|Rearwin almost ready|
|Written by Mark|
|Wednesday, 25 January 2012 13:40|
AT BIGGIN HILL, Kent, the first-ever flight of a British-registered Rearwin Sportster is approaching as the restoration of G-AEOF, owned by Shipping and Airlines (SA), nears completion.
The wings were fitted just before Christmas, and the 85 h.p. Le Blond engine is installed and running, following a rebuild by Vintech at Little Gransden Airfield, Cambridgeshire. The Sportster was one of several vintage light aeroplanes imported from the USA in 1979/80 by Philip Mann.Engineer Gary Duncan says: “Restoration began ten years ago, but due to the other work commitments we have spent only about a month every year working on the Sportster. The only jobs outstanding now are to plumb in the fuel system and rig the controls.
” The prototype Sportster first flew in April 1935 at Fairfax Airport, Kansas City, and over the next few years more than 330 were built in several different versions. The chief engineer at SA, Tony Habgood, says: “We had another Sportster, registered as G-BGAU in 1978 alongside a Rearwin Cloudster, G-BGAV. The Cloudster (a side-by-side two-seater design dating from 1939) was rebuilt and flew in Pan Am colours from Biggin until it returned to the USA in 1985. The Sportster was never restored, the project spending some time on the Isle of Wight before going to France.”
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 January 2012 13:42|