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.