The 'Halibag' NewsletterSummer 2001
The spring report on the restoration activities was detailed and comprehensive.
It was mailed to approximately 800 members on our mailing list and 14,000 copies to Bomber Harris Trust. So most are aware of the progress made to that point in time. This last quarter has been very productive...all areas of restoration show noticeable progress. We have been blessed with an unusually large contingent of volunteers, a lot of donated materials and equipment, and a lot of Team Enthusiasm.
The most significant area of work has been the Forward Fuselage (cockpit) areas. Our fuselage is now jigged to it's entire length, over seventy feet.
Unfortunately this length of fuselage in a building that is only 120 feet long, leaves little space for visitors or other activities.
Frames, stringers and skin are added every day and the nose of our Halli is beginning to look like it's old self.
The debris or remnants of the original cockpit are laid out on the floor of our storage hut.
The major problem at this point in time has been space and the uncertainty regarding the building of the Museum Addition, the home for the completed aircraft. However, things are beginning to happen.
The building committee held a media day on May 30th. It was a gathering of local officials, television, radio and newspaper News People. The coverage was extensive.
The City of Quinte-West, kicked off the activities by committing to a donation of $250,000 of which $50,000 was presented on that day.
We understand that other agencies; government or private will be matching these donations...So we're off to a good start.
The committee has a projected completion date for the building of 1 April, 2004. We need a full year in-situ to assemble, refinish and complete the crew installations. 1 April, 2005 is beginning to look good.
For the benefit of the media, we laid-out the pilot's chassis near it's final location. It was complete with seat, rudder pedals, controls...and even new seat cushions. Jeff Jeffery, the President of our Association, was captured on film, smiling as he was photographed in his nostalgia. He made the front page of our local paper.
Most are aware the RCAF Memorial Museum has a full scale Hurricane model that will compliment the Halifax on display. The Hurricane will soon be seen in familiar colours. It has an appointment with the refinishing shop. A Spitfire full scale model is also expected soon.
We also hear through the grapevine that we will be getting a Harvard and a Tutour. The Tutour will be done in Snowbird colours.
Many items of equipment such as radios, radars, instruments and personnal flying equipment have been donated. These items will not be installed in the aircraft until the very last moment, hence will not be seen by the public until then...if ever.
We have been working with the curator and her volunteers to display these items in the main Museum until they are needed in the restoration.
G/C Bill Hockney has started this process by creating a Navigator's Display. The GEE Box and other Nav Instruments that we received from Rescue57, are now displayed in this manner.
We intend to create other displays such as Radio and Radar (H2S). We have some of the radios at present. Rescue57 suggest they can get a working H2S. It would be a major find.
We have been looking for a forklift to move and manipulate 17 tons of Halifax...we lucked in and aquired...at no cost...an 8500 pound electric forklift. This machine is a huge and sofisticated machine designed to move material around in a warehouse. With it's solid rubber tires and small wheels, it is essential for moving sections in the new building during assembly, but for outside work we will still have to beg or borrow a pneumatic-tired machine. Our only cost for this was a battery charger that would put out 48 volts.
Ivan C Mathews
The Team is saddened to have lost Ivan Mathews on Sunday, May 27. Ivan had just undergone a relatively minor surgery, but suffered from heart failure several days later. He will be missed. Ivan served as a Flight Engineer on Bristol Freighters in Langar, England. He knew the Bristol Hercules engine well.
We have enjoyed another active and productive season...the progress is significant.
We have most of what we need to finish the job with time and space being the major restrictions.
The 'Halibag' Newsletter is produced to try to keep members of the Halifax groups and other interested parties in touch with the progresson of 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. Material for inclusion in future issues may be e-mailed to Bill Tytula
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