An iconic Second World War Hurricane that crash-landed on the beach at Dunkirk during the famous troop evacuation has been restored and is about to take off again for the first time in more than 75 years.
The Mk 1 Hawker Hurricane of 245 Squadron took off from Kent in May 1940 with Pilot Officer Kenneth McGlashan at the controls heading for the French coast to provide cover for the armada of small ships collecting thousands of Allied troops trapped on the shore as the Germans swept across Northern France towards the Channel.
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But the fighter was hit by fire from a Messerschmit 109 and the badly injured pilot managed to bring the aircraft down in one piece.
For years after the war the aircraft frame stayed on the sands - P.O. McGlashan had set fire it to prevent it falling into enemy hands before scrambling on board a paddle steam that took him and 2,000 others back to Britain.
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Eventually it was washed out to sea and covered by the tides and sand - but in the late 80's French fishermen began complaining that their nets were being torn - and discovered the sunken Hurricane.
It was dredged up by enthusiasts and was bought by Suffolk-based Hawker Restoration in 1993. After changing hands several times it ended up back at their hangar where work began on the restoration six years ago.
Now after 25,000 skilled man-hours of labour - and a bill for £2million- aircraft P2902, is ready to take to the skies again. Andrew Wenman of Hawker Restorations said: "This Hurricane has a unique history - it was part of one of the most important operations in the war, one that marked a turning point in the conflict.
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"For us it has been a long-term project but now we are in the last stages - the wings will be attached and we estimate that by the end of March it will be ready to fly."
At the controls will be Stuart Goldspink, a commercial pilot who is also one of the most experienced and respected warbird pilots in the country.