There has been some very significant progress on the airframe restoration of Jack McDonald’s Hawker Demon, particularly the fitting of the woodwork on the fuselage. Since our last report in May 2016 most of the woodwork has been undertaken by very talented volunteer, Dave Saunders and the quality of the work and progress is excellent.
All of the timber frames are now manufactured and fitted to the fuselage, as well as most of the upper fuselage stringers. In addition, the fuselage side access doors have been manufactured and fitted. The fuselage access doors are hinged and provide access to the internals (including the radios) of the fuselage once the aircraft receives its fabric covering.
As highlighted in our last report, the wooden components were manufactured from templates that had been made some years ago and are works of art in their own right. The fuselage frames have a mild scallop between each stringer which when covered in fabric give the classic concave effect on the fuselage between each stringer. These mild scallops are one of the most difficult features of the whole woodwork process as the dimensions were not known, however from period drawings and photos of restored aircraft it was possible to calculate the correct dimensions and the result is excellent.
The rest of the rear fuselage internal fittings and components will have to be put in place but most of this work is in hand and will be finalized soon. Given the current rate of progress it should not be very long before the fuselage is ready for the fabric to be put in place. The fabric work will be a real turning point in this restoration.
Once all of the fuselage woodwork is complete and the fabric covering is done, work will turn to the completion of the forward fuselage and cockpit fit-out, which is already about 50% finalized. The forward fuselage panels are mostly metal components with some fabric ones and are fairly straightforward so shouldn’t pose huge problems.
The Rolls Royce Kestrel engine sits at the front of the aircraft awaiting cleaning, restoration and refitting to the airframe.
Any reader who has knowledge of or access to any Hawker Demon components which would aid in this restoration would be welcome to contact us as components are as always in this sort of restoration rare and almost impossible to source.
Warbirds Online will continue to provide updates on this historic aircraft restoration as it happens
© John Parker 2016