Hampden bomber is brought back to life at Cosford

From the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford Facebook page:

The aircraft now has all four fuselage components fully assembled, attached and painted in its original 144 Squadron colour scheme and serial number. It’s been a labour of love for one of the Museum’s skilled Aircraft Technicians who has built a large section of the aircraft from scratch using original Handley Page pre-production drawings from the late 1930s and where possible, measurements taken from the partial wreckage remaining from the original aircraft. And it won’t be long before aviation fans can catch a glimpse of the Hampden, as it goes on show during the Museum’s Conservation Centre Open Week taking place 12-18 November.
The Museum’s Hampden, serial number P1344, is one of only three examples of the type remaining and was recovered from a crash site in northern Russia in 1991 and acquired by the RAF Museum. The night it was shot down (5 September 1942), the aircraft was one of nine aircraft lost out of 32 that departed Sumburgh, Shetland Islands, heading to northern Russia to provide protection for the Arctic Convoys; a costly night in terms of both human and aircraft loss. Three crew members died, two survived and become prisoners of war and the aircraft suffered significant damage. The wreckage lay on the Kola Peninsula, Northern Russia undiscovered for almost half a century, but now the British twin-engine medium bomber of the Royal Air Force is being lovingly brought back to life.
Since it was last viewed by the public some 12 months ago, restoration on the badly damaged airframe has progressed significantly and the unmistakable Hampden silhouette can now be seen. Damage to the tailboom was structurally too much to repair and a new tail was built in-house. Within the last few weeks this newly constructed section has been painted by the Museum’s Surface Finish Technician and attached to the original rear fuselage which still bears the marks of bullet holes from the night it was fatally shot down. Adding the tailplane, which is 30-40% original, and the newly constructed forward fuselage, the RAF Museum Cosford aircraft is one of only two Hampden’s worldwide, with the other on display in the Canadian Museum of Flight, Vancouver and a nose section in East Kirkby, UK.

Southern California CAF unit begins work on the P-47

Back in March, the Commemorative Air Force unit located in Southern California received the damaged P-47 to restore to airworthiness. Some initial work was done to restore it to flight but a lot more work needs to be done. Details on the aircraft can be found here: https://www.cafsocal.com/another-thoroughbred-for-the-stable/


Hawker Typhoon RB396 Restoration News

On 17th November 2017, the funds cleared for what was the project’s most expensive purchase to date. In time for the first Open Day at the new base, the team had acquired what is thought to be the only genuine four blade Typhoon/Tempest spinner in existence, and shortly afterwards from the same source, a complete rear empennage, tail unit and rudder was made available to the project. The cost of these parts far exceeded the available bank balance, and so, at risk of loosing the parts the Trustees took the decision to ask the Supporters’ Club for help.

On Tuesday 7th November the Trustees launched their appeal to the members of the Supporters’ Club, which now numbers around 650 and growing. Hoping initially to raise a deposit of £10,000 + VAT in order to secure the parts, the appeal has now raised over £75,000 in one week, with this amount still increasing. Such was the generosity shown by members of the Club, with one member providing over £50,000 and many others donating two, three and four figure sums, that the parts were purchased outright, with a large surplus, and are due to be collected later this month. A number of other items were also purchased, including a complete anti shimmy tail wheel set up, and the tail wheel doors.

These large sections, actually from a Tempest II, will significantly advance the project and will bring about a huge saving in both time and more importantly money, when it comes to the rebuild – which could now physically start as early as Q1 or 2 of 2018, subject to funding. The rear empennage is actually a Typhoon part number, showing that it was removed from the Typhoon production line, in order to become part of a Tempest II, whilst the tail unit only requires minor modifications for it to also “become” Typhoon. The rudder, which has already been rebuilt to airworthy standards, also only requires minor modification to be made suitable for RB396, so it is quite likely that the rudder will be the first airworthy component to be completed for the project.

The next target with regard to specific fundraising, is to raise sufficient funds in order to commence the physical build. A number of other factors must be completed first, but significant strides are being made in the right direction for this to soon become a reality.