Lancaster NX611 ‘Just Jane’ – December 2019 Restoration Update Part 2

Lancaster 'Just Jane' is seen outside prior to one of her regular taxi-runs at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, East Kirkby, UK on June 16th, 2014. The aircraft is currently undergoing a restoration back to fully airworthy condition, and this article from the man overseeing her restoration, Andrew Panton, presents the latest update on progress. (photo by Alan Wilson via Wikipedia)
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As many of our readers will be well aware, 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. We have been reporting on their progress periodically, and we thought that our readers might like to see their most recent report, reproduced here with permission…

The Rivet Club – Newsletter 92

by Andrew Panton

Unfortunately the team has been plagued with illness and car problems, so we haven’t made the progress we would have hoped to. Having said that, we have completed more paint stripping and started to remove some of the parts from the wing tips that need to be reproduced.

Kev has been removing the leading edge ribs from the wingtips, as they seem to have suffered the worst, whether it be due to dissimilar metal corrosion between the aluminum structure abutting the steel leading edge cap, or lack of protection from moisture getting into the structure during the Lancaster’s many years outdoors. These parts will be taken down to Mark Coles Metal Forming so he can make a start on some of the structure while we complete the tear down.

Jack has started to remove the rear-most former in the fuselage as this will be the furthest forward we work to this year meaning that we won’t have to revisit any of this rear section next year; we’ll just work from this former forwards. Two of the skins have been condemned due to corrosion so they will be making their way to Simone Cunningham for forming new skins.

Bradley has been paint stripping the prop spinner from number 2 engine in order to do a detailed survey. To our knowledge these hadn’t been stripped since NX611 was prepped for the gate at RAF Scampton, and sure enough with the removal of the black paint we got down to red!

There is a short wooden rib at the very tip of the wingtip, not unlike the leading edge of the fin. What is left of the wood has been removed ready to be used as a pattern for a new ash replacement.

The jigs make it difficult to photograph the wingtips, but i’ve tried my best!

We’re starting to get into our winter break period, so updates may become a little disjointed and work will stop around the 20th December until the start of January 2020.

Thanks for your support!

Andrew Panton

Bradley strips the number 2 spinner. Removing the many layers of black reveals the red from her time on the gate at RAF Scampton!

Removing the rear former from the fuselage. It’s made in two sections which will make it easier to reproduce if we need to.

Number 2 spinner paint stripped and marked up after survey.

Half of the rear former after paint stripping.

The bottom of the rear bulkhead is coming apart for paint strip.

The structure from the rear turret deflector has been paint stripped and is awaiting survey.

Corrosion found on one of the rear turret support structure skins. Sadly too deep to pass inspection. This skin needs to be reproduced and wheeled.

Removal of wing tip skins and leading edge ribs.

Leading edge ribs removed and upper skins being de-riveted.

The wood from the tip of the wingtip (or what’s left of it).

One of the leading edge ribs showing serious signs of corrosion.

Slightly less corrosion on this rib, but still too much to be reused.

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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