Mosquito Project update

8 February 2020

Received by mail to Guy Black at Retrotec, these pin-sharp period photos will be extremely useful for our work on the fuselage as many clues are apparent. The sender was anonymous, signing with a hard-to-read name but we think it was from a Doug Scot from High Wycombe and if he reads this 'Thank you so much!"

Prototype fuselage section being glued up using heated clamps to cure the glue.

One photo was taken at the Timber Research Association and seems to show a prototype fuselage section being glued up using heated clamps to cure the glue.
Production line of Mosquito fuselages.

Another picture comes from Airspeed showing a production line of Mosquito fuselages.

Mosquito's basic structure.

The final picture is a diagram of a Mosquito's basic structure. These period photos are of immense help to us, and if anyone else has any they could either donate or loan to us, this would be immensely helpful

Tempest Project

8 February 2020

Retrotec are very proud to be significantly involved in re-manufacturing a number of major assemblies for the Tempest 2 for Graham Peacock. The work includes: a new pair of tailplanes, as we were unable to salvage virtually no existing parts due to inadequate work by previous restorers or lack of supporting paperwork.

Hawker Tempest tailplanes under construction, 3 July 2019.

The same applied to the massive tubular centre fuselage section which was an immensely complex and heavily-made assembly, built on the familiar Hawker tubular design but huge in size and construction; we even had made new forged wing attachment points - so heavy that it needed two people to lift them almost 3/4s of the weight was subsequently removed in machining operations carried out in house, by Retrotec.

New Wing pick-up Fuselage Lugs Before and After Machining.

Finally the magnetos was handed to us. In this case they had been ruined by an American magneto specialist and many parts had to be remanufactured – some were entirely missing including the complex contact breaker sets - probably removed in India for their scrap platinum. Drawings had to be created by Retrotec's design team and again manufactured in house.

Bristol Centaurus magnetos being remanufactured.

The final item, resembling the Forth Bridge as described by Airframe Assemblies, who are rebuilding the wings, was the crucial wing attachment point to fuselage jig, manufactured and designed by Retrotec to ensure that the wings are perfectly mated to the fuselage. Being a laminar flow wing, it is essential that the angles and location are in perfect alignment.

Wing to Fuselage Attachment Jig ready for Delivery to Airframe Assemblies who are Rebuilding the Wing.

An interesting aside to this; we have frequently been accused of over engineering jigs, but Guy Black, when an apprentice at Weslake and Co, was sent to their jig and fixture design and manufacturing base as part of his training and his immediate mentor turned out to eb the chief jig and tool designer at Hawkers during the war. No wonder the fuselage and wing jig had an uncanny resemblance to the Hawker originals!

More information about this Tempest project here.

The People's Mosquito progress

18 November 2019

John Lilley, Managing Director of The People's Mosquito, recently came to visit Guy Black at Retrotec to see the latest progress on the Mosquito fuselage moulds.

The Peoples Mosquito, fuselage mould.

John commented 'well I was amazed and cannot tell you the sheer size of these things! We still need your support to finish them off so please if you can spare that £1 go to The People's Mosquito website for links to donate.

The Peoples Mosquito, fuselage mould.

Guy commented that he 'was delighted with the progress that the project had made todate particularily as we can now all see construction commencing'.

Lifetime award for Guy Black

17 May 2019

Congratulations to Guy Black, Engineering Director of HAC and Managing Director of Retrotec Ltd and Aero Vintage Ltd.

At an ceremony at Brookland Museum, on 17 June, he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement by HRH Prince Michael of Kent, on behalf of the Transport Trust.

Photo of the De Havilland DH9 in flight

After the event, Guy commented "I accepted this award not as a personal endorsement, but on behalf of the many people who have been supporting my ambitions and challenges over the years, to produce superb engineering".

Photo of the De Havilland DH9 in flight

De Havilland DH9 E8894

May 2019

13th May 2019 The De Havilland DH9 E8894 has flown for the first time!

Photo of the De Havilland DH9 in flight
Video © by HAC volunteer David Petters

De Havilland DH9 E8894

April 2019

The De Havilland DH9 E8894 was out today at Duxford for some more engine runs.

Video © by HAC volunteer Bryan Simpson

Alvis Leonides

February 2019

Retrotec has been contracted to rebuild at least one of these engines to zero-hour, for a Piston Provost.

Arthur Williams introduces the Peoples Mosquito

January 2019

Mosquito FB IV

January 2019

Retrotec has been awarded a contract to reconstruct this iconic aircraft by The Peoples Mosquito. Retrotec is preparing and expanding its new premises to accommodate this work.


January 2019

Retrotec are imminently to move to far larger premises, being prepared for them at the present time by Aero Vintage, the property’s owners. The planned move will be in 2020, and the engine facilities will be doubled in size as will the assembly, woodwork and machine shop with additional CNC machinery and for the first time - a hydraulic 30-ton deep draw press.

Puma Engine for DH9 G-CDLI:


Runs on test stand. It sounds just like a German U Boat engine!

Kestrel V


A rebuild from a corroded and incomplete engine for Vintage Wings of Canada. Without doubt the most challenging engine rebuild in the history of Retrotec.

Pima Museum, U.S.A.

2017 - 2019

Retrotec have been working for some time now on a number of projects for this world famous museum, including work on their Bf 109F, their Hurricane and Sopwith Camel.

Anzani 3-cylinder "Y" engine


The reconstruction from a very poor example to full working order for Brooklands Museum.

Hawker biplane parts


A vast range of parts for the Hawker biplane series is available, though not always from stock. This includes wheels, brakes, radiators, streamline wires, tyres, Kestrel engine parts, instruments, panels, propellers, and virtually every part required to complete the restoration of these rare and beautiful aircraft.

Fe 2b


See the recently completed Fe 2b in the Bomber Command Hall at the RAF Museum Hendon.

Hawker Fury

2008 to 2019

The supply of a very large number of components for this incredible aircraft started by the late George Neal and now with Vintage Wings of Canada.

Fieseler Storch

2005 to date

As well as the on-going restoration of the Aero Vintage Fi 156 we have helped a handful of other Storch owners with a multitude of manufactured parts (from original drawings) including forged Argus engine bearers.