The 29th October 2016 saw the public launch of the Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group’s exciting project to restore Hawker Typhoon Mk.1b RB396 to airworthy condition in time for the D-Day 80th anniversary in 2024. The event featured three guests of honour, wartime Typhoon pilots Flt Lt David Ince DFC, Flt Lt Derek Lovell and Flt Lt George Wood and was held before an audience of over 150 media representatives and supporters at the Boultbee Flight Academy Hangar, Goodwood Aerodrome.
The Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group aims to restore a Napier Sabre powered Hawker Typhoon Mk.1b aircraft to flight using the substantial remains of serial number RB396, and demonstrate the aircraft to the public as a living memorial to the Typhoon crews who flew in support of Allied air operations during the invasion of occupied Europe.
RB396 was one of 3,317 Typhoons manufactured during the early 1940s. The aircraft saw combat with No. 121 Wing of the Second Tactical Air Force’s No. 83 Group, and survived a forced landing on 1 April 1945. This airframe will form the basis for a major restoration project, which will be carried out by professional organisations and individuals across the country. Once complete, this will be the world’s only airworthy example of the Typhoon, and the first Typhoon to be operated in private hands.