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Hunter T7 XL 623 Rescue Project

The Hawker Association has taken on an exiting  project to rescue and renovate the last Hunter T7 built. This fits with our aims to keep alive the spirit and memories of the Hawker aviation companies by publicising their achievements, their people and their products.

XL623 has sat on top of a pole in the centre of Woking for 22 years and is in poor condition, but assisted by Brooklands Museum we will renovate the aircraft and put it back on static display in a new location in Surrey.

The Hunter was originally installed in Woking outside an aviation themed nightclub that closed many years ago. Woking Borough Council inherited the aircraft, but by 2017 its appearance, condition and location were causing concern.

Following discussions between the Council, Brooklands Museum and the Hawker Association it was decided that we would take on ownership of the aircraft and manage the renovation and relocation project. XL 623 was moved to Dunsfold on 24 July 2018, and we are grateful to the Rutland Group for their offer of storage assistance.

XL623 has been donated so our limited financial resources have not been affected. The fundamental principle that the Committee will operate to is that the project must be self-financing; fund raising will take place before any expenditure is agreed. As Brooklands will work on the airframe in their new purpose-built aviation heritage skills training centre, costs should be low and manageable. If the project becomes impracticable at any stage it can be put on hold without the Association incurring any financial liability.

The next stage is to fully assess the condition of the airframe to establish the scope of the preservation task. At present we aim to complete the project by the end of 2019, but a full survey will indicate whether this is realistic or otherwise. A number of potential locations have been identified and a parallel activity will take place to prepare for a new installation.

Chris Roberts

Video from initial study to lower XP 623 on to a lorry (16:30). Excellent Time lapse video (8 minutes) of moving XP 623 to the ground by Andy's Video Channel.