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. While the group has made magnificent progress, even during the pandemic, the recent lockdown for much of the UK has presented significant challenges. Nevertheless, they are indeed moving forwards, and we thought that our readers might like to see a recent report, reproduced here with permission…
The Rivet Club – Newsletter 128
by Andrew Panton
Happy New Year! Since our last update before Christmas things have changed! We are now in lockdown which significantly slows down progress. Our core team has returned to work after the new year break, but the lockdown has meant our volunteers are either not returning or are only returning for reduced hours.
John M has been progressing the wingtip that we have been restoring for a static Lancaster project. We have started to remove the stringers and fish plate, which will enable corrosion removal. Small cleats attach the stringers to the ribs, and these cleats need to be drilled off so that the corrosion which sits between cleat and structure can be polished off. An extra benefit to stringer removal is easier access to the more difficult areas for corrosion removal; it will also allow us to paint the ribs and longerons while the component is still in the jig. The stringers can also be cleaned up on the bench and prepared for repainting in the spray bay.
Our main problem now, other than manpower, is that the hangar’s heater is currently unserviceable, which makes painting in winter temperatures impossible. Thankfully, the heater company is working on the problem, and will hopefully resolve it soon.
The rear fuselage project is making progress. Our jig company has created the basic drawings for the rear fuselage jig/fixture and will be returning to make some more detailed measurements. They hope to have completed fixture manufacture by the last week of January so we can trial fit the fuselage at that time. The quote for this work is £7,000 plus VAT. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic impinging our revenue stream, we have created a Gofundme fundraiser (see link below) to help pay for the jig/fixture. We would be very grateful if any of our readers could help cover these expenses so Just Jane can move closer to flying again.
Gofundme.com Jig/Fixture campaign
During the small amount of time which Gary and John R were able to spend at the Centre this week, we have been able to make progress with the engine servicing; Gerbs has been working through the winter inspections as well.
As long as we can get the jig/fixture completed this month, then February can be dedicated to reassembling the fuselage and tailplane ready for April, and the start of our annual series of taxi runs (provided lockdown/tier restrictions allow).
Stay safe and thanks for your support!
Our latest Youtube video about the splitting of the fuselage
The static wingtip now with the fish plate and most of the stringers removed.
The stringers attach to the structure using these cleats/angled plates. These all need to be removed to allow the structure to have all corrosion removed.
Corrosion removed and the stringers pinned back in place.
The corrosion under the cleats/attachment plates
Cleaning up the stringers
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!
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