The 19-year story of a remarkable restoration to flight of an Airco DH.9 WW1 bomber aircraft. From finding not one but the remains of two DH.9s in the elephant stable of an Indian Maharaja in 2000. Guy Black, Managing Director of Retrotec journeyed twice to India to secure the mortal remains of these aircraft and this was not without adventure. The book takes the reader through the process of recovery and starting with one drawing how Guy and his team restored this unique example of 1918 technology.

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In 2000, quite by chance, aircraft restorer Guy Black of Aero Vintage located the hulks of at least two Airco DH9 bombers in a remote part of India – hidden away in what had been a Maharaja’s elephant stable at his palace in Bikaner, Rajasthan. They were truly remarkable finds, and extremely rare examples of a near-extinct and important WWI aircraft type – none of which had survived in Britain. Recognising their importance to the UK’s aviation heritage, and excited by the challenge of restoration, Guy set about negotiating their purchase and returning them back to England. His colleague and author, Andy Saunders journeyed twice to India to complete the transaction and dismantle and pack them – a process not without massive difficulties and challenges. Now one of them will fly again! Here the whole intriguing story is told – fully illustrated step-by-step – from discovery to recovery, through to research, restoration, re-construction, and first flight, all in fascinating, meticulous detail. Also covered is the account of the restoration of the first DH9 to be completed, now housed as a non-flying exhibit at the IWM Duxford.



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