.: Min Hin Chong's Hobby Boss 1/72 Eurofighter Typhoon
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine multi-role canard-delta strike fighter aircraft. It was designed and is built by a consortium Alenia Aeronautica, BAE Systems and EADS through Eurofighter GmbH which was formed in 1986. As early as 1979, studies began into what would become the Eurofighter Typhoon.
The aircraft has entered service with the German Luftwaffe (Jagdgeschwader 74), Italian Air Force, Spanish Air Force and the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force. Austria has purchased 15 Typhoons and Saudi Arabia has signed a GB£4.43 billion (approx. €6.4 billion c. 2007) contract for 72 aircraft.
The maiden flight of the Eurofighter prototype took place on 27 March 1994 (then just known as the Eurofighter EF 2000). Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm chief test pilot Peter Weger took the prototype on a test flight around Bavaria. The 1990s saw significant arguments over work share, the specification of the aircraft and even participation in the project.
The first production contract was signed on 30 January 1998 between Eurofighter GmbH, Eurojet and NETMA. The procurement totals were as follows: UK 232, Germany 180, Italy 121, and Spain 87. Production was again allotted according to procurement: British Aerospace (37%), DASA (29%), Aeritalia (19.5%), and CASA (14%).
On 2 September 1998, a naming ceremony was held at Farnborough, England. This saw the Typhoon name formally adopted, however initially for export aircraft only. This was reportedly resisted by Germany; The Hawker Typhoon was a fighter-bomber aircraft which served with the RAF during the Second World War against German targets. In September 1998 contracts were signed for production of 148 Tranche 1 aircraft and procurement of long lead-time items for Tranche 2 aircraft.
In late-1990 it became apparent that the German government was not happy about continuing with the project. The Luftwaffe was tasked to find alternative solutions including looking at cheaper implementations of Eurofighter. The German concerns over Eurofighter came to a head in July 1992 when they announced their decision to leave the project. However, on insistence of the German government sometime earlier, all partners had signed binding commitments to the project and found themselves unable to withdraw.
In 1995 concerns over workshare appeared. Since the formation of Eurofighter the workshare split had been agreed at the 33/33/21/13 (United Kingdom/Germany/Italy/Spain) based on the number of units being ordered by each contributing nation. However, all the nations then reduced their orders. The UK cut its orders from 250 to 232, Germany from 250 to 180, Italy from 165 to 121 and Spain from 100 to 87.
The next major milestone came at the Farnborough Airshow in September 1996. The UK announced the funding for the construction phase of the project. In November 1996 Spain confirmed its order but Germany again delayed its decision. After much diplomatic activity between the UK and Germany, an interim funding arrangement of DM 100 million (€ 51 million) was contributed by the German government in July 1997 to continue flight trials. Further negotiation finally resulted in German approval to purchase the Eurofighter in October 1997.