The Hawker Typhoon, which was Sir Sydney Camm's successor to the Hurricane was a disappointment in its intended role as a high altitude interceptor. This was due to the very thick wing, (the original intention had been to fit the Typhoon with a six cannon armament). In 1940 the Hawker design staff schemed a much thinner eliptical wing similar to that of the Spitfire and in 1941 Camm proposed a new fighter based on the Typhoon using the new wing and a more highly developed version of the Napier Sabre engine. An order for four prototypes, (initially called Typhoon II's) was ordered. Camm also proposed replacing the chin radiator with more aerodynamic wing root mounted radiators. The new fighter was finally given the name Tempest.
The first Tempest squadron was 486 (New Zealand) Squadron, at Beaulieu in Hampshire in January 1944, but so heavilly was 486 squadron committed to attacks on German V1 sites with their rocket firing Typhoons that the Tempests were handed over to No 3 squadron at Manston. The first Tempest wing, No 150 commanded by Wing Commander Roland Beaumont DSO DFC, was formed in March 1944. Roland Beaumont had returned to operational flying after a period of test flying the Typhoon and Tempest for Hawker's. The Tempest was soon to prove itself to be the most superlative allied piston engined fighter of the second world war, on a par with the North American Mustang at high altitudes but far superior at medium and low levels.