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The Hawker Typhoon Mk.IB was a single engine, single seat fighter which entered service with the RAF in 1941. The Mk.IB differed mainly from the Mk.IA in its armament; the fighter was equipped with four 20 mm British Hispano Mk.I magazine-fed cannons, with 75 rounds each. Already plagued with several early problems, the seepage of exhaust gases from the engine into the pilot's cockpit became a serious issue for the Hawker Typhoon. Although the sealed partition between the cockpit and the engine compartment was improved and the engine’s exhaust pipes were lengthened, this problem was never entirely solved and Typhoon pilots had to operate their fighters from engine start to shut down with their oxygen masks on. Another problem was the lack of reliability of Napier Sabre Mk.IIA engines at the initial stage of operation. The engine was prone to overheating and it could jam when the aircraft climbed. Cases when the engine caught fire on take off were also frequent. It was only by mid 1943 that engineers managed to overcome these problems and bring the engine's reliability to an acceptable level. Early on in the Typhoon’s combat career, it was discovered that metal fatigue in the tail often caused the entire tail unit to detach in a high speed dive. As an interim measure, reinforcing straps were fitted across the joint of the tail section and the fuselage. Subsequently it was discovered that these structural failures were caused by elevator flutter which occurred at relatively low speeds. The flutter itself was caused by the fatigue failure of the small ring holding the balance weight assembly. The flutter could also lead to a failure of the tailplane spar, so this also urgently needed to be reinforced. In early 1942, Hawker had embarked on equipping the Typhoon with external fittings. Drop tanks were added to increase the aircraft's range. Two 500 lb (227 kg) bombs could be fitted instead of drop tanks; later these were replaced with heavier American 1,000 lb (454 kg) bombs. An important step in enhancing the Typhoon's firepower was equipping it with rockets. By the end of 1942, 3 inch (76 mm) rockets equipped with a 27 kg warhead were produced in large quantities. They were inexpensive, easy to manufacture and proved reliable although they were not particularly accurate. The Typhoon was equipped with eight rails for these rockets, four under each wing. Rocket rails and bomb racks were introduced across in service Typhoons throughout 1943. Whilst the Typhoon had a disappointing high altitude performance, its low altitude performance was more impressive, leading to the aircraft being considered for employment in other roles. From November 1942, Typhoons were used as fighter bombers to hit ground targets on the Continent. However, in general the Typhoon was not a huge success as an interceptor, but found its forte as a rugged ground attack aircraft, capable of dealing a good deal of damage with bombs, rockets and its 20mm cannons. Over 3,300 Typhoons were manufactured during the war, the vast majority being the Mk. IB variant.