DH9: From Ruin to Restoration: The Extraordinary Story of the Discovery in India and Return to Flight of a Rare WWI Bomber
In 2000, quite by chance, aircraft restorer Guy Black of Aero Vintage located the hulks of at least two Airco DH9 bombers in a remote part of India - hidden away in what had been a Maharaja's elephant stable at his palace in Bikaner, Rajasthan. They were truly remarkable finds, a... read full description below.
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||1 February 2017 by Grub Street
||By Black, Guy
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In 2000, quite by chance, aircraft restorer Guy Black of Aero Vintage located the hulks of at least two Airco DH9 bombers in a remote part of India - hidden away in what had been a Maharaja's elephant stable at his palace in Bikaner, Rajasthan. They were truly remarkable finds, and extremely rare examples of a near-extinct and important WWI aircraft type - none of which had survived in Britain. Recognising their importance to the UK's aviation heritage, and excited by the challenge of restoration, Guy set about negotiating their purchase and returning them back to England. His colleague and author, Andy Saunders journeyed twice to India to complete the transaction and dismantle and pack them - a process not without massive difficulties and challenges. Now one of them will fly again! Here the whole intriguing story is told - fully illustrated step-by-step - from discovery to recovery, through to research, restoration, re-construction and first flight, all in fascinating, meticulous detail. Also covered is the account of the restoration of the first DH9 to be completed, now housed as a non-flying exhibit at the IWM Duxford.
Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings
||Bertrams Star Rating: 2 stars (out of 5)
Guy Black first got into the restoration game as an apprentice with Weslake & Co. in the late 1960s. Weslake & Co. was renowned for its expertise in piston-engine technology. Having received the best training in this specialised field, he decided to start his own company Lynx Engineering in 1970. Its primary focus was the restoration of historic racing cars, but it soon grew into a large automotive development company. The interest in aviation restoration came after Guy sold Lynx Engineering and developed a collection of historic military aircraft and tanks in partnership with Angus Spencer-Nairn. This collection soon became one of the largest private collections in Europe and today is best recognised as the Historic Aircraft Collection. Guy also established Retrotec Ltd as a way of managing the quality and standards of each aircraft's restoration.