Fears that the sole surviving Hawker Hurricane from the Battle of Britain would be sold to an international buyer were allayed today, with the announcement that the aircraft has been purchased by a British aviation enthusiast.
A UK software entrepreneur is the new owner of Hawker Hurricane Mk 1 R4118, ensuring that this unique Battle of Britain veteran remains in the UK.
Delivered new to 605 Squadron in August 1940, R4118 flew 49 operational sorties during the Battle of Britain, shooting down five enemy aircraft before being shot down itself. After a meticulous restoration by previous owner Peter Vacher, the aircraft is now regarded as the most historic British aircraft to survive in flying condition from the Second World War.
On his purchase, the new owner said: “R4118 is a remarkable survivor from the Battle of Britain. When I heard the aircraft was on the market, I knew it was critical that this unique piece of Britain’s history remained in the UK, so I’m very pleased to have been able to achieve that.
“My goal is to ensure that the Hurricane remains in the pristine condition that Peter Vacher has returned it to and that it continues to be a regular feature at British air shows for many years to come. Thanks to Peter’s efforts to return R4118 to flying condition, the aircraft commands huge affection from the British public and I’m proud to be able to play a part in her future.”
Commenting on the sale, Peter Vacher said “R4118 has been a huge part of my life for many years, but I have other projects that I’m keen to focus on and it’s time for a new owner to take on the mantle. I’m delighted that the purchase means not only that R4118 will remain in the UK, but that it will be cherished by a true enthusiast.”
R4118 will be moving to its new home at Old Warden Aerodrome, Bedfordshire in October where it will be placed on public display within the hangars of the Shuttleworth Collection. As well as continuing its participation in major airshows nationwide throughout 2016, it is hoped that the aircraft will also become a regular participant at Shuttleworth Collection events alongside its Old Warden stablemate, Sea Hurricane Mk 1B Z7015.