The original control column had been cut off
at the base at some pointin the past (a trophy on somebody's
wall no doubt). One of our BAC members has rebuilt it using
photographs and dimensions from the aircraft at Duxford, and
also refurbished the adjacent control pulleys and structure
mounting in his home workshop.
A Centre Wing restoration work programme has
been agreed for the trainee aircraft service engineers in the
City of Bristol College at Filton, and removal of damaged skin
areas around the fuel tank bays is underway. Dismantling so
far shows almost no sign of the expected corrosion between the
steel and aluminium alloys throughout the structure, and anti-corrosion
protection is being applied to all steel parts. Tools are to
be made for the missing fuel tank support ribs and adjacent
The first Mercury engine has been fully restored
in the workshop of the Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust at Patchway
near Filton. They are now restoring the damaged engine mounting
structure and firewall behind the engine. The second engine
has been delivered, and after removing the transport framing
it was found that the cylinders have been protected with anti-corrosion
plugs. Its mounting structure, firewall and ancillary components
have minimal damage and fewer missing components than on the
first engine unit, so it is being used initially as a master
reference for the repair to the first engine ancillaries.
First Mercury engine completed
Damaged firewall and adjacent structure
Messier Services at Cheltenham have fully integrated
the Landing Gear restoration into their trainee programmes.
One main landing gear unit has been completely stripped and
the parts cleaned prior to being re-plated with cadmium.
Dismantling one of the Oleos
Removal of a wheel bearing
The Fin was missing from the aircraft when
it was brought to the UK, but it is now going through the US
military export process (although a WW2 aircraft, the Bolingbroke
still comes under modern military export rules in the USA).
David Bradley, July 2008