EXCLUSIVE! How the last of 'the Few's' Hurricane will fly again

Hawker Restorations is known  for its Hurricanes, with eight projects completed and a ninth now well under way — no less than the aeroplane last flown by the man who is the sole remaining member of ‘the Few’

‘Paddy’ Hemingway with Hurricane owner Tom Smith.
‘Paddy’ Hemingway with Hurricane owner Tom Smith. JONNY CRACKNELL

Approaching his 104th birthday on 17 July, and today living in Ireland, Gp Capt John ‘Paddy’ Hemingway DFC led a slightly fortunate life as an RAF pilot. He crashed no fewer than five times during his career, resulting in four uses of a parachute. Abandoning Hawker Hurricane I P3966 on 26 August 1940 was the second time he had bailed out within two weeks, as he had escaped from his No 85 Squadron aircraft V7249 following a scrap with a Luftwaffe Junkers Ju 88 just eight days before. On that occasion his mount crashed into the sea, but following Paddy’s exit from P3966 over Pitsea Marshes the machine came down at Fobbing Creek in Essex, meaning it was later possible to recover the remains.

The No 85

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