In October 2018 the HTPG announced a partnership with the Duxford based Aircraft Restoration Company (ARCo). Together, they would manage the rebuild with ARCo, led by John Romain, providing the engineering oversight and becoming the Restoration Support Partner. Following a successful crowdfunding campaign in May 2019, which itself followed many years of fundraising to establish the charity, physical work on the rebuild of RB396 was able to commence.
The first section that work commenced on was the rear fuselage monocoque, which has been subcontracted to Airframe Assemblies on the Isle of Wight. At a revised estimated cost of £315,000 this is just the first step of many. This section is now nearing completion, and the final rivet should go in during the summer of 2021. For work to continue and for the restoration to be completed, large amounts of support are required.
In 2016 at the public launch of the project, the Supporters’ Club was founded. It now numbers over 1000 members, each contributing modest sums on an annual, or lifetime basis. When combined, these modest sums turn into an altogether more substantial amount, but, on their own, are insufficient to complete the rebuild. Between 2016 & early 2020 a substantial amount had been raised from donations, merchandise sales and Supporters’ Club subscriptions.
On 1st April 2020, the 75th anniversary of RB396’s final flight, the Platinum Club was launched.
The formation of the Platinum Club allowed supporters to take the next step by contributing at a level that would enable the rebuild to accelerate, whilst breaking down the estimated remaining budget into manageable amounts. When the limited Platinum Club membership is filled, the rebuild will be fully funded.
The Platinum Club, alongside the established contributions of the Supporters’ Club, will allow the rebuild of the RB396 to be finished. In turn, its members will receive exclusive benefits as a most grateful thank you. First and foremost, for every Platinum Club membership, one namespace will be allocated on the aircraft. This will be a permanent namespace, etched into the very metal of the Typhoon, and visible whilst the aeroplane is on the ground. The space can be your own, that of a company, family member and/or veteran. Many spaces have been claimed to date by families of Typhoon veterans, wishing to make their name live forevermore on the finished memorial.
In addition to the namespace, as a Platinum Club member you will receive a complimentary VIP invite to the official first flight event. You will also be invited to a yearly Platinum Club reception, receive regular updates on the project with special access, discounted Black Tie event tickets, and all the benefits of a Family Lifetime Supporters’ Club member as standard. Most importantly, your contribution will give you the satisfaction that you are making a significant contribution to returning RB396 to the sky where she belongs.
Platinum Club benefits include: a namespace on RB396, complimentary VIP invite to the official first flight event, annual reception, privileged access, hospitality at applicable events, discounted Black Tie tickets, regular newsletters and all Family Lifetime Supporters’ Club benefits. For full details, go to the support us page:
The core premise of the Platinum Club is to find one thousand people, families, groups or organisations to contribute £4000 over the next 4-6 years. Contributions can be made in one amount, annually, quarterly, or monthly by Direct Debit. The club is limited to one thousand spaces, if a higher contribution amount is sought, then there is no limit to the number of those spaces that one individual or organisation can cover. These contributions are tax deductible, or, if the individual is eligible, are suitable for Gift Aid.
One year on from its launch, and in the midst of a global pandemic, the Platinum Club alone has contributed almost £150,000 raised or pledged, which is a tremendous show of support. Coupled with the team’s past fundraising efforts, and continued efforts this last year, that brings the total raised or pledged to just shy of £1million. This is an excellent result but there is still a long way to go, and a lot more support needed to raise the £5million required overall.
Whether you wish to support the project to return RB396 to the skies on any level, your support is vital. Together, we can achieve what so many people have said is impossible. With the support shown to us so far, and more support in the future, we are showing that it is not impossible. We are making it possible.
Join now, to help return Hawker Typhoon MkIb, RB396, to the skies, so that she can be the living, breathing, working and flying memorial that the crews deserve; especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.