It’s been a satisfying week. The list of little jobs completed on the airframe is longer than I though it might be. To cap it all, we took 1264 to Henstridge to switch our replacement engine back into its proper home – the Sopwith Pup that’s being worked on there.
And in order to eliminate the risk of any problems with damp, we left her back inside the Carcoon which we used for a year or so during the build.
Thanks to Jason and Clive and Annabel for all their help!
It’s been a good week so far. We’ve made out a list of about a dozen jobs that need doing on the airframe and remarkably, it looks as if we might get them pretty much completed in the week.
Yesterday our good friend Ricardo turned up on his day off from piloting A319s for TAP, the Portuguese airline. He was in time to help move the wings into the workshop so that we could work on them.
The lower port wing catches the worst of the oil and exhaust from the engine and needed a great deal of cleaning, mostly using thinners. We also added another coat of thinned dope in the cleaned areas to compensate for what we’d taken off in the cleaning process.
Having to do this inside the workshop is heady stuff, and whether Ricardo had sobered up in time for his return flight is open to doubt!
Today I’ve had the instrument panel off to fit anchor nuts on the back, so that the instruments can be removed without having to take the panel out. I also did a number of other small jobs, including fitting the Transport Trust badge, which we wear very proudly after having won the ‘Preservationist of the Year’ trophy last year.
We’ve also replaced – again – the bungee suspension on one side. They were both replaced in late August, having been sliced into many short lengths by the aluminium strips called for in the drawing. The bungee is laid up in three rows of four turns each, and the aluminium does a good job of separating the three layers, allowing them to slip over each other. Unfortunately if they aren’t aligned precisely, the ends catch on the bungee and cut them up. We’d replaced them in August with some trepidation, but having checked them now we’ve rewound them without the strips.
It seems likely they were discarded in service, but the information didn’t get back to the drawing office!
One thing for the modellers among you; if you want to replicate the exact look of clear-doped linen fabric after a while in service, check these pictures out.
Ah, nostalgia! I’m spending a week with Theo working on 1264’s airframe. This morning we managed to manoeuvre the trailer into Theo’s drive and rolled the fuselage into the workshop just as the rain started to come down. The first thing we’ve noted is that there is a significant amount of dampness in the trailer, so this is an ideal opportunity to get things checked out and dried out.
The main job of the week is to try and some more dope onto the fuselage fabric. We have enough fabric to recover the fuselage, but the existing stuff has gone a rather attractive creamy colour in between the oil stains, and putting new fabric on would look very odd indeed, so we’ve decided to stick with the existing stuff, which more accurately represents 1264 as she would have been 100 years ago, but to try and get a finish that is easier to keep in its current state. You can get an idea of the change in colour of the fabric in the picture below. Where’s it’s been peeled back the inside is more or less the original colour.
That’s all done and should be good for the foreseeable future. We also want to unravel the main suspension to see how that is looking; you may remember that the bungees had been divided neatly into about 12 pieces by the aluminium inserts which were intended to help them slide over one another. If it looks like it might happen again, we will try removing them.
It’s been great to have her back in the workshop again. Both Theo and I commented on the warm feeling we had to have her back at her birthplace.
Just to keep your appetite whetted, here’s a short video of this year’s most unique and personally moving flight.
You’ll be able to see loads more in the soon-to-be-released full-length film by acclaimed director Stephen Saunders.
You can reserve your copy here.
I’m honoured that so many modellers have come to us for advice on building Bristol Scout models around the world, and I’ve come across plastic models at 1/72 scale as well as RC models at 33% and 35%, from France, Wales and Canada.
But Germany is home to a large number of large-scale RC models, and Marcus Gottwald is starting work on a simply magnificent 25% scale model. He’s been in touch with me about the details and I have to show you the results of his work so far.