Lancaster Conservation Progress Report - 2 April 2002

The nose section of the Lancaster fuselage has been cleaned, treated and repainted as closely as possible to its original appearance, using original photographs as references. This section is currently installed in the new ANZAC Hall.

AWM PAIU2001 194 21
The nose section of "G for George" in ANZAC Hall
AWM PAIU2001/194.21

Further conservation work on the aircraft is progressing sequentially along the fuselage with the wing centre section now basically complete. Work on this section included cleaning, repair of past handling damage and replication of missing components. Spot rubbing through past external recoats was undertaken to establish original camouflage layouts. This enabled the repainting of the outside to the original outlines and colours. Care has been taken to accurately replicate the very low sheen "Night Black" paint used on the undersurface of the aircraft.

G for George Center section
G for George centre section

Internally the aircraft is not to be generally repainted, as much original paint still remains along with many historically significant signatures. Some previously repainted areas, however, have been recoated in a more accurate colour. Where internal paint is flaking attempts will be made to readhere this to retain the signatures, with inpainting as necessary on other areas. While the internal surfaces are being cleaned of dust buildups and potentially corrosive deposits of dirt and grease, significant operational staining has been left in place, for example exhaust stains from the engines along the front of the main spar. Some paint losses on the undercarriage have been inpainted.

Work is also progressing on the undercarriage components, and the corrosion inhibition of the four Merlin engines.

G for George undercarriage
G for George undercarriage unit

The treatment approach is to retain as much original surface as is possible, and repaint previously repainted surfaces to more accurately present the 1943-44 appearance of the aircraft in service.

John Kemister, Large Technology Conservator.