Welcome to this month’s roundup of the engineering work going on here at the Duxford Aviation Society caring for of the planes of the British Airliner Collection.
When Concorde was last repainted over 20 years ago before going into the AirSpace hangar, she was left without any of the smaller decals/stencils that had adorned her fuselage and wings. This was because at the time these would have been painted on over a pre- cut stencil and these I believe were not available.
Move on to 2022 and with the advent of vinyl wrapping the omission could finally be rectified. Luckily, Heritage Concorde found a complete set of drawings in their archives for the sizes and location of the decals on XDN. Vinyl wrapping husband and wife team, Shaun and Lisa, brought their company Black Sheep Romeo to Duxford for a couple of visits. Their vinyl cutter made short work of producing the 60 small decals that were missing. Helped by DAS volunteers, Alan Webb and Pete Savage, the team made a great job of adding some more small details to XDN.
On the Ambassador our electrician Alan Dye has been at work fixing some of the unservicable cabin lights. Back in the workshop a triple seat unit from the Trident has been cut down to a double unit and is being prepared for display alongside the other seats in the Duxford Aviation Society Museum on the Hermes. Work on the Viscount cabin continues steadily and although a long and complex task, great progress has been made. Volunteers from all groups have been working on various aspects of the restoration but the cabin has been the main focus of the Sunday and Thursday guys.
The carpet on the Viscount has now been trimmed for its final fit and fixed down by Sunday crew members Ian and Mike. As mentioned last time Ray Wright has replaced all the vinyl on the side walls. This left the side gullies and lower bulkhead to finish off. Step up the Thursday team of Chris A, Steve, Chris H and Neil.
The cabin is now ready for the seats to start to go back which hopefully will begin soon, however there is still a lot of seat work required back in the workshop.
In readiness for the contractors arriving to start work on the BAe146 the Tuesday team had to rub down and repaint the wheels that were to be fitted. The units from Australia were no longer suitable for flight as they had been painted red ! They are now back in the correct shade of grey.. By the time you read this update the BAe146 engine swap along with the wheels and brakes should have been completed. The APU and some other components were also removed but as they are not in the public eye they will not be replaced.
Pionair have provided us with one complete engine which can be displayed with the cowlings open and three bare units which will provide the correct centre of balance. Once Avalon, Pionair’s contractors, have finished we can get to grips with preparing 701 for her public debut. The damaged steps are coming on well with volunteer Les making a good job of welding up the cracked tow bar.
The VC10 is still receiving work on the corroded areas under the wings. DAS volunteers Clive and Andrew are making good progress with replacing the damaged metal with new purpose made patches.
As always, if the weather plays ball the cleaning programme continues on the outside aircraft. Sunday volunteer Dave M was recently up on high cleaning the Trident tailplane.
Work has continued on removing corrosion on the wings. The underside is complete and we have moved onto the top surface which, as you would expect, is worse. The wing is a patchwork of previous efforts by Aurigny to counter the effects of the salty environment the aircraft operated in for over 30 years. So we are treading in the footsteps of many engineers! Several more weeks are expected to be spent on the upper wing to strip back, prime and then paint.
Oh, and the recent heavy rain showed that the water is still leaking into the fuselage, so more investigations are required there!
All this engineering work costs money and two of our volunteers dedicate their time to helping swell the DAS bank balance. John our bookshop manager and Dermot our ebay guru do a sterling job by selling items that are surplus or have been donated. Thanks to John and his small band of assistants the bookshop is now open most days of the week and does a healthy trade.
It is thanks to people like John and Dermot along with their small band of helpers beavering away behind the scenes that enable us to spend the money necessary to keep the airliners in good condition. Thanks to you all.
Thanks to all of those who took the time to send in their pictures, keep them coming to firstname.lastname@example.org or forward them to Marketa.
Registered Charity No. 285809