Hawker Tempest Mk.II MW404



MW404 was built in 1945 and served with No. 247 Squadron in Chilbolton in Hampshire, England. After it had been in service for two years the plane was bought back by the manufacturer, refurbished and sold to the Indian Air Force (IAF), entering active duty in 1948. After the type was retired from front line service in 1954, MW404 was assigned decoy duties at Poona Air Force Base, along with at least a dozen other Tempest IIs. In 1979 MV404 was bought by Doug Arnold, who had it shipped to the UK.

Chris Miller, Texas, USA, bought MW404 in 2012. Chris intends to restore the Tempest to an airworthy state. A rebuilt Curtiss-Wright R-3350 radial engine and propeller from a Douglas Skyraider has been acquired, less expensive to purchase and maintain than the original Bristol Centaurus engine and Rotol propeller.



Summary of History

Date Note Code/Serial


Built at Hawker Aircraft Ltd at Langley (Contract ACFT/2438/C.23(a))


Aug 1945

No. 247 Sqn, Chilbolton


May 1948

Bought by Hawker Aircraft Ltd from RAF stock at 20 MU, refurbished 

MW404 --> HA557


Delivered to Indian AF



Recovered by Warbirds of GB Ltd, Blackbushe.



James Horsley, UK



Chris Miller, TX USA/Restoration to fly



Restoration progress reports: 



In November 2011 Trev Davies reports:

Trev Davies reports MW404 has appeared in Parkhouse Aviation's yard at Booker on 25th November 2011. The serial & Indian Air Force roundel, albeit faded, can still be seen on the fuselage.



In March 2012 Trev Davies reports:

A chance taken to get an uncluttered shot of MW404/HA557,in the process of being moved around from inside Parkhouse Aviation's yard, prior to being crated for onward shipment.


On 24 March 2012 Trev Davies reports:

MW404 is now confirmed to has been sold to Chris Miller, TX USA. Trev Davies reports that MW404 on March 23 still was in the yard at Booker.

Chris Miller reports:

"The Tempest has been bought and is in England awaiting shipment to Houston, TX. We wish to restore the aircraft to airworthy. We have many parts already!  We will give you detailed updates as information becomes available!


Chris S. Miller"


In October 2012 Chris Miller reports:

 "We are really excited to report that restoration of Hawker Tempest II s/n MW404 is underway to airworthy condition.
Tempest II S/N MW404 arrived safely into the hangar in a 40' shipping container on June 15th 2012 after taking 1 month to clear customs after entry on May 18 2012. After aircraft was delivered to hangar disassembly has begun. The plane overall is in excellent condition, some surface and intergranular corrosion is present."



In July 2013 Chris Miller reports:

"Last weekend I removed a panel held on by approximately 1000 rivets. This panel needed to be removed in order to replace the stringers which are all corroded. Surface corrosion can be seen on bulkheads in photo. Canopy Plexiglass is now completely shiny and clear! Thanks to Rick Siciliano for his dilligent work on it!"



In March 2014 Chris Miller reports:

"Pulling out 150lbs of armor plate and 13' Diameter Aeroproducts Propeller!"



In October 2014 Chris Miller reports:

"Tempest progress: panel #5 going in this weekend, I have 7 more to go! Each panel takes around 3 weekends to get it done."



In December 2014 Chris Miller reports:

"Latest Tempest progress!"

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mw404 14

On 11 May 2015 Chris Miller reports:

"More Tempest progress!"

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On 2 March 2016 Chris Miller reports:

"Entire rear fuselage is reskinned, but details remain."

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On 16 January 2017 Chris Miller reports:

"I put around 250 rivets in the rear bulkhead this weekend, and then removed it from the rear jig. Once I get the rear fuselage done I will start on the forward fuselage."

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In October 2017 Chris Miller reports:

"Wing restoration in progress!"

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On 4 March 2018 Chris Miller reports:

"Media blasted rudder pedal assembly. Before and after!"

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On 13 July 2019 Chris Miller reports:

"New Double Bulkhead trial fit and Horizontal Tail Ribs!"



Chris S. Miller
Trev Davies
Ian Wilkinson
Redspan Solutions Ltd
Chris S. Miller
Trev Davies