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Thread: Stirling Project Update

  1. #1
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    Stirling Project Update

    As promised, this hopefully the first in a series of Stirling Project updates for this forum. After a bit of a lull in action for a couple of years, things have got a bit more active again.

    Anyone that has kept up with the Turret updates will have seen the minor disaster that befell our FN5 Nose Turret, when the original perspex suffered a stress fracture. This has now been remedied by the manufacture of a new LH panel which has finally been cut to size and mounted complete with the rear cupola shell. All that is really needed now is a new seat back and new doors to be manufactured (anyone have any leads to these rare beasts? ). Eventually we hope to complete the wiring up of the turret and allowing the gun sight, lamps and call light to function.

    Due to an enforced re-location due to the RAF needing our premises, we are having to move to a new workshop within the same hangar at Wyton. Fortunately the RAF have been very supportive and have given us a similar sized space with which to work although we will not have regular access to the hangar floor, also our storage space has been reduced which has meant that some of our artefacts will have to be located elsewhere.

    As we have had less space we have had to address some of the wreckage that was brought back from our recovery of the last of the Mickle Fell Stirling items. Last weekend, we managed to rotate the u/c assembly surprisingly easy considering it had been exposed to the elements for many years), so that it has returned to its correct orientation for the first time in over 60 years. (see attached photos). Unfortunately the tyre was beyond redemption as was the hub, but the leg that was buried in the peat is remarkably well preserved with no corrosion on the fescalised portion and with the brake shoes and rubber pipes still in situ.

    This coming year, we are commencing work on the cockpit rebuild starting with the pilot and co-pilots seats. Hopefully if our move is successful, we will be able to exhibit again at Newark along with the main instrument panel and throttle box.

    Next update should hopefully be shorter

    John
    Last edited by 12jaguar; 1st September 2011 at 12:32.

  2. #2
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    Update

    Thanks for the update 12Jaguar!
    Was there not a stirling wheel and tire spotted in a salvage yard or somewhere? I remember seeing a photo of it in a magazine years ago and it was also right near an air force tug?
    Cheers,Peter
    "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"

  3. #3
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    Hi Peter,

    Not sure if we have what you saw, but we do have 2 mainwheels complete with treaded tyres from a Mk V that we recovered some years ago. Once again they have a bad case of metal moth, but the tyres themselves are in excellent condition. In the fullness of time, it may be possible to use the hubs as a pattern and recreate the wheel assembly as a whole. We have been drawing up the RAF museums u/c crate that was also recovered from mickle Fell and at some point, with time and especially space allowing, the whole u/c assembly could be made.

    Happy New Year to all

    John

  4. #4
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    So you have done a recovery on Mickle Fell then.

    It is a surprise to hear you managed to rotate that u/c leg from LJ628 as it was quite a stuborn item just to move.

  5. #5
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    Undercarriage

    Great news 12Jaguar! That has to be the same mainwheel then, good to see it was sent to a good home! If money and parts etc are available would it be possible to get a working undercarriage display one day?
    Cheers,Peter
    "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"

  6. #6
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    Hi all,

    Happy new year etc. etc.

    Great to read news on the Stirling project. A few weeks ago a substantial undercarriage leg of one was recovered by the Dutch air force from the Waddenzee near Kornwerderzand. No further news or photo's sofar but will keep you updated.

    Keep up the good work chaps

    Cheers

    Cees
    Ultravox at Lokeren 08.08.09, I was there!

  7. #7
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    Thanks chaps for the positive responses.

    We were very surprised that the u/c leg moved, all it took was liberal applications of WD40 and diesel and the combined weight of 3 of us to move it. It then took us about a copuile of hours to finish rotating it, I think that the bearings must have been protected by the anaerobic conditions in the peat. The leg and other sundry items were recovered by a working party in 2005 (IIRC) and we were assisted by a RAF Chinnok to move the recovered items down the hillside.

    At the moment we are going to concentrate on the cockpit and gun turret, but we have sufficient information and items to hopefully reconstruct the whole of the u/c assy in the future. The only problem will be where to put it, I think that it would be approaching 13 feet tall including the wheel

    Happy New Year to all

    From the Stirling Project.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12jaguar View Post
    At the moment we are going to concentrate on the cockpit and gun turret, but we have sufficient information and items to hopefully reconstruct the whole of the u/c assy in the future. The only problem will be where to put it, I think that it would be approaching 13 feet tall including the wheel
    That would be one amazing and technically stunning working undercarriage display!!
    Cheers,Peter
    "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"

  9. #9
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    Hi chaps,

    Slight egg on face , I got confused over the provenance of our u/c assembly mentioned above. Our resident expert informs me that it came from LJ628 which crashed on Upper Commons, (I wasn't on the recovery party as I wimped out). In fact we measured up the complete u/c crate assy that came from LK488 (currently on loan from RAFM and shortly due to return).

    Sorry for any confusion.

    best regards

    John

  10. #10
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    Nice to see some progress. Keep it up guys.

  11. #11
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    Bit by bit, and little by little.
    Hats off to all of you involved in this. If only all existing parts from all of the Stirling pieces held in various museums, could be donated for the project. (oh and all the Halifax bits for you too Cees )
    Best of luck to you.
    Hertfordshire Airfields Memorial Group
    http://hamg.co.uk

    Hunsdon, Sawbridgeworth and Matching Green airfields..
    http://www.wartime-airfields.com

  12. #12
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    I'm sure that many of you will have heard of the aircraft exhibits held at Delft University in Holland. After some protracted communication the University authorities have kindly donated a complete, albeit sectioned Stirling Control Column. We intend to carefully dismantle it and use the parts as patterns to manufacture 2 new ones, it will then be re-assembled and displayed in its current form as it is a great exhibit in its own right.

