With the week now past, I can report that collective efforts to help preserve the memory of F/Sgt William Hurrell (RAF 175 Sqn) were well received by his surviving family who had flown to Holland from Australia.
At only 21 years old, William was flying one of the most advanced, powerful fighters yet built, in some of the most dangerous missions of the war. He did this for a future that he would never have the chance to see.
We will never be able to thank William for his sacrifice; but we can honour him as we have this past week, and we can honour him by ensuring that future generations never forget his name, and never forget what it was that he fought for.
I would personally like to thank all who made it possible for me to take part in this wonderful act of remembrance. I have been so very impressed to see the efforts of the Dutch Air force, and all levels of government working together to recover the remains of this young man.
This is one of many recoveries of missing airmen expected in the coming years; a project started by the Dutch government to pay tribute to those who lost their lives fighting for our freedoms, yet have no known graves. This is an effort worthy of emulation, and one that must be highly respected.
The recovery work on this project has also sparked a new initiative to remember those who never came home. “Blue Skies”, an effort that can be attributed to Leemans Speciaalwerken, an initiative that we are honoured to take part in.
Blue Skies aims to ensure that these lost airmen can get their wings back. Typhoon Legacy Co. Ltd. will support this by carrying the name of each lost pilot on JP843 for a minimum of one year, upon retirement from active display on the aircraft, a panel will be hung for display to ensure the memory is not forgotten.
Normal production has been put aside for the past week or two so that we can focus on a very special project. The Cockpit Side Panel you see in the images below are part of this special project. We will be revealing full details towards the end of the month in another post.
Please note: This panel is a replica panel made from original drawings, using certified materials, but is not intended for fitment on an airworthy aircraft, it has also not been produced as part of the rebuild for JP843.
Cockpit Side Panel Work.
Ian Slater has been hard at work forming the individual parts that make up the starboard cockpit side panel. These are then temporarily assembled, using a wide variety of clamps to check for correct fitment of the parts, and trimmed or shaped (if needed) to ensure correct alignment.
The parts are then drilled for the rivets, being held together with Cleco temporary fasteners during this process.
The parts are then dis-assembled from the Cleco fasteners and then de-greased, etched & primed for paint top coats
The Parts are then riveted together, and then painted
Completed starboard Cockpit Side Panel-Interior
Completed starboard Cockpit Side Panel-Exterior
Wartime image of Hawker Typhoon JP834 with Dicky Harkness (RNZAF 609 Sqn) in the cockpit, showing the location of starboard Cockpit Side Panel, just below his hand
Some may have noticed that there were a few wing spar fittings
showing in a previous post, these are the fittings that we’ve been trying to
source for several years, and key to completing the reverse engineering of the
wing for JP843.
We have been very fortunate to acquire (on loan), not only fittings, but the complete joint assembly for the wing attachment points along with the tailplane spar fittings. This was only possible through the very generous loan of parts from the Hawker Typhoon JP600 recovery in France, by Mr. Pierre Ben.
The parts are being used by our
friends at the Jet Age Museum, and by ourselves, to completely reverse engineer
each joint. It’s been an effort by many that we are all very thankful for.
To remove the wing pins, the Jet Age team requested the assistance of their sponsor, SAFRAN, and their 50 ton press.
It took 35 tons of force to get the pins out, and when they did let go, it was with one heck of a bang!. These efforts allowed the shipment of key components to our shop here in British Columbia. While the main cockpit spar sections remain in the UK, we have the pin joint assemblies here in our shop where they are undergoing full measurement and CAD design work. Upon completion, all of the data we generate will be shared between our two Typhoon groups to help Typhoon advancement as much as possible. The original parts will be re-assembled and returned to France for display.
For further information on JP600 how these part were recovered, please take the time to Visit Pierre Ben’s fantastic website ( link below)
It’s been a little while since we have updated our website, but that does not mean that work has stopped on the typhoon, far from it. The team has been busy sourcing parts, working on tooling, fixtures & jigs, drawing up parts etc.
I have recently joined the team, to help out with social media & website updates, so that Ian Slater & the team can get on fabrication, engineering & parts restoration.
Please find as follows an update of work in 2019.
3D CAD Work – Nicolas’s work on drawing up components continues. Many days & weeks of work can go into creating these images, but they are more than just that. The output from these then goes into the fabrication of parts, jigs & fixtures.