Work has officially begun on restoring Hawker Typhoon RB396 following a successful Crowdfunder campaign by the Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group.
Through the Crowdfunder effort and the generosity of donors from all over the world, £68,000 was raised, which has enabled the first step of the physical rebuild of RB396 to commence. In May 2019 the rear fuselage of RB396 was transported to Airframe Assemblies (AA) on the Isle of Wight. Work there has now started in earnest. AA has removed RB396’s top skin to expose all the internal ribs (the original rivets being saved for future fundraising initiatives) and it has removed part of the rear frame for assessment.
With the removal of old paint and 75 years of grime the rear frame was found to be in remarkable condition — so good, in fact, that AA engineers began the process of inspection, cleaning, protective painting and giving it a clean bill of health. From this initial work it is expected to be able to reuse some 60 per cent of the rear fuselage structure, significantly more, the HTPG says, than many other rebuild projects. AA temporarily refitted the section of frame and it can now continue as quickly as funds will allow.
The project’s budget for the rebuild of the rear fuselage is £10,000 per month. The work on this section will take approximately two years and the project has, at this time, eight months’ worth of funding in the bank. Fundraising efforts continue in earnest, in addition to attendance at airshows and through merchandise and supporters’ club membership subscriptions. Donations are welcomed via the donations page on the group’s website.
The HTPG further announced that RB396 has now been registered with the CAA as G-TIFY.
Trustee Dave Robinson said, “It is remarkable to think that, 74 years after she force-landed, up to 60 per cent of the original rear fuselage structure will remain in the aircraft the day she flies. It has been amazing to see how well some of the components have survived the years. We know that we still have a lot of work to do, but we hope that this news of real progress will whet the appetite of new supporters and donors, which will continue to help the fundraising.”
For more photographs of the rebuild and to find out how you can donate or get involved, visit www.hawkertyphoon.com.