pilots, 56% of all Typhoon pilots, were lost on operations, a higher percentage than losses suffered by Bomber Command. On 1st April 1945, whilst attacking mechanised transports (METs) five miles north-east of Hengelo in the Netherlands, RB396 herself was hit by intense light flak and started to lose height. Her pilot, Flight Lieutenant House, skilfully made a forced landing north- west of Denekamp on the Dutch/German border. Flight Lieutenant House evaded capture, managing to return to his Squadron just four days later. RB396 became one of many battlefield relics littering the European theatre.
After the war had passed her by, RB396 was recovered from the battlefield, transitioning through a scrap dealer and then a chemical factory, that proposed making a chemical wash from her rear fuselage. She was eventually saved by Dutch enthusiasts for display in a small museum. In 2012, she was brought back to the UK by one of the founding Trustees of the Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group. With the securing of a factory inhibited Napier Sabre engine the very real prospect of getting a true WWII veteran flying again became a reality and the Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group was established in 2016.
The preservation group are well underway with the restoration and has everything required to return its Hawker Typhoon to flight, including drawings, parts, and expertise. All that is needed for the rebuild to be completed is funding. The Duxford based Aircraft Restoration Company is the Group’s engineering support partner, carrying out the rebuild when funds allow. The first section, the aircraft’s rear fuselage, is nearing completion at Airframe Assemblies on the Isle of Wight, a trusted sub-contractor. Completion of this section is scheduled for late 2023 and when it is finished, it will be the first section of an airworthy Hawker Typhoon built anywhere in the world since WWII, a major milestone on the journey to airworthiness.
To support this mission in resurrecting a forgotten legend and follow updates on the restoration, please click here: www.hawkertyphoon.com