Sunday, December 20, 2009

End of year madness

Some pics and vid of the cockpit section that we got done for the museum where it is now on display over the xmas period.Very much a WIP!!!:)

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Couple of pics from a busy morning in at the workshop,Nathan,Neale and I under Wattos supervision just finishing off loose ends so the cockpit section can be displayed in at the museum over the xmas period.Working on the door ribs and coaming reinforcing frames..Will be riveting the rest together tomorrow..We hope.Also the finished F11 bellcrank brackets..

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Well the year is almost at an end.Not the best of years by any stretch of the imagination but hopefully a better one ahead.On the firewall all the washers and mounts for the top fuel tank armour plate have been made and pinned up.Also the pilots seat armour plate has been made off an original scrapped example.Fitment of the instrument panel to the display cockpit section has been started but need instruments in any condition to finish it off.Also a chance loan has netted us an original throttle quadrant that will be carefully dissasembled and redrawn up.Then it will be restored and returned to it,s owner.
On the fuselage jig nearly all the frames are on now and the fitment of the intercostal brackets has commenced.With the lower longerons with us now these to will be joined up to the frames to give a skeleton finally.
Work on the cockpit door has continued to finish it off with the forward zed section being worked out as the curve at the instrument panel is different to the curve at frame 11 where the rear of the door sits.Nothing simple.Same as the coaming angles which reinforce the skin under the front windscreen.these have been especially tricky to make and hats off to the original tinbashers.
Also at the back of frame 11 is the brackets which hold the elevator bellcrank.This has been assembled and put in place.
Sorry about the biiiig delay in updates but hopefully things will settle down over the holiday and i can get on with a "normal" life...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Approaching burnout..

Yeah getting tired.With other things going on behind the scenes starting to lose faith in it all again..Fine line between obsession and passion.Here are a couple of pics of the major components completed..

Thursday, August 6, 2009


A quick update.Managed to hammerform F18 up today.Just have to flare the lightening holes and fit up the Buttstraps..

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bits and pieces.

Just a quick one today.Progressed on finishing off frame 12,seat frame parts and F11 bracing.Focusing on the seatframe so we can hang the seat as soon as it is repaired.Also rebuilding the brake valve relay that works off the rudderbar.As it was apart gave Neale a chance to draw up all the parts..A huge undertaking considering the small parts involved.Also the voltage regulator got a good spruce up with a new lick of paint.The back plate is nearly relay then it will be mounted to the back of F11.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cockpit section

Just some pics of the cockpit section so far.Internally we have frame 9 to complete as well as the F6 and F7 hatsections.Also the internal ribs for the cockpit coaming including the canopy rails need to be made.Then we can start fitting her out.This cockpit section will be then presented to the museum to be displayed in the main Hangar.Work can then continue on the full fuselage in the jig.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Well not quite.Getting the cockpit ready for Caloundra was a huge undertaking and a lot of thanks goes to the volunteers from the Wednesday and Thursday group.Thanks for taking time off the other projects to give me a hand and also to the Army trainees who were between courses.Most were given a crash course literally on aircraft sheetmetal work.I think the results speak from their professional attitude.
Work continues on filling out the cockpit with sorting out what needs to be finished off with the rudderbar and seatframe assemblies.More work is progressing on the drafting side as thanks to the QAM at Caloundra we got to sit in the MkV,MkVIII Spitfire there and hurridly got some much needed pics and measurements.
Our final lot of formers arrived from Murray at Australian Waterjet in Brisbane and the work is fantastic.Also in the stash was the first couple of Instrument panels,BFP,s and a whole lot of blanks to machine up all the lightening hole tools.
Also from Caloundra we got to meet up with fellow restorer Chris (Aka Ausflyboy) who has a Boomerang project at Bribie Island.He has a nice little furnace setup to replicate castings etc so he took on the job of doing a gunsite mount for us.Many thanks also to Geoff who supplied us his to use as a master pattern.
Chris is hoping to do a complete set of castings for the Spitfire in time so watch this space.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Still not at work yet...

