It is now over four years since the Benares Hindu University's Engineering College (BENCO) sold the derelict Hurricane that was lying on its campus to englishman Peter Vacher.
Photos Courtesy: Damien Burke and HandMade by Machine Ltd.
|Hurricane Mk 1 R4118 (G-HUPW) takes to the air.|
It is now over four years since the Benares Hindu University’s Engineering College (BENCO) sold the derelict Hurricane that was lying on its campus to englishman Peter Vacher. After a three year marathon restoration effort to make it airworthy, the Hurricane, R-4118 has taken to the air.
The aircraft was first reported to have been sold in early reports , Subsequently it was identified as R4118 and its construction number is G592301. It was registered in the United Kingdom as G-HUPW.
|Another view of Hurricane Mk 1 R4118 coming back to land|
Subsequently, the aircraft was shipped to the UK and underwent the restoration at Hawker Restorations Ltd. [http://www.hawker-restorations-ltd.co.uk] . The aircraft succesfully carried out its first flight on 23rd December 2004.
The flight was captured by Damien Burke in the splendid photographs featured on this page.
The owner, Peter Vacher is planning to bring out a book on the aircraft’s recovery and its subsequent restoration as detailed below:
One of Peter Vacher’s great passions in life is restoring Rolls-Royce motor cars. In March 1982 he was travelling in India on research when quite by chance in the grounds of a northern university he stumbled on the rusting remnants of an aircraft. It was a British plane, but unrecognisable. Peter was intrigued. Initially thinking it was a Spitfire, he managed to get the serial number from which he obtained confirmation that it was in fact a Mark I Hurricane, R4118, which had flown in the Battle of Britain! For years he did nothing but the fantastic idea of bringing it back to England and seeing it fly again stayed at the back of his mind. In 1996 he decided to act and made an offer to buy the remains. In 1997 the offer was accepted. There then followed six years of wrangling, committees, red tape, Indian Air Force involvement, and much patient lobbying before in 2002 Peter was given 24 hours to remove the plane. Then the truly difficult process began of restoration – a worldwide search for parts, careful reconstruction, flight testing, and finally, finally airborne again. Along the way he re-united three auspicious veterans – Peter Thompson, Bunny Currant and Bob Foster – with R4118, men who had flown her during the war. This is truly an amazing story, a dream come true, documented in words and pictures as it happened. History Channel involvement. Video, film under negotiation; TV coverage of R4118 in flight guaranteed; Massive newspaper, magazine coverage guaranteed