Hawker Typhoon Mk.IB RB396 Begins Restoration Effort

Original paintwork on the fuselage section from Hawker Typhoon Mk.IB RB396. This fuselage section will form the basis of the aircraft's identity, with some of the original components being incorporated into the airframe. (photo via Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group)

Back in April, we reported HERE on the efforts of the Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group, and their efforts to crowd-source the initial funds to begin their ambitious efforts to resurrect Hawker Typhoon Mk.IB RB396. Well, the work has paid off, and the team recently announced that they have indeed started moving forwards with the restoration. The press release below gives the details about what has been accomplished so far, and the future appears very bright indeed for this marvellous endeavour which should see a flying Hawker Typhoon as a result…


The Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group (Registered UK Charity no.1167143) is overseeing the rebuild of RB396 with the intention of returning the aircraft to flight powered by a rare Napier Sabre engine – something that has not been seen or heard, for nearly 70 years.

Through a Crowdfunder campaign and the generosity of donors from all over the world, £68,000 was raised which has enabled the first step of the physical rebuild of RB396 to commence. In May 2019 the rear fuselage of RB396 was transported to Airframe Assemblies (AA) on the Isle of Wight.

Work has now begun in earnest. AA have removed RB’s top skin to expose all the internal ribs (the original rivets being saved for future fundraising initiatives) and in addition to this they have removed part of the rear frame for assessment.

With the removal of old paint and 75 years of grime the rear frame was found to be in remarkable condition, so good in fact that AA engineers began the process of inspection, cleaning, protective painting and giving it a clean bill of health. From this initial work it is expected to be able to re-use some 60% of the rear fuselage structure. This is significantly more than many other rebuild projects. AA temporarily re-fitted the section of frame and they can now continue as quickly as funds will allow.

Original paintwork on the fuselage section from Hawker Typhoon Mk.IB RB396. This fuselage section will form the basis of the aircraft’s identity, with some of the original components being incorporated into the airframe. (photo via Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group)

The project’s budget for the rebuild of the rear fuselage is £10,000 per month. The work on this section will take approximately two years and the project has, at this time, eight months worth of funding in the bank. Fundraising efforts continue in earnest in addition to attendance at air shows and through merchandise and Supporters’ Club membership subscriptions and donations are welcomed via the donations page on the website.

As part of the rebuild process we are also delighted to announce that RB396 has now been registered with the CAA as G-TIFY, in honour of the nickname these aircraft were affectionately known as by their crews.

Trustee Dave Robinson said: “It is remarkable to think that 74 years after she force landed, up to 60% of the original rear fuselage structure will remain in the aircraft the day she flies. It has been amazing to see how well some of the components have survived the years.

We know that we still have a lot of work to do, but we hope that this news of real progress will whet the appetite of new supporters and donors, which will continue to help the fundraising.”

For more photographs of the rebuild and to find out how you can donate or get involved, visit: www.hawkertyphoon.com.To discuss sponsorship opportunities please contact project Trustee David Robinson, dave@hawkertyphoon.com, in the first instance.

WD NEW_AFF

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