Hawker Tempest Mk.II MW376

 

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This Bristol-built Tempest served with the RAF as MW376, and was transferred to Hawkers in May 1948, along with 113 other Tempests. These were refurbished, fitted with long range fuel tanks, and sold to the Royal Indian Air Force in 1948 and delivered as HA564. It's thought to have served with No.4 Squadron.

MW376 is one of seven ex-Indian Air Force Tempests recovered in 1979 by Doug Arnold and Warbirds of GB Ltd. It was transfered to Tangmere Flight, UK, in 1980, Chris Horslet in 1988 and a syndicate in Stamford in 1990. Restoration work on this aircraft began in 1991 at Spanhoe, Lincolnshire, in the hands of Windmill Aviation, and the project was registered G-BSHW. (Where the photo above is taken.) Restoration work was halted in 1993, at it was stored at Audley End. In 1996 it was sold to Phillipe Dennis, in Romans, France. In 2000 it was acquired by Jim Perry and was stored in France.

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In March 2012 MW376 was sold by Airborne Attitude to Eric Hertz, NZ, and was going to be restored to flying condition by Pioneer Aero NZ. But in late March 2013 Eric Hertz was killed in an airplane crash and the project was now sold to KF Aerospace, Canada. The work now continues to get the MW376 back in the air.

 

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MW376 at KF Aerospace, Canada

 

 

Summary of History

 
Date Note Code/Serial

1944

Built at Bristol Aeroplane Co, Banwell by (Contract ACFT/3210/C.23(a)

MW376

24 Feb 1945

Handling Squadron at Hullavington. MW376

6 July 1945

Moved to Maintenance Unit 13 (for refurbishing and fitting with long-range tanks). MW376

8 Aug 1945

Maintenance Unit 20, Aston Down. MW376

May 1948

Bought by Hawker Aircraft Ltd from surplus RAF stocks.

MW376

24 May1948

Sold and delivered to Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF).

HA564

1948-1953

Served with RIAF No.4 Sqn.

HA564

1953-1979

Advanced training role, later in open storage at Poona.

HA564

1979

Recovered by Warbirds of GB Ltd, Blackbushe

MW376

1980

Tangmere Flight, UK. 

MW376

1988

C.P. Horsley, UK. 

MW376

10 June 1991

David Martin, Spanhoe Lodge, Northants, UK.

G-BSHW/MW376 

1996

Phillipe Dennis, Romans, France.

MW376

2000

Jim Perry (Stored in France).

MW376

2008 

Scheduled to move from France to the US.

MW376

2012 

Sold by Airborne Attitude to a Eric Hertz, NZ, to be restored to flying condition by Pioneer Aero. 

MW376

2013 

Late Eric Hertz/Awaiting sale.  MW376

2014

KF Aerospace, Canada. MW376

 

Restoration progress reports: 

In March 2012 Paul McSweeny reports:

Paul McSweeny, at Pioneer Aero, reports that MW376 was sold by Airborne Attitude to a "New Zealand based client", and is going to be restored to flying condition by Pioneer Aero.

In May 2012 Paul McSweeny reports:

"MW 376 is seeing the light of day for the first time in quite a few years. The complete project is now in transit to New Zealand. Due here about the second week of July."

 

 

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In August 2012 Paul McSweeny reports:

"Our latest project, the Hawker Tempest Mk. II, arrived on 20 July 2012. The Tempest MkII is a total rebuild to flying condition. When finished it will be based here at Ardmore and will be painted to honour those who flew the mighty Typhoon and Tempest during WWII."

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On 16 August 2012 Paul McSweeny reports:

"A big day for us all on Tuesday with visitors coming in to view the Tempest. Guest’s of honour was Jack Stafford and his wife Edith, Jack needs no real introduction and we were pleased to be able to re-unite him with the Tempest after last sitting in one in 1946."

Click here to watch a 3News video clip from the visit: Kiwi pilot relives wartime heroics in restored Tempest!

 

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On 27 August 2012 Paul McSweeny reports:

"We were hoping to keep this secret, but with the amount of interest that was never going to happen. So here is the photo of our trial fit up, this is to make sure before restoration gets into full swing that there are no major glitches in alignment and symmetry. All looks good!"

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In October 2012 Paul McSweeny reports:

"It has been a busy couple of weeks with a lot of visitors through the shop.

On the Tempest we are now pulling the entire forward section of the fuselage to pieces, once it has been cleaned/checked it will be painted silver before reassembly. The RH wing is now fully secure in the jig and work has started on its restoration. We also have on its way this week a crate of sheet aluminium which we have purchased in the UK, all we need now is rivets and hardware!"

In April 2013 Ashley Lambs reports:

Ashley Lamb has visited Paul McSweeny and Pioneer Aero:

"Paul says there is very little corrosion in the air frame. Centre section is finished."

 

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July 2013 report:

In late March, Eric and Kathy Hertz, the owners of the Hawker Tempest MW376, were killed after their Beechcraft Baron entered the water off the coast near Kawhia, NZ. The project has now been preserved and placed in short term storage awaiting sale.

A few links to read more about the accident:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/8491376/2degrees-boss-and-wifes-bodies-trapped

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=595276527151753&id=150073775005366

 

In July 2013 Paul McSweeny reports:

"Before the accident that claimed the lives of Eric and Kathy Hertz it was their dream to restore to flying Tempest MW376. One of the prime motivators for this dream was the opportunity to honour the New Zealanders who flew with 486 Squadron in the Typhoon and Tempest aircraft.

