750 ft. 


Critical altitude low s/c: 4,685 fpm./S.L.

Switch low/high s/c: 4,200 fpm./2,750 ft.

Critical altitude high s/c: 4,170 fpm./8,400 ft.


Combat: 30,000 ft.

Operational: 33,400 ft.

Service: 36,130 ft.


Wing Area: 303.7 sq. ft.


Combat Weight: 11,510 lbs.


Engine: Centaurus V: 2,650 hp./2,700 rpm./+12 psi./S.L.   2,300 hp./2,700 rpm./+8 psi./5,000 ft.


Wing loading: 37.90 -lbs./sq. ft.


Power Loading: 4,343+lbs.



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Posted 01 November 2015 - 08:02 PM




     45. The Tempest II is 15 mph. faster up to 20,000 ft., dropping to 10 mph. from 4,000-7,000 ft., it then increases its advantage to 20 mph. at 12,000 ft., dropping again to 10 mph. at 15,000 ft. and holding this advantage up to its ceiling.


Acceleration in straight and level flight

     46. The Tempest II is definitely superior when opened up from cruising or slow speeds to full throttle, and rapidly goes away from the Tempest V.



     47. The Tempest II has a better rate of climb at all heights than the Tempest V, being 350 fpm. better up to 3,000 ft., increasing to 1,000 fpm. from 7,500 ft. to 8,500 ft., dropping to 400 fpm. at 12,500 ft. and maintaining this advantage up to its service ceiling.


Zoom Climbs

     48. In zoom climb at equal power settings, the two aircraft are very similar, but at full throttle the extra power of the Centaurus V gives the Tempest II a definite advantage.



     49. The two aircraft are identical.


Turning Circles

     50. There is very little to choose between the two aircraft, if anything the Tempest V appears to have a slight advantage.


Rates of Roll

     51. During the trials carried out, the Tempest II proved definitely superior to the Tempest V at speeds up to 500 mph. I.A.S. As the two aircraft have the same airframe there appears to be no aerodynamic reason for why the Tempest II should be better (Note: horse power/torque). It is therefore assumed that the ailerons on Tempest II MW.754 are above the average, and may not be truly representative of a production aircraft (CORSNING note: Or might just be).



     52. The Tempest II is superior to the Tempest V in every way, except in the turn where the Mk.II is at a slight disadvantage.


This information can be viewed at http://www.wwiiaircr...est-II-cfe.html.

and is brought to you by Mike Williams.

Edited by CORSNING, 05 January 2017 - 08:10 PM.



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Posted 02 November 2015 - 07:29 PM




     54. The Thunderbolt has a greater radius of action at all engine settings and at all heights.



     55. The Tempest II is some 80 mph. faster up to 2,000 ft., dropping to 60 mph. at 7,000 ft. then increasing to 70 mph. at 12,000 ft.  After this it drops rapidly to 40 mph. at 20,000 ft. and the two aircraft are the same at 28,000 ft. Above this height the Tempest falls off progressively, becoming 20 mph. slower at 31,000 ft.

Note: The Thunderbolt tested was not fitted with water injection, the figures quoted are based on the maximum power at 58"Hg.


Acceleration in straight and level flight

     56. The Tempest has an advantage at all heights. Even at high altitude where the Thunderbolt is faster, the Tempest pulls away initially.



     57. The Tempest II is better by 2,000 fpm. at ground level, decreasing to 1,500 fpm. at 8,000 ft., then decreasing rapidly until parity is reached at 21,000 ft. Above this height the Tempest falls off progressively, being 500 fpm. slower at 28,000 ft.


Zoom Climbs

     58. At low altitudes and equal power the Thunderbolt has a slight advantage, but at full power and at high altitudes the Tempest has a definite advantage.



     59. The Tempest II always out-dives the Thunderbolt, the advantage being more marked at full throttle.


Turning Circle

     60. The Tempest II can always out-turn the Thunderbolt, the advantage being more marked to the left.


Rate of Roll

     61. At speeds up to 300 I.A.S. there is little to choose between the two, the Tempest having a slight advantage to the right and the Thunderbolt to the left. Above 300 I.A.S. the Tempest becomes increasingly superior.



     62. It is difficult to make a clear-cut comparison between the performance of these two aircraft, as the Tempest is a comparatively low altitude fighter and the Thunderbolt was designed as a high altitude aircraft. The Tempest is superior at altitudes below 21,000 ft., except in range and endurance. Above this height the Thunderbolt comes into its own, and is increasingly better with altitude.



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Posted 02 November 2015 - 08:12 PM

                                                              SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS



     The Tempest II possesses very high performance at low or medium altitudes and is therefore eminently suitable for ground attack or for air combat at those altitudes.

     Its radius of action is approximately the same as that of the Tempest V but considerably inferior to that of the Thunderbolt II. The tactical value of the aircraft would be enhanced if a long range tank could be carried as well as bombs. or R.P.: the provision of an extra 90 gallons fuel tank would increase the radius of action by 175 miles at fast cruising or 250 at economical cruising speed.



     The Tempest II is easy to fly and handles pleasantly in all maneuvers. Its very high speed has been achieved with moderate wing loading and a high degree of maneuverability has therefore been retained. This aircraft, however, can never be equal in this respect to the current "Ju Jitsu" Japanese fighter which has sacrificed speed and armor for exaggerated maneuverability.



