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172. The End is Nigh!


Theo and I have spent a productive couple of days working through the list of jobs identified by the Three Wise Men.

Some were very straightforward and cleared in no time. On e that taxed our ingenuity was to fit split pins to existing holes for ‘keepers’ in the aileron cable pulley brackets in the wings. The drawing showed little turned inserts (two on each pulley) about 12mm diameter fitted so that they come close to, but don’t quite touch, the edge of the pulley. We’d left one of them off because the geometry meant that the cable would have been rubbing on them, but it was felt better to have something in there – even if it was just a split pin.

The difficulty is that we had to do this through the very small inspection hatches, and it required the use of a set of the clamps used in operating theatres but bent to strange angles. Once we had that, the job was still fairly tricky, but we managed it in the end.

There were a couple of jobs to be done inside the forward fuselage, and for this we had to unlace the fuselage fabric. This is a nerve-wracking exercise since you don’t know whether it’s going to go back okay, and Jean Munn from the Shuttleworth had said to make sure we didn’t leave the fabric off overnight, or it would have shrunk by the time we tried to replace it…

Once off, we tidied up the fixture of the tacho cable and pitot tubes, decided on the run of rudder stop cables to prevent the rudder from contacting the elevators, and turned the mixtrue valve the right way up. This latter was expected to be the most demanding, but in fact turned out to be relatively straightforward; we re-used the same brackets and re-routed the pipework and that was pretty much it, apart from a minor adjustment of the pushrod to the control.

The result is very satisfactory – the valve is at the lowest point in the system and the filter is readily accessible through a small hole in the fuselage fabric on the underside. One bonus is that it makes it pretty straightforward to drain the petrol tank, which could come in very useful.

The mixture valve positioned on the left side of the seat, but now with the filter at the bottom, making drainage easier.

The mixture valve positioned on the left side of the seat, but now with the filter at the bottom, making drainage easier.

By the end of the day, we were starting to search through the list of outstanding jobs, and found that there are very few items left to do. The we’ve only done two wings – the other two must be done tomorrow. We need to make up some loops of cable to limit the travel of the bungee suspension, and to make little strips of metal to stop a broken engine pushrod flying outwards and trepanning off the cowling.

Oh, and Theo has to finish off the markings on the fuselage side. Many have come to love those Union Flags, (including us), so it’s taken a good deal of courage to get out the white paint brush…


From → Building, Technical

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