Thursday 17 April 2008 by Andrew Pearce. 2 comments
Aircraft 1914 - 1918, Collection, Conservation, Aircraft Conservation

Upon removal of the fabric from the upper mainplane it was discovered that an extensive number of the ribs were damaged.

Shattered ribs in upper mainplane. Note timber reinforcing panels nailed to rib faces.

Work has been underway to repair this damage and give the wing much of its original strength.

The presence of pre existing repairs indicate that this damage took place prior to the last restoration. Although some damage appears to be as a result of handling and impact, many of the ribs also exhibit a characteristic splitting across the thin section of the rib web. This typically occurs 15 to 20 millimetres either side of the central nail holding the vertical reinforcing stave and is a result of different rates of contraction between the cross grain of the parent rib web and the long grain of the reinforcing stave.

Characteristic rib shrinkage damage.

This is an interesting example of an element of the design originally intended to provide strength actually resulting in damage in the longer term.

The coarse timber panel repairs nailed to the faces of the ribs have been removed, losses have been filled with precisely shaped timber fills and local reinforcing in the form of 1.6 millimetre plywood has been applied to the rib faces where required.

Repairing the top edge of the rib web.

Repair to forward end of rib cap and web.

Clamping the infill into position.

The completed rib repair.

Care has been taken to avoid obscuring the original production rib numbering stamps.

All new additions have been labelled AWM 08 so as to identify them to future repairers or conservators.

Good progress repairing the upper mainplane.

Comments

Joseph Lieuallen

Hello, I have long been interested in building a large scale accurate model of an Albatros DVa, half of which would be uncovered to show structural details. I have a fair amount of research on it. But, I have been frustrated in finding any information on the layout and location of the electrical wiring, fuel/oil/grease lines , and engine controls in the cockpit area forward to the engine, as well as exactly how the fuel/oil tanks and ammo tanks are mounted to the airframe. I have the Mikesh book and a bit of contact with Smitsonian on their DVa but I can't find these details to date. Has your team made any diagrams or photos of these details you could share with me ? Thanks much and very nice work in the photos on your Albatros. Joseph Lieuallen

Amanda Rebbeck says:

Hi Joseph, Thank you for your question, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. The project work we did on the Albatros was mostly conservation based, and involved refurbishing the existing equipment and parts. Most of the actual connections between the engine and the airframe systems are missing from the AWM aircraft, and we did not attempt to produce these parts due to lack of accurate reference. Some detailed photographs of the remaining aircraft systems will be posted on the blog in the next few months. Let us know if there are any images that are of particular interest. Regards John White