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