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Thread: RE8 and Albatros reproductions for RAF Museum

  1. #1
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    RE8 and Albatros reproductions for RAF Museum

    It's reported in a certain monthly mag that these 2 flyable aircraft built by 'The Vintage Aviator' team have been acquired for the museum and that there is a chance that they will be flown at a Shuttleworth display before being grounded. What a waste!
    Last edited by Oxcart; 28th May 2012 at 21:32.

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    IF it is true, then why will it be a waste ?.
    Many of us would have loved the opportunity to see the BE2b & FE2d repro's that were built for the RAF museum, fly, even if it was only the once, but they were never flown, I believe that they were built to an airworthy standard by the person who was commissioned to build them, & given the quality of the workmanship, it would have been fantastic to see them in the air, but it was not the museums policy to do so at the time.
    So we should count ourselves lucky if we get a chance to see the RE8, Snipe & Albatross flying here in the UK, before they are put on display in the RAF museum.

    Bob T.

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    I think it's a waste of airworthy engines and the work put in to make these aeroplanes fly. It would've made much more sense (to me, anyway) to have static replicas built - they would've been a lot cheaper too

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    Hi Oxcart

    The amount of work needed to build an accurate static reproduction, is not significantly less that that needed to build an airworthy one, most of the repro's in the RAF museum, are built to as close as possible to airworthy standard, so there would be very little cost saving, if they were built to static condition.
    As for the engines, I believe that the RAF 4a in the RE8 is going to be a repro. Even if they were all original engines "airworthy or otherwise", they would still be fitted to the aircraft even if they never fly.
    I understand your views, but think of it this way, IF the rumours are true, then at least we will get the chance of seeing them in the air, which otherwise we would not "unless you go to NZ".

    Bob T.

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    Bob, it's an FE.2b, not an FE.2d.

    Much as I'd like to see both of the TVAL aeroplanes continue to fly, it's not the museum's policy to fly its collection. The aeroplanes can't fly from Hendon so the museum doesn't get the benefit of displaying the aeroplanes if they're flown. Disappointing as the prospect that such lovely airworthy reproductions will be grounded may be, they fill gaps in the RAFM's collection and we're going to be able to enjoy them for years to come. However, we're also losing two original airframes as part of the same deal and I'm very disappointed that we won't see the Farman restored and displayed in the UK.

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    The FE used an original build, but unused, fuselage frame from the firm of Richard Garrett in Leiston, Suffolk (now the Long Shop Steam Museum) who built them during the First World War - so you could argue that it's not necessarily a reproduction.

    It was rumoured that a Snipe would be joining them - is this the case?
    jeepman

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    Do I not recall that the suggestion of the aircraft flying at Old Warden came, in fact from this very forum? More as a 'Wouldnt it be nice if....?'

    Send three and fourpence etc.



    Bruce

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    Very strong Snipe rumours -the RAFM has some substancial parts and I think that now is pretty much the time when it will happen!

    Jeepman - interesting point there !! I have some trees in the back garden that were missed in the cull for WW1 aircraft -thinking about building an original WW1 aircraft using 'new old stock ' wood !
    Last edited by David Burke; 29th May 2012 at 10:58.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Burke View Post
    Very strong Snipe rumours -the RAFM has some substancial parts and I think that now is pretty much the time when it will happen!

    Jeepman - interesting point there !! I have some trees in the back garden that were missed in the cull for WW1 aircraft -thinking about building an original WW1 aircraft using 'new old stock ' wood !
    That's unworthy David!

    The frame was built by the original manufacturer at the time against a Government contract and presumably would have appeared as a complete aircraft had not those contracts been slashed at the conclusion of the war.

    It was then kept by the firm as a reminder of the war work they had done until they went into administration when it was passed to the RAFM. That makes it more than a reproduction in my mind - even if it is a "late production".

    I've got a lump of bauxite on my desk - I'm just going to go out to the garage to turn it into a Spitfire:diablo:
    jeepman

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    An RE8 clearly belongs in the RAF Museum, but I'd rather the Albatros went elsewhere (Shuttleworth would be fine!). That way the money and space would given/reserved to some other RAF type currently missing from the collection. I believe I've seen mention of a newly-discovered P-40, for example, but I'm sure others spring to mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce View Post
    Do I not recall that the suggestion of the aircraft flying at Old Warden came, in fact from this very forum? More as a 'Wouldnt it be nice if....?'

    Send three and fourpence etc.



    Bruce
    I seem to remember that one as well .

