And Here's What We Did in the Second Quarter of 2017

Volunteer Hours

Board members of the Mosquito Society worked a total of 218.5 hours during the second quarter of 2017 on all duties required to run the organization.

Additionally, members of the society worked 1369.50 hours on the Mosquito and 26.5 hours on the Hurricane over the same period on 27 separate dates in Calgary and in Nanton. Total volunteer hours for this quarter are 1614.50.

Hurricane

Historic Aviation Services' focus for the second quarter of the year has been the completion, as far as is possible, of Phase IV of the restoration plan covering the fuselage, center section and undercarriage. Included in this phase, but outside of HASI's contract, is the propeller and the legacy, or honour and educate components, of our purpose statement. HASI has also moved on to Phase V work which includes restoring all tail surfaces, connecting all systems (electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic and fuel) and restoring the aircraft cockpit.

As has been covered in previous reports, parts issues continue to plague the project, though we are pleased to report that the first parts from our supplier in England will be arriving with board member Andy Woerle who met with the vendors this past weekend as he was 'in the neighbourhood' as part of his vacation plans, and is returning with 'hot list' items in his luggage. These include cowl fasteners, fuel system junction block and Teddington valve. The balance of the 'hot list' items, including canopy Perspex panels, coolant tube and others will be shipped via DHL next week. It should be noted that discussions to acquire these parts began last October.



On behalf of the City of Calgary, Vern and Kevin conduct their end of Phase IV inspection on the Hurricane as Byron talks them through what has been accomplished.


Thanks to the efforts of board members Jack McWilliam, Bert Furlong and Don Henderson, we are also pleased to note that since our last quarterly report, we have acquired another six .303 Browning machine guns to complete the set of twelve for the airplane.



What is so special about this particular .303 Browning? It completes our set of 12 for the Hurricane. Plus the cost was right: free. Thanks to our board members Jack, Don and Bert for making this happen.


We have also made significant progress on two other items that have proven challenging over the past five years; those being the main hydraulic valve and the wooden doghouse structure behind the pilot's head. HASI managed to borrow a valve from Vintage Wings of Gatineau, PQ which we can use to replicate the internal working parts. Rapid 3D, which has previously done some work for us, has produced a set of scans and we are in the process of finding a machine shop willing to manufacture the pieces from the scans.

Our supplier in England located a newly manufactured wooden doghouse for just over $45,000 Cdn. At about the same time, Brian Davis of Ontario, who has his own Hurricane project on the go, saw our Facebook post about the need for a doghouse. He has a set of plans that were created by reverse engineering an original piece back in the 1970s. He went to considerable effort to clean up the drawings and have them reproduced for us. Though not perfect nor complete, they do give us enough information, in conjunction with our existing pieces and information, to build our own, thus saving us a significant amount of money and allowing us to complete this critical part of the airplane.

In an effort to address the missing parts issue, HASI requested, for the third time, that they be allowed access to all of the Mosquito parts and storage areas in Nanton to see if they could identify any additional Hurricane parts in our collection. Despite the tremendous amount of work in unpacking the 53' trailer in which store most of the Mosquito parts, we spent the better part of three days and one evening unloading crates, moving them to the Bomber Command Museum, opening and unpacking them and then moving them all back to the trailer. This was accomplished over the Canada Day weekend and although the engineers from HASI left with just two small arm loads of parts, they were excited by their finds stating that just one wooden part saved them a weeks' work. We hope that this is the last time we will have to go through this exercise.

After two years of work led by board member Andy Woerle, we have finally come to agreement about the key camouflage colours to be used on the Hurricane. Working with historians, researchers, modellers and authors in Canada, the USA and England, as well as coordinating with HASI and vendor Consolidated Aircraft Coatings of Riverside, CA, we now have a set of sample colours that we have approved for use on the Hurricane.

Best estimates for completion of the Hurricane are now into the spring of 2018.

We made our quarterly inspection visit to HASI on July 7.

Airframe: Historic Aviation Services

Fuselage and Center Section

  • Repair port and starboard main undercarriage gear door sheet metal as required. (a repairable port side unit was supplied at no cost from HASI inventory)




Before and after extensive sheet metal repairs. The entire structure was de-riveted and disassembled for repair.


  • Straightened seven gear door to undercarriage leg attach brackets (4 required per side - 1 missing). Fabricated one new example using an original as a pattern.
  • Repaired port and starboard undercarriage radius rod fairings and attach brackets as required.
  • Primed port and starboard main undercarriage gear doors and radius rod fairings.

  • Painted inner surfaces of all with silver butyrate.
  • Installed port and starboard gear doors and radius rod fairings on aircraft.
  • Completed connection of cooling system header tank to engine hoses and clamps.



