Hawker Tempest Mk.II MW763

 

 

Summary of History

 
Date Note Code/Serial

1945

Built at Hawker Aircraft Ltd at Langley (Contract ACFT/2438/C.23(a)

MW763

May 1948

Bought by Hawker from RAF surplus stocks, refurbished and sold to India.

MW763 -> HA586

1948

Delivered to Indian Air Force.

HA586

1979

Recovered by Warbirds of GB Ltd, Blackbushe.

HA586

1980

E. Nick Grace/Tangmere Flight.

MW763

1988

Brian Angliss/Autokraft Ltd, Brooklands.

MW763

9 Oct 1989-1992

Autokraft Limited, Brooklands.

G-TEMT/MW763

1995?-

Tempest Two Ltd

G-TEMT/MW763

3 June 2014

Canfield Hunter Ltd

G-TEMT/MW763

 


Tempest Mk.II HA586, ex-RAF MW763, as found at Poona in India in 1979.

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MW763 late 1980s. Photos taken by John Green, volunteer at Autokraft.

(Photos via Peter Arnold.)

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Restoration progress reports:

 

In February 2004 Tom Woodhouse reports:

"MW763 could possibly be ready for Flying Legends 2004 but the last I heard was that Mike Nixon still hadn't even started the engine restoration and he'd had the engine for two years previous to that anyway! The Flypast picture (May 2002 issue) was taken when Gerry and the lads had hung their spare (not overhauled) Centaurus on the airframe to get the cowlings complete and as many systems fitted as possible, otherwise the airframe is ready to go pending the arrival of the engine."

In November 2005 Tom Woodhouse reports:

"The Tempest will hopefully be finished later next year (2006), I doubt it'll be ready for Legends as Gerry's got a big job to do overseas this winter with his aerial mapping company. He now has 3 serviceable magnetos and is awaiting the engine back from Nixon."

In February 2007 Kevin Strickson reports:

"When I spoke to one of the engineers from Tempest Two Ltd., he said that they had four Tempests in total and they were building two flyers and one static (if possible) out of the bits. As you can see from the photograph, Tempest Two Ltd. has done an excellent job in restoring this particular bird from its original state. It awaits the return of the engine that has been sat with California-based Nixon engines for the past two years being serviced - once this is done it should be a relatively straight forward job of assembly and then it has to have its CAA airworthiness checks."

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Latest "rumours" in April 2008: 

According to FlyPast's "UK WARBIRDS 2008 - The Comprehensive Guide" MW763 is now "undergoing final assembly at a private location in Lincolnshire". There is also a post on Flypast's Forum saying they now have started to renovate the engine in USA!! So is MW763 back in air in 2008 or 2009??!!

In June 2009 Kevin Strickson reports:

"Just been over to Wickenby Wheels and Wings and she was outside with an engine in place. Unfortunately not with the renovated engine. She is said to fly in 2010 :) "

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In June 2010 Kevin Strickson reports: 

"I would love to have bought you some new pictures of this rare machine. Today & yesterday has been Wickenby's wheels and wings display.

The machine was tucked away in the far side hanger covered in dust in exactly the same state as it was last year. It still has an old engine in and the panels are in the same state and no propeller. It seems to still be awaiting an engine. The reason it seems it was not on display is Mr Cooper is in North Africa, so none of his frames were available to view without his permission.

So another year me thinks before it see's the daylight again .... if anything changes I'll hopefully get to see it."

In September 2010 Kevin Strickson reports:

"Having spoken to one of Coopers Engineers this afternoon a few more gems have come out. Cooper is still awaiting the Centurus engine from the States (Massive probs with a re-build of one) so the project is on hold awaiting this still. Also a problem when they get the engine in and running is that Wickenby's runway may be too short to land the beast !!

The chances are MW763 will be able to take off but not get down ..... that will be an issue , but as the engineer said "Well if Cooper keeps it , putting a bit more runway in wont be an issue". Cooper has so many projects on the go right now so this one is in park mode as we know."

