Video – Hawker Restorations Ltd
Video – Hawker Restorations Ltd
Hawker Restorations, along with sister company AJD Engineering, has rebuilt and restored numerous WWI and WWII aircraft, from static museum exhibits to fully airworthy flying machines; indeed they have worked on every one of the 13 Hawker Hurricanes currently flying in the world.
We will photograph and film various stages of the restoration and key moments in the build-up to the first engine runs and first flight… stay tuned and follow us on Twitter @501Hurricane.
The Rolls Royce Merlin Mk.III engine for V7497 has now been rebuilt by Eye Tech Engineering. Eye Tech Engineering are a Suffolk based company with over 10 years experience in the overhaul of Rolls Royce Merlin Engines. The overhaul of Merlin Engines is a process that is usually undertaken over a 12 month period. Some examples of their overhauled Merlin engines can be found in the Hardwick Warbirds P51 Mustang, Hangar 11 Collection aeroplanes, the ‘Grace’ Spitfire, Peter Vacher’s Hawker Hurricane and the Panton brother’s Avro Lancaster.
Hawker Restorations Ltd
V7497 was part of the fourth Hawker production block by Hawker Aircraft Limited, manufactured at the new Langley facility near Heathrow (then a tiny grass airfield) in Berkshire to Air Ministry Contract no. 62305/39. The aircraft was powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin 111. Hurricane deliveries from this block commenced on the 2nd July, 1940 and were completed on the 5th February, 1941. The average rate of production about two aircraft per day.
Given the manufacturer’s construction number 41H-136172 the aircraft was allocated RAF serial number V7497 on completion and issued to 501 (County of Gloucester) Squadron in September 1940. The Hurricane was delivered to Kenley during September 1940 primarily to make up losses which had been inflicted on the squadron throughout the summer.
Block 4: Fourth Hawker Produced Block – V7497 was one of 50 Hawker Hurricane fighters within it’s serial range.
Serial Ranges: V7200 – V7209 (10), V7221 – V7260 (40), V7276 – V7318 (43), V7337 – V7386 (50), V7400 – V7446 (47), V7461 – V7510 (50), V7533 – V7572 (40), V7588 – V7627 (40), V7644 – V7690 (47), V7705 – V7737 (33), V7741 – V7780 (40), V7795 – V7838 (44), V7851 – V7862 (12), AS987 – AS990 (4) Total 500. Within the same serial batch of aircraft as V7497 was Hawker Hurricane V7467 – the aircraft flown by Squadron Leader Douglas Bader, 242 Squadron RAF, LE-D – this airframe, after seeing service with 242, was sent to 111 Squadron before being destroyed in a crash while with 59 OTU at Crosby-On-Eden.
Aircraft produced by Hawker Aircraft Limited at Langley. To Contract 62305/39, powered by Rolls-Royce Merlin III’s. Aircraft deliveries commenced on the 2nd July, 1940 and were completed on the 5th February, 1941. Average rate of production about two aircraft per day. The first 25 aircraft of this block were completed with fabric covered wings, but were later modified to metal wings at Maintenance Units, the remaining 475 aircraft completed with metal wings by manufacturer.
Like many fighters at the height of the Battle of Britain, its service career was short lived, and it was shot down by a Messerschmitt Bf109 over Kent on 28th September after only seven operational sorties. The airframe came to earth in Sutton and the pilot, P/O E.B. Rogers survived the incident by taking to his parachute.
SD-X designated aircraft where flown by notable 501 Squadron pilots including Squadron Leader ‘Ginger’ Lacey and Wing Commander K.W. MacKenzie (V6799). SD-X designated aircraft also appeared in the movies; `Reach for the Sky’, the story of Douglas Bader, starring Kenneth Moore, T4107/SD-X and appropriately filmed at Kenley.