The Past Lives On With World War Two Aircraft Reconstruction

The newly rebuilt cockpit of a rare WWII Hawker Typhoon has been installed at its new home, a museum near Gloucester.

The newly rebuilt cockpit of a rare World War Two Hawker Typhoon has been installed at its new home, a museum near Gloucester.

Volunteers have just completed the major restoration project, having spent over 7,000 hours reconstructing the plane from its mangled remains, found in a scrap yard in 1996.

Now, the typhoon cockpit takes pride of place amongst the other museum exhibits.

Second World War veterans Derek Lovell and Paddy Byrne, who both flew typhoons during the war, were there to greet the plane.

Paddy said of the project:

“It’s nice to see it - it’s a memory for people that lets people see what things were like!”

3300 Hawker Typhoons were built in Gloucestershire throughout World War Two.

Rare Cockpit

Unfortunately, the plane wasn’t a huge success and has largely been forgotten.

However, 97-year-old Peggy Fisher, who built Typhoons during the war, remembers them well.

She was honoured with adding the final rivet to the reconstruction - a job she hasn’t done since 1944. 

She said: “We thought we were doing a good job! The men didn’t like us going into the factory because we were taking their jobs, but I met some very nice people and had a lovely time.”

“With a little practice I could do the job all over again. I know I could - and I’m 97 now!”

The recreation is astonishingly accurate in its detail - a piece of the past, preserved forever, welcomed by those who flew and built the plane. 

Hawker Typhoon MN235 at RAF Museum, Hendon by Dapi89 and Hohum
An example of a complete Hawker Typhoon shown at the RAF Museum, Hendon (image: Dapi89/Hohum)