Built in partnership with QinetiQ – a leading science and engineering company operating primarily in the defence, security and aerospace markets – at the MOD Boscombe Down, this will be the largest model Word War II fighter plane ever built. Its construction will be overseen by QinetiQ engineers, with much of the work being carried out as a special project by the company’s apprentices who will be working alongside universities, colleges and schools. Local children, years 6 and above, will be helping to paint sections of the plane, and even branches of the Scout Association in the area will be closely involved. We will be using its construction to inspire the next generation about history and engineering.
Part of our D-Day 75 commemorations, the Giant Hawker Typhoon, known as the “Tiffy” will pay homage to the 16,000 Allied airmen who lost their lives during the Normandy battle – some of the unsung heroes of liberation.
Perched on the crest of the hill in Broad Chalke, near Salisbury in Wiltshire, overlooking the main festival site, the plane will be FOUR times the size of the original and will dominate the local landscape. With a wingspan of 19 metres, a length of 14 metres, and height 7 metres, this massive installation will be a similar size to a 60-seater passenger jet and will be instantly recognizable for miles around.
The Hawker Typhoon was a single-engine fighter plane capable of speeds of over 400 mph and armed with both 20 mm cannon and eight rockets. The rocket-firing Typhoon squadrons came to symbolise the dominance of the Allies in the air during D-Day and the Normandy campaign that followed, playing a vital role in the Allied victory and the liberation of France. While there are over 50 Spitfires flying today, there is not one Typhoon, although the Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group hopes to change that and get their Tiffy flying within the next few years. Our Typhoon will be marked in the same colours and markings as the aircraft they are rebuilding.
There will be a special path up to the Tiffy and throughout the week it will be the location for a number of talks about this iconic aircraft and the vital role it played in the Allied victory in Europe.