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Dwelle Family's Hawker Sea Fury T Mk.20

The Dwelle family's Hawker Sea Fury, formerly known as "Critical Mass", has arrived at Sanders Aeronautics to begin its restoration and conversion back to a stock T Mk.20 two-seat Sea Fury.

"Critical Mass" started life at Hawker-Siddley Aircraft Ltd, Langley, as T Mk. 20S target tug in May, 1958 (ex-German registration D-COTE). It was rebuilt as a highly modified Sea Fury racer and was one of the most radical aircraft to appear on the 1987 Reno ramp as NX85SF, race number 88. This aircraft had been obtained in 1984 and was rebuilt as "Blind Man's Bluff" by Eric Lorentzen (who owned a window-blind company, hence the name). Fitted with an R-3350 designed to run on alcohol, with a cowl from a Douglas A-26, the plane had a set-back cockpit, a vertical tail increased by 14 inches, and cut-down outer wing panels that reduced with span to 34.5 feet. It went through several owners and a belly landing before being purchased by Tom Dwelle, an ex-Skyraider pilot, who rebuilt the aircraft at his Auburn, California, facility and returned it back to the ramp at Reno in 1993, renamed "Critical Mass" and renumbered race 10. At the 2003 National Championship Air Races at Reno, Nevada, Tom Dwelle flew "Critical Mass" to a third place finish with a speed of 446.965 mph in the Unlimited Class Gold Race Sunday afternoon before retiring from air racing.

Sanders Aeronautics, known for their expertise in the field of Sea Furies and aircraft restoration, will strip and rebuild the fuselage, back to its original two seat dual control configuration, wing center section and also complete the outer wings.

Nella Oil, the Dwelle family business located in Auburn, CA, will complete the remainder of the airplanes restoration and conversion back to original configuration and then assemble the airplane for its test flight as a newly restored Hawker Sea Fury
T Mk.20.

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