The 'Halibag' Newsletter

January '98

Newsletter Editor Deryck Brown is away enjoying the sun. He will be back in time to prepare the next Newsletter. In his absence, Bill Tytula has writen this months Newsletter.

We have had a very busy season; many things have happened, so it's time to let you in on some of it.

I have received a great number of cheques for subscription to our newsletter and many that are paying their annual fees. Somebody out there either through the internet, or through the Halifax Association has been putting the word out about the Teams Newsletter. Many of you have put in so many kind words and personal notes...for the encouragement, we thank you very much.

Now The News

Stringers...For the past several years we have been hustling trying to find a source or a company that would or could make stringers the old-fashioned way. Rolling out of the sheet metal. Ian Gilbert of Ideal Metals in Mississauga found a company that would manufacture extrusion dies and extrude the shapes for about $4.00 for every pound of aluminium that they squeezed through these dies. We had dies developed for the angle and tee section material and had 5000 feet extruded. This should be enough to finish the job. Today while looking through a donated book about the War Effort, I found that a company on Bay street in Toronto, Cresswell-Pomeroy, manufactures this stuff by the tons during the war. I don't think it's on Bay street anymore.

Trailing Edges...There are 4 trailing edges on this airplane. SPAR Aerospace rebuilt the inner set about a year ago. The remaining pair were taken to Bombardier at Mirabel in Quebec in July. Richard Descarries, from Bombardier phoned to say thay were ready just before the Great Ice Storm. We were supposed to retrieve them the day of the storm. That didn't we made the trip on the 22nd.

When we arrived at Bombardier we found that not only did they do a fantastic jobrebuilding these components; they had them packed in a huge shipping crate that must have cost them a fortune to build.

The crate and packaging were to much for our trailer so we went home empty-handed.They will follow next week by truck.

We spent most of the day at Bombardier touring the plant and greeting many old friends in the Airplane business.

Francois Tessier and his team spent over 1000 manhours on this project. We met the team, had photos taken, and had the opportunity to thank each of them personally.

Maybe we'll try to get them to do some elevators next.

Engines...We have engine #3 turning over powered by a small electric motor. People are intrigued to see a Sleeve Valve engine in motion.

#2 engine has been stripped and cleaned and is looking great. I guess we'll start on the third one this week.

We are still missing parts but have had some luck. Paul Hawkins of Hawkins Aircraft at Terrace, B.C. sent a package with a baffle and a few spark plug items.

We still need 14x2x4=112 sparkers and wire that goes with them. Karl K our overseas scrounger, will be in England at the end of the week and will look for all of this stuff. Ron Craven...the guy who flew the Vicious Virgin, has an associate that has two Metal Fabricating Companies. We will be working with him this week to see if they can manufacture the various baffles and stamping that we seem to have lost in corrosion.

Propellers...We couldn't afford the huge cost of making 9 propeller blades of aluminium. About $20,000. So we will make them out of wood and epoxies for use in the restoration on a temporary basis. Thay will be replaced with real blades as we find them...the wooden blades can then become display items.

Ian Foster, our man in England has news of an engine, gear box and propeller that was retrieved by a fishing trawler. The engineis in poor conditionbut two blades may be useable and the gear box may be restorable. We are working on it.

The propeller blades are being made by CAD/CAM and CNC Machines if that means anything. The same way we made the 13 Browning Machine Guns.

Several pieces of prop blades came back from Belgium early but proved to be to damaged to be useful. We also have some gear boxes that we got from the dig of LK 885 at Veldhoven, Netherlands. Much of this is unuseful. We,ll keep looking.

Belgium Halifax Parts...You may be aware that #426 Sqdrn Assocation, Jay Hammondand our own Karl K collaborated in the digging up of the Halifax LW682 in Belgium. While the aircraft sustained heavy damage in the crash, they did manage to dig up a ton and a half of bits. This will be coming to Trenton in early March. Most of the material will be saved as artifacts. However we get a chance to see if there are any parts that we can use before this happens.

Front Spar...This item is really coming along. It will be nearly finished by the time you read this. We will then begin attaching it to things and vice-versa.

To build-up this spar, we needed a large perfectly level surface or plane table.

Dr. Don Cook was coerced into donating two 30 foot trusses for us to build on. Don is a Mechanical Engineer first and a Doctor second. We are not talking Medical Trusses here.

He has also offered us a Bridgeport Milling machine, which we really need. We have to create more shop space first.

We have two metal brakes that take up a lot of space...we will return them to stock. That will give us the room. Then we have to find a smaller unit called a Box and Pan brake to replace the two that we are returning. With our luck, it will happen.

Rear Bay/Rear Fuselage...This is also taking shape now that we have stringers. Mary McKenzies Chicken House is fitting nicely into it.

For those of you that are not aware, we bought a portion of a rear fuselage from this lady for ten UK pounds. It came from a Halli that had crashed into the sea. The rear fuselagesection had been salvaged and used as a hen house for over 50 years. This was at Stornaway, the Isle of Lewis, Scotland. #426 brought it home for us.

Guns and Turrets...Dennis Tugwood and his sidekick, Gary are moving right along with this. Much of the glass has been re-installed and it is beginning to look like a turret again. As you know, we have manufactured 13 beautiful new replica guns. I say replica to keep the cops off our tails. We did not bore the barrels all the way through...only 6"into either end. We still need to reassemble the Mark 1 turret that the tail gunners gave us. We loaned them four guns for their Fraser-Nash turret in exchange for the inner workings of their Boultain Paul. They will get the left-over parts of their turret as soon as we have it re-assembled and refinished.

Photos and Stuff...Dave Anderson and Bill McIntosh come out of the west every Wednesday to photograph and record progress. Dave has 90 rols of black and white film he will donate for this. The shocking thing is that it costs nearly $17.00 per roll of 24 to develop. More than double the cost of color.

We tried to get the unit photo section to do it at cost...would you believe, they no longer do B&W. I must be getting old.

Other News

Jason Ginn, a student from Algonguin College, Ottawa has been working with us for the past several months on a job placement program. He has learned a lot from us old coots and has contributed a lot. We offer him our thanks and good wishes for the future.

Jeff Jeffery, the president of the Haifax Aircraft Association, will undergo hip replacement on or about March 2nd. We wish him well.

Ray Ledbedder of the Aeromodellers Association has asked us to participate again

in the Fan-Jet Rally at Mountain View in June. You may remember they had a huge flying model of a Hali at the show last year. In typical Hali fashion though, it got damaged in a heavy landing. Many of you out there can say...been there...done that...even have the tee shirt.
A bus load of our volunteers are planning an extended trip to the"Smithsonian" in March. They will have an opportunity to see some of the behind-the-scenes workings.

We had a tremendous Christmas Party on 18 December. It was a mixed affair; our Team Members and RCAF Memorial Museum volunteers. We even had a tree. It was stuck in the axle hole of one of the main wheels.

Reminds me, we still haven't found inner tubes that will fit these wheels. If you happen to have a pair of 24x19 inner tubes laying about, please e-mail me.

The 'Halibag' Newsletter is produced to try to keep members of the Halifax groups and other interested parties in touch with the progress on the project.

The views expressed in these newsletter are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of the RCAF Memorial Museum, the Halifax Aircraft Association or the Halifax Restoration Team. Deryck Brown, Editor. Material for inclusion in future issues may be sent to:

Deryck Brown
RR#3, South Bay
Picton, Ontario
Canada, K0K 2T0

Tel/Fax (613) 476 4513
or by 



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