A major milestone was reached late last week with the trial fit of the Boulton Paul upper turret into the Hudson rear fuselage. The installation was carried out to check the fit with the re-constructed support structure, which required only minor adjusting before the turret was bolted into postion. The turret will now be removed to allow fabrication of fuselage skins to be completed, and routing of the empennage flight control cables.
After months of work treating and reproducing individual pieces, the complex structure which supports the Boulton Paul turret has been trial fitted. It was great to see all the separate items come together. These parts, after final undercoating, will now be riveted into the airframe permanently. Rear fuselage skins can then be rolled, and the Boulton Paul turret fitted.
The Boulton Paul Turret was the first of the major componemts to undergo restoration, with work commencing in late 2009 on a large pile of turret pieces. Over an eight month period, the parts were individually treated, and the turret slowly took shape. The frame is a complex assembly, with literally hundreds of small brackets, all rivited together to make up the cupola, or frame.
Monday 26 September 2011 by Jamie Croker. No comments.
While major structural work is being carried out, work progresses on some of the smaller cabin fitout items as well. Mark Aitken, one of the Large Technology conservators, is currently replicating the F24 Camera Well using a loaned original for reference, as well as original blueprints.
The papers of Field Marshal the Lord Birdwood will be undergoing conservation, rehousing and digitisation for their long term preservation.
Friday 25 February 2011 by Jamie Croker. No comments.
A second large hole has been cut into the fuselage this week, this being for the lower tunnel gun position. A large amount of modification to the airframe had been carried out to support flooring, and various large camera mounts thorughout it's time as a geo survey platform. All these modifications were removed to clear the area, and open up the space ogininally occupied by the tunnel gun.
Three months into this phase of the project has seen significant progress on both the external and internal conservation of the tank. Externally, all original armour plate components have been repaired. Replica plating has been fitted to replace inaccurate or missing components, with some plates requiring considerable modification to fit this individual tank, and to correct minor errors in externally supplied fabrications.
The aft turret support bulkhead was fitted to the fuselage late last week, and is the first major peice of the turret support structure to be completed and installed. The installation of this bulkhead will give the structural integrity to allow the removal of damaged and modified floor structure, and the continuing installation of support structure further forward in the fuselage.
To assist with the manufacture of missing and damaged components and structure in the Hudson, the AWM purchased a copy of original Lockheed blueprints on Microfilm. Digitisation of the blueprints for ease of reference has commenced, and they are providing invaluable information for most areas in the airframe. The blueprints contain the original dimensions and material specifications of each individual item used to build the aircraft.
The support structure for the upper turret is beginning to take shape, with repaired and replicated components being pieced together before installation. This structure is approximately 1/3 of the way through the fabrication stage. When complete, the structure will be disassembled, painted, and then installed into the airframe.