Hawk model to Hawk Experience Center
Keskiviikko 21.3.2018 - Member of Tuesday Club
A wooden model of BAE Systems Hawk Mk 51 jet trainer was found in the storage room of the Finnish Aviation Museum. The partly damaged model is approximately 50 cm long and it represents HW-310 which was in use in the Finnish Air Force. HW-310 belongs to the series of Hawks which were assembled by the Valmet Aviation Industries between 1980 and 1985. The real HW-310 has been withdrawn from use and stored. The State of Finland will donate it to an aviation museum in Switzwerland (Clin d'Ailes - Musée de l'aviation militaire de Payerne) and where it will probably be transported already this spring.
The museum has no information about the builder of the HW-310 model. Originally the model has been attached by its landing gear on a white plywood board which has been hanging on the wall. So the model has been a wall decoration.
The model is very well made and its proportions match the original aircraft. The cockpit has seats and its main equipment – also made of wood. The instruments on the panel have been painted, decals haven’t been used. The model has been painted according to the old camouflage scheme (black/green/grey) used in the 1980s, which suggests that the model was probably made about twenty years ago. Today the planes are painted all grey with small national insignia.
Photo: Jorma Laakso.
When the Hawk model was found, the idea of bringing it on display in the Hawk Experience Center of the Aviation Museum Society was brought up. The center has on display the cockpit section of HW-314, which belonged to the same Hawk production series as the real HW-310. The model of HW-310 could be used to illustrate what a whole Hawk looks like. There is an existing showcase where the HW-310 could be on display. An additional advantage is that the HW-310 has a similar black/green/grey camouflage scheme as the HW-314 in the Experience Center.
The Finnish Aviation Museum decided to donate the HW-310 model to the Hawk Experience Center and the Tuesday Club set out to work. The model was moved from the storage to the club workshop. The model had some damages: the nose landing gear was broken, one of the horizontal elevators was loose, the seam of the vertical elevator and the fuselage was broken and the cockpit canopy was loose and slightly broken.
Fortunately the damage wasn’t serious and repairing wasn’t difficult. The right side horizontal elevator was glued into place, the seam between the vertical stabilizer and fuselage was re-glued and painted. The split wheel on the nose landing gear was repaired. The canopy of the cockpit didn’t quite settle in its place and some modifications were needed on the canopy and the rear seat in order to have the canopy in the correct position.
As the model had originally been hanging on the wall, it hadn’t been balanced to be standing on its landing gear. When placed on a horizontal surface the rear-weighted plane’s tail is pointed downward. Therefore an additional support has to be added under the rear fuselage when the model is in its showcase.
The Tuesday Club team discussed whether the HW-310 identification marking should be changed to match the identification of HW-314 in the Experience Center. The decision was negative. It would have been difficult to modify the last number of the identification marking from a four to a zero so that the change couldn’t be noticed on the original paint. So the original appearance of the model was respected and no changes were made.
The HW-310 model is made of solid wood and is very robust but it still needs a good storage and transportation box. A new box was made from plywood and wooden battens. The box has a hinged lid and it was painted with clear varnish. The box and the lid have supporting pads which were cut to measure and support the weight of the model during storage and transport.
The Hawk model and its box are ready. The model was placed in the existing showcase to see how it fits there. And it looks great!
Fine, isn't it?
Now HW-310 is waiting for the summer exhibition round of the Hawk Experience Center to begin. The first event is already in the horizon: The “Military Aviation as a Profession” –event will be arranged by Satakunta Air Command in Pirkkala, Tampere on May 15th.
Photos (unless otherwise individually mentioned): Lassi Karivalo.