By the time the allies landed in Normandy on June 6th, 1944, they had achieved near overwhelming air superiority over their German counterparts. The Allies ability to operate freely in the air over Normandy would be a critical factor in their eventual success.
One of the most important aircraft was the Hawker Typhoon. Originally conceived as a fighter plane, the aircraft eventually became the main ground attack aircraft of the RAF and RCAF during the invasion. The aircraft was fitted with 3 inch rockets which could be used to devastating effect against German troops on the move, tanks, and supply lines.
Now the last remaining complete Hawker Typhoon in the world is coming to Canada for an extended stay at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa.
“It’s really exciting for us since it’s the only one,” explains Stephen Quick, Director General of the Canada Air and Space Museum.
The Typhoon will be unveiled on June 6th in conjunction with events marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
“During the war the Royal Canadian Air Force actually flew three squadrons of this aircraft", describes Quick. "The Canadians used it to great effect both during Normandy during the softening up and post-landings for the Battle of Caen.”
The aircraft was actually discovered in the United States after the war and was provided to the RAF Museum in 1974 by the Smithsonian Museum.
“It’s really rare that an aircraft like this will leave its home museum,” explains Quick, “but the feeling was since the Canadians had given so much during the war it would be great to bring here for the celebrations.”