Lancaster NX611 ‘Just Jane’ – Restoration Update 180

Avro Lancaster B.VII NX611 Just Jane at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center a few years ago. The aircraft is currently under restoration to fly. (image via Wikipedia)

As most of our readers will know, Avro Lancaster B.VII NX611 Just Jane is under restoration to airworthy condition with the Lincoln Aviation Heritage Center at former RAF East Kirkby in Lincolnshire, England. The group continues to made magnificent progress, and we thought that our readers might like to see a recent (edited) report, reproduced here with permission…

The Rivet Club – Newsletter 180

by Andrew Panton

This week we have had a very busy hangar as we have welcomed GJD Services to reassemble the B-25J.

Dave has finished his work on the trial fitting of the flare chute to KB976’s rear fuselage. All of the holes are transferred and the anchor nuts are fitted, so the flare chute can be bolted in place once the rear fuselage has been painted.

The flare chute from NX611 temporarily held in place. This will be removed to finish the painting in the fuselage.

Norm has finished the work for the tail oleo box; Dave and Norm riveted it together this week. With the riveting complete, the box was bolted in place in KB976’s tail section, allowing the top face to be riveted. The oleo box’s design is strange in that the dimensions are larger than the gap it must slide into, so it has to be partially built in position, with the rest of the airframe riveted around it. With the box in place, the lower skin could then be riveted; the rear fuselage is very close to being complete now.

The oleo box riveted up and ready to bolt in.

The final paint inside the fuselage was applied on Sunday and will be finished off early next week. We then come down to the preparations for painting the fuselage exterior in the familiar RAF camouflage of green and brown atop a layer of black.

Dave G has continued his work cutting out the formers for the control rods to run through for the elevator and rudder controls.  The parts are now ready for spraying and can be fitted when we swap the fuselages over.

Keith has been working to identify the correct cleats for the port wing’s leading edge on NX664 as well as finishing the wooden formers to produce new leading edge ribs. Keith should be able to start production of the latter next week. Manufacturing the rib formers has actually been quite a challenge, as we don’t have a complete set of original ribs, so Keith has had to straighten and repair the damaged original ribs we have to act as patterns, interpolating from these to determine the shape and size of the missing ribs in between those we do have – essentially ‘bridging the gap’ between the surviving ribs.

Boxes of cleats separated into right and left hand as well as their angle.

Keith producing one of the wooden formers

Completed wooden formers for creating new leading edge ribs.

On another note, we will be holding our first winter restoration tour on December 3rd; you can book your tickets HERE.

In other great news, our Gofundme wings campaign now exceeds £43,850 of the £500,000 required! Thank you to everyone who has contributed – you have helped us pay for the jigs and aluminium we need. If you would like to contribute (and receive your special Wings Fund badge!) then please do click on the button HERE (badges are sent for donations above the £50).

Stay safe and thanks for your support!

Andrew Panton

The latest restoration video…

… and for good measure, here’s another describing the B-25 which the RAF Museum recently gifted the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre!

That’s all for this particular update. We hope that you have enjoyed reading it. As can be seen, a lot of work remains to be done, but the aircraft is well on the way back to flying condition. It is being done in a methodical and careful manner in order to keep the aircraft available for ground-running operations during the summer months. For those interested in helping support this important project, please click HERE

Be sure to check out their store HERE as well… There are many cool items to buy which will help get Just Jane back in the air!



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