QA12 Restoration Diary
QA12, as a complete forward fuselage section for the first time since it was was cut up in 2002, on display at Newark Air Museum's CockpitFest 2008.
Nose section (Frames 3 to 6) has been stripped, cleaned and the port skin panel riveted back in place. This section is now ready to be re-fitted to the forward fuselage.
A Martin Baker Mk.3 seat has been acquired. The seat needs extensive restoration but, if the correct parts can be obtained, should mean that the type of Hunter seat specific to the FGA.78 will be fitted to QA12.
Thanks to Nik Read, a volunteer at Brooklands Museum, the fin and rudder of QA12 was saved from the scrapman when the aircraft was dismantled at Hurn in the early 1990s. He says "it's such an iconic 'Hawker' shape that I couldn't see it scrapped". Nik has carefully looked after it ever since and has now generously donated it to the project. The original Qatar Emiri Air Force paint scheme on the starboard side will be preserved. The port side, which hasn't fared quite so well, may be returned to its early Dutch Air Force scheme to acknowledge the aircrafts service in the Koninklijke Luchtmacht.
My sincere thanks to Nik for his generosity.
Photo: Test re-fit of nose section
With all the old paint stripped the photo above shows QA12 on display at CockpitFest 2006 at Newark Air Museum where the project was awarded the Spirit of CockpitFest prize. The nose and radome have yet to be stripped and re-installed, but the original spine panel, with it's original paint finish, has been acquired and fitted.
Photo: Restored instrument panel and gunsight on display at CockpitFest 2006.
Most of the old paint has been stripped and the majority of the work to re-join the upper and lower sections of fuselage has been completed using shaped plates and strengthening members riveted to the fuselage frames. The front and rear halves have been jigged and temporarily bolted back together using specially made stainless steel brackets fitted along and inside the four longerons.
Photo: The stainless steel brackets used to connect the upper longerons back together
Photo: Bracket in place within the starboard longeron
It is planned that certain areas of fuselage skin will be aluminium welded, whereas others will be plated and riveted.
Virtually all the missing parts (instruments, control column, radio controllers, switches, invertors, control units, junction boxes etc.) have been obtained and are stored awaiting fitment.