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.