Sunday, 2 December 2018

Volunteer Working Day 26 November 2018

Today, we focused our attention and work on making the fuselage as watertight as possible for the winter. To accomplish this in the limited time available, we decided to use a large roll of aluminium speed tape kept on board. Speed tape being an amazing product and very effective in the aviation industry, for small temporary repairs etc.

We found the most effective means of finding any holes was to simply switch the lights out, and then look for any daylight. The water ingress inside the cabin is due to a number of reasons, such as rivets, panels, fairings and panels which are missing and/or are not currently fitted, deteriorating seals, or previous patches that have cracked or ripped. The following photos give an example of various areas which have had some decay in seal etc. 

The speed tape has allowed for temporary but workable repairs until we can undertake permanent repairs. 

We started work on the port side and roof, finishing on the starboard. We believe that all of the obvious holes in the fuselage have now been covered, and we just need to do the same to the fin area. Having looked up inside the fin area, there appears to be very few holes, so hopefully this shouldn't take very long. 
Also during the day we tidied up the area around the aircraft a bit more. This involved moving an old broken trestle stored under the fuselage, just behind the wing trailing edge, to the rubbish pile in the corner of the site. The new smaller trestle that had been kept next to the starboard rear fuselage, was re-positioned underneath it, just behind the last trestle.

Once spring 2019 arrives (winter has come and gone yet), we will be able to plan more permanent repairs to prevent further water ingress.


Sunday, 18 November 2018

Sat 10 November - Volunteer Working Day

Another good productive day!

Work continued on establishing the condition of the structure under the  floor boards in the cargo holds, which this time moved to the rear hold. During the day, 2 floor boards were lifted, which were located next to the cargo door, and further forward on the opposite side. It was not necessary to lift the boards the side of these, as it was possible to see the area beneath them  from those we had removed.  In the case of the 2nd board that was lifted, you could see under the next 2 boards further forward as well. So in total that meant 6 sections of the underfloor structure had effectively been checked, and all were dry. As before, the vacuum was used to tidy up the areas where the boards were taken out. The vacuum, however, isn't very effective, so the results weren't as good as they could have been. We agreed that a good bagless vacuum should be on the shopping list! 

Yet again the lighting inside the hold meant it was necessary to use the 2 lights on the tripod again. The extension cable for this would be needed for the vacuum anyway. Some of the photos show the stuff that had to be removed, in order to gain access to the aforementioned floor boards. According to the label you can see on 1 of the 2 mirrors, they are from the toilets. Does anyone know if this is true? Everything was put back with the exception of the electrical connectors and suitcase (which we checked was empty), which were moved under the workshop container. 
Another task that carried on from the previous weekend, was the sorting out of the tools. Given the forecast had predicted rain, this was carried out inside the aircraft. Pictures show the BA spanners,  the imperial c-spanners/adjustable hook wrenches, and the metric c-spanners. The c-spanners shown had markings on them, but what they mean eludes us.
As before any tool that was in a bad condition, bent, unmarked, or if they were it wasn't legible, were put into a separate pile to be thrown away (in future). 
The results of the tidy up can be seen here.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Saturday 3rd Nov 18, volunteer working day update and photos

During the day work progressed on ascertaining the condition of the forward hold, underneath the floorboards.  The good news is that water was not found under all floorboards. The water ingress appears to be localised to underneath the main entry door. It was therefore decided no more floor boards in this hold would be lifted but some drain holes were created in the water ingress area. A number of items were discovered under the floor boards in the hold area, and it is very much a case of “guess the part”. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

The other task of the day was sorting out the spanners into their respective types and sizes. Those in good condition will be kept, but we propose that those in poor condition be disposed of. A future task will be to do the same process with the sockets. There a number of metric tools, but these may not be needed for the Britannia as all measurements are in inches and feet.

Work is continuing in sorting out the numerous parts and tools, some in good condition, some in not so good condition, and deciding what is to be done with them.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Wingtip restoration

Two highly trained volunteers continue to repair one of the badly damaged wingtips (see photos below) a process they started earlier this year. When this has been completed the second wingtip will then be restored, which at the moment looks quite damaged. It is hoped that they can then be refitted to the aircraft, in order to give the public a better impression of how the wings originally looked.

Restoration update for Satuday 15th Sepember

We  spent the day on the airstairs, deciding to make the most of the reasonable weather while we still have it. 

It was mentioned a few blog posts ago that we planned to remove part of a housing which the higher of the 2 screw threads passes through. The point of this was to remove any old grease and replace it with fresh grease, hopefully making the operation of the mechanism easier, but also increasing the extension of the stairs.

The housing itself is held together by a nut and bolt on each side  with a split pin going through each, the latter to keep the nuts in place. In order to take the nuts off, therefore, the 1st task was to remove the split pins using a combination of snips and pliers.  By sheer luck the 1st spanner picked out of the tray was the correct size for the nuts. By using this as well as a mallet, it was possible to get the nuts to turn reasonably easily. It was never the intention to take the casing apart that day, it was more of a feasibility study to see if it was (a) possible, and if so (b) how easy. The nuts were nearly completely unscrewed, just to check there was nothing wrong with the threads on the bolts.  After this, they were re-tightened again, and the tools were put back. 

The main task for the day was to continue the painting, which as usual meant that in some areas it was necessary to rub it down before this could take place. Given how much we had already done in the past, we didn't think there would be that much rust, old paint etc. left. How wrong we were!!. Rubbing down these areas required both steel and brass brushes, a scraper and sand paper. It wasn't always the case of which will work best, but what can we use in the space available. This can be appreciated in the following photos which show the underside of the 2nd and 1st step respectively.  

The photo quality is not the best as the location is so low to the ground you have to take the photos at an angle, and the lighting doesn't help. As you can see the 1st step has deteriorated considerably more, and is probably in the worse condition of any. Pieces of the metal were actually falling off as it was being rubbed down. This work was also carried out on the circular metal beam which had only been partially completed in the past. Other areas were done as well as those already mentioned, creating quite a lot of mess.

As some of this didn't fall directly onto the apron but inside the stairs themselves, this mess had to be removed using the vacuum. The worst area for this was the channels that run each side of the stairs, after the cleaning was finished. 

Next the areas that had been rubbed down that were rusty, such as the brackets inside the aforementioned channels, were painted with an inhibitor, Those areas that weren't rusty or had already been painted with it previously, could then be painted blue. This included parts of the underside of the top side, as well as around the rails the stairs move on and the sides and undersides of the lower steps. The only exception was the underside of the lowest step, as the inhibitor applied had not fully set. 

The best news of the day was that apart from a few last minor areas, we have now finished applying the white paint. Due to a lack of time it wasn't possible to apply as much of the grey paint as we intended, but a coat was applied to the axle framework. and a further coat of black was applied to parts of the exterior framework.