Hawker Typhoon rebuild 'back on track'

WWII Hawker Typhoon. Photo: Imperial War Musuem, Public Domain
WWII Hawker Typhoon. Photo: Imperial War Musuem, Public Domain

The project to rebuild a WWII Hawker Typhoon into flying condition is back on track, says the team behind it.

“Following a number of months of behind the scenes work recently by the team, and two years of fundraising, we are delighted to announce that the rebuild of RB396 is back on track,” said an update.

“The rear fuselage section, which forms the basis and identity of the project, has recommenced at Airframe Assemblies (AA) on the Isle of Wight.”

The Hawker Typhoon RB396 project, led by Sam Worthington-Lees, was hit by the Covid pandemic which slowed fund-raising, and the rebuild process was paused. The team continued to source parts and fund-raising efforts were successful, meaning the rebuild was able to restart in mid-December.

The aircraft is registered with the UK CAA as G-TIFY / RB396, taking its proven identity from this rear original rear section of Hawker Typhoon MkIb, RB396.

The original skin on the port side of RB396’s rear fuselage is understood to be the sole surviving significant original example of 2nd Tactical Air Force paint anywhere in the world, adding another level to the historical significance of the aircraft, and the project.

“We are now in the process of organising visits to see the rebuild in situ, for our supporters at Diamond, Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze levels,” continued the update.

“The project is actively seeking more supporters, both at an individual and corporate level. This project, in the 80th anniversary of D-Day year, provides an excellent opportunity to be associated with a true British engineering icon, one that is often overshadowed by its prettier contemporary, the Spitfire.”

The Typhoon was instrumental during D-Day and the days that followed in the Battle of Normandy, and the aim is for RB396 to fly again, which would make it the only airworthy WWII Typhoon in the world.

Hawker Typhoon RB396 project


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