Hawker Typhoon update: QinetiQ apprentices hard at work

Apprentices have bee hard at work building the inner sections of the wings on the Hawker Typhoon model.

Tiffy update: build underway and schools are painting

Excitement is building for this incredible S.T.E.M. project and the teams have been working hard on it. The design team have done a fantastic job of digging out the archives of the original plans to give us the most accurate model ever. Parts are now being built and assembled from these drawings, including two large wing sections, and parts of the hull are almost complete. Some of the local schools are helping to paint large sections of the plane in their DT lessons and last week we sent local photographer Russell Emm down to Broad Chalke Primary School to see how they were getting on, where he found the pupils hard at work on one of the wings and in charge of a whole lot of paint!

We would like to thank all the children involved for their hard work, and we look forward to seeing the finished article when it arrives at the Festival at the beginning of June.

For more details on the project please go to: https://cvhf.org.uk/programme-details/special-project-giant-hawker-typhoon/

Images by Russell Emm






Festival announces plans to construct the largest model World War II fighter plane ever built

Forget ‘The Angel of the North’.  ‘The Tiffy of the South’ will be dominating the hills surrounding the Chalke Valley this summer.

[Salisbury, UK 2ndApril 2019] To mark the 75thanniversary of D-Day and the liberation of France this June, The Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival is creating a giant scale replica of the Hawker Typhoon aircraft, or the ‘Tiffy’ as it was known.

Artist’s impression

Perched on the crest of the hill in Broad Chalke, near Salisbury in Wiltshire, overlooking the main festival site, the plane will be FOUR times the size of the original and will dominate the local landscape. With a wingspan of 19 metres, a length of 14 metres, and height 7 metres, this massive installation will be a similar size to a 60-seater passenger jet and will be instantly recognizable for miles around.

Built in partnership with QinetiQ – a leading science and engineering company operating primarily in the defence, security and aerospace markets – at the MOD Boscombe Down, this will be the largest model Word War II fighter plane ever built.  Its construction will be overseen by QinetiQ engineers, with much of the work being carried out as a special project by the company’s apprentices  who will be working alongside universities, colleges and schools.  Local children, years 6 and above, will be helping to paint sections of the plane, and even branches of the Scout Association in the area will be closely involved.

A single-engine fighter plane, capable of speeds of over 400mph and armed with both 20mm cannon and eight rockets, the Hawker Typhoon came to symbolise the dominance of the Allies in the air during D-Day and the Normandy campaign that followed. It also played a vital role in the Allied victory and the liberation of France.
The Festival will be using the construction of this giant ‘Tiffy’ to inspire the next generation about history and engineering, whilst paying homage to the 16,000 Allied airmen who lost their lives during the Normandy battle and were among the unsung heroes of the liberation.

Education is at the heart of the Chalke Valley History Festival, and the Hawker Typhoon replica will be a core component this summer, educating both pupils and the public on the importance of this aircraft.  Whilst everyone knows about the Spitfire, the ‘Tiffy’ is very much the forgotten hero of the Normandy Campaign, and the Festival aims to redress this imbalance with a series of daily talks to pupils and the public about the aircraft, its crew and the important part it played in World War II.  There will be a special path created up to the plane, where these talks will take place, be recorded and then published on a dedicated website, as well as on the Festival’s educational History Hub.

Whilst there are some fifty Spitfires flying still flying today, there is not a single Hawker Typhoon.  The Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group plans to change this by restoring RB396, which flew with 174 Squadron, to airworthy condition from their base in Sussex and aims to get their ‘Tiffy’ flying again in the next few years.  The Festival’s model plane will be painted in the same 174 Squadron markings and will help to promote The Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group’s very exciting vision to see a ‘Tiffy’ flying over Britain once more.

The replica will be brought to the Festival site from Boscombe Down in time for the 75thanniversary of D-Day on 6thJune. It will be seen by over 30,000 visitors to the Chalke Valley History Festival and by thousands of school children who attend the Festival for Schools.

For more information as the project develops and to book tickets after 30th April, go to: https://cvhf.org.uk/programme-details/special-project-giant-hawker-typhoon/


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The Festival will take place 24th– 30thJune 2019 at Church Bottom, Broad Chalke, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP5 5DP.

For more details about the Festival, please visit www.cvhf.org.uk
Follow all the news on Twitter at @CVHISTORYFEST and on Facebook and Instagram.

For press and media enquiries: Alex Hippisley-Cox on +44 (0)7921 127077 or email her at [email protected]

PRESS RELEASE: Festival launches major new five-year project threading together the different strands of Britain’s history

A major new five-year project, threading together the different strands of Britain’s history, has been announced. Entitled ‘Britain: The Thread of History 1603-2016’, this exciting new venture will be launched on the first day of this year’s Festival, on Monday 24th June 2019.

Against the backdrop of widespread political uncertainty and cultural change, it has never been more relevant to understand the rich and varied history of the British Isles. Why are we the nation we are? And why do we have the cultural and ethnic mix that we do? The answers, of course, lie in our country’s past. With this ground-breaking project, the Festival aims to thread together many of the different strands of Britain’s story in a series of thirty-five talks, downloadable podcasts and chapters, which will combine into a single-volume book, published by Bantam Press in 2023. One copy of the book will be donated to EVERY secondary school in the country.

A very eminent body of historians has helped steer this very special project from conception to reality:

• Professor Ali Ansari, School of History, University of St Andrews
• Chris Culpin, Historian, former Teacher, CVHT Trustee
• James Holland, Historian, Broadcaster, CVHF Chair and Programme Director
• Dr Clare Jackson, Broadcaster and Senior Tutor, Trinity Hall, Cambridge University
• Professor Margaret Macmillan, Warden of St Antony’s College, Oxford University
• Dan Snow, Historian and Broadcaster

Professor Ali Ansari will give an overview of this thought-provoking new initiative with an introductory talk on the first afternoon, followed by a series of seven talks given by other distinguished historians, covering the reign of James I and VI, the War of the Three Kingdoms, the emergence of new political and religious thinking, right through to the Restoration.

For each subject in the Thread of History, among the very best historians and communicators have been chosen to be a part of this incredible story. Every speaker will write a 4,000-word essay, with each one forming a chapter to be included in the proposed book. The first podcasts and accompanying essays will be available to download later this year.

The line-up for the 2019 series of talks, plus a full list of all 35 chapter outlines for the forthcoming book can be found here:

Media enquiries: Contact Alex Hippisley-Cox on mobile 07921 127077 or email her at [email protected]