The 'Halibag' NewsletterOctober '99
The summer has been busy and exciting with very appreciable progress made with the restoration. One of our major events had been the attachment of the centre wing/centre fuselage section to the forward fuselage, (cockpit) of the aircraft. I had climbed an eight foot step-ladder with camera in hand...trying to get a bird's eye shot of the two items newly joined. It was at this moment that our Favourite Lady, Agnes Ward, walked by. I coaxed her pose in front of our masterpiece... and here she is.
Tail Turrets and Guns . . . The gun crew has been working hard through the summer. The major part of the restoration now needed is the manufacture of the plexiglass windows for the turret. However the perspex or plexiglass as it is sometimes called, would crack if holes were drilled in it during installation. This was caused by residual stresses from the moulding process. Terry Clifton, a volunteer you may remember from previous newsletters, became aware of this frustrating problem. He knew of an individual, Roger Jeffers of Warehouse Plastics in Toronto, that sold a new acrylic material that would not crack after moulding. They intend to re-mould all of the transparencies of the turret and will then go on to doing the same for the Bomb Aimers nose section. Roger Jeffers has donated the material to create thes windows. For this we have already thanked hem and his company.
Agnes addresses and mails out 2400 newsletters a year for the Team. But she also acts as a bit of a Den Mother to us. She had joined the RCAF (WDs) in 1942 and had served at RCAF Headquarters, London during the war and returned to Canada in 1946. She retired in 1980 and took up residence in Trenton. She is also a volunteer at the RCAF Memorial Museum..a great lady and friend.
Center Wing/Center Fuselage . . . George Rosskopf and his crew have been working diligently on the Leading Edges of this section. George will be leaving the Team in October and wishes to finish this section before he leaves. We have to thank George for three great years of work.
Some of you may know that we have created 13 replica Machine Guns...all by computer assisted Manufacture. We borrowed a gun from the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at Hamilton...it was off their Bolingbroke. We promised them we would make a pair of guns for them if the scheme worked. It did, and several weeks ago Terry Clifton and I rented a Piper Cherokee for the First Nations at Mohawk Field and flew to Hamilton to deliver the guns as promised. We also had other motives in mind. While they were taking photos of Terry and the guns...Heinz Hormann and I were rummaging through their warehouse to see what we might scrounge next.
Rear Bay/Rear Fuselage . . . Some of you may be aware that we bought a rear fuselage section from Mary McKenzie of Stornaway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland. It was purchased as scrap from a crash and had been used as a Chicken Coop for nearly fifty years. We are nearly finished rebuilding this section using the Chicken Coop as a Master. It will be all-new material with most of the Coop being left-over. The rear fuselage and the rear bay are connected and are beginning to look like a Halli.
Wheels and Undercarriages . . . The wheels and tires are complete...the undercarriage portion has been slow.
We received a wheel/tire/axle assembly from the Griffon Trust in the UK. It was a wheel recovered from the crash of a Halifax Mk VIII, (Transport) and donated to us this past spring. While it took several weeks of effort, we have removed the axle and will use it for our aircraft. Rescue 57 from Scotland also sent us some undercarriage wreckage from another crash. We may be able to salvage a second axle from this one.
Other News . . . We have had an engine, a main wheel and numerous smaller items on loan to the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa for the summer months. The items were all returned this week. We understand the display was well-received. A tractor-trailer was sent to ottawa to retrieve these items...we took the opportunity to deliver the remnants of an engine recovered by Rescue 57, UK, and wheel donated to us by the Griffon Trust. These items will be kept on long-term loan by the War Museum and will be used in the creation of displays for their new museum.
The Allied Air Forces reunion was held in Toronto. On Thursday, September9, we had 350 of them tour our facility. Many were old friends. It was a satisfying and delightful day.
Jeff Jeffrey, the President of the Halifax Association and his wife Eileen also visited and hosted the guests. Karl Kjarsgaard, the Vice president of the Association also visited for the day. Karl had Jim Blondeau, our Video Production wizard with him. Jim brought his equipment and camera crew and taped about an hour of interviews with team members and visitors. They will be integrated into a new Tape now being produced about the Restoration.
It is of interest to note that a number of our team members travelled to the UK and Europe this summer and visited Air Force Museums...just to spy a bit. We did notice that many from those countries came to Canada to visit friends and also the Halifax. Several were from Yorkshire and either worked on the restoration of Friday the 13th at the Yorkshire Air Museum...or knew of it. We wondered if they may have recognized some of the parts and pieces that we got from them. We hoped they were pleased with what they saw of our restoration. We have had the nose section we borrowed from Yorkshire Air Museum packaged for return when transport overseas becomes available. We were unsuccessful in trying to get anyone from there to take it back with them as personal baggage. However Karl Kjarsgaard has taken the Hoisting Straps back for Rescue 57. We know he will be taking these as carry-on luggage. Of course, being the co-pilot helps. If anyone for YAM or 57 Squadron does get to read this newsletter...your stuff should be getting back soon. However with the way things are going...they may end up in East Timor.
In summary...the summer has been productive and busy. So many guests...also so many Air Cadets and other Young visitors. We have enjoyed meeting with all of you who did get to see us this season. The next Newsletter will be the Christmas Edition.
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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