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166. Progress on all fronts

16/05/2015

It’s been a satisfactory day. I’m away for a week on business / holiday, so I’ve been very keen to get things tied up for the last week of May which is when it has to be finally inspected and (we hope!) the paperwork can be issued allowing its first flights to take place – all before Gene DeMarco arrives in early June.

The trough which fits under the bottom of the fuselage is something of an excrescence, and in practice most were removed in service, but we had one made up, and I’ve been trying to fit it. Unfortunately the drawing is wrong, and we would have done better to make it on the job, but it has been possible to fit it after a fashion, and it will do for the moment.

I’ve also made plywood reinforcements for the fuselage fabric near the front lower wing spar attachments, so that the aileron cables can run through without damaging the fabric.

But undoubtedly the best news is that a friend has volunteered to tow the trailer to Bicester behind his Land Rover Discovery – the one with all the gadgets, including a towball that automatically adjusts its height to optimise the tow. We’ve picked on Sunday 24th as the day, although it’s possible the single track road outside the airfield might be closed for road works…

The modifications we agreed on for the trailer to try and make it tow right were to lower the towhitch by bolting it to the underside of the towbar instead of the top. This raises the towbar at the front and makes the chassis horizontal so that the weight is distributed evenly on both axles (instead of favouring the front, as before). We’ve bolted the spare wheel to the front to increase the noseweight and have a couple of other weights that can be secured inside the trailer at the front if more weight is needed. Our friend says we’ll just take it slowly, with a note on the back saying maximum speed 30mph if that’s the best we can do!

Equally heartening was the presence of Ian Harris at the airfield, who made great progress with the side shields, and seems absolutely determined to have them finished by the end of the week. He even rang me at 2100 to ask a question about the drawing, and was still working on them then!

In fact, the outstanding items are the cowling, and Theo is chasing that up on Monday, the tacho cable, which is on order and arriving at the end of the week, and the rubber hose for the pitot tubes which has arrived today and will get fitted next time we rig the aircraft at Bicester.

All in all, while it’s not possible to state that I’m feeling in control of the situation, but the total panic has certainly receded…

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2 Comments
  1. Andrew Willox permalink

    Where would one be able to see the Scout on public display over the next few months? I’m in the country until the end of September…

  2. It will be at Bicester for the Flywheel event on 20/21 June, where it will be officially launched by Sir George White, great grandson of the founder of the British and Colonial Aircraft Company. It will be at Milson (its ‘home’ airfield’ on 4 July and we hope to be at Shuttleworth on 7 July for their WWI event. But everything (apart from Bicester) is a bit dependent on flight testing and the results therefrom.

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