Chris Roberts reports….
    A milestone was reached at the end of July; reassembly of the Hunter began. The rear and centre fuselage portions were mated and bolted together. Of course, throughout the programme various components have been removed, refurbished and refitted but this first stage of the fuselage reassembly is a major milestone for the programme. Most of the internal fuselage preservation, protection and painting has been done to prepare the Hunter for long term display in the open in Kingston.
    The airframe is not all XL623 now as some badly corroded assemblies have been replaced by those from XL602, the Hunter TMk8M that was used at Dunsfold to develop the Sea Harrier radar system. Whilst XL623 was the final TMk7 and was always operated by the RAF, XL602 was a Navy aeroplane operated by HSA for many years.
Hunter Xl623 Project Report

 Dunsfold, having been the main final assembly site for Hunters by Hawker Aircraft Ltd and Hawker Siddeley Aviation, makes it appropriate that the work is being done there. However, the team has the difficulty of needing to work in the open rather than inside a hangar making any activity weather dependent. All work on XL623 has been stopped at Brooklands so we are very grateful for the continued availability of Dunsfold. Even so it has been touch-and-go because the now-cancelled housing development came close to ending our activity there too. A film company caused extra work when everything had to be moved or hidden from the cameras. Parts that could not be easily moved were painted green so although this was not the first time the Hunter was painted in some form of camouflage colour scheme, the film company certainly did not do the work to the same standard as the RAF.

The next stage is to refit the fin and tailplane. The front fuselage is not ready to be bolted back onto the centre fuselage as some final cleaning and painting of the two bulkheads and adjacent areas is needed. The Hunter is looking so much better now than when it was taken down in Woking, despite still being in various shades of primer and paint-stripped metal. The huge amount of work that has been carried out is apparent, although typical of such projects, the results of most of the hard work cannot be seen.
    The project has come a long way since a very dirty and corroded airframe was moved to Dunsfold. The Association Committee and Members continue to be very grateful to the team, led by Paul Rash, working on the Hunter as they steadily progress the project. The completed painted airframe will be an eye-catching memorial of the Hawker factory in Ham, Kingston, and of all who worked there.