The 'Halibag' NewsletterJune '99
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This months Newsletter is a summary of the resent restoration progress, prepared by Bill Tytula, Restoration Project Manager.
Center Wing/Center Fuselage . . . Monday, April 26 will be a day to remember. It was the day the Center Wing/Center Fuselage came down.
Many of you have visited the work site and have seen this section . . . 29 feet wide and about 10 feet long, standing on it's nose (spar) so that we could work on both upper and lower surfaces. Today it is horizontal and will soon mate with the rear fuselage.
The center wing/center fuselage weighs several tons and needed to be laid flat on a system of trollys that would allow it to be moved freely and to be worked on. These dollys were created and worked beautifully.
Work will now begin providing the finishing touches and also the completion and installation of that part of the unit commonly refered to as the "Covered Wagon". This is the upside down, U shaped cover over the crew rest section. They named it the covered wagon because it looked like one.
Rear Bay/Rear Fuselage . . .The Rear Bay is the name given to the very Tail End of the fuselage. It is 16 feet long. The next section called the Rear Fuselage is joined to it. It is 28 feet long. This is the section that was severally damaged in the ditching with much of it lost in the recovery. It is also the subject of our Scottish Chicken Coop Caper.
The Rear Bay is now connected to the Rear Fuselage giving us a continuous length of fuselage of 44 feet.
All of this is also enclosed in an elaborate jig system to hold it straight, true, and steady . . . and high . . .so that we can work on the underside.
Now that we can work on the underside, work is going well reconstructing the Bomb Bay, the Lower Hatch and Crew Entrance door areas. When the 44 feet of fuselage is connected to the center wing/center fuselage we will have a tee-section that will measure 55 feet in length and 29 feet in width. We will have done the most difficult part of the restoration. From here on we will just be adding major components. Of course, all of this will only be connected lightly as it has to come apart again to get it out of the building and to re-construct it inside our new museum addition.
Engines and Propellers . . .Karl Kjarsgaard and the 57 Rescue Group in Scotland have come up with another engine recovered from a crash site. It is presently at RAF Station, Luechars, awaiting shipment to Trenton. There are a few items that we may be able to cannibalize from it. Hope it has good spark plugs. We're missing a bunch of these!
Wheels and Undercarriage . . .We have two complete wheels, with tires and inner tubes installed. We are missing axle and brake components.
The Griffon Trust, Ellesmere Port, South Wirral, England have donated a complete wheel. It too is in Luechars awaiting a Hurc flight to bring it home.
Nose Glass/Bomb Aimers Section . . .The nose or cockpit section of NA337 was severley damaged during the ditching. We borrowed a nose frame from the Yorkshire Air Museum to copy. They have advised us that they now need it back, so we have a crew making a copy and should be able to return their frame soon.
Other News . . .The Halifax Aircraft Association held it's Annual General Meeting here in Trenton on April 16th. Members of the Restoration Team were invited. The meeting reported a lot of good news. The Restoration going well, almost 3400 members now in the Association, and things looking good for the future of the program.
In my Program Manager's Report to them I had indicated that we have had fantasic support from the Association and also from the RCAF Memorial Museum. Together they have helped make the Restoration a sucessful and exciting project.
Allied Air Force Reunion . . .This event will take place at the Royal York Hotel, Toronto, from September 2-6, 1999. The reunion will include a trip to Trenton to visit the RCAF Memorial Museum and the Halifax Restoration.
Summary . . .We are happy to report that the restoration is progressing ahead of expectations and intentions. We feel that we have now turned the corner. It will still require a lot of hard work and dedication, but most of the unknowns have been resolved.
In brief, I am pleased and proud of the accomplishments of the Restoration Team and I invite you to visit, possibly during the Allied Air Force Reunion, or maybe just during your summer vacation.
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(s) 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:
3379 Cty Rd #13
RR #3 Picton, Ontario
Canada, K0K 2T0
Tel/Fax (613) 476 4513
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