346. Back together

Monday saw us at the Imperial War Museum in London to take our first and only look at Grandad’s original logbooks. My existing copy was a 1974 photocopy which was barely legible, so it was a real pleasure and privilege to see the originals.

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This is Grandad’s logbook showing his time in the Eastern Mediterranean…
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… and here are the official instructions for filling it in. Thankfully, Grandad’s entries in the ‘Remarks’ column are much fuller than one might have expected, and have given us a wonderfully clear image of his time there.

As the forecast got more and more extreme, we weren’t at all sure we’d make it back to Shuttleworth to get 1264 back together. In the end, we managed to get Tuesday and Wednesday in that enabled us to complete most of the job list.

The petrol tank is sealed and repainted.

The engine has a full set of new rings.

The starboard wheel trim is repaired.

The rear fuselage fabric is re-patched.

The tailskid is firmly bolted back.

The pulsometer is relocated lower down.

The tachometer inline gearbox is more securely located.

We’ve primed the oil system, with the exception of the pulsometer which will have to wait until the engine is run.

We’ve put the wings back on.

But by Wednesday evening, Theo said it was clear that the snow was on its way and we headed back home before we got stranded. We left 1264 looking a bit lonely in the blister hangar, but there was a dusting of snow outside and a strong blustery easterly wind that had come straight from the Arctic and cut through one with a knife. We would very much have liked to fill the petrol tank to check the fuel system, and to get some ground runs in to check the rest of the systems, fill the pulsometer and start to bed in the new rings. But that wind made it quite impossible, so we’re quite satisfied with progress.

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Back at home, I’ve got the photographs of every page of Grandad’s logbooks to tinker with so that we end up with a hi-res facsimile, and I’m making slow but steady progress with transcribing the drawings onto Solidworks. Outside, the snow has drifted sufficiently high that it’s almost impossible to get out.

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But I will have a go today. We took the decision to start again with the fabric strips on our sacrificial propeller blade, and I’ve used glue instead of dope to stick it on. The result is altogether better, and I’ve got the first coat of varnish on, but now I need some very fine emery and some better brushes…

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Nearly ready to be shot at!



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