     The fire power of the Tempest II is formidable, especially with the increased rate of fire available from the Mark V 20 mm. cannon. Although the duration of fire is similar to other contemporary British fighters, it is for consideration whether it sill be entirely adequate to meet all possible operational contingencies in S.E.A.C.

     One bomb hook is incorporated under each wing but none under the fuselage. Provision is made for the carriage of R.P. on Mark III or Mark VIII installations. The fitting of a bomb hook under the fuselage would also represent a valuable addition to the potential striking power of this aircraft.


Aiming Qualities (gun platform)

     In comparison with other British contemporary fighters the aiming qualities of Tempest II are good. Like all single-engine aircraft without contra-rotating propellers it is sensitive to changes in speed which involve continual rudder trimming or application of heavy foot loads to prevent skid. This is a major source of inaccuracy in ground attack.

     The aircraft is considered a good sighting platform but it is not yet known what effect the engine vibration may have on the Gyro Gun Sight installation.



     Mechanically, the engine has been found most reliable. Pilots, however, may at first feel concern about the vibration which occurs at certain engine settings although this has not been found to affect engine reliability.

     The need for attention to cylinder temperatures between the economical cruising boost and the rated boost gates is a disadvantage, especially to pilots searching or flying in formation.



     For ground attack, the advantages of comparative invulnerability and the protection offered to the pilot by the air cooled radial engine need no stressing. The armor protection is satisfactory for air combat. No provision has been made for ground attack.



     The Tempest II possesses an ample margin of performance over any known current Japanese fighter and the fitting therefore of R.P. and bomb installations should not materially prejudice the aircraft's superiority in air combat.

#5 Mercman


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Posted 10 September 2016 - 08:35 AM

The Tempest F.6 was the final Tempest production variant, which like the Tempest II, saw RAF service, post-war. 

Powered by an uprated Napier Sabre engine it incorporated the improvements included in the Centaurus-powered Tempest II,

& as such, by using wing root engine air ram intakes, & leading edge oil-cooler, utilized the whole 'chin scoop' for a tropical spec radiator.


Here are a couple of period  'Flight' articles featuring the Tempest F.6 performance figures,


ADI installation for 3000hp rating: http://www.flightglo...946 - 1455.html


& here below, a speed/height test graph - of which the line at far right shows the  'standard Tempest 6'  running +17.25lbs boost,

for 418 mph sea-level, 435 mph at 5,000 ft, & 455 mph at 17,000 ft.


http://www.flightglo...948 - 1660.html

Edited by Mercman, 10 September 2016 - 08:39 AM.

#6 TheArtOfFlight


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Posted 31 December 2016 - 03:35 PM

I have to say it's interesting to note the big differences in some of these statistics. And im not just limiting this to this thread. I personally dont find paper stats to be of any genuine value other than for rough guide to an aircrafts possible capabilities.


A lot of the data is done/recorded during testing/calculation and projections. Plus nobody seems to take into account the many variables. Such as wind factor/engine performance (some engines just run wrong or get set up incorrectly. Aerodynamics. Atmospheric conditions. We all know a piston engine will run a lot better in mist/fine rain, as the oxygen in the droplets/vapor means a better mixture of air/fuel/density is forced into the cylinders. I still believe no matter what aircraft it all comes down to the set up/ the man flying the plane/conditions for flying and engine/aircraft management. Aircraft Stats/data are not 100% accurate proof of the plane or the engine in question. In my experience pilot testimony/evaluation is better.



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Posted 31 December 2016 - 03:51 PM

I have a great deal to answer to your statements. But they and your post are completely inappropriate to

this thread. So I would appreciate if you or anyone else wish to make general comment or reply to those

comments, please start a new thread.

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#8 GregP


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Posted 03 January 2017 - 11:20 AM

Comparative testing is always fraught with variables ... the pilots, the state of rig and tune, the actual weight, the finish (did it get waxed?), and a lot of other things. Some several tests are required to be sure.


But a single performance test can give a good indication of the delta betweern aircraft types. Most "identical" planes have top speeds about ±2 - 4% and that differnece means nothing. Above about 5% starts to be intersting. Rate of climb is dependent upon power. If a fighter makes mear spec, it was flying fine. If not (say 10%), the engine was weak. If more, you got a strong one.


Roll is harder to define, because crew chiefs could extend the aileron travel if they wanted to, make it spec, or even reduce it. I distrust almost all roll specs, especially German test of Allied planes and Allied tests of German planes. Neither side probably had the surface travel specs for the particular aircraft on hand, and may have adjusted it for more or less throw based on their pwn practices. But, comments about slow roll breakout are valid anytime. Roll rate is largely dependent on travel up and down on both sides. No measurements on captured aircraft tests means the roll rates are suspect due to being done with unknown control throws.


Good post, Corsining. Nice data, if only one sided, I'll try to find the other side, which I'm sure you posted already ... somewhere.


Take care.

#9 [email protected]

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 07:41 PM

Hi Jeff, re the above stats on the tempest,just one word ,Excellent, found stats very interesting ,keep it going son. Thanks for your input..
Best Regards

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