As many of our readers will be well aware, Avro Lancaster B.VII NX611 Just Jane is under restoration to airworthy condition with the Lincoln Aviation Heritage Center at former RAF East Kirkby in Lincolnshire, England. The group has made magnificent progress, even during the pandemic, and we thought that our readers might like to see a recent report, reproduced here with permission…
The Rivet Club – Newsletter 156
by Andrew Panton
Work to rewire the Lancaster has been progressing this week, with the main electrical panel presently on the bench. We will be rewiring this board for the systems currently in use and will add to it each time another system comes on line, so it will be an ongoing project for several years. At the moment, the Lancaster runs a smaller distribution panel rather than the initially installed example, so we will be swapping back to that original unit with this rewire. As you can see from the image below, this panel is a bit of a “rat’s nest” of wires and fuses, so it will take some time to strip it out and solder the new circuits in.
Work on KB976’s rear fuselage has continued as well. John and Les have slaved in NX611’s castings and tubes into their equivalent locations in KB976’s rear fuselage so that the turret hoop positioning can be set and riveted up. Once the riveting is completed, we will refit the castings and tubes back into NX611.
The jig for NX664’s wing is very close to completion. We received the newly-manufactured top attachment points from Intelect, and John has dry fitted and fixed the extending arms into the set length. The jig is now fully adjusted with the top attachment points, and the spar attachments are all lined up with the column ready for the final drilling of the attachment carry plates. Rundles engineering at New Bolingbroke has produced jig pins for us so that we can fit the wing to the jig without using original wing bolts. We have also taken the spar attachment plates to Rundles for drilling with 1″ and 1 7/16″ holes to match the spars.
Next week will see all of the top attachment arms drilled to match the front spar so that we can bolt them in place. The final fitting of the spar end attachment plates at the column end will also take place. This will complete the jig – we can then drill-off and disassemble the wing for repairs. To complete this next stage with the wing, we need to boost the wing fundraiser to £30,000, so please do continue to support the Gofundme campaign if you would like to see the wing work progress by clicking on the WINGS FUND button below.
Keith has completed a repair to one of the badly bent and damaged extruded stringers in NX664’s wing. Keith had to straighten it and affix repair patches in two areas. While it would have obviously been preferable to replace this stringer outright, it’s repair proved more cost-effective, since the original extrusion profile is no longer available. Ordering a small batch of newly-formed material would have cost a small fortune manufacture and heat treat!
Phil has been continuing his work on KB976’s rear fuselage stringers. The components which he has been working on this week run above the doorway and join the new doorway structure to the forward transport joint extrusion. We have now placed the order for the production of the wooden dies to manufacture new fuselage formers for this section. They will be with us in the new year so that we can finally produce the new formers for KB976 and get the fuselage repairs completed.
The latest video showing some of the restoration action at East Kirkby during late November, 2021…
That’s all for this particular update. We hope that you have enjoyed reading it. As can be seen, a lot of work remains to be done, but the aircraft is well on the way back to flying condition. It is being done in a methodical and careful manner in order to keep the aircraft available for ground-running operations during the summer months. For those interested in helping support this important project, please click HERE
Be sure to check out their store HERE as well… There are many cool items to buy which will help get Just Jane back in the air!
I am an Australian and my father, bomb Aimer, G.F.Rogers flew as an Aussie in RAF 207 squadron Spilsby with 32 missions over Europe Jan 44 – Oct 44. I visited your fabulous museum in Aug 2010 and went inside Just Jane. My God . How did those boys fit. It brought tears to my eyes when the engines started and taxied down the runway. I was so impressed. I would like to donate to the restoration and love to see the plane fly again.