As many of our followers will know, R4118 suffered a crack to the port cylinder bank towards the end of August 2017. Luckily, our engineering team spotted the “tell-tale” signs of a cracked block shortly before the aircraft was about to depart Old Warden for a flying display, preventing a potentially serious in-flight emergency developing.
With the aircraft subsequently grounded for repairs, we removed the engine from R4118 and uncovered a number of other issues that required rectification before the aircraft could be returned to flight. Notably, the starboard cylinder bank also showed signs of cracking and, rather than repairing these components, a decision has been made to replace the two damaged banks with newly overhauled units. This work is currently being undertaken by Maurice Hammond of Eye Tech Engineering.
In addition, it was discovered that the Rotol propeller hub fitted to the aircraft had sustained some damage and, once again, a decision has been made to manufacture a new hub to ensure that, once R4118 is returned to flight, she’s in pristine condition. Whilst the engine and propeller are undergoing overhaul, we’ve also commissioned work to repair leaks in the coolant header tank and conduct repairs to the radiator and oil cooler.
Finally, Clive Denney and his team at Vintage Fabrics have almost completed replacing the Irish linen skins on all of the flying surfaces (see attached). As expected, Clive has done a superb job and the work on these components should be completed by mid-February.
A New Home for R4118
Since the acquisition of R4118 by Hurricane Heritage in October 2015, the aircraft has been based at Old Warden within The Shuttleworth Collection.
Given the substantial amount of work required to rebuild the aircraft and return her to flight, we’ve decided to relocate her to Duxford where the team at The Aircraft Restoration Company (ARCo) have been appointed to conduct the rebuild. ARCo (under the leadership of John Romain) have a huge depth of experience with rebuilds of this type and, importantly, have enough resource to complete the rebuild work very quickly once overhauls to the various components have been completed.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank both the teams at The Shuttleworth Collection, and Bygone Aviation, who have been great partners on our journey of Hurricane ownership over the last couple of years. Even though R4118 will now be based at Duxford, I’ve no doubt she’ll be a regular feature of Shuttleworth displays in seasons to come.
The Move to Duxford
As you’ll see from the image accompanying this article, R4118 was loaded onto a truck this morning and moved by road from Old Warden to Duxford. Once R4118 has been returned to flight, I expect her to be placed on public display within one of the Hangars at Duxford.
We’ll provide further updates as the restoration of R4118 continues, but we’re keen to progress this as quickly as possible, and expect her to be gracing the skies over England once again this summer.