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2022 New Years Update

Just a quick New Years update

First and foremost is the delivery of the bomb frame sections for frames 6 to 14, 27 items in all, laser cut by AMADA UK of Kidderminster.  With the formers recently delivered we are now ready to start shaping the frames by bending the flanges, adding reinforcing strips and forming the lightening holes.

Other recent activities include the return of the FN5 nose turret that was on loan to the  RAF Wyton Heritage Centre.  Making of the support at frame 5 for the Port side of the flight deck ready to be fitted once the bomb bay roof is fitted. The pilot’s seat back armour requires a few minor items fitted but since the last update has got a coat of paint. The bomb frame formers have been radiused to ensure there are no sharp edges when the frames are folded over to make the flanges, nice work Kev.  We have also started to join sections of Witch’s hat section that will form the fuselage and bomb bay stringers. Much work ahead now the bomb frames can be prepared, and with the bomb bay jig under construction, next year should show some real progress

August 2021 Update

It is a little while since we have done a progress update but life has been very busy, however, this has not prevented the Project moving forward. In addition to our continued build progress we have been privileged to have visits by two Stirling Flight Engineers, Doug Vince and Bert Turner. Their experiences and knowledge has further enhanced our understanding of the operation of equipment’s on the aircraft. 

DC, our designer, has, with the aid of some keel section retrieved from BK716, produced the electronic files to allow production of the bomb frame formers and is working on the final elements of the files for laser cutting of the bomb frames themselves.  Once the blank bomb frames have been delivered we will be able to start forming them over the formers.

Making of some of the smaller items that make up the aircraft has continued and these are shown below, they include completion of the Glycol Tank by fitting the retraining straps, machining of the Frame 5 support by John Scott of Bedford Model Engineers, repairing the Differential Brake Valve support bracket, manufacturing the flying control rods under the pilots seat (which includes a fork end recovered from Stirling MacRobert’s Reply)  straighten and repairing the Steering Director Box mounting.  The pilot’s seat armour has also made good progress with the lower section complete and the upper section requiring the support brackets as it will be mounted in the raised fixed position as on MkIII and MkIV aircraft. The parts that make up the large step between the pilots seats has also been made and they now only require assembling.

Flight Engineer Burt Turner
Flight Engineer Doug Vince
Frame Formers
CAD Bomb Frame
CAD Bomb Bay
Controls
Controls
Pilots Seat Armour
Pilots Seat Armour
Glycol Tank
Frame 5
Chain Links
Steering Direction Mounting
Pilots Step Components

Flying Controls, Instrument Panel and Glycol Tank work

During the summer we have made steady progress in making more components for inclusion in the Project. These include flying controls under the pilot’s seats, in particular a bracket with pulleys for aileron controls and mounting of levers under the P1 seat. The levers and shafts being made by Soren and John Scott of Bedford Model Engineers. The Bomb Jettison ‘T’ handle has now been fitted to the instrument panel and the Autopilot control panel completed. We have also started to refurbish some of the electrical junction boxes and completed the centre and rear pulley blocks from the coupe centre section. 

Glycol Tank and Pilot’s Bomb Jettison T Handle

Although restricted to working from home due to Covid-19 the team have been busy researching the next stage of the build.  

We must say a big thank you to Sam Ollis of Chester who volunteered his services and has made components for the build.  They are the Pilot’s Bomb Jettison T Handle mounting and the Glycol Tank Dipstick/filler cap.  The T handle mounting is the final component for the pilot’s instrument panel.  With the need to ensure the workshop is safe and secure we have visited and took the opportunity to assembly the Glycol tank filler cap.

March 2020 Updates Glycol Tank and more

March has been a very productive month for the Project with the delivery of the R1155 Receiver refurbished by Carl Proctor, the manufacture of the Glycol tank by Artec Engineering organised by Andy P, refurbishment to working order of the Navigator’s angle poise lamp, fitting of the P1 Control Wheel Bomb Release Switch and rebuilding the coupe controls centre pulley block. The rear pulley block is now in work but not in as good a condition as the centre item.  We have also taken delivery of an Engineers Trunk from East Kirkby.  

Footrest and pilot’s seats progress

Over the past 3 months we have completed the 4 footrests, both pilots harness mechanisms, started to make the Autopilot control panel and reassembled the trim box.

Bedford Model Engineers having made components for the seat harness and the elevator trim dials. East Coast Castings making the footrest rear edges.  

Summer Progress

During the summer we have again made some incremental additions to the flight deck and made some very fruitful contacts who have assisted us in completing some of the long standing frustrating bits; and in short order produced some items we thought we would struggle with, with our current tools and skill set.  

The Pilots footrests are nearly complete with only the P2 outer remaining. 

The Pilots P1 seat harness go-forward mechanism is complete and the P2 nearly finished.  The cables being supplied by Bruntons, the manufacture of the original items, therefore maintaining a close link to the aircraft. The P1 armour remains to fabricate. 

The Trim Control Box donated by NELSAM (Sunderland) has been refurbished and only requires the Elevator dials to be made. Thanks to Bedford Model Engineers and Any P’s contact in Devon in assisting in making replacement items.

A prominent item on the pilot’s instrument panel is the Flap Control Panel, this has been refurbished including new labels. 

We have several end sections for Bomb Crutches and they have been dismantled with a view to making a pattern item so we can make up to 12 for the current build.

Project Update May 2019

Due to a glitch in the web site 18 months worth of progress updates are no longer available, therefore this update covers several of the activities from this period. They include the coupe panel for the floodlights, centre floor panel, flying control lock attachment lugs, pilot’s escape hatch refurbishment, aircrew de-icing control panel, prop feathering panel, manufacture of components for the elevator control levers, pilots footrests progression, and manufacture of components for the Sutton harness release mechanism. 

A special thank you from the Project to those who have assisted us, including East Coast Castings Watton, Bedford Model Engineering Group, Bruntons Cables, Sorin, RAF Museum Store Stafford, North East Land, Sea and Air Museums Sunderland.

Seat Cushions and Progress Up-date

Thanks to a donation from the Stirling Aircraft Society, we have been able to get the Pilots’ seat cushions manufactured with enough leather left over to manufacture the Navs seat cushions and the Bomb Aimers ‘couch’. These are as close to the original as we can get based on photo evidence and personal recollections. We’d like to thank the Society for their donation and hopefully our connection will be closer in future.

A new bracket and slider for the U/c indicator switch is in progress, originals of which are as rare as rocking horse poo.

The 1st Pilots control column fwd stop assembly, which is yet another example of Shorts (over) engineering is taking shape. The 2nd Pilots’ is yet to do and then the 4 off sloping footrests.

 The rudder controls between Frames 3 and 6 have been connected.

Finally a great thanks to Dormer Drills who have shown an interest in the Project and have kindly donated a selection of drills and cutting fluids to us. 

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Cockpit Floor / Lorenz Gauge and Seats Progress

Recent work has included the completion of the Lorenz Indicator mounting (thanks to East Coast Castings of Watton for the mounting), continuing production of the cockpit floor panels (the centre panel has the edging applied along with the positioning of the de-icing pump on the Port side and the production of pilots’ seat cushions and backs template.  The leather seat and back cushions will be manufactured by a Cambridge company, however, they don’t come cheap but are an essential component for cockpit authenticity. A sponsor for these would be most welcome.

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