Warbirds Online recently visited Scone NSW to view the progress being made on the preparations for the first Australian flight of Hawker Hurricane C/N 60372, C-FDNL, Mk XII / IIB Serial No 5481.
Regular readers will be aware that this Hurricane was imported from Canada on the 7th of April 2014 and the owner of the Hurricane placed the aircraft into the care of Ross Pay and the team at Pay’s Air Service at Scone, NSW.
Since arrival the aircraft has been subject to a refurbishment process which included woodwork and fabric work by Matt Webber and the team at Luskintyre Aircraft Restoration and a complete inspection and refurbishment of the airframe by Pay’s with reassembly now taking place at Scone.
On the day of our visit the fuselage had just arrived back at Pay’s from Luskintyre, NSW and the Pays team was immersed in the process of reassembling the aircraft which we all know is a complex task. The engine has been inspected and found to be in excellent condition. Work is now centered on a host of minor tasks to ensure the aircraft is at its best prior to its first Australian flight.
The aircrafts wings have also had a full inspection, as well as the horizontal stabilizer, with the wings about to be repainted at the time of our visit.
Pay’s Air Service has made excellent progress on the aircraft, so much so that a first flight is expected prior to Christmas.
A decision has been made as to the color scheme to be placed on the aircraft. It will be finished in an Australian Pilots scheme from around the 1940 period, although the actual identity is being kept confidential until it is unveiled. Great attention has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the aircraft and it features many original fittings and components and is perhaps one of the most original Hawker Hurricanes flying in the world. The attention to detail also includes the standard of the finish – the colors are very accurate, as is the camouflage pattern and the correct matt finish of the paint scheme.
Warbirds Online is often asked why the engine is painted red. We asked Ross Pay and were told that this was the color the refurbishment company used when the Merlin was originally rebuilt and other sources have also informed us that this color may make it easier to detect any oil leaks which may occur.
Ross Pay will be the pilot of the aircraft on its first flight in Australia and is rightly proud of the work he and the team have put into the aircraft since it came into their care.
It is believed that the Hurricane will make some limited appearances at selected Aviation events once it is flying and will make a beautiful addition to the Australian Warbird scene.
Warbirds Online will be attending the first flight of a Hurricane in Australia since WWII, and we will report on the festivities surrounding it’s Australian debut.
We are greatly indebted to the owner of Hawker Hurricane 5481 and Ross Pay and his team for allowing us to cover this fantastic event on the Australian Warbird scene.
© John Parker 2015