The Hawker team – These remarkable engineers have been responsible for the ground-up restoration of Hurricane V7497. I am sure you would all agree that these craftsmen have some very rare and unique skills.
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Hi, my name’s Rich Bower and I’m Hawker Restorations System Engineer. I’ve been a petrol/avgas/diesel head since the age of 6 being brought up in my families garage business. My trade is a Marine Engineer in the Royal Navy. I served on frigates, an aircraft carrier, and lastly on a minesweeper HMS Cattistock in the first Gulf War. I’ve worked for Hawkers for 4 years being responsible for the fitting and plumbing in of the iconic Merlin engine. I’ve been involved in building test rigs for testing various engine and system components which has been very interesting. I work with an amazing team of guys on the hangar floor whom I have learnt a massive amount from. In turn, they have learnt a lot from me….mostly how to swear!… My hobbies include building and riding old motorcycles and I have a soft spot for Land Rovers. I love to travel and drink Adnams beer too!
I completed my 3-year apprenticeship at Royal Airforce Museum Cosford in 2015. During my apprenticeship, I was part of the team restoring the Handley page Hampden Torpedo bomber. This included building a new tailplane as a new fuselage utilising original parts.
My time at the museum was where my interest in warbirds was sparked. I started working at Hawker Restorations on 4th July 2016 where I have been one of a two-man team working on building that wings for G-HRLI. It is interesting to learn the skills and techniques it takes to build the Hurricane as it was manufactured in a completely different way during wartime.
It a privilege to be able to work on the battle of Britain Hurricane and be part of the team.
I have a BTEC in Mechanical Engineering and after working for several engineering companies joined AJD engineering in 1990 where I worked on SE5A’s Avro 504’s and a thunderbolt.
In 1995 started working for Hawker Restorations, where I have worked on 9 of the flying Hurricanes in the air today and various other warbirds. My skill set is very varied, form milling, turning, to structure assembly and building, sheet metal work and a CAA approved welding license.
My diverse skill set results from the Hurricane requiring multiple engineering disciplines, meaning that there are never 2 days the same when restoring a Hurricane! In my spare time, I enjoy Motorcycling (fair weather Fanatic) tinkering with cars and keeping the local brewing industry aloft!
I started my career at Marshall Aerospace, completing a 4-year apprenticeship as an Airframe Fitter and went on to work on various light aircraft including Tiger Moths and Chipmunks, I moved on to heavy structural servicing, repairs and modifications on C130 Hercules, including working parties to Sweden and Norway on their respective Airforce Hercs. I left Marshalls in 2007 to work on a contract in Norway, working on F16’s, carrying out Falcon Star mods and upgrades. When that contract finished I worked for the Aircraft Restoration Company at Duxford, working mainly on BBMF Hurricane and Spitfire major overhauls. I have now been at Hawker Restorations for just over a year and a half and I have worked on V7497’s wings most of that time.
Hawker Restorations began as AJD Engineering, founded in 1987 by vintage aircraft enthusiast and electronics expert Tony Ditheridge, toolmaker Graham Self and carpenter Richard Watson, with the intention of restoring WWI fighters and high-performance racing and aerobatic aeroplanes.
Naturally the first of our restored Hurricanes went to Sir Tim in New Zealand. The second was purchased by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and the third by Steven Grey of The Fighter Collection at Duxford. We have since built seven more, which are based in the UK, USA, Canada and France. We have continued to develop our expertise, skills and tooling, and although the Hurricane remains central to our activities we have in the last few years rebuilt or been involved with a number other fighter aircraft including the Spitfire, Mustang, Corsair and Yak. After V7497 has been completed the next project will be the two-seater Hurricane, only the second ever built, in order that more enthusiasts may enjoy the extremely rare privilege of flying in the aircraft that saved Britain.
As world leaders in Hurricane restoration, Hawker Restorations can advise you on a variety of investment options, including whole or part ownership, and of course on every aspect of operation and maintenance.
Contact Tel: +44 (0) 7802 704597 | +44 (0) 1763 852240
Email: email@example.com | Web: www.hurricane501.co.uk
Hawker Restorations: firstname.lastname@example.org