SYWELL HUNTER F2 COMPLETED

The Sywell Aviation Museum has completed the six-year restoration of Hawker Hunter F2 WN904, the sole complete example of the Armstrong Siddeley Sapphireengined mark still in existence. It was unveiled at the Northamptonshire aerodrome on 20 April.

Just 45 F2s were made, the variant being flown by Nos 257 and 263 Squadrons. WN904 served with No 257 Squadron, but while its port side bears those markings, to starboard it has been finished as WN921 of No 263 Squadron. The original WN921 was lost on a night cross-country training sortie from Wattisham on 6 March 1956, no trace either of the aircraft or its pilot, Fg Off Denis Whiteman, being found. His daughter, Mary-Ann Andrews, and her brother Peter were on hand for the unveiling.

Formerly part of the IWM collection but displayed on the gate at Waterbeach until the barracks there closed in 2012, WN904 was gifted to the Sywell Aviation Museum as its first ever complete airframe. The Hunter has been restored as close to stock condition as possible including the addition of its radar, gun camera, ejection seat, cockpit and gunsight under the supervision of project manager and museum trustee Damien Burke.

Newly restored Hunter F2 WN904 after its unveiling at the Sywell Aviation Museum on 20 April.
VIA BEN BROWN