Based upon an article by John Parker of Warbirds Online
Australia has a flyable Hawker Hurricane on its shores for probably the first time since the 1940s. The aircraft, a Canadian-built Hurricane XII, recently arrived in Scone, New South Wales after making the journey from Canada by sea.
The fighter served the Royal Canadian Air Force as RCAF 5481 from July, 1942 until November, 1944. Crown Assets disposed of the Hurricane soon after, and like many surplus RCAF airframes, she ended up on a farm as an inexpensive source of hardware and material for whatever needed fixing around the barn yard. The derelict fighter, sans wings, somehow survived long enough to be worth saving, and wound up with Jack Arnold in Brantford, Ontario by the mid-80s. Famed British collector, Charles Church, acquired her soon afterwards, and shipped the relic to the UK for rebuild to flying condition. Sadly Church didn’t live long enough to see the Hurricane’s first flight in August, 1991 as he perished two years earlier in the crash of his freshly restored Spitfire Mk.V, EE606. His death was a great tragedy, not only to his family and friends, but to the warbird community as a whole for what could have been. Church’s amazing collection spread to the winds after a couple of years, and RCAF 5481 found herself with David Price at the Santa Monica Museum of Flying by early 1992. Architect, Ed Russell bought the Hurricane from Price, along with an airworthy Spitfire Mk.IX and Messerschmitt Me-109E in 2003, and the trio of legendary aircraft flew periodically from his grass strip in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Russell decided to sell his fighters a few years ago, but it’s taken some time for sales to arrive. The Hurricane, according to several sources, will require some rework before flying again, which is why the new Australian owners have placed her under the care of Ross Pay at Pay’s Air Service, long known for their warbird restoration expertise.
Pay’s technicians carefully unpacked the aircraft from its shipping container on April 7th. The Hurricane currently represents P2970, RAF ace Geoffrey Page’s regular mount with 56 Squadron during the Battle of Britain. There is no word yet on whether this is set to change. What is most pressing for Pay right now, is to evaluate the aircraft while it’s still apart, remedy any issues which need fixing, and then reassemble her to fly. WarbirdsNews will be following any developments as they happen, and will be sure to present them to our readers.