In July 2013.....:

MW763 is now for sale on AvBuyer.com:

"OFFERS IN EXCESS OF £650,000

BE THE FIRST TO OWN A FLYING EXAMPLE OF THIS RARE WARBIRD THIS CENTURY. THIS AIRCRAFT HAS BEEN UNDERGOING A TOTAL REBUILD AND IS NOW ALMOST COMPLETE. IT IS CURRENTLY IN THE UK AND VIEWING IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. THE ENGINE IS CURRENTLY WITH VINTAGE V12 IN THE USA AND US$100,000 HAS ALREADY BEEN PAID TO THEM. IN ALL WELL OVER £500,000 HAS BEEN SPENT ON THE RESTORATION."

Click the image below to view entire page at AvBuyer.

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In May 2014:

MW763 is on the move! More info and a photo in the link below.

 

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MW763 on the move.

 

 

On 21 May 2014 "North Weald Airfield" reports on Facebook:

"Catching up on a new arrival, now we have permission to post the images. Hawker Tempest II, MW763, was brought by road from Wickenby last Wednesday 14 May. It will be restored to flying condition in due course by the engineers from Weald Aviation."

 

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North Weald Airfield on Facebook, four photos of MW763!

 

On 6 June 2014 Peter Arnold visited North Weald:

and Tim Manna who has the contract to rebuild the Tempest. Peter took this photo!

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In September 2014 issue of FlyPast reports:

This is a significant project for Weald Aviation Services. Over the next months, a new purpose-build bay will be erected in one of the hangars, so the airframe can be assessed. The fighter's Bristol Centaurus engine has already been transported from the US to North Weald, and will now be worked on by engineers to return it to serviceable condition. Weald Aviation's boss Russ Smith told FlyPast:
"We are honoured to have been chosen and trusted to undertake the restoration of such iconic fighter. We look forward  to seeing it back in the UK skies, looking as spectacular as ever. The process is expected to take around two years, give or take a month or so."
 
 
 

On 7 November 2015 "North Weald Airfield" reports on Facebook:

"A photo from the engine shop today and work continuing on the Tempest II Centaurus, this part being a con rod assembly."

 

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On 11 March 2016 "North Weald Airfield" reports on Facebook:

 

"Our Hawker Tempest II 'MW763' (G-TEMT) is progressing well through her major restoration. As shown in the images, we have manufactured jigs for the fully monocoque rear fuselage section and tail fin section. The rear fuselage section is now almost complete, with new skins, frames and stringers fitted. There remains only a few pieces to be fitted in order to complete this section, before moving on to beginning construction of the very complex fin section which is currently complete in kit form. The wings and horizontal stabiliser are waiting patiently for their chance to be given some TLC! The forward canopy section is being rebuilt in anticipation of the return of the tubular structure cockpit section which is away for complete inspection and overhaul. The long process of reconditioning all of the cockpit controls, panels and dials to their original glory has also begun. 
 
Our engine shop is a hive of activity at the moment, our team are working full steam ahead on the engine for the Tempest II. The very rare Bristol Centaurus V/VI power-plant for the Tempest is progressing well, with the bulk of components now in state ready for rebuild. The crank case and connecting rods along with a large amount of other parts have undertaken a unique varnishing treatment to increase their life and strength, which should give our engines a superb life span once complete. The finished articles look stunning as can be seen from the before and after shots below, and are a testament to our engine team for pushing this process through in order to make our engines some of the highest quality Centaurus' you're ever likely to find."
 
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Updates and images will appear on the company's Facbook page and website:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Photos:
via Peter Arnold
Peter Arnold
John Green
Kevin Strickson
Text sources:
Kevin Strickson
Tom Woodhouse
FlyPast Nov 2002
Aeroplane Nov 2001
FlyPast Sept 2014