Chris Roberts reports on progress…
This month, July 22nd marks the anniversary of the Hawker Association taking ownership of XL623 after it was lowered off the mounting pole in the centre of Woking town.
The two aspects of the project, the airframe and Kingston installation are both progressing. The aeroplane restoration is well underway, and arrangements for a display site in Kingston are well matched to the airframe progress. Although a formal approval for a site in Kingston has not yet been obtained we will be submitting a planning permission application in the next few months, and this will flush out the rest of the issues that need to be addressed. Meanwhile the civil engineering drawings for the installation are being reviewed and updated. The foundation (forgive the pun) of the works being the original plans that were used in Woking 25 years ago.
Work on the airframe continues at two locations. At Dunsfold work on the centre section of the fuselage is underway and it will be detached from the front (nose section) when it needs to be moved to Brooklands. Some work has been carried out on the nose section and the wings have also had some initial attention. The wings, tailplane and nose cone need relatively little work as the structures are sound so the requirements are broadly for preservation and cosmetic needs. The rear and centre portions of the fuselage were where the main recovery work was needed because years of water ingression mixed with bird droppings produced a very corrosive mixture. The rear section at Brooklands is now in final preparation for painting, so we are looking forward to moving the centre section to the museum to start the re-skinning of the bottom portion.
The ground installation will be the subject of a separate fund
raising exercise. The sum involved suggests that it would be
appropriate to lobby Kingston’s business community for support.
However, the planning application fees may need to come from the
restoration funds because it is the only practical way to launch the
application. We expect these fees to be about £500, a sum that we can
just cover. But we do need a little more help to keep moving forward!