HAMPDEN MOVING AHEAD

The fuselage of Hampden TBI P1344 at Cosford during the conservation centre opening in mid-November.
RAFM
The fully fitted-out cockpit of the Hampden, its narrow confines earning the type the ‘flying suitcase’ appellation.
RAFM

For the first time in 70-plus years, a complete Handley Page Hampden fuselage was available for public viewing when it went on show at the RAF Museum Cosford’s Michael Beetham Conservation Centre open week in mid-November.

Great strides have been made over the past year on the restoration of Hampden TBI P1344, with all four sections of fuselage now mated, and a newly constructed tail in place. Work to restore the wreck — which was recovered from a crash site on the Kola Peninsula in northern Russia in 1991 — has been greatly assisted by the availability of original Hampden pre-production drawings, dating from the late 1930s. Lost during a convoy protection mission on 5 September 1942, the fuselage has now been painted in its original No 144 Squadron PL-K codes.