de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk

Terry Perkins’ Chipmunk, was manufactured in Great Britain and served in the RAF from 1952-1977 as a primary flight trainer The aircraft was parked from 1977-1978, and then went into service with the University Air Squadron in Cambridge, England, introducing air cadets to flying. In 1996 all RAF, Royal Army and Royal Navy Chipmunks were retired from active military service and sold by auction. 970WP was purchased in the first such auction in March, 1997 and shipped to United States in a 40’ shipping container. Within a few weeks, it was certified with the FAA under the experimental exhibition category and returned to flight status.

The Chipmunk is powered by a 145 hp inverted four cylinder de Havilland Gypsy Major engine. The fuselage is of stressed-skin construction. The center wings and control surfaces are comprised of aluminum ribs covered in fabric. The inspection areas on the underside of the wings are an interesting detail of the Chipmunk. Rather than using aluminum covers, de Havilland opted for zippers! The vertical and horizontal stabilizers are metal. Terry has modified his aircraft only slightly from its original RAF service configuration. He has installed an electric starter to replace the cartridge starter used in RAF service.

Terry says that the aircraft is a dream to fly. Its wide track gear and docile flight characteristics coupled with great visibility make it an ideal warbird.

Some of the challanges in a ground up restoration of this type are, finding parts, finding repair documentation, ensuring that all markings are properly reproduced, and tools (Wentworth, of course.)

Completed and Ready for Active Duty
Documenting Every Marking
Engine Removed and Paint Stripped
Looking for Main Spar Bolts
Wings Removed
Canopy Restoration Underway
Wings Stripped and Repaired
Control Surfaces Stripped and Repaired
Wing Recovered (with the infamous zippers)
Motor Rebuilt