Newark Harvard project takes shape

Significant steps made in wartime trainer restoration as airframe reassembly nears

The Newark Air Museum has announced that reassembly of its Noorduyn-built Harvard IIb may take place later this year, as the long-term project sees significant progress. Recent efforts have seen preparation to fit the restored engine cowlings to the fuselage, the aircraft’s previous owners having modified the cowling fixtures and fittings, which proved a challenge to rectify.

Rectifying and fitting the engine cowlings has been a recent focus of the Harvard project.
Rectifying and fitting the engine cowlings has been a recent focus of the Harvard project. HOWARD HEELEY

The Harvard was built with US Army Air Forces serial 42-12417. It served with the Royal Canadian Air Force as FE930, before being transferred to the Royal Netherlands Air Force, with which air arm it became B-163. Sold off at auction and acquired by a private owner, the airframe came to the UK during late 1986 and went on to move between many different locations — including a period at Bletchley Park, the home of British wartime code-breaking — prior to being added to the Newark Air Museum collection, thus augmenting its inventory of training aircraft. It arrived at the museum’s Winthorpe site on 24 August 2010.

The Newark Air Museum's Harvard restoration project as it stood in early January.
The Newark Air Museum's Harvard restoration project as it stood in early January. HOWARD HEELEY