Eleven year old Dawson Jack from Chichester in West Sussex has a keen interest in aviation. During lockdown he and his mother were talking about the Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group (HTPG) and how the all volunteer team were working hard to raise the funds required to get this stunning, unique and historic aircraft flying again.
He sent an email to the Group stating that he’d like to help with some fundraising. Not having the £5million that the charity requires to rebuild Hawker Typhoon RB396 and make it airworthy again, Dawson suggested he might complete a sponsored cycle ride.
After discussing this with the project team, he decided he would use the new bicycle that he received for his eleventh birthday, to complete 36 miles – one for every known combat mission the aircraft flew. A novice cyclist, he set himself the ambitious fundraising target of £350.
Dawson is surrounded by aviation history, past and present in his family. One of his Grandfathers worked as an apprentice at Handley Page, the British Aerospace Manufacturer, and held a Private Pilot’s License for years. His other Grandfather was based at RAF Tangmere, his Great Grandfather served in the RAF flying Lancasters and his mother works at Goodwood Flying School.
Dawson turned 11 in June and immediately set about racking up the miles of his challenge. Almost instantly he smashed his £350 target, and has now raised in excess of £2,000 with the HTPG featuring him on their social media accounts and in a bulletin to their Supporters’ Club. As he has performed so well the Membership Secretary has agreed that if he can surpass £4,000 then they will make him an Honorary Platinum Club member, the membership subscription to which is normally £4,000. The exclusive club carries a number of special benefits, first and foremost is the member’s name inscribed on the finished Hawker Typhoon, and being guaranteed an invite to the first flight event.
Dawson completed his 36 mile cycle, one mile for every known mission RB396 completed, on the perimeter track of Goodwood Aerodrome. Goodwood has quite some significance for RB396 and the project to rebuild her. She was delivered to Goodwood in late 1944, when it was known as RAF Westhampnett. From there she was air tested and flown off to Europe to join 174 Squadron. The project launch event, held in 2016 in the Boultbee Flight Academy based at Goodwood, was the first time the remains of this aircraft had been to Goodwood, since she was delivered in 1944. When the £5 million required for her rebuild is raised, it is the intention of the team that she will once again undertake a flight from her former airfield.
Dawson has done incredibly well on this fundraiser, all of his own initiative and all at the Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group are incredibly grateful for his efforts.
To sponsor Dawson for his efforts, find his page on Just Giving.
To donate directly to the Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group and the effort to rebuild RB396 please click here.