Welcome to this month’s review of the engineering work carried out by the Duxford Aviation Society volunteers on the British Airliner Collection’s aeroplanes over the last four weeks.
With the work to swap over the engines etc finally finished by Pionair’s contractors, ZE701 was at last ours to play with! The first job was to bring her back down the taxy way and through the fence to her planned position landside next to the VC10.
Having been involved with several of the recent moves, the Tuesday team were well versed in what to do and with help from tug driver Brian from our Military Vehicle Wing, ZE701 was in her rightful place in the airliner line up before the morning coffee break!
Time was at the essence however as a few days later the country would be celebrating the long Jubilee weekend and the plan was to have 701 open to the public for the big event. Whilst some members of the Tuesday team tidied away the last bits and pieces from the time she was airside, Keith and Simon got down to rigging up some temporary lighting in the rear cabins of the 146 so the public could safely tour the Royal plane.
Once the airside apron was cleaned up the rest of the Tuesday guys joined their colleagues in the workshop to press on with the last bits of work required on the 146 steps, as at the time we were using a set from the Viscount. Members of the steward's team were also busy refitting pictures and familiarising themselves with the layout ready to start their Royal Tours. One of their members John Pearson remained outside answering questions from members of the public who were showing a keen interest in the new arrival.
Wednesday saw the volunteers giving her a well earned wash along with some final work in the cabin and I’m pleased to report all this work came to a head when ZE701 opened on time the following day. She has been very well received by the public who are happy to pay for a short tour both outside and inside the cabin conducted by the steward team. At the present time they are open for tours Wednesday-Sunday.
Whilst the Wednesday guys had the wash rig out cleaning the 146 they also took the opportunity to finish off washing the fin and tailplane of the VC10, it is hoped that we will manage to repaint the fin sometime this year.
The passenger windows on the VC10 have become very opaque but with a bit of horse trading we have now obtained a few ‘new’ windows which when fitted will improve matters no end. It is hoped there are enough good ‘old’ windows to allow them to be polished up for use elsewhere in the cabin. This is very important as film companies often use the VC10 as a prop and clear windows are rather important to them. Replacing the windows will be a long job as the process is as follows.
1) Remove the clip on grill retainers above the window.
2)Remove the grill.
3) Slide out the trim covers either side of the window.
4) Slide out the trim retainer strips either side of the window.
5) Unlock the turnbuckles at the top of the sidewall trim panel.
6) Lift out the sidewall trim panel from its bottom retainer and put to one side.
7) Release the four push/push dzus fasteners holding the inner window trim panel in place and remove inner trim.
8) Unlock the four over centre catches that secure the inner window.
9) Remove the inner window.
10) Bend back the 6 locking tabs for the outer window cam locks
11) unlock and remove the 6 cam locks.
12) Remove the outer window along with its fitting plate.
That’s all there is to it !
Also on the VC10 work continues on the underwing and fuselage corrosion removal.
Whilst mentioning filming, the BAC 1-11 was recently used by Sky as a backdrop to a scene in a TV programme they are making.
As you will have read last month the carpet and cabin sidewalls in the Viscount had been replaced, now thanks to great work by Steve Hipkin of the Thursday crew so has the galley side walls and vinyl flooring and she is ready to have her seats refitted.
The Sunday volunteers made a start with the starboard side seats but it seems the position marks made when the seats were removed had been inadvertently painted over, so it was down to a tape measure and calculator to plot the position of the seats! For those who don’t know, the seat legs fit in a continuous rail on the cabin floor and hence can be fitted in any position along that rail!
With a desire to open the Viscount for the summer air show weekend to show off the work in progress a few seat units were fitted but the rest would have to wait until after the show.
In the workshop a new console/desk unit is being put together for the Hermes steward by the Thursday team. If you think it looks like some flat pack kitchen units you will be correct! However I don’t think a black marble worktop will be part of the spec.
Finally something we tend to overlook is the ground equipment we have placed around some of the airliners. The Tuesday shift were tasked with repositioning the yellow tug by the VC10 that had somehow managed to move its self (despite it being seized in gear) up to the public rope! With a bit of brute force and a heavy foot on clutch she was pushed back into position away from little fingers.
Both the tug and the baggage belt loader where then de spider webbed and washed down to make them a lot more presentable. Still on the vehicle front, through a contact of the Military Vehicle Wing we have been donated two gas powered fork lift trucks. One even comes with a safety railed work cage.
That’s it for this month. Keith
Registered Charity No. 285809