Second World War Tempest fighter lands at RAF Museum Cosford

With its powerful engine and devastating cannons, it was once one of the heavyweights of the Second World War.

Visitor experience assistant Martin Hill, from Claverley, with the new arrival now on display at the RAF Cosford Museum
Visitor experience assistant Martin Hill, from Claverley, with the new arrival now on display at the RAF Cosford Museum

Now sitting in pride of place, the Hawker Tempest II is a major new attraction at the RAF Cosford Museum.

Following a month-long closure during lockdown, the museum has reopened its doors and is keen for visitors to come and see the impressive aircraft.

The fighter plane was transported by road from the museum’s London site in February and has undergone some remedial work in the Conservation Centre at Cosford, where it is now on public display in the War in the Air hangar.

The Museum’s example served with No. 5 Squadron RAF, based at Peshawar (now part of Pakistan), before being transferred to the Royal Indian Air Force in 1947. Providing close-air support to the Indian Army, the Tempest remained in front line Indian service until 1953. It was later acquired by the RAF Museum and has been on public display in London since 1991.

Museum curator Tom Hopkins said: "It was developed towards the end of the Second World War. It's a pretty meaty aircraft. It's built around a powerful engine and had four 20mm cannons, which was a marked step up from the Spitfire, that was dominant in the early stages of the war.

"It remained in service for quite a while after the end of the war. They were the most powerful aircraft that the RAF used until jets started to take over.

"There has been some remedial work taking place, nothing major. It's the first time it's been up at Cosford so it's really good to see it."

Visitors wishing to see the new aircraft will be able to view it daily from 10am until 4pm. Entry to the Museum is free, simply pre-book your arrival time at rafmuseum.org.uk

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