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101. Freeing up

11/05/2014

Saturday marked the start of another concentrated week on the Scout. There’s been a lot happening in the background, but not a lot to write up.

The plan this week is to bring the wings and fuselage together one final time to make sure the wings are perfectly aligned before locking the internal bracing wires, ready for covering. We also need to measure up and make the cables for the aileron circuit, and make sure we haven’t left anything undone inside the wings, since once they are covered, that’s it – there’s only a tiny inspection hatch by the aileron cable pulley. Everything else becomes inaccessible!

It’s going to be a very busy week; on Thursday, Stephen Saunders, of ASA Film Productions, is coming with a film crew to make a trailer in the hope of interesting a TV company in the project and – since this is the last time we’ll have the complete airframe assembled uncovered – we’ll try and get lots of good footage of it, assuming the weather plays ball!

After that, we’re going to start covering one of the tail surfaces – rudder or one of the elevators – in order to make sure we know how to do it for real. We’ve had instruction from the experts at TVAL and we have the book, but it’s not the same as actually doing it. The plan is that the wings will go back with Theo for covering, while Rick and I finish off the remaining list of jobs on the fuselage.

We are hoping to get a trailer made for the complete aircraft, and once that’s done, we’ll be in a position to move it more freely round the countryside, but until then Theo’s having to borrow a friend’s closed trailer to move the wings back and forth. It’s so large that he reckons he’ll need an escort to get up the tiny lanes leading to the airfield where the fuselage is kept!

But he’s not able to get here until Monday, so Rick and I spent the day freeing up the torque tube.

 

Assembly of the controls

Assembly of the controls

This is the short length of tube that the control column’s attached to, and it’s mounted in two bearings, one at each end. Unfortunately the bearings are on wooden structure which tends to move a little when loads are applied to it, and the clearances on the brass bushes were so beautifully tight that it was impossible to get the whole thing adjusted so that the torque tube rotated freely. It meant we had to spend a good deal of time opening the bushes up with a combination of grinding paste and a half round file until the thing ran okay.

You can see that the torque tube sits just below the fuselage. This is a bit of a mystery, since it was positioned inside, where you’d expect it, on the prototype, and I’m not quite clear why Barnwell lowered it into its current position on the Scout C. It’s possible it has to do with the run of the aileron cables, but we’ll be able to confirm this later in the week!

Anyway, the result of this is that the torque tube runs absolutely freely now.

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