Hawker Typhoon IB, MN235 on display at RAF Museum Hendon, where she has resided for many years. The "Tiffie" will soon be on her way to Canada, where she will go on display at the Canada Aviation & Space Museum in Ottawa, Ontario. (photo via RAF Museum)

Hawker Typhoon IB, MN235 on display at RAF Museum Hendon, where she has resided for many years. The “Tiffie” will soon be on her way to Canada, where she will go on display at the Canada Aviation & Space Museum in Ottawa, Ontario. (photo via RAF Museum)

Warbirds News has learned that the RAF Museum is loaning their unique Hawker Typhoon Mk.IB to the Canada Aviation & Space Museum in Ottawa, Ontario. The aircraft, RAF serial MN235, is the sole surviving complete and original example of the breed, and as such it is an extraordinary honor for the Canadian museum to receive her for display. It is also a mark of respect for the many Canadian pilots who fought and often died in the type flying perilous, low-level, ground-attack missions against the Germans in WWII.  Typhoons were the scourge of the German army leading up to, and following D-Day, and played a major role in defeating the enemy. Several Royal Canadian Air Force units, including 440 “City of Ottawa” Squadron, flew the Typhoon, or “Tiffie”, as it was often affectionately referred to.

Hawker Typhoon of No. 440 "City of Ottawa" Squadron RCAF. (photo via wikipedia)

Hawker Typhoon of No. 440 “City of Ottawa” Squadron RCAF. (photo via wikipedia)

Considering the important role the Typhoon played in the Second World War, and the fact that Hawker produced over 3,300 of them, it seems remarkable that just one complete example remains. And even the lone survivor owes its existence to a quirk of fate, as MN235 was only spared the mass, post-WWII scrapping operations because she was still in the USA following wartime evaluation and comparison trials. For some reason, the Typhoon escaped the scrap man in the USA as well, and joined the nascent National Air Museum whose curator, Paul E. Garber, is credited with saving many other rare and historic aircraft when few others cared. The National Air Museum eventually became what we know today as the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum. MN235 was part of NASM until 1968, when the Smithsonian traded her for Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIc LF686 from the RAF Museum in part as a good will gesture celebrating the RAF’s 50th anniversary. The Hurricane was also more interesting to NASM, as it represented a more significant historical type that wasn’t then a part of their collection.

MN235 will go on display at the Canada Aviation & Space Museum sometime this spring, and in time for the 70th Anniversary celebrations of D-Day on June 6th. Hopefully a few of Canada’s former-Typhoon pilots will be able to gather around their old mount for one last time and reminisce with their friends and families of what it was like to fly and fight in such a fearsome beast. Both the RAF and Canada Aviation & Space Museum are to be commended for bringing this moment to fruition. And from a recent press release it seems clear that both parties are happy with the deal….

 AVM Peter Dye, RAF Museum Director General

“The Royal Air Force Museum is privileged to support the Canadian Air & Space Museum in honouring those thousands of Canadian airmen who served alongside the Royal Air Force in two world wars, many of whom lost their lives in the defence of freedom and the shared values that unite our two nations. We are also delighted to be able to recognise the invaluable support that Canada has played in helping to train British aircrew over the past century and the close professional partnership and mutual respect between our air forces that continues to this day. In loaning Hawker Typhoon  MN235 we hope to be able to repay a small part of the immeasurable debt owed to the Royal Canadian Air Force and to honour its veterans for their selfless and enduring achievements.”

Stephen Quick, Canada Air and Space Museum Director General

“This is an incredible collaboration between two national Museums to commemorate the memory and the stories of men and women who gave so much. It simply could not have happened without the inspired leadership and support for the project of Director Peter Dye and his superb team at the Royal Air Force Museum and the dedication of the Royal Canadian Air Force.”

About the Canada Aviation and Space Museum

The Canada Aviation and Space Museum houses the most extensive collection of aircraft in Canada, and one of the most remarkable such collections in the world.  The museum also features iconic artifacts representing Canada’s contribution to space exploration.  This national museum is a highly esteemed by aerospace enthusiasts and experts from around the world.  It engages thousands of families and children each year, delivering fascinating, memorable and educational experiences to all visitors.

About the Royal Air Force Museum

Combining the history of the RAF with a free, fun day out, the Royal Air Force Museum is Britain’s only national Museum dedicated wholly to aviation. With a world-class collection and display of aircraft, integrated with special exhibitions, films, interactives, engines, missiles, simulator rides and more, the Museum takes an innovative approach while keeping with tradition.


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  2. Stephen Marshall says:

    My father John S Marshall, was in combat from 26 December 1944 to VE Day 1945, flying Hawker Typhoons in 184 Squadron (184 Squadron.com) in the Northern Europe theatre. Sadly, he passed away in 1984.

    He baled out twice, having been shot down by flack and then, couldn’t land due to bad weather.

    I am so pleased the museums acknowledge the importance of the Typhoon and all who flew her – so often, their significant contribution to D Day and the advance, right through to Germany itself, is completely overlooked – or in so many cases just mentioned in passing.

    Those boys deserve the same respect, acknowledgement and rememberance as all the other services. Without them, the outcome could have been completely different!

    Thanks to you and the museums for what you and they do!

  3. Gavin Milo says:

    With regard to the typhoon, this airframe complete with Napier engine exists because the British sent one to the US for evaluation hoping to sell it,
    . In the interim the war ended and jets happened and the US put the typhoon in the Smithsonian where it reside for many years. I do not know the details but it was repatriated to Britain. It is worth a visit.

    Gavin Milo volunteer Vintage Wings Of Canada

    • You are correct indeed. The RAF Museum traded a Hawker Hurricane to the Smithsonian in return for the Typhie, as NASM felt the Hurricane was a more important aircraft to have in their collection. It was a very generous offer on their part, in many respects, as the Typhoon was a sole survivor as you mentioned.

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