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News Capturing Hawker Typhoon veteran’s dream flight

26 October 2020 Kate

We were privileged to capture the surprise dream flight that the Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group (HTPG) had arranged for veteran pilot Bernard Gardiner.

98-year-old Bernard Gardiner is one of the last remaining WWII Hawker pilots. He flew Hawker Hurricanes and Hawker Typhoons during the war. However, the Supermarine Spitfire always alluded him. Nearly 80 years on, the HTPG decided to surprise Bernard with a flight in a Spitfire as a huge thank you for his involvement in helping to raise awareness for their project to rebuild the sole surviving combat veteran Hawker Typhoon.

Capturing Hawker Typhoon veteran's dream flight. Bernard Gardiner with Sam Worthington-Leese, who is Founding Trustee of the HTPG
Bernard Gardiner with Sam Worthington-Leese, Founding Trustee of the HTPG

We were delighted to be asked to film the whole day, as a record for Bernard, his family, and for HTPG. We filmed from the moment he landed at Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire from his home in Jersey.

For the flight itself, we used footage from cameras mounted on and in the Spitfire, and our CEO also flew in a Harvard T6 alongside the Spitfire to film Bernard during his momentous flight.

The pilot of the T6 was Sam Worthington-Leese, who is Founding Trustee of the HTPG, and the pilot for Bernard’s flight was three times Red Bull Air Race World Champion and HTPG ambassador Paul Bonhomme, who gave Bernard control of the aircraft whilst mid-air.

After this memorable event, we created two films to commemorate the special day and to help raise awareness of the restoration of the Hawker Typhoon.


Our work with HTPG is also long term as our experienced engineers recently installed one of our bespoke time-lapse camera systems at Airframe Assemblies on the Isle of Wight to capture the rebuild of the RB396 Hawker Typhoon. We will carefully micro-manage the capture and provide live images of the work to our remote, secure online viewing portal. We will provide long-term, uninterrupted footage, and will also shoot in rapid interval ‘bursts’ to track progress during periods of increased activity in this historic renovation. This capture will be used throughout by the Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group to document the work and to communicate with supporters and the public. The footage will be pieced together by our skilled editors to produce progress sequences throughout, as well as eventually creating the final time-lapse film to mark the full renovation of this very special aircraft.

Time-Lapse Systems are honoured to be a part of such a prestigious project, helping to document this event for Bernard and the group’s incredibly important renovation work.

Capturing Hawker Typhoon veteran's dream flight.
Sam Worthington-Leese Founding Trustee of the HTPG alongside our CEO, Gary Kelsall, in front of the Harvard T6, which acted as ‘camera ship’

Please see the HTPG’s website www.hawker-typhoon.com. Spread the word and help raise awareness of this fantastic project. Once restored, RB396 will be a working memorial to the pilots of the Hawker Typhoon; 666 of whom lost their lives. It will also be a memorial to the crews who, alongside those pilots, helped the Typhoon play a vital role in the war in Europe.

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