Pioneer Aero is now working with some New Zealand based individuals who are keen to form a syndicate to ensure that the dream that Eric and Kathy had can be bought to reality, here, in New Zealand. To help us spread the word we will be putting advertisements in some of the local aviation magazines,  Dave Homewood has also put the news on his excellent site, link below

 http://rnzaf.proboards.com/thread/19472/tempest-sale-syndicate-sought-help

 

TV3's Campbell live were also in the hangar yesterday filming for an item on the Tempest that will hopefully air next week. If you or anyone you know has interest in a possible syndicate please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  09 296 8913.

 TV3's filming:

http://www.3news.co.nz/Saving-one-of-the-great-fighters/tabid/367/articleID/306516/Default.aspx

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In December 2013 Paul McSweeny reports:

"The Tempest project is now for sale on the "world market". A huge thank you to those people who have contacted us and offered support, in all sorts of ways to restore and keep the project here in New Zealand but as we have not reached the threshold needed the decision has been made to actively market it overseas.

All is not lost we are still hopeful that we will see this magnificent aircraft fly in New Zealand. As you can imagine we are very keen to continue the rebuild to fly.

 

It is being marketed by Platinum Fighter sales check it out at Platinum Fighters. John and Simon have a great inventory of aircraft for sale and we think the Tempest project fits nicely in there."

 

On 2 May 2014:

MAJOR PRICE REDUCTION: Hawker Tempest II MW376 project. Was $495,000. Now $375,000.

Read more here!:

http://www.platinumfighters.com/inventory.html#!tempest/c4nw

 

On 4 July 2014 Paul McSweeny reports:

"Pioneer Aero's rollercoaster ride with the Tempest MkII is about to come to an end. In the last 2 years this project has given us for various reasons hope, jubilation and despair.

The project has now been sold off shore and in the next month or so we should be packing it up and dispatching it. We are buoyed by the fact it is going to a new owner who has both the will and capability to get the aircraft back in the air."

A source says MW376 is sold to Canada.

 

On 12 September 2014 Paul McSweeny reports:

"In June 2012 Eric Hertz bought out to Pioneer Aero two bottles of bubbly. The first one was drunk to celebrate the arrival of two container loads of parts from France that it was hoped in a year or two’s time would be a flying Hawker Tempest MkII.

The second unfortunately remains unopened, this was the bottle that was going to be drunk to celebrate the aircrafts first post restoration test flight. This morning two container loads of parts left our hangar bound for Canada and its new owner. It is our hope  that sooner rather than later we can take this now precious bottle to Canada and toast both a first flight and absent friends."

 

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In January 2016 KF Aerospace reports on Facebook:

"Following a lengthy journey from New Zealand, KF Aerospace, has acquired MW376 where it continues its restoration journey to airworthy flight. Our Facebook page will track the re-build of the aircraft as it progresses along it’s restoration journey to as close to original as possible. The page is intended for enthusiasts and those who have already assisted greatly with this project. Thank you so much, we will publish a list of contributors shortly.

If you have questions, have good ideas for our page or would like to see any specific photographs please ask.

For more information contact:
Barrie Stevens at KF Aerospace Ltd: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "

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mw376 11

 

KF Aerospace and MW376 on Facebook

  

In March 2016 KF Aerospace reports on Facebook:

Barrie Stevens reports current focus is on wing skin work.

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KF Aerospace and MW376 on Facebook

 

In April 2016 KF Aerospace reports on Facebook:

Barrie Stevens reports KF Aerospace was busy with customer aircraft maintenance in March, but is now back with more wing skin work.

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KF Aerospace and MW376 on Facebook

 

In August 2016 KF Aerospace reports on Facebook:

Modified aircraft hydraulic in design. The R/H wing tip rib, recently manufactured now in place. Additional wing ribs and panels near the oil cooler have been manufactured, drilled and temporary installed pending priming. 

 

KF Aerospace and MW376 on Facebook

 

 

In October 2016 KF Aerospace reports on Facebook:

The manufacture of the R/H gun bay leading edge panel is now complete. Work is nearing completion on the manufacture and installation of the center fuselage tubes and attaching brackets. Rudder panel and control column assemblies are completed and need paint. Work in progress regarding of riveting together of the L/H leading edge fuel tank cover.

 

KF Aerospace and MW376 on Facebook

 

In December 2016 KF Aerospace reports on Facebook:

Main Fuel cell routed to Sheet Metal Shop for inspection and disposition. The tank, which had been cut apart at the factory weld was found to be in poor condition including corrosion, dents, cracks and oversized holes on the external and internal structure. Main Fuel Cell replacement options are being considered.

Hydraulic Actuators routed to Component Overhaul Shop for inspection and disposition. Numerous center fuselage brackets, attachment tubes, rudder pedal assembly and control column assembly have been inspected, prepped and are now ready for the Paint Shop. Engine firewall has been test-fit onto the aircraft and deemed applicable to this airframe.

Work is on-going re-fitting instrumentation and switches into newly painted instrument panels and side consoles. Work in progress (approx 60% along) regarding the manufacture of a new upper engine assessor cowling. Work has recently begun on inspection and disposition of engine side cowl flaps.

 

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KF Aerospace and MW376 on Facebook

 

 

Images:
KF Aerospace, Canada
Ken Ellis
© Key Publishing 2002, reproduced with permission of FlyPast Magazine
Airborne Attitude, LLC
Paul McSweeny, Pioneer Aero
Benjaminn Gilbert
Ashley Lamb
Text sources:
KF Aerospace, Canada
Paul McSweeny, Pioneer Aero
Ashley Lamb
FlyPast Sept 1992
FlyPast May 2002
Airborne Attitude, LLC
Bristol Aircraft Worldwide Survey
Jay Widdows