Duxford Aviation Society header British Airliner Collection header British Military Vehicles Collection header

Maintenance Mutterings… 10


Latest news from the Engineering team

Added by Keith Bradshaw on 21 October 2022

< More news

Your latest update on the work of the DAS volunteers here at Duxford, includes stories from around the British Airliner Collection.


Nothing new to report since the interior was finished. Just a quick picture of the finished seats along with their new antimacassars.

The immaculate Viscount cabin. Photo: Keith Bradshaw


Work continues on repairing or replacing corroded areas on the bottom of the wings and fuselage. Some access panels are in such a poor condition there is no other option but to manufacture new ones. We are lucky to have people with the necessary skills to do this among our teams of volunteers.

Volunteer Chris with a new access panel he has made from scratch. The two pieces in the forefront of the picture are the original panel. Despite extensive cleaning up they were deemed beyond repair so Chris has produced the panel at the rear for fitting back onto the VC10. Photo: Keith Bradshaw


After their success repainting the props, Ray and the custodial team have taken on the task of cleaning and repainting the Ambassador undercarriage legs - another component that missed out on the repaint the other year.

Looking like it did when Dowty delivered the legs to Airspeed at Christchurch all those years ago! Photo: Keith Bradshaw

Air Show

With the air show season now behind us it’s interesting to look back at the work all volunteers do towards making these events a success for DAS. Not only does Viv our steward manager have to be sure she can get enough stewards in place to open all the aircraft the other office staff make sure we have all the tickets, brochures and refreshments needed for the working volunteers on the day.

Visitors prepare to view the VC10. Photo: Keith Bradshaw

Peter, our Chairman, checks over his notes for his interview the air show commentator extolling the virtues of the British Airliner Collection. John and his shop crew stock the sales tent erected for them by the engineering team. Custodians check their aeroplanes over and any problems are fixed by the engineering teams who also remove any scaffolding, steps and cherry pickers back to the yard out of the way of the public.

No, it’s not a Cherry Picker Grand Prix! Volunteers remove the cherry pickers from the flight line back into the yard ready for the next air show. Photo: Keith Bradshaw

The guys down at the Military Vehicle Wing make sure their vehicles and running track are all ready for the military vehicle rides they offer to the public and our volunteers from the flight line security team will be ready to take up their positions for the morning’s flight line walk. Hopefully, all this hard work will result in a good boost to our funds by sales from the shop, airliner boarding passes, brochures and vehicle rides.

Military vehicle rides are all about noise, smoke, dust and smiles! Photo: Keith Bradshaw


The ongoing project to supply electrical power to the BAe146 continues. After last month’s fitment of the distribution box it was necessary to run a conduit from the back of the forward freight hold, between the freight hold roof and the cabin floor, forward into the avionics bay where the transformer is going to be located. It was also necessary to run another conduit up into the cabin to the dehumidifier and in the opposite direction bring its drain tube down into the freight bay for connection to the drain mast piping and hence to the outside world. Sounds pretty straight forward and with the edges of the roof panels down we thought it would be…wrong!

Richard and Steve savour the joys of conduit fitting! Photo: Keith Bradshaw

Because of the roof panels being screwed (with many, many screws ) to the floor beams there was no space to run the conduit so we had to completely remove the roof panels and thread the conduit through the floor beam lightening holes then replace the panels. This took all day with three people in the freight bay at any one time laying on their backs removing or refitting screws. With the conduits and drain tube finally in position it would now be time for our electrician Alan to run his cables through and start to connect things up. To enable him to do this we ran a piece of string through the conduit before we fitted it so he can tie his cables to the string and pull them through.

TOP TIP;  If you are ever in this situation and are wondering how to get a piece of string to run through a 4 Metre long conduit follow Dave Swann’s simple guide. Pull off a suitable length of string from the roll, tie a number of large loops in one end. Push these loops into the conduit and at the other end of the tube connect a vacuum cleaner hose. Switch on the vacuum and before you can say “well I’ll be blowed” the string has been sucked through the pipe!

Whilst we were crawling around under the cabin floor, volunteer Dave came upon this panel in the avionics bay signed by the crew who flew her into Duxford. Photo: David Coates

That’s all for this month.  Keith

Header photo:  Peter Archer



Registered Charity No. 285809