Engine to the left and coolant overflow tank to the right, now connected and clamped. Missing yet is the Teddington or blow off valve and one section of coolant pipe both of which were sourced in England.


  • Completed installation of Avimo couplers and clamps for cooling system.

    *Engine glycol cooling system now complete except for missing pipe section from engine cooling pump to front spar connector.

  • Began overhaul of air system oil/water separator unit.
  • Overhauled Heywood engine air compressor unit as required, mounted unit on engine utilizing the adaptor housing, drive shaft and drain assembly sourced from Vintage V-12s.
  • Cleaned up welds, serviced and installed port and starboard collector exhaust units on engine.




The newly acquired Heywood compressor, before and after: In many bits and pieces prior to overhaul and then complete and installed.


  • Fabricated and installed missing upper pilot's seat attach hardware as required.
  • Covered port and starboard radio compartment access doors and battery compartment access door with Poly-Fibre fabric using "Stitts" process up to silver.



Greg shows off his handiwork with the two newly manufactured radio and battery compartment access panels.


  • Fabricated missing blind flying instrument panel mounts and installed in position.
  • Resumed modification of previously built upper, forward fuselage doghouse assembly and began fabrication of missing doghouse formers and semi bulkheads upon receipt of assembly blueprints/drawings from Ontario.



Courtesy of Brian Davis, we now have a useable set of plans for the doghouse. Along with the existing original pieces, we now have enough information to build our own, saving over $45,000 had we needed to purchase one out of England.


Empennage

  • Began cleaning, and inspection of port and starboard elevators, rudder, horizontal and vertical stabilizers.
  • Test fit tail surfaces to aircraft for rig.

Mosquito

We have been quite active in the last quarter working with the Windsor Mosquito Bomber Group on parts issues including canopy panels, tail wheels, crew ladder, rudder pedals and an original Spartan Air Services navigational sight. We were visited in late June by one of their board members and we have a number of deals on the go to benefit both of our projects.

We continue to source missing parts to our collection including a cockpit crash axe, purchased off of Facebook, and we had an astrocompass donated to us by Darrell and Barb Knight of Calgary.




A newly purchased crash axe getting its first look at its new home and a newly donated astrocompass; a vital navigation tool in the far north during the 1950s.


We are grateful to Glyn Powell of Mosquito Restorations in Auckland, NZ for supplying to us, at no cost, a number of ferrules (the threaded inserts to which all fuselage equipment is attached) after we discovered that they come in two sizes and while we had an abundance of one (courtesy of David & Jan Coeshall), we had none of the other.

Jack McWilliam

Starting from the front of the fuselage and working aft, work continues on the following areas. The center line of the fuselage forward of the cockpit windscreen has

been re-bonded. A new strip was added once the joint was cleaned and re-glued. There are two strips on the internal side, both of which are reinstalled originals. These were reinstalled after the skins were re-glued on both sides of the joint.



Jack, Andy, Cam and Michael all focused on the centerline of the upper fuselage from the windscreen to the nose.


The ferrules are the round inserts used to attach the anchor nuts to the structure. The ferrules are in various conditions from requiring cleaning to missing completely. The ferrules around the center strip are missing completely with more on the way (see above). Andy is focused on repairing and installing all the ferrules in the cockpit area. When reinstalling the ferrules we also have the chance to re-bond the internal skins to the balsa core. Most of the rest of the crew is focused on other areas to leave Andy unencumbered in the cockpit.

Gary is reworking the canopy opening, with the intent of streamlining the canopy frame installation through rebuild of damaged internal structure and the installation of new material missing around the opening. Gary's talents will be concentrated here until we can get back under the floor in the cockpit to complete the installation of floor support structures. These parts are ready for install but at the moment, the temporary floor covers this area.



Gary’s efforts have focused on the area circled in red; the rear canopy frame area.


Cam is nearing completion of rebuilding the openings for the wing attach brackets. These two openings are a tapered opening for the fittings to slide through. We have built the area up with multiple plys of veneer which has added considerable stability to the area. The left side is essentially completed and the right side maybe a day or two from complete.



Everyone busy at their stations as described above: Cam on the wing attach bracket area, Gary on the rear canopy edge, Davey on bulkhead #3 and Roger replacing balsa.


Michael has been moving around the area between bulkhead 2 and 3 repairing various loose or damaged components. We are focused on finishing any repairs in this area so we can commence installation of some of the outer skins.

Roger has been working on the outside of the same area, installing or repairing the balsa which seems to be a constant problem. Very little of the balsa has remained bonded to the internal skin and where exposed, it is easily damaged. Roger has all but a few areas left for repair of the balsa between bulkheads 2 and 3 with re-gluing starting soon.

