Hawker Typhoon Cockpit/Fuselage
All of the 3,300 Hawker Typhoon World War 2 production fighter bomber aircraft were built at the Gloster Aircraft Company at Brockworth near Gloucester for the Royal Air Force.
To have a cockpit/fuselage on display is therefore an important exhibit for Jet Age Museum.
Hawker Typhoon Acquisition
This project commenced during 1998, when an almost complete Hawker Typhoon cockpit section was identified at Taylors scrap yard, near Chippenham in Wiltshire.
This find became quite important, as it was from a very early Mark 1a or 1b ‘car door’ type Typhoon.
Unfortunately, when the cockpit was later collected at the scrap yard, parts had been removed, such as the side cowlings, and the control column had been sawn through just below the spade grip pivot joint.
Additionally, an excavation was organised by Ron Murphy at a quarry near the former Royal Air Force Red Arrows base at Kemble in Gloucestershire, where state of the art ground penetrating radar equipment was employed to search the area. Here, dismembered sections of airframe from about 20 forward fuselages of Typhoons were exhumed, many of these parts were remarkably corrosion free and a few items were obtained for our project.
Other items have since been obtained such as landing gear struts, instruments, tyres and wheels, parts for the windscreen and car door assemblies, and many other items in various condition.
Regrettably it is not possible to find the original serial number for this airframe, as the nameplate was missing, therefore the project may be of a fictitious serial number, or of an aircraft having a known historic background.
The Restoration project was allocated to a museum life member, Martin Clarke, who was authorised by the museum committee to name the aircraft after his late wife, Michele, who had also been a life member of the museum.
During the years since acquisition, until the construction and opening of Jet Age Museum exhibit hall on Staverton Airport, the project had been mainly on-hold due to lack of space in our Brockworth workshop , shortage of facilities and funding. However, since the Museum opening, and with new found space, the Restoration Team numbers have been increased with additional members, and we have created a suitable work area in which to carry out the complete restoration.
The Typhoon Restoration Gallery
Current Restoration Status
Cockpit with flying control module and pilot seat fitted, displayed ready for 5th May 2016 Gloster Aircraft Company re-union day in Jet Age Museum
The build of cockpit structure is now complete to the planned Phase 1 stage and we are now looking at preparation for painting. Because there are numerous stainless steel plate-brackets, and these are to remain visible, a great deal of very accurate ‘masking’ needs to be carried out.
Our build stand has been modified to provide better access for the Phase 2 tasks of fitting out and also improve the transportation tasks of moving from workshop to Museum display Hall for event days.
The pilots fore and aft Armour Plates are now under restoration but will not be fitted until after the cockpit repaint.
In addition the firewall fabrication is now in preparation, the original being so badly damaged it is not considered repairable therefore it is being used as a template for a new build with thermalite, in lieu of original asbestos material, sandwiched between 2 sheets of aluminium alloy.
Our workforce, which has progressed in developing sheet-metal working skills, now has an increased ability to carry out airframe ‘skin’ fabrication and repairs therefore a decision has been taken to recall our elevator from our Preston Lancs member Geoff Ainsworth, and to put those skills into practice. Details and timings of work are yet to be decided but a photo-diary will be kept and added to this web page when available.
MLGs are nearing completion following their restoration at Messier Bugatti Dowty’s Repair & Overhaul facility. One MLG is completely rebuilt and the other is in final preparation for assembly.
A recent problematic issue with removal of old and corroded Bowden cable, from aft control cable end nipples, was resolved when a local Gloucester engineering company ‘Excel Precision’ stepped in to apply their specialist knowledge and skills. Needless to say that the problem is now behind us and we thank Excel Precision for their valued help in our time of need.
Special Thanks to our Sponsors
We could not complete our important restoration work without the support of our generous sponsors.
We want to extend our special thanks to the following, whose help with this project has been invaluable:
- Excel Precision, for engineering support.
- Mr Tim House, for his loan of a Typhoon cannon.
- Cotswold Aircraft Restoration Group, for their cash donation.
- Mr Tim Wiltshire, for his continuous help in provision of workshop premises.
- RGV Aviation, Staverton Airport, for their financial support and offer of future technical and material support.
- Huntley Estates, For their interest and kind donation.
- Poeton Industries Ltd of Gloucester, for their financial support and offer of future material support.
- Churchdown Parish Council for their advice and kind donation.
- Retro Track & Air, of Cam. for their material and technical support.
- Messier -Bugatti- Dowty (MRO). Specialists in repair and overhaul of in-service Landing Gears, for their material support.
- Burlow Engineering Ltd, Specialists in Toolmaking, small batch, prototype and R & D work, who have offered to assist in manufacture of non-procurable components.
- D.R.Sherratt, For his kind donation.
- Mr Derek Wellard, For his kind donation.
- Mr Eldridge, For his kind donation.