Rare aircraft in restoration at Royal Air Force Museum Cosford

A rare aircraft is making huge steps towards its restoration at the Royal Air Force Museum in Cosford.

The Royal Air Force Museum in Cosford has made several huge steps towards the restoration of one of three remaining Handley Page Hampden. The aircraft with serial number P1344 was recovered from a crash site in northern Russia in 1991 and acquired by the RAF Museum the following year. Restoration on the badly damaged air-frame has been a slow labour of love for the team at Cosford, but since it was taken under the wings of full time aircraft technician Dave Carr 18 months ago, the unmistakable Hampden silhouette is taking shape.

Visitors who saw the plane at the last open week 10 months ago will have seen the tail-plane assembly, a predominantly new build manufactured on site at Cosford.The Hampden’s salvaged fin and rudder parts were fully restored and with little else of the original tailplane remaining following the aircraft’s crash landing, Dave used pre-production drawings and built former’s to create the components he needed including a new elevator.Following the build, the rudders received a new covering of Irish linen and the tailplane assembly was given a new coat of paint in its Bomber Command camouflage colour scheme.

Dave has focused his efforts on the forward fuselage and cockpit section and in just 12 months the section is now almost 75 per cent complete and is estimated to be fully built by Spring 2017.Work on this section began with creating formers and building the entire framework from scratch.Some components including instrument panels, seat mounting and windscreen frames have also been produced and fitted. Visitors to the museum will be able to view the continuing progress on the Hampden during the Conservation Centre Open Week from November 14 to 19.

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