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113. Unloading

22/06/2014

On Saturday we headed back to the airfield to get the engine off the trailer. Chris, the airfield owner, had volunteered the use of his tractor front forks to do the job, and it proved relatively straightforward, though poor Chris nearly had a heart attack when I told him what it was worth! But there were no alarms or excursions, and the crate was put safely in the back of the hangar.

Theo arrived half way through the afternoon – he planned to take the propeller with him to Hercules Propellers to get it measured and returned as soon as possible to the Shuttleworth Collection.

I’d rigged up a winch from the hangar roof to lift the engine, and we lifted it up to remove the anchor plate, to check the fit of the anchor plate to the engine mounting on the fuselage. The engine had been mounted on (and supported by) the anchor plate during transit, and it took a while to persuade it to come off, but when we did it was – as we’d planned and hoped – too big for the hole. We also discussed the firewall – the very thin stainless steel plate which ensures that any fire in the engine doesn’t spread back into the fuselage – and decided it would have to be fitted in front of the anchor plate, and that therefore it would have to be removed.

When we did that, however, it became apparent that the fuselage alignment hadn’t been done carefully enough; it would require some adjustment of the cables so that the engine mounts were perfectly at right angles to the fuselage axis. It’s not a problem, just something of a nuisance, and we’ll do it next week.

Theo was here for Sunday as well, and on Sunday he and Rick managed to get on with some more fabric covering on the tail surfaces, while I made up the aluminium inspection panels for the wings, so that they’d be ready for July when we plan to do the bulk of the covering process.

Theo with the engine in its crate. He's holding the oil pump in his right hand, and the bloctube carburettor in his right.

Theo with the engine in its crate. He’s holding the oil pump in his right hand, and the bloctube carburettor in his right.

Theo with the original Bristol propeller borrowed from the Shuttleworth Collection. It's a truly awesome piece of timber!

Theo with the original Bristol propeller borrowed from the Shuttleworth Collection. It’s a truly awesome piece of timber!

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