The Sabre, on loan from the Royal Australian Air Force, continues to undergo restoration in the Museum’s Aircraft Restoration Hangar.
In the last six months Aircraft Engineers Martin Lancaster and Ben Muller have completed several maintenance tasks on the aircraft. This includes the completed inspection and testing of the wing’s leading edges, the replacement of fuel seals and the inspection and testing of the fuel transfer system.
The engineers are continuing to overhaul the hydraulic system components from the wings and fuselage. This involves cleaning and checking parts for wear, corrosion and damage. This process can be time consuming, as a damaged part will either require repair or the outsourcing of replacements. Once inspected, these components are re-assembled and tested on a hydraulic test bench to check they operate correctly before being refitted to the aircraft.
The Sabre’s fuselage is made up of two sections, the front and rear, these will soon be separated to access the internal components of the fuselage, such as hydraulics, engine controls, electrical wiring, flight controls and air conditioning components. All these sections will require extensive inspection and overhauling. The internal structure and the engine bay will also require inspection to check for fatigue cracks, damage and corrosion.
SPITFIRE ANNUAL INSPECTION
Meanwhile, in the Aircraft Engineering Hangar our Engineering Team are carrying out an annual inspection on the Spitfire Mk VIII. As part of the maintenance, the engine has been removed to allow inspections to be carried out to areas normally inaccessible when the engine is installed.
It is the first time in over 20 years that this procedure has been done, and it will allow the engineers full access to inspect the engine mount, firewall and spar carry through members etc. The installation of new canopy perspex and windscreen will also be carried out.
METEOR DROP TANKS
Regular Flying Weekend commentator Peter Anderson has also joined the Museum team for a few weeks to prepare the Meteor wing drop tanks so that they can be used for the aircraft’s flight to Edinburgh RAAF Base SA in October. The tanks are being disassembled, paint stripped and fitted with new seals and gaskets prior to being re-painted and flight tested.