    Bob T.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeepman View Post
    The FE used an original build, but unused, fuselage frame from the firm of Richard Garrett in Leiston, Suffolk (now the Long Shop Steam Museum) who built them during the First World War - so you could argue that it's not necessarily a reproduction.

    It was rumoured that a Snipe would be joining them - is this the case?
    IF ONLY IT HAD A DATAPLATE :diablo:.

    A number of other original parts were also included in the build of the FE2b, but the majority of it is new build. I think that everyone will have their own oppinions as to what they think it is- repro-original-composite etc etc, all I know is that she looks absolutely fantastic, & it's a pity she never flew. Hats off to the RAF museum, Mr Mckenzie, & Retrotech etc for all their efforts.

    Bob T.

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    The RAFM's Sopwith Triplane was 'restored' in the late 60s with 'all wooden parts renewed - only metal parts retained'. Does this make it a replica? new build? composite? It's getting on for 50 years ago so does it count as 'vintage'?

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    Thumbs up Quality Acquisitions.

    There is a lot of warm air on the web about what should or should not happen to aircraft. This may be their colour schemes, details or even where or how they are operated or even if they should be flown at all etc. Of course, it's open house. However, the subject exercising us here is much simpler.
    It's always sad to see any interesting airworthy a/c grounded for any reason, but it's entirely understandable that the RAFM should wish to fill-in gaps and we should be unreservedly pleased that we have them there to do this on our behalf and using such an outstandingly high benchmark. In the absence of original examples, a 100% accurate flying example is as close as they are going to get. They are effectively ‘Late production’ examples.
    These machines, even if fully 100% accurate, are not in and of themselves historic, so there is no need to get overly precious about them. I'm sure TVAL will knock you up your own if you have the lucre. Sure, it'd be nice to see them fly before they go into the museum, but it's a small point when we should really be simply celebrating their acquisition.
    If it's important enough that a particular type is seen flying regularly in the UK, why not start a fund to commission TVAL to build one, perhaps to be operated by the likes of Old Warden? TVAL now have the knowledge and the skills on hand. They are hugely impressive.

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    To get back to the F2b for a moment, it is perhaps worth noting that the wings were rebuilt from five original ones, four of which came from Ireland. I seem to remember the date stamp October 1918 on one of the ribs
    Last edited by Box Brownie; 30th May 2012 at 11:24. Reason: insert word original

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    An F2b is a Bristol Fighter - the biplane under discussion is a FE.2b .

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    Yes, I think you've got your wires crossed, Ian. The RAFM timeline for its F2b mentions the Irish acquisition in addition to a starboard lower wing acquired from the Shuttleworth Collection.

    "The other three main wing panels came from a batch of five (79/A/511 - 515) acquired by the RAFM in July 1971 from the factory of Thomas Thompson & So Ltd, Carlow, Eire - built under sub contract c.1918 and never delivered. Five wing halves and six wing spars were acquired and initially stored at Henlow. AID stamps of 18 Sep 18 and 15 Nov 18 were found on two of the panels. At Cardington the original wing spars were retained and all ribs replaced."

    As far as I know, besides the nacelle and engine, the remainder of the FE.2b was fabricated by John McKenzie in Southampton.
    Last edited by Robbo; 30th May 2012 at 14:15.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbins View Post
    The RAFM's Sopwith Triplane was 'restored' in the late 60s with 'all wooden parts renewed - only metal parts retained'. Does this make it a replica? new build? composite? It's getting on for 50 years ago so does it count as 'vintage'?
    Or the Shuttleowrth aircraft, which Sir Tom Sopwith declared to be a 'late production' aircraft.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbo View Post
    Yes, I think you've got your wires crossed, Ian. The RAFM timeline for its F2b mentions the Irish acquisition in addition to a starboard lower wing acquired from the Shuttleworth Collection.

    "The other three main wing panels came from a batch of five (79/A/511 - 515) acquired by the RAFM in July 1971 from the factory of Thomas Thompson & So Ltd, Carlow, Eire - built under sub contract c.1918 and never delivered. Five wing halves and six wing spars were acquired and initially stored at Henlow. AID stamps of 18 Sep 18 and 15 Nov 18 were found on two of the panels. At Cardington the original wing spars were retained and all ribs replaced."

    As far as I know, besides the nacelle and engine, the remainder of the FE.2b was fabricated by John McKenzie in Southampton.
    There were a few other original parts "not many though", besides the basic nacelle frame & engine, the majority of the new parts were made & assembled by John Mckenzie. Retrotech made a number of parts & also covered the airframe, & some work was also done by the RAF museum staff.
    The quality of the work on the FE2b is fantastic, & has to be seen to be believed.

