The 'Halibag' NewsletterSUMMER 2002
It appears we missed spring in more ways than one; but I have excuses. The Halifax Aircraft Association put out their annual newsletter several months ago, over 4000 copies. It included a huge report written by us in the team. They also included a multitude of very good photographs. The mailing of this newsletter slipped by several months into the time-frame of our spring issue.
In addition the Association held their spring annual meeting. We had been hoping for some good reports concerning our building to come from this session. No bad new, just that everything is still on hold till funding approval comes.
The good news is that Halifax NA 337 is beginning to look like her old self. We are at the point where some areas are beginning to slow down as their sections near completion.
RESTORATION - GENERAL
Once again, the Bomb-aimers plexiglas nose section has grabbed our attention. Several weeks ago we had a visitor from Yorkshire. We mentioned that we have been waiting several years for the Yorkshire Air Museum, (YAM) and several UK companies to mould the plexiglass for our nose section. This gentleman on return to the UK visited YAM and reported back that success has been elusive. We have broken out on our own.
The WING shops will make the wooden moulds and one of our team members, Rod Clark has taken on the task of drawing out the plexiglass to shape and form. Rod has been successful in restoring the pilots chassis and flight control systems. He’s looking for a bigger challenge.
The tail sections include the Fins, Rudders, Elevators, and Horizontal Stabilizers. All of the above are literally complete and assembled. They have been on display for some time and have elicited many favourable comments. When it comes time to move the Halli into it’s new home, it will be disassembled, repainted and installed.
There is a lot of activity going on with both port and starboard sections. Each is installed and suspended on dozens of polyethylene lines hanging from the rafters. Using lines rather than jigs can be attributed to the guys doing it. Keith Jennings spent a lifetime working in the hyroelectric world. They do everything with ropes and pulleys and the technology seems to have spilled over. It has drawn comments from our visitors…but when we explain they agree that it is a clever way of doing it.
Engine and Propellers
Number 2 engine is mounted and nearing completion. The remaining three engines are getting close but still need a number of components…both engine and propeller. We still have Rescue 57, our team in Scotland and Cees Vanderleeu in Holland working on the propeller parts found in Holland. We’re still trying to get them home.
Bomber Command Association of Canada…London Ontario
IOn 25 April I addressed the London Squadron of the Bomber Command Association of Canada. It turned out to be a delightful and amusing day. There were a number of members in attendance that I had not seen in many years nor had ever expected to see again. It was like a reunion.
Doug Soper was one such individual. He served on a number of Bomber Aircraft…but not Halifaxes. I had worked with Doug in the 60’s in the Human Factors/Aviation Medicine. Doug visited the Halli about a week ago bearing gifts. The major item was his wartime set of binoculars, which we will display with the aircraft. He also has the prototype of one of the first RCAF flying suits created by the Institute of Aviation Medicine. He has offered to donate it to us at the Museum. Lucked in again!
Little Norway-Muskoka Ontario
On the 6th of May King Harald of Norway visited Canada. During this visit he and Queen Sonja visited Muskoka Ontario, the site of wartime BCATP training airfield known as “Little Norway”. (The original “Little Norway” was actually Toronto Island Airport but they soon outgrew this field and moved to Muskoka).
The Norwegians unveiled a commemorative stone. Last summer a team came over from Norway to organize this event. They stayed with us for a while so we were disappointed that they did not visit the Halifax. Lloyd Wright, one of our team members flew Halifax’s and laid mines in a number of harbours in Norway. He suggested that he would tell them where he laid these mines if they would include us in their visit. Nice try but it didn’t work..
The project began slowly in July 1995. In the last 7 years we have reached the 80% mark and are ready to begin moving major components into the new museum additon. While the building is suffering some delays, we are having hundreds of visitors who really enjoy walking through the crowded site and marveling at the work done. In all honesty, this great position to be in… it exceeded our own expectations. It really will be a 10 year project. Once again, we extend an invitation to all of you to visit. We know that you will be impressed and pleased with what you will see.
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 BillTytula
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