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Islander restoration on target for 50th anniversary
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 00:00

Members of the BNAPS team working on the nose section of G-AVCN at the workshop at  Bembridge Harbour. Bob Wealthy  Members of the BNAPS team working on the nose section of G-AVCN at the workshop at Bembridge Harbour. Bob Wealthy

In a workshop at Bembridge Harbour, on the Isle of Wight, the Britten-Norman Aircraft Preservation Society’s (BNAPS) restoration team is making excellent progress with the restoration of the world’s oldest surviving BN-2 Islander, the first production machine, G-AVCN. Work is on target to have the aeroplane ready to go on show by June 13 2015, the 50th anniversary of the first flight of the prototype Islander, G-ATCT, from Bembridge Airport.

Work is currently underway to complete the doors and refit them, after which the windscreen panels will be re-installed. The flexible window mount mouldings are being sought for the side windows, which will then allow the windows to be refitted.

The fuselage will then be sprayed with a white base coat, and three coats of Aurigny Airlines yellow, before being moved from the workshop into temporary storage to enable work on the wing to proceed. Reconstruction of the wing is due to be completed early in 2015.

 
Italian Albatross Saved
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 00:00

Grumman HU-16A Albatross MM 51-037, which is currently being assessed for a return to the air at Gorizia, in the extreme north east of Italy. Gregory Alegi    Grumman HU-16A Albatross MM 51-037, which is currently being assessed for a return to the air at Gorizia, in the extreme north east of Italy. Gregory Alegi

After languishing at Gorizia, north east Italy since November 1979, Grumman HU-16A, MM 51-037, is being assessed for a potential airworthy restoration. The new owners, who are known in Italy as operators and restorers of two North American T-6s and a Fairchild F.24, have stated that the full restoration will require sponsorship, and are approaching the task with caution. While the exterior has suffered during 35 years of open storage, a detailed examination showed the structure and systems to be very sound.

 
Weeks gets a Savoia
Tuesday, 05 August 2014 00:00

The exquisite American Aeronautical Corporation/Savoia-Marchetti S-56, NC349N, seen while on display at the Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City, New York. Mike Shreeve The exquisite American Aeronautical Corporation/Savoia-Marchetti S-56, NC349N, seen while on display at the Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City, New York. Mike Shreeve

The latest addition to Kermit Weeks’ burgeoning collection of amphibians at Polk City, Florida is a 1929-built Savoia-Marchetti S-56, NC349N, which has been acquired from the estate of the late Dr Ralph Cox. Dating from 1929, the three seat, 100hp Kinner K-5 powered machine had been on loan to the Cradle of Aviation Museum (CAM) at Garden City, New York since 1989.

One of 25 S-56s built under licence by the American Aeronautical Corporation of Port Washington, Long Island, NC349N, s/n 12, was the first Savoia-Marchetti delivered to the C.T. Stork Corp. at Roosevelt Field, and used by them as a demonstrator. The Stork Corp, which also held the Stinson and Great Lakes Sport Trainer distribution franchise for New York, sold about 12 of the amphibians, with NC349N being one of two examples that went to Long Island joyriding operator Charles Farrenkopf. During the Prohibition years it was also used by the police to intercept rum smugglers.  

 
Junak rejuvenated
Tuesday, 05 August 2014 00:00

Top:  The derelict WSK TS-9 Junak 3, showing the effect of more than 35 years on external display at Deblin.  Bottom: The completed Junak outside the Wojskowe Zaklady Lotnicze factory at De¸ blin, wearing the markings in which it went into Polish Air Force service as a primary trainer in 1954.  The type was retired in 1961, with 93 examples going on to fly with various aero clubs, including this survivor, which operated as SP-BOO before being grounded in 1972. BOTH  PICTURES: Wojskowe Zaklady Lotnicze WZL-1 DeblinTop: The derelict WSK TS-9 Junak 3, showing the effect of more than 35 years on external display at Deblin. Bottom: The completed Junak outside the Wojskowe Zaklady Lotnicze factory at De¸ blin, wearing the markings in which it went into Polish Air Force service as a primary trainer in 1954. The type was retired in 1961, with 93 examples going on to fly with various aero clubs, including this survivor, which operated as SP-BOO before being grounded in 1972. BOTH PICTURES: Wojskowe Zaklady Lotnicze WZL-1 Deblin

Following a five-year rebuild at the Wojskowe Zaklady Lotnicze (WZL-1) factory at De¸ blin, eastern Poland, one of only three surviving  WSK TS-9 Junak 3  primary trainers has recently gone back on show at the Polish Air Force Academy in De¸ blin.  

The aircraft, c/n 119540, was built in 1955, and after serving both the Polish Air Force and one of the many state-funded aeroclubs it was placed on display outside the academy in 1972.

After many years of deterioration, restoration work began during 2009. All of the fabric on the steel-tube fuselage and tail has been replaced, the fabric covered wooden wings completely rebuilt, the 160hp, five cylinder M-11FR radial reconditioned and a brand new, unused propeller fitted. The instruments and cockpit equipment had all disappeared, but many of these have been replaced with original items found in the stores. The cockpit glazing was remanufactured at the WZL plant.

 
B of B film aircraft up for sale
Tuesday, 29 July 2014 11:26

Two-seat Hispano HA-1112-M4L, C.4K-112, which flew for the cameras from Duxford during 1968 registered G-AWHC. Top: Gunnar Åkerberg  Bottom: John RaynerTwo-seat Hispano HA-1112-M4L, C.4K-112, which flew for the cameras from Duxford during 1968 registered G-AWHC. Top: Gunnar Åkerberg Bottom: John Rayner

Now up for sale with Platinum Fighters are six long-time residents of Connie Edwards’ hangar at Big Spring, Texas. Five examples of the Hispano HA-1112-M1L Buchon — the Rolls-Royce Merlin powered, Spanish built Messerschmitt 109 — and a Supermarine Spitfire IX, are up for grabs, the Buchons still sporting the markings they wore during production of the Battle of Britain film at Duxford during the summer of 1968. One Buchon, C.4K-112/N1109G, is the sole surviving, HA-1112-M4L two- seat trainer. It was flown during 1968 by Adolph Galland and Robert Stanford-Tuck.

The Spitfire IX, MH415, has not flown since 1973, and has an extensive combat history, having served with 129, 222 and 126 Sqns during the war. None of the Buchons have flown since 1968. More details at www.platinumfighters.com

 

 
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