Rebuild Update – May 2024

As you know, we were able to restart the rebuild of RB396 at the end of last year and we thought you would like to know how that has been going.

The team at Airframe Assemblies on the Isle of White have been making steady progress rebuilding the rear fuselage. It is not an easy job. As we are returning RB396 to flight, parts need to be tested extensively before they can be used. In addition to the testing, any repair that is needed to an original part requires a Design Change Approval to be granted. You may be surprised to hear that this is also required for the use of modern rivets – clearly we don’t have the World War 2 ones! The team also need to check that any repairs made to parts previously were done appropriately and it turns out that’s not always the case.

It’s not surprising that some original parts have been found to be detective resulting in new ones needing to be manufactured. This of course leads to delays, but progress is being made. For example:

  • Most of the frames for the fuselage have been fitted to the jig.
  • Dimpling has been completed on all relevant parts. Dimpling is the process of countersinking each hole so that all rivets sit flush. There are thousands of holes on the fuselage!
  • Painting of stringers and other parts has been done.
  • Some stringers have been riveted onto skins.
  • Substructures of doors and access panels have been assembled
  • More parts are being tested.

We obviously keep a close eye on progress and assist the team on the Isle of White as much as possible. This is all being done through the incredible efforts of our very own Andrew Boakes. Andrew talks to our key contact at Airframe Assemblies frequently and has been a source of key information for them. Just like the rest of the Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group, he is volunteering his time and skills to get RB396 into the air. A big thank you from the rest of the Group goes to him for this key aspect of the Group’s efforts.


Support us

Would you like to have a direct input on the rebuild? The best way to get started is to become a supporter. You’ll receive some great benefits and most importantly of all, every penny will go into the labour cost of getting RB396 back into the sky.