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Thread: Bristol Bulldog Covering

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Bristol Bulldog Covering

    Name:  front stab spar cover.jpeg
Views: 396
Size:  3.15 MB
    Attached is a picture of the front stab spar on the Hendon Bulldog. Question is, why is the leather surround/reinforcement so tall? There is nothing behind the cover in this area. I can see no reason to go above the criss-cross of the closing thread. I have tried looking at pictures on the web, and most Bulldogs have this extended leather piece. My only guess (and I can not verify this from web pix) is that the stringer above the top holes of the patch were originally placed to match the stringer such that the leather patch would be laced onto the said stringer. I.e.: early version of cover as applied to a later version of the underlying formers.

    Any thoughts would help. Thanks


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    Only guessing but :

    The HS has two parallel tubular spars that are offered to two parallel tubes/sockets within the fuselage tail structure. The fwd tubular spar is higher. This would require a very precise, tilting offer, probably by two men holding the HS (with articulating elevator articulating away) and manouvering it in. Unless HS and fuselage tubes were precisely aligned, there would be difficulty mating the pieces. It is not inconceivable that a few tries were required and one or two punctures made into the doped fabric above until a larger leather patch was fitted. The rearmost tubular spar, if misaligned, would bear on a metal stringer. You can imagine 'feeling' it in, missing, swearing, trying again. The man on the elevator side would be getting his fingers jammed between the elevator and HS, if gripping the HS. I can see them punching a hole in the fabric, especially if the aeroplane is being rigged in level flight position, and the job is at nose level !

    Another wild guess is that the patch on the Hendon Bulldog is too short, the eyelets should attach to the stringer above.

    If you are patching this you should be flying soon, you madman!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    The patch is presumably for access to the spar attachment / fuselage interior rather than attaching the fabric to a stringer. Looking at it, it is designed to open up in a 'T' shape but the leather hasn't been cut far enough and so there are lacing holes unused. Is this because this is restoration rather than an original?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    SPL Rad112/09DME
    Just a thought but perhaps this was the configuration of the patch 'as new', with accomodation to open up the leather further if maintenance or repairs should require this.
    A Little VC10derness - A Tribute to the Vickers VC10 -

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Why not contact Skysport Engineering in Bedfordshire? They rebuilt the Bulldog in the RAF Museum. Good luck.
    Give a man a fish and eat for a day. Give a man a fishing rod and he'll eat for a lifetime. Give a man religion and he'll die praying for a fish!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Thanks for the replies. Oxcart, this picture is from the Skysport rebuild. I even have a photo of the 'wrecked' tail section, and the fabric is torn badly, so the above is a new piece of fabric, but sewn to the wrecked piece's dimensions. One bit of information that came to light as I was laying in bed and wondering why I was not asleep, There are two rear tail sections for the Bulldog. A thin section, and a deep section. I believe it was a 2" increase. Problem is that I have no idea where the two inches were added. (Above or below centre line). (And this does not consider the Mk III or IV)
    Ed2, you are sooooo correct about the fighting that takes place putting the stab into the tail adjustment fitting. The fabric can only be pulled down between the stab and fuselage after the stab is pushed all the way in as there are a number of bolts that need addressing. I believe that I am going to take the early version fabric on a later version tail section and either leave the patch off ( there are some photos that might substantiate this) or run the patch up to the stringer and lace it on.

    Cheers all,


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