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Engineering Update

24 August 2022

Here is a fascinating update on the overhaul of our ex Afghan airforce Hawker Hind.

The fuselage has progressed well, with the main structure painted, and the rear fuselage reattached to the front/ cockpit section. This was held up for a while as we were waiting for some replacement tubes to be manufactured, replacing ones that were corroded beyond limits. While we were waiting for these, the opportunity was taken to re-install some of the items in the cockpits, which had been removed during the 1970’s restoration, such as the bomb aimers instrument panel, and bomb sight etc. These parts have added to the authenticity of the aircraft and will mean that when it is finished, the Hind will be more representative of an aircraft in service. The overhauled front bulkhead, and engine bearer assembly have also been refitted. The wooden stringer assemblies and cockpit decking have been completed and all are refitted to the fuselage, a tricky job!

The landing gear components have been recovered with fabric and painted. Hopefully, within the next couple of weeks, the landing gear can be assembled and the aircraft can sit on its wheels once again.

The upper wing center section is nearly completed and awaiting the fitting of the two fuel tanks. Cleaning and inspection work revealed that a number of smaller aluminium components required replacement or repair due to corrosion or cracking. These jobs have all been carried out and the whole structure has been repainted and reassembled as required. Once the fuel tanks have been refitted it will be ready for fabric covering.

The starboard lower wing has been painstakingly disassembled, cleaned and reassembled by our team of volunteers and is nearly at the stage where it can be painted. The Starboard upper wing is progressing, with the 2 port wings waiting their turn.

The empennage components (fin, rudder, tail plane and elevators) are all completed, and ready for fabric covering.

Progress is fairly slow at the moment, as our attention is devoted to keeping the airworthy fleet maintained for the air shows, but hopefully during the winter we can make some real progress on it.

Written by Engineer, Rory Cook.

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