News & Events

R4118 Suffers Cracked Cylinder Block: Repairs Underway

Over the weekend of 26th / 27th August, R4118 suffered a cracked cylinder block which has brought our flying season to a premature end this year.  Although disappointing for the whole team here at Hurricane Heritage, we’ve begun work on repairs and will take this opportunity to conduct other essential maintenance tasks before next season.

Background

R4118 is a highly original aircraft and around 70% of the aeroplane you see today actually fought in the Battle of Britain, including her rare Merlin III.  These engines were distinct from later models in that their cylinder blocks (which incorporate a cooling water jacket) were engineered from a single piece of aluminium alloy.  This made them particularly susceptible to cracking and – excluding those engines damaged by enemy action – around 60% of all Merlin III blocks cracked during operational service, meaning that most engines didn’t meet their design life before requiring overhaul.

R4118 suffered exactly this problem after a short practice display on the 27th August, unfortunately grounding her just prior to her departure to Little Gransden Airshow.

Next Steps

The engineering team here at Hurricane Heritage is now very focussed on using the current period on the ground to address a number of maintenance jobs to ensure that, when R4118 takes to the skies again next year, she’s in the best-possible condition.  With this in mind, we’re now working on a couple of key areas:

  • Firstly, and most pressingly, we’re working on getting R4118’s Merlin III operational again.  This will either mean returning the welded block to the engine if the can achieve a sufficiently-high quality of repair that both we and the CAA are satisfied with; or sourcing new blocks to fit to the engine.
  • We’re going to take this opportunity to re-fabric all of R4118’s flying controls.  This will include the ailerons, fin, rudder, tailplane and elevators.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll be removing all of these components from the aircraft and sending them for recovering.
  • We’ll also use this opportunity to conduct a full annual inspection on the aeroplane and rectify any other small issues we find along the way.

Once all of this work is done, we aim to rebuild R4118 around February 2018, ready for next year’s airshow season.

It goes without saying that, whilst disappointing to lose the engine mid-season, the most important thing for the team here at Hurricane Heritage is to ensure R4118’s safety and long-term viability as a unique airworthy survivor of the Battle of Britain.

If you’d like to support us in our efforts to continue the legacy of this wonderful aeroplane, please become a “Friend of R4118“.  A £25 annual contribution goes a long way to help us keen this unique Battle of Britain veteran airworthy.

Heartfelt thanks in advance from everyone here at Hurricane Heritage for your generosity!

 

 

Published on 30th September 2017 in News

Pride of the Skies to Represent Hurricane Heritage

We’re delighted to announce a new partnership between Hurricane Heritage and aviation merchandise experts – “Pride of the Skies“.  The Pride of the Skies team specialise in providing high-quality, officially-licensed merchandise for a number of civilian and military display teams, including the BBMF and the Typhoon team, so we’re excited that Hurricane Heritage joins this illustrious group.

Pride of the Skies will have a merchandise stand at all of the major airshows this season, starting with The Shuttleworth Military Pageant on 2nd July, and Flying Legends on 8th / 9th July.

A proportion of every sale of Hurricane Heritage merchandise goes directly to support the maintenance of R4118, so please go along and visit the Pride of the Skies stand at an airshow this summer, or visit their website

Published on 28th June 2017 in News

Coming Soon! – “Hurricane R4118 Revisited” by Peter Vacher

We’re delighted to be amongst the first to announce that Peter Vacher has revised and updated his classic account of the discovery and restoration of our Hawker Hurricane Mk1 – R4118.

The book goes to press today and we’re looking forward to stocking it in our online shop very soon.  We’ll provide updates as soon as we have stock!

Published on 24th May 2017 in News

Harvard at White Waltham

While we await our “Permit to Fly” to be issued, our 1942 Harvard – FE511 – has been moved to White Waltham.  She’ll be based at this historic grass airfield through the early part of the Summer whilst we check-out some of our pilots on her, so drop in and say hello if you’re passing.

Special thanks to Stuart Scott who took this photo of FE511 whilst we were conducting engine runs last week.

Published on 24th May 2017 in News

Fly Alongside – Battle of Britain Experience New Dates Released

Along with our friends at “Flying with Spitfires”, we’re delighted to announce additional availability for a unique “Battle of Britain” experience this summer.

Fly in a helicopter alongside history’s most famous pair of fighter aircraft: the iconic Spitfire and mighty Mk1 Hurricane, R4118, from a former Battle of Britain airfield.

Experience the majesty of the Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire in-flight, and witness a sequence of carefully choreographed manoeuvres performed by some of Britain’s most talented and experienced pilots.

Flying from Goodwood Aerodrome (formerly RAF Westhampnett) your route takes you past the site of famous Battle of Britain airfield RAF Tangmere before heading towards Selsey and Thorney Island, former home of RAF Coastal Command.

The flight lasts for about 20 minutes, of which approximately 15 minutes will be alongside the Spitfire and Hurricane.

Availability is limited, so click here to reserve your seat.

Published on 24th May 2017 in News

VISIT R4118

R4118 is now on public display at Old Warden, Bedfordshire as part of the historical Shuttleworth Collection of vintage aircraft, cars and motorcycles.

For more information, opening times and ticket booking please visit the Shuttleworth website.

Visit R4118