Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Restoration Update #3

'A good puzzle, it's a fair thing. Nobody is lying. It's very clear, and the problem depends just on you'....[and a Mk. IV Hurricane]
                        – Erno Rubik

            Last week I mentioned that restoring vintage aircraft is often immensely puzzling and even more so when that puzzle lacks a picture. Well this week we certainly lacked the pictures we needed. We had to figure out how the tail section was mounted, whether it was mounted correctly, and how the rudder trim cables were to be assembled. I can vouch only for the last unfortunately. This week was quite hectic and before we dive into restoration process I have an important announcement.

            This Monday, November 26th, 2012, “Gear Up – Vintage Gear Store” will be opening a boutique at Place d’Orleans shopping centre. Just in time for the holidays! What would be cooler than to don some awesome Vintage Wings of Canada swag and share some Canadian history. You can even get a wonderful 242 sqdn. Willie McKnight Hurricane Tee. Sales go to helping us put this wonderful airplane back in the skies!

Annie and I loaded up the Vintage Wings swag wagon (to the brim!) with excellent gear! If you can’t make it to Place d’Orleans (Orleans/Ottawa), you can visit us at C-YOW (The Ottawa International Airport) or Online!

Here’s an example of what will be available at the booth!

Aside from restoring the Hurricane, I also work at the store and thought I’d let you know!

            Now on to the business of today...So I mentioned we had no pictures. Well, I lied…. We had a shining example; however, it came with no written instructions. Meet the tail section of our Mk. XII Hurricane. We wanted to see if we had the mountings correct, which I believe we did! (We just have to uninstall it now for painting).

Now that's a nice piece of tail! 

            The one task I took part in today was trying to figure out how the rudder/trim cables were to be installed. Below are the trim cables for the rudder. You might note that they are crisscrossed. Well, according to the one piece of written reference we had today, that’s how they are supposed to be.

Criscrossed trim cables make the rudder jump, jump

Now that’s only a small part and one side of the Rudder trim assembly. It turns out the grass wasn’t so green on the other side. In order to understand how it went together properly and the cables connected, we had to look at our Mk. IV Hurricane.

Always nice to have an example to model after

The trim cables (coming from the rudder) are to plug into the pivoting bracket-like part, which is directly in the centre of the above picture. 

Slow and steady wins the race

A chain is attached to the sprocket in the picture above, which is then attached to another bracket (not in the picture) where the cables from the trim wheel (up in the cockpit) join. Now in order to figure all that out, we opened up the Mk. IV, a process that took about 8.5 times longer than originally predicted. The U-Shaped panel around the elevator was most displeased with us and gave much protest.

Sorry Mr. Rubik, the only answer to this puzzle was the “Bunny” McLarty Hurricane

We are starting a drive to get Chris a new camera for x-mas

My ingenious way of side-stepping the terrible non-working flash on my camera was to shoot in Auto mode while holding a flashlight awkwardly towards the rudder trim assembly. As you can see, it looks exactly like the Mk. XII assembly. You see the sprocket and behind the sprocket, you can see the bracket that receives the cables coming from the trim tab on the rudder. So now that we knew how the assembly went together we could look for all the necessary parts to install on the Mk. XII. The important thing with restorations is that you cannot do anything without a reference. You either need written reference, diagrams, photographs, or an actual example. This stops one from simply attaching any piece wherever you fancy. It also upholds a level of quality and safety. Every part needs to be properly attached and secured. That’s not something you want to throw an educated guess at. We however are fortunate to have a living example 10 feet from the Mk. XII ready to answer any question we have.

The last thing I did today I have no pictures for. However, it will make future blogs better. Along with some other volunteers, I was shown how to find part names, part numbers, and their respective locations on the aircraft (so-to-speak). There are fairly complete drawings and labeling of parts divided into a few books. Once you find a part in the book, which has a number beside it, you can use this number look it up in the computer (which there is a PDF of all the part numbers). From there you can find the actual part number and in some cases you can end up figuring out where it goes because there is a detailed description beside it. 

From now on I have no excuses for saying, “I should really know what that part is called” or “that sprocket thingy attaches to this bracket thingy” and so on. Feel free to call me out on future blogs! I also got to see an in depth look at all the paper work that goes into a restoration, such as log books, work-orders, etc. I will save those for another day, perhaps when a new work-order is opened up on a particular part of the aircraft.

My apologies for the rather short blog today but I was not around for a good portion of the work that was completed today. However, I promise next week’s will be twice as exciting! I will also make sure to explain the significance of the rudder trim tab. Right now my knowledge is rather lacking, so that will be the first order of business next week.

Take care,


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