    A lot of original structure on the F2b was needlesly replaced with newly made parts, some of the timber etc that was replaced, was in such a good condition that it ended up being used in at least one of the 2 flying aircraft that were built.

    Bob T.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sopwith.7f1 View Post
    The quality of the work on the FE2b is fantastic, & has to be seen to be believed
    Unfortunately that's not easy to do. I popped into Hendon yesterday, and found that it is still hidden in the darkest possible corner, with high barriers in front of it. It deserves to be presented in a better way.

    It was good to see that the B.E.2 and Tabloid have been moved into the Grahame-White Factory though, which gives then greater accessibility.

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    John posted an excellent account of building the FE.2b on the aerodrome http://www.theaerodrome.com/forum/re...roduction.html
    Last edited by Robbo; 31st May 2012 at 09:04.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike J View Post
    Unfortunately that's not easy to do. I popped into Hendon yesterday, and found that it is still hidden in the darkest possible corner, with high barriers in front of it. It deserves to be presented in a better way.

    It was good to see that the B.E.2 and Tabloid have been moved into the Grahame-White Factory though, which gives then greater accessibility.
    I went there a month or so ago, & wished I'd taken my torch with me LOL. I hope that they move her to the Grahame White hangar, which is much better illuminated "or better still, move her to Shuttleworth :diablo:".

    Bob T.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxcart View Post
    It's reported in a certain monthly mag that these 2 flyable aircraft built by 'The Vintage Aviator' team have been acquired for the museum and that there is a chance that they will be flown at a Shuttleworth display before being grounded. What a waste!
    So are they really going to come,or is it supposition?.Any more news?

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    There is an excellent 2009 thread on the aerodrome forum in the replica aircraft section by John McKenzie on the construction of his reproduction FE2b

    http://www.theaerodrome.com/forum/re...roduction.html

    My FE2b reproduction..

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Several years ago,having already completed a Be2b reproduction..... (see my thread about 15 items ago on the replica aircraft listing)...it was decided by way of a follow on contract that I should construct a completely authentic Fe2b reproduction utilising "as is" the very basic nacelle frame held at RAF museum Cardington... for eventual display at Hendon......Over the next 18 years, working entirely alone in my very small workshop, components took shape as may be seen in the photo's within this thread, culminating with a complete set of components. Lacking any facilities here to assemble and rig this 48ft x 32ft machine, as had been decided at the outset, the complete set of components, this constituting 95% of the airframe, duly arrived early in 2007 at RAF museum Cosford for fabricing and assembly etc. However it is understood that this last 5% or so has been contracted out....The complete machine as I understand it, is to be unveiled at a ceremony at RAFM on this July 1st..........Regards John

    Regards

    Mark Pilkington
    "Never has a Country so Big!, owed so Much!, to those who Flew!"

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    TVAL have just put up a batch of website updates. Besides Masterton TVAL show date confirmations (Nov 10 2012, April 27 2013, in addition to Wings Over Wairarapa 18-20th Jan and Omaka at Easter), photos of their new Pup in flight (we were expecting this, as it was registered as ZK-PPY in April) and the RAF4A Engine Build Story, there is much detail on the RE.8 Static build for the Omaka Aviation Heritage Center.


    http://thevintageaviator.co.nz/proje...ge-aviator-re8
    Last edited by ErrolC; 25th June 2012 at 22:14.

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    Shuttleworth website reports the RE8 and Albatros have arrived at Old Warden.

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    It also says that they are on loan from Peter Jackson, and will return to New Zealand next year.

    Great coup mind!

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    So if the RAF Museum isn't getting an RE8 and an Albatros D.Va after all - (as it seems that they are on loan to OW and will be returning to NZ in due course) what - if anything - are the RAFM getting? Could it be the Snipe?

    We know that there's an A20G on the way but will all the other hints and whispered "I know more than you do" type comments come to fruition or nowt?

    Great news for Shuttleworth though after their Annus Horribilis
    Last edited by jeepman; 10th August 2012 at 19:13.
    jeepman

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce View Post
    It also says that they are on loan from Peter Jackson, and will return to New Zealand next year.

    Great coup mind!
    Or perhaps ownership will be transferred to the RAF Museum once these 'on loan from Peter Jackson' airframes have finished their flying in the UK. Time will tell......

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    Quote Originally Posted by DCW View Post
    Shuttleworth website reports the RE8 and Albatros have arrived at Old Warden.
    Shuttleworth FaceTube page shows RE8 and Snipe, having been unboxed - Albatros still to be unpacked at that point.

    Exciting!
    Listening out for something interesting approaching...

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