Thunder & Lightnings

Hawker Sea Hawk - Survivor 'WN105' (really WF299, composite with WN105)

FB.3 WN105 - Graham Revill, Birlingham, Worcestershire

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Sea Hawk FB.3 WN105 at Birlingham, 25th August 2023; Jake Wallace

Hidden behind several barn buildings in the small village of Birlingham, is Sea Hawk WF299.

WF299 was delivered to the Royal Navy in May 1954. After having a very short flying career, the airframe was used for instructional uses from July 1961 at Catterick Fire School as A2509, later receiving the number 8164M. The aircraft later moved to Culdrose in 1977, being given its third maintenance number, A2662.

A few months later, it moved once more to St Agnes Model Village before relocating to Flambards Theme Park in 1983. The aircraft was incomplete and in need of some attention on arrival. Happily, a restoration project got underway, with several parts from Sea Hawk WN105 being used to help rebuild what was left of WF299. Once the airframe was rebuilt, it was repainted into an overall red scheme, representing WN105.

10 years later, WF299 was acquired by Graham Revill, moving it to his small collection in Worcestershire. WF299 could be seen alongside a Hunter, Meteor, Jet Provost, and two Vampires, all in various conditions. Over the years, the collection sadly fell into neglect. However, in 2017, a small group of individuals came together, creating the Birlingham Classic Aircraft Preservation Group. The group began to make progress on cleaning the aircraft, sealing up the canopies, and giving them some much-needed attention. Unfortunately, this all fell apart some months later, with the collection being left to be reclaimed by the surroundings once again.

Although the overall fuselage and wings are sound, there are several areas that are heavily corroded, small intake vent turning into dust. Both of the quarter panels have been removed, being replaced with silver tape. The cockpit is empty apart from some of the framework and a seat, which are fairly corroded.

It's fair to say that there is still enough of this aircraft left in a decent condition to make a brilliant, future, external restoration project. Finding the parts to complete the cockpit once again may be challenging.

These aircraft are only viewable by prior permission from the owners.

Information on this page current as of 27/08/2023, last updated by Jake

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