    John
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by 12jaguar; 1st September 2011 at 12:33.

  13. #13
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    Hi John

    Its great to see a Stirling project thread on this forum. Good luck to you and the team, and keep up the hard work, just let me know if you need a hand on anything.

  14. #14
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    Hi David,

    Thanks for the encouragement.

    We understand that the aircraft that this column came from may have crashed during the Arnhem operation and whilst we are looking further into this, have any of our Dutch colleagues any further info on this item?

    cheers

    John

  15. #15
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    are there any known to be in a lake or the sea anywhere?

  16. #16
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    Hi Jag, great to see these updates and info, and really good news that the project is moving forwards. Would love to see more pics (especially the U/C crate). I have some original diagrams of the Stirling U/C and the way it works, immagine you already have, can scan them if you do want them.
    It would be good to see a total project update and what you already have done and what parts you have, just for us newerbies!
    Is this the only UK Stirling project?

    One of my old WL795 colleagues is ex Stirling aircrew, liked it as something to fly in, hated it as something to go to war in!

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the update - keep up the good work!

    DS
    Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.

  18. #18
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    STIRLING WORK! - SORRY!
    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!

  19. #19
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    I believe that "Fitz" of TFC B25 display crew was a Stirling pilot?
    If anybody ever tells you anything about an aeroplane which is so bloody complicated you can't understand it, take it from me: It's all balls. RJM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12jaguar View Post
    Hi David,

    Thanks for the encouragement.

    We understand that the aircraft that this column came from may have crashed during the Arnhem operation and whilst we are looking further into this, have any of our Dutch colleagues any further info on this item?

    cheers

    John
    Hi John,

    Sorry, just spotted this a bit late. That's GREAT news to see the column donated to your project. It was only gathering dust at Delft. I don't know from which aircraft it came, but could be from many. I do know that during the war aircraft sections were given to technical schoold. A complete Halifax nose section ended up at Haarlem for instruction purposes.

    Cheers

    Cees
    Ultravox at Lokeren 08.08.09, I was there!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pagen01 View Post
    Hi Jag, great to see these updates and info, and really good news that the project is moving forwards. Would love to see more pics (especially the U/C crate). I have some original diagrams of the Stirling U/C and the way it works, immagine you already have, can scan them if you do want them.
    It would be good to see a total project update and what you already have done and what parts you have, just for us newerbies!
    Is this the only UK Stirling project?

    One of my old WL795 colleagues is ex Stirling aircrew, liked it as something to fly in, hated it as something to go to war in!
    I'll take some pics of the RAFM u/c crate that we have on loan and post them at the weekend. Unfortunately it will have to return to them soon. As for more info, we have recently re-vamped our website so that it is less 'clunky' and should be easier to use (see link below)

  22. #22
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    Nice to see yet another Stirling column back in the UK

  23. #23
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    There's another one in the Netherlands. The story about it still hurts in the hearts of some people.

    Cheers

    Cees
    Ultravox at Lokeren 08.08.09, I was there!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cees Broere View Post
    There's another one in the Netherlands. The story about it still hurts in the hearts of some people.

    Cheers

    Cees
    Hi Cees,

    Would that be the one that the owner wants a lot of money for?

    Junk Collector mentions that this is yet another Stirling Control Column back in the UK, I wasn't aware that there are any others can anyone elaborate?

    John

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12jaguar View Post
    We intend to carefully dismantle it and use the parts as patterns to manufacture 2 new ones, it will then be re-assembled and displayed in its current form as it is a great exhibit in its own right.

    John
    Sorry to open a philosphical argument but surely wouldnt incorporating the original into the project give the project more originality and history than a reproduction. Obviously everyone has, and is entitled to their own opinion but that is my feeling.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12jaguar View Post
    Hi Cees,

    Would that be the one that the owner wants a lot of money for?

    Junk Collector mentions that this is yet another Stirling Control Column back in the UK, I wasn't aware that there are any others can anyone elaborate?

    John
    Hi John, yes that's the same. Looks like the projected cockpit section is having it's fittings gathered. Good show.

    Cheers

    Ces
    Ultravox at Lokeren 08.08.09, I was there!

  27. #27
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    I also know in the UK the precise location of an Original Stirling Instrument panel. The owner does not wish to part with it though.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junk Collector View Post
    Sorry to open a philosphical argument but surely wouldnt incorporating the original into the project give the project more originality and history than a reproduction. Obviously everyone has, and is entitled to their own opinion but that is my feeling.
    Hi,

    I have had similar thoughts on this matter and where possible we intend to incorporate as much original equipment as possible into the reconstruction of the cockpit section. In this case however, the control column has been sectioned for instructional purposes and would be inappropriate to put into the cockpit. However, it is a godsend in that we can temporarily build up the missing sections of casting so that we can create new moulds. We have drawings of some of the items and some originals as well, so we will try to be as sympathetic as possible with the re-build.

    John
    Last edited by 12jaguar; 22nd April 2008 at 20:16.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by hindenburg View Post
    Hi Junk Collector,would this be the same same panel I put a picture of,on the forum this morning ?A clear outline tracing would suffice even if the owner did not want to part with it.
    I think it's worth noting that Hindenburg and ourselves have the same aim and an accurate drawing/tracing of said instrument panel would benefit both of us

    cheers

    john

  30. #30
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    Hi all,

    As it has been a while since I've posted an update I thought I'd post a few picks of what we've been up to. Following on from the acquisition of the control column from Delft and the use of some parts that Pondskater has leant us, we've been able to commence reverse engineering 2 new control columns. They may not look much but there has been a lot of activity in making new patterns and drawing up of items. The 2 major castings are still fairly rough and need some machining to finish them off.

    John
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    Last edited by 12jaguar; 1st September 2011 at 12:33.

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