State of build in April 2001

The third and final fuselage section is now complete which is of course the radio section. With the board fitted that carries the R1155 and T1154, the GEE indicator could then be mounted on its swivel bracket on the rear of the board, allowing the Navigators section to be completed. On the extreme left is the A1134 intercom amplifier, a DF meter, the oxygen economiser for the radio operator and various junction boxes. The trailing aerial and the Mileage unit can be seen beneath the bench. Lots more cabling, pipes and of course the Morse key have yet to be fitted.

This is the view of the navigator's bench with the Gee Indicator on its bracket. The DF loop control is just visible at the extreme top left of the picture. The cylindrical object above the Gee Indicator is the compass correction unit (increments or decrements readings from the master gyro compass) and the rectangular object also mounted at the top is the Astrograph. This contains star charts on film that can be projected onto the navigator's table. Unfortunately I do not have any film, so I have not been able to see how the unit performs.

The third picture is the rear canopy, one of the most difficult items to construct. The three curved formers are laminated using six strips of spruce (I used beech). All formers and stringers ended up with a complex curve with the surfaces not square with the plane of curvature, quite a nightmare! I had only basic dimensions to work to and it took many hours of CAD on the computer but I think the end results are about right. 1.5mm Acrylic was used for the covering (it should be 3mm but it makes it more difficult to form) and was formed using a hot air blower. The canopy contains just over 300 nuts and bolts! however did they make them fast enough during the war? The Astrodome is not a genuine Lancaster one but near enough in size not notice the difference. This one was picked up at the Shoreham Aerofair and a couple were still available this year (2001).

Still lots of fitting out to do with cabling and pipework! The Radio operator's seat, side cover and power distribution box is now completed but there are still some other parts to make, including the navigator's seat and fitting of the equipment under the Navigator's bench.

It has now been transported to Pitstone Museum when it is on show to the public. The H2S radar and the Gee navigation system has been fired up and the first viewing was on June 10th 2001.

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