By Zac Yates
The restoration of a Canadian-built North American Harvard at Newark Air Museum (NAM) near Newark-on-Trent in Nottinghamshire, England, has recently focused on preparing to refit the restored nose cowlings to the fuselage.
The airframe being restored is a Harvard Mk.IIB was built by Noorduyn Aviation Ltd at Dorval in Quebec, Canada. It received the serial number 42-12417 and was delivered to the Royal Canadian Air Force as FE930 in early 1943, flying with the RCAF for about three years. The aircraft was later sold to the Royal Netherlands Air Force and served with that air arm as B-163 from 1949 until 1962. Displayed for a time in a Dutch car yard the aircraft went through a succession of private owners in the Netherlands and the UK until arriving, partly restored, at the NAM in August 2010.
Previous owners had modified the firewall-forward section, which had been challenging the museum’s team of volunteers working in the NAM on-site workshops, museum trustee and secretary Howard Heeley told Vintage Aviation News.
“As significant sections of the engine were missing lots of items were originally fastened to the firewall; we have had to devise systems around these modifications to refit the cowlings etc. Lots of parts are missing including tail post, fairings etc. Currently, the main missing items are the exhausts, we may have to fabricate fresh items unless we can track any down,” Heeley said.
Although the exact markings are yet to be decided on the aircraft will be finished in the classic overall yellow paint scheme seen on so many members of the Harvard/T-6 family. “Which means we can go for either the RCAF scheme or a similar RAF scheme. Either way, it is a key part of the RAF training story that a lot of our collection portrays,” Heeley said.“The restoration program is now well underway, with rumors of a potential reassembly being made sometime this year. [The] wings were restored many years ago and are in temporary store; the next job will be to refit these and complete the fairings etc.”