Cosford's Dornier and Hampden conservation up-date.

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Airframes, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Me and my mate Mick managed to get to the RAF Museum, Cosford yesterday, to take advantage of the open days of the Sir Michael Beetham Conservation Center, open (free, to Museum Members, and to the general public for a £5 donation), for three hours per day, for one week only.
    Last year, we were delayed on the way there, and only managed to get 15 minutes in the Center before it closed, but I managed to get some photos of the Wellington and Hampden, which I posted at the time.
    This time, we arrived early enough to have a good mooch around and, apart from seeing some progress on the two aircraft mentioned above, we were able to view the conservation work done to date on the Dornier Do17Z, raised from the Goodwin Sands in June last year, after being shot down during the Battle of Britain.
    The Dornier has taken priority, resulting in slower progress on the long-term work schedule for the two RAF bombers, and the fuselage, wings and engines etc, have spent a year in the polythene 'hydration tunnels', where they were treated to a constant application of a citric acid solution, slowly giving way to water, in a specially - researched treatment programme, intended to prevent further corrosion, removal of marine 'deposits', and assist in the conservation of this, the World's only extant 'Flying Pencil'.
    The fuselage, part of the tail assembly, and the engines and some other components, have now been moved indoors into the center's main workshop hangar, and we were able to inspect at close-range some of the work of conservation and preservation, both on the major airframe sections, damaged when they were raised from the sea bed where they lain for 73 years, and separate components such as guns, fuel cells, and engine, undertaken by a dedicated team of volunteers and apprentices.
    Although the major components may at first sight look like a pile of scrap, the skilled work force have carried out some really superb conservation and restoration work, and this is abundantly clear on some of the smaller items, for example the fuel pumps seen in one of the photos, or those larger components, such as the engines and prop, which were on display, with the team on hand to answers questions and provide background information on the work, and the processes involved to date.

    In contrast, and more recognisable as an aircraft, the Wellington is undergoing intense restoration work, including a complete removal and recovering of the fabric, having been on static display at Hendon for many years, and this is due to last a further four years.
    The Hampden, on the other hand, a TB Mk1, spent 70 years lying in the open on the Siberian tundra, having been shot down on a Russian convoy patrol, and then suffering the effects of the elements, and the local population, when it gained a few more bullet holes, and had parts removed to be 'recycled' as needed by the locals, including slices of rubber from the landing gear tyres, used to make new soles for the footware of the hunters, traders and travellers of the area !
    The Conservation Centre staff spent quite some time in identifying which bullet holes were inflicted by the Luftwaffe, and which were the result of enthusiastic target practice by the locals!
    During this time, it was established that a single German 7.92mm round had entered the fuselage and penetrated the radio, causing a fire.

    The following photos, taken yesterday (Friday, 14th November), should give some idea of the superb standard of work being carried out in the Centre, and note that the Dornier fuselage section is inverted, with the view through towards the rear of the cockpit.
    I'd like to thank the staff of the Sir Michael Beetham Conservation Centre, both for the excellent work they do, and for providing the opportunity to view their work, and talk to them about these on-going projects, as well as the staff of the RAF Museum, Cosford, for their help in allowing access to aircraft for detail photography in the main display hangars, later in the day.
     

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  2. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Terry you lucky dog! Great shots.
     
  3. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Loads of work to do. Thanks for the update Terry.

    Geo
     
  4. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Terrific pictures Terry. Thanks!
     
  5. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Some great work going on there. Thanks for the great shots Terry.
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks chaps. The rest of the day was spent obtaining detail shots of various aircraft, both for myself, and Evan, who is attempting to build a model of every aircraft type which served with the RNZAF !!
    So, 500 images later - praise the Lord for digital photography !!
     
  7. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    That is just awesome!
     
  8. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Fantastic photos Terry!
     
  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks David and Evan.
     
  10. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Great pics!

    Thanks!, and good job, by the way.

    Are you in one of the pics, or are they all strangers?
     
  11. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks Greg. No I'm not in the pics - I have an aversion to cameras pointing at me, and stay firmly on the control side of the things!
    The bloke in the blue jacket is my mate Mick, with Scott, another friend, next to him.
     
  12. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    That works well for us too. :lol:
     
  13. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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  14. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Oh, thanks !!!
    Want to keep the kids away from an open fire? Place a pic of me on the mantlepiece !!!
     
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