Wade has completed repairs on areas around bulkhead 3 were he has installed patches, as we could quite literally see through the fuselage. Wade has also been working up through the camera bay. When he is not present, other volunteers have been removing components for cleaning and repair where the camera mounts behind the bulkhead.

We have been bouncing around between bulkhead 2 and 3, cleaning, gluing and yes painting. Don Y., Don H. and Davey have been working every corner we can find to ensure the glue joints are tight and the debris removed.

Paul, Don and I have been preparing metal components and repainting them for reinstallation once the wood structure is ready. Things like the oxygen fill box and the structure into which it fits have been rebuilt though it still looks rough and crude as Spartan's standards of design and workmanship were not high when this installation occurred, circa 1956.

Moving forward various crew members are taking summer vacation so we will be flexible and assign people to where they can do the most good. With most of our cockpit specialists off on vacation, we will focus on some areas under the floor, on the armour plating and on the attaching hardware as is ready for reinstallation.



The Spartan designed and built oxygen fill port ready to be reinstalled into the starboard side rear fuselage. Both the box and the hole were crudely modified for the task.


Events and Miscellaneous

Moving into the spring and summer season, we are fulfilling our mandate to 'Honour and Educate' by very actively engaging with the public in a number of ways. On April 18th we presented a PowerPoint talk at a lunch meeting of 32 members of the Chinook Rotary Club about our project.

April 22 marked the season opening event for our hosts at the Bomber Command Museum. As usual the day was highlighted by Lancaster engine runs and guest speakers. As always at these events, we spend most of our time and energy talking to visitors about the Mosquito, its history and the joys and challenges of restoration.




Lancaster engine runs and guest speakers highlighted the first special event day of the year at the Bomber Command Museum.




On special event and open house days our volunteers tend to spend more time talking to visitors than working on the Mosquito. Here Andy manages a bit of both as he talks to visitors about the work he is doing on the ferrules and cockpit floor.


On May 13, board members of our society filled a table for eight at the annual dinner auction fundraising event at the museum.

June 3 saw the first 'Art Takes Flight' exhibition and sale at the museum which again brought in hundreds of visitors, including many first timers. Just a week later, on June 10, it was the Western Canadian Regional Model contest.



One of several Mosquitoes featured in the competition. This one is finished as the famous F for Freddie which met its end in Calgary on May 10, 1945 after completing a record 213 combat operations.


On May 27, members of the society had the opportunity to see the progress on the Hurricane first hand with our annual trip to Wetaskiwin. Twenty five members attended and were hosted by Byron Reynolds who led a tour of the restoration progress. As usual that was followed by a look 'behind the curtain' into the storage facility for the Reynolds Alberta Museum. Members are also treated to free admission to the museum itself for the balance of the day.



Byron Reynolds holds court, talking to members of the CMS about the restoration progress and challenges on the Hurricane. He now estimates completion for the spring of next year.





In May we were contacted by AEROPLANE magazine out of England for an update on the Mosquito restoration, which resulted in a half page story in their July edition.




Southampton, ON memorial plaque to honour the fact that Mosquito fuselages were built there during World War II.


Since November 2014, we have been consulting with a historical organization in Southampton, ON which wanted to erect a memorial plaque in their town to honour the fact that Mosquito fuselages were built there during World War II. In alignment with our 'Honour and Educate' mandate, we have been proud to be able to supply information and edits through extensive correspondence, to their memorial which was unveiled in a public ceremony on July 2.

On May 31 and June 1, we completed our second fundraising casino at Casino Calgary. We expect to see the proceeds from this sometime in September. We have already been allocated our next dates in the first quarter of 2019.

In April we were contacted by the Avro Museum located at the Springbank Airport. They had made application to the Calgary Foundation for significant funding to allow them to digitize their archives and documents and to make them available online. The Calgary Foundation suggested that the Avro Museum contact us to assist them in their application and to learn from our experience. Through correspondence, phone calls and visits with them, we have been pleased to share our knowledge and experience and are flattered that the Calgary Foundation would recognize our efforts.



The Avro Museum is building a flying scale piloted replica of the famous Avro Arrow to spread the word about Canadian innovation and achievements in technology and aerospace.


Our legacy video series continues to find appreciative and interested audiences. In May we were contacted by Jars Balan of the Kule Ukrainian Canadian Studies Centre wanting to know if they could use scenes from several of our videos in a new documentary film about Ukrainian Canadians during World War II. We were pleased to consent.

<Richard de Boer, President

Richard de Boer, President

July 17, 2017


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