COMET RESTORATION PROJECT
A group from Ashbourne Section CROCA recently visited the above project. This is at Derby Airfield. a small private concern south of Derby. Should you decide to visit, don't expect a jet airliner; what you will see is a De Havilland Racer, one of the small number built for the 1934 Air Race from England to Australia.
This one, registration G-ACSP and named Black Magic, was crewed by Jim Mollison and Amy Johnson. Unfortunately, it didn't finish the race after a a fuel shortage resulted in sub-quality fuel from a source in the Indian subcontinent (actually bus fuel !!) resulted in engine valve failure.
Over the next forty
years, the plane was lost, presumed destroyed but was recovered in a sorry state
and came into the possession of the restoration group. After inspection, the CAA
has confirmed that the airframe was sufficiently intact to be regarded as the
original aircraft and, as such, the original registration can be retained.
The team - mostly retired engineers with aircraft experience - has painstakingly undertaken the restoration. Much has been achieved but a lot still needs to be done and further funds collected ! The fuselage structure and tail fin are complete and covered, wing ribs refurbished or newly made and Gipsy Queen engines (slightly more powerful that the original Gipsy 6 Rs) have been obtained.
Secretary Ashbourne Section CROCA
Should you wish to visit and/or donate to the project, details are given below.
Address Comet Racer Group, Derby Airfield, Hilton Rd, Eggington, Derby, DE65 6GU.
Phone 01283 .733803