One of the most experienced restorers and the location of the world’s largest collection of DAP/Bristol Beaufort and Beaufighter aircraft and components is located at Albion Park, NSW, Australia.
Recently an Ex RAAF 100 Squadron, Australian manufactured, DAP Beaufort Mk.VIII Bomber cockpit/forward fuselage has arrived at the Historical Aircraft Restorations Limited at Albion Park NSW for complete restoration including sheet metal and other repairs for a major museum. The exact identity of the aircraft is not yet known, but it is one of five Beauforts recovered from Tadji, Papua New Guinea (PNG) in 1974 by the Tallichet organization. This famous recovery included many other aircraft including P40 and P39 fighters and is a legendary accomplishment in Warbird history.
Three Beauforts went to Chino, California with one being refurbished for the RAF Museum Hendon, UK. The second Chino Beaufort was acquired by Robert Greinert in the mid 1990’s and its components divided into 3 lots between Beaufort restorer Ralph Cusak, the Australian War Memorials Beaufort restoration and the leftovers for use in the Historic Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) Beaufighter program.
The third very incomplete machine languished till 2008 until rescued and was stored in the US until now. This aircraft is the one acquired for this cockpit restoration. Historical Aircraft Restorations Limited has acquired an enviable reputation for its cockpit restorations including several DAP/Bristol Beaufighter nose/cockpit restorations for various museums around the world. The quality and accuracy of their workmanship is exceptional and the newly arrived Beaufort section will no doubt be up to the same standard.
These days it is becoming more and more difficult to locate the detailed items associated with such a restoration and so Historical Aircraft Restorations Limited are seeking any and all parts to assist with this restoration venture.
A replacement navigators/bombardiers canopy is in particular keenly sought, as are all and any internal parts. Anyone with parts that would like to assist with this restoration can contact Project Coordinator – Rosemary Szabo at email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
B&W Images courtesy Noel Spalding.
© John Parker 2016