Working flat out on the Spit though as we have totally blown the cockpit section apart and have cleaned up,primed and currently assembling all the frames.Lots of fiddly riveting going on but feels good to be able to finish things off.Also have just got a big package in the mail containing our main canopy.Is uncut and looks great.Sheetmetal wise working on the cockpit door and coaming skins that sit above the datum longeron.Hope to have everything back together by the end of next week.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Few more piccies!!!

Just a few I couldn,t fit on the other post :D

Winter time

Sorry for a break in updates but due to losing my job and moving house have only just got things back on track,well as much as I can.The front fuselage section has been fitted up to a trolley frame so movement around the workshop is now possible.Firewall has progressed with channels and stiffeners going on as with a set of dummy stub spars made out of wood.Have no idea how many people that have mistaken them for the real thing.A good indication that we are on the right track.Also we have started rivetting together some of the frames and control box in the cockpit.The search for instruments has begun as the panel has been painted up and fitted to the F8 hoop.The panel doesn,t actually sit on frame 8 but in a hoop of ally angle that rivets to the datum longeron.The Blind Flying Panel is suspended off two brackets on F8 and one off the instrument panel.The F8 coaming channel has been rolled and drilled off and note to self,don,t use old aluminium as it has taken a few weeks just getting the perished plastic covering off the parts.If anyone knows an easy way please let me know.
3D wise have worked out the fuel tank bracing using a couple of ends dug up as patterns.Awaiting some tracings off original coaming skins to start working out the area around the windscreen down to the datum longeron.Also a lot of smaller bits and bobs being made.Hope you enjoy the pics.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Progress from a chilly workshop..brrrrrrrr

Autumn is in full swing here now with things cooling down considerably but the action in the hangar is heating up.Bits and brackets still taking time to be fabricated and added to the cockpit section.But with a couple of displays coming up we got the front fuselage together enough to temporarily remove it from the jig for the events.Also the cage has been started to be sorted out with all the parts being dumped on the floor and placed into bags for easier locating at a later date.Some resto work has commenced with a couple of parts being rebuilt.These include our gunsite and a P51 Instrument panel I had laying around.
Design wise we are working on the cockpit coaming and canopy rails to finish off the cockpit.
Events this weekend are the David Hack Classic FlyIn on Sunday at Toowoomba Airport and the Air,Land and Sea spectacular down at Emu Gully just down the range at the Helidon Spa.If your down there drop in and say Gday!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bits and brackets

Work is plodding along with all the "fun" little jobs being done.These are the countless little brackets that hold a Spitfire together.Not terribly exciting but they all do a valuable job.Longeron brackets are relatively straight forward ,just a triangular gusset for the datum longeron and angles for the bottom.The real "fun' ones are the intercostal brackets as they are a triangular bracket,port and starboard handed,forward and aft handed and with the curvature of the fuselage different angles above and beneath the datum point .Drove Nathan the draftie nuts figuring it all out.
Other news is Frames are progressing well with Frames11,13,16,17,18a and half of 12 being completed.Thats flanges formed and holes flared with buttstraps holding them together.Will soon be looking at cutting our lengths of intercostal material to length for each section.
Our longeron material has been sent to Brisvegas and a test fold has been done for the lower rear Longerons.The cross section is a "W" but the tricky thing is the angles change over its length of 12 feet.Nothing major you ask but the change is in something of 25 degrees from front to back.
A few sets of formers await to be cut to finish off the fuselage so time is being spent on reorganising the project.A flow chart has been drawn up to help smooth and speedup the workload and also new shelving and parts storage ID system being put into place.All our 3D drawings have been updated to their latest issue so we can start filling in gaps on what needs to be done to finish off sub assemblies.
Also our Cincinatti miller has been bought back to life thanks to the sparky guys out on base.A BIIIIIIG thank you to them.Also a huge thank you to the Boeing guys out there who have lent a helping hand in getting some of the more technical jobs out of the way.We are in your debt guys..Anyway onto the pretty pics...