It’s been a good week so far. We’ve made out a list of about a dozen jobs that need doing on the airframe and remarkably, it looks as if we might get them pretty much completed in the week.
Yesterday our good friend Ricardo turned up on his day off from piloting A319s for TAP, the Portuguese airline. He was in time to help move the wings into the workshop so that we could work on them.
The lower port wing catches the worst of the oil and exhaust from the engine and needed a great deal of cleaning, mostly using thinners. We also added another coat of thinned dope in the cleaned areas to compensate for what we’d taken off in the cleaning process.
Having to do this inside the workshop is heady stuff, and whether Ricardo had sobered up in time for his return flight is open to doubt!
Today I’ve had the instrument panel off to fit anchor nuts on the back, so that the instruments can be removed without having to take the panel out. I also did a number of other small jobs, including fitting the Transport Trust badge, which we wear very proudly after having won the ‘Preservationist of the Year’ trophy last year.
We’ve also replaced – again – the bungee suspension on one side. They were both replaced in late August, having been sliced into many short lengths by the aluminium strips called for in the drawing. The bungee is laid up in three rows of four turns each, and the aluminium does a good job of separating the three layers, allowing them to slip over each other. Unfortunately if they aren’t aligned precisely, the ends catch on the bungee and cut them up. We’d replaced them in August with some trepidation, but having checked them now we’ve rewound them without the strips.
It seems likely they were discarded in service, but the information didn’t get back to the drawing office!
One thing for the modellers among you; if you want to replicate the exact look of clear-doped linen fabric after a while in service, check these pictures out.