Hawker Tempest Mk.II heads towards first flight after passing important milestone in its exhaustive restoration...
The enticing prospect of seeing a Hawker Tempest flying in the 21st century has never been closer to reality. North Weald Heritage Aviation (NWHA) has confirmed that Fighter Aviation’s Mk.II’s (G-TEMT) Bristol Centaurus VI completed five hours of ground running at Sywell in Northamptonshire on June 28.
Announcing the milestone via social media, NWHA said: “It’s been an exciting few days at Sywell as our engine team completed the ground running schedule for the newly built Bristol Centaurus VI engine fitted to the beautiful Fighter Aviation Hawker Tempest II. Working alongside the engineers from Ultimate Warbird Flights, the team have managed to ensure that this ultra rare engine is now running sweetly and this should allow the aircraft to progress to the next stage of its return to flight!
“The restoration of the engine was carried out by our expert team in our facility at North Weald. Our engineers Geoff Rushen, Ray Thomas and George Saunders have been involved with the project from the outset, and it’s thanks in no small part to their knowledge and perseverance that this rare engine is running again!"
Following this significant achievement, the aircraft conducted its first taxi runs around Sywell the following day in the hands of noted warbird pilot Pete Kynsey – see the video shared by Ultimate Warbirds below.
Rolled out for the first time on May 24, 2021, the former RAF and Indian Air Force machine is now approaching the end of an exhaustive ground-up restoration in the hands of Air Leasing that traces its roots back to the early 1980s. Passing through the hands of several keepers since then, it was purchased by its current owner, Graham Peacock of Anglia Aircraft Restorations, in 2016. With the first engine run taking place on April 19 this year, G-TEMT’s long anticipated first post-restoration flight is fast approaching.