Miles Messenger Restoration

History - G-AHUI was first registered on 19/07/46 having been built by Miles Aircraft at the Newtownards factory in Northern Ireland. The aircrafts last owner lived in Chester and it is believed the aircraft was based for a short time at Hooton Park - last flown in 1957. Following a period in storage the aircraft was passed to Wolverhampton air scouts in 1970 then to Stockport aviation society / Humberside aviation society / Lincoln Field aircraft collection and eventually parts were handed to the Berkshire Aviation group at Woodley. These were then moved to Henley where parts of the airframe rotted away. The last remains were presented to the Aeroplane Collection in August 2002 together with other Messenger and Gemini parts.

Restoration - Work has now commenced on the restoration to static condition of the Miles Messenger G-AHUI M38 Series 2A (1946). The restoration is a composite based on the cockpit section from G-AHUI, both outer wings from G-AHUI, rear fuselage from EI-AGB and wing centre section from G-AILL. The outer fins and rudders are from G-AJFF. Work has started on the tailplane with restoration of both outer fins / rudders complete, elevators nearing completion and the next item to be tackled will be the centre fin/rudder. A missing undercarriage leg has been sourced and both undercarriage legs have now been soda blasted and are awaiting painting. The engine cowl, doors and other metal parts are currently being Soda blasted. A trial fitting of all of the tailplane parts was completed early April as shown in the photo. Thanks to Ian Maddock for the update and photos and a significant amount of hard work.

G-AHUI Cockpit G-AHUI Port Outer Wing

G-AHUI Stbd Outer Wing G-AIIL Centre section

EI-AGB Rear Fuselage Trial tailplane fitting

Elevators

Goblin Engine

September Update - Dave and Stewart have been working on the Goblin engine and have been helped by Terry and Phil. The components on the inner cone of the engine have largely been refitted and the diffuser has been painted satin black. Various items from the engine have been cleaned ready for refitting.

October Update - Dave and Stewart have also done some work on the Goblin engine. Corrosion pits on the magnesium alloy air ducts have been filled with P38 filler and eight out of fifteen ducts have been primed and painted inside and out. These are ready for installation on the engine.

D H Vampire

September Update - Martin and Kevin continued work on the Vampire. Now that the inside of the nose section has been repainted various items of equipment have been replaced. Martin has done some fine work in the restoration of two air valves and the bracket which holds them.

October Update -Martin and Kevin have continued with the Vampire project. Half of the cockpit rear bulkhead has now been painted in a very professional manner and some of the equipment has been replaced in the nose section of the aircraft.

Miles Messenger

September Update - Sam has done sterling service fabricating a throttle box for the Messenger. The job is not finished yet, she is currently cutting a ratchet quadrant from 6mm steel. Ian continues with the Messenger rebuild, which he is mainly doing at home. Ian has taken some photographs of his work on the cockpit section of the fuselage, which showed one side expertly re-sheeted with plywood which we hope to publish shortly. Ian is doing a top quality job.

October Update - Following the last meeting Ian has provided the following update on current progress.

The project so far has been very difficult due to no drawings of fuselage parts / no dimensions / and very little info now available for the Messenger. Most of the parts of the fuselage have had to be made from patterns from scrap messenger parts we had (G-AKIO bits and unfortunately I have just about deleted it from existence now as I have used lots of it) and pictures / dimensions taken from existing Messengers which are all different.) I had contact from an aircraft owner in NZ last week that is restoring a Messenger 2a to airworthy standards and he provided me with some very useful photos of the cockpit floor (which I really struggled to get any info of from anyone ) and this has helped me reconstruct ours this week as I have been totally stuck over the last few months as to how it was constructed. It has taken me just over 21 hours of work this week to construct the inter spar cockpit lattice floor (69 separate pieces of wood so lots of circular saw work and sanding – sawdust everywhere! – Mrs M isn’t at all happy...) Tomorrow it will be skinned with a birch ply on the top (very kindly sourced by Stewart) and at the end of the month hopefully underneath so wont be seen again.... At the next meeting JH should be giving me the starboard door for a trial fitting so even more progress will be shown then . Sam is making excellent progress on the throttle / brake unit for G- AHUI again with very few details to make it from and it should be fitted to the cockpit in the next few months 10 months into the project I think were are pretty much on track.

Sam has been busy with the Messenger throttle box and is doing a really great job on it. Sam also organised and served the refreshments for the visitors on 26th October, which was a most successful event.

Bill Turnbull has been working on the Messenger main wheels at home. Bill also has two tailwheels one of which is from a Messenger or Spitfire (the same tailwheel was used on both aircraft) and the other from a Magister or Chipmunk.

June 2018 Update - Following the last meeting Ian has provided the following update on current progress.

Ian has been busy at home working on the Messenger. Currently, he is trying to find a suitable Direction Indicator to complete the instrument panel. Ian has made a compass surround, which needs a final trimming and painting, before being fitted to the panel. Ian says he has most of the instruments for the lower panel including the clock and will be starting work on this shortly. The instrument overpanel needs a final trim and alignment, which Ian will do once the DI has been fitted. Ian has fitted the fuel selector in the cockpit. He has rebuilt fuselage frame 13, which came from EI-AGB. All the glued joints of this frame had failed. The frame has been returned to HP, and, with the help of Dave Arkle, Ian has removed a further three frames from EI-AGB, which he has taken home to rebuild.

Building 28 & 42

September Update - Building 42 is ready for occupation by TAC. All the windows have been painted inside, latterly by Dave and Stewart. However, there are still two doors to paint inside, various panes of glass to replace and outside window painting to do. The plan for this building is that three large steel shelving units are to be installed before any projects are moved into the building. One of the shelving units is already in the building, but in pieces.

October Update - John Matthews has been working on racking in B42, as have Dave and Stewart. The job has been held up because of the lack of two horizontal steel bearers. Mike Davey has spare bearers and has now brought them to HP so that the job can be completed.

Terry has been painting the wall of B28 and B42 with a red section to show where the fire extinguishers are. He has fitted wooden battens on the wall to carry the two extinguishers in each of the buildings. He has also helped out with cleaning components for the Goblin engine and helped to fit shelving slats to the racks in B42. Terry has printed the AP for the Meteor and has left two tomes in the Community Cabin. These will be invaluable when the Meteor is being restored.

Bill Turnbull says that there has been no further progress on the Auster doors and has taken a collection of Gipsy Major engine parts home to clean and catalogue.

Paul Gilling has continued to sort out the morse taper drill bits and has set duplicates aside for future sale. He has also managed to sell an unwanted drill chuck on eBay.

June 2018 Update - A summary of the work that has taken place at Hooton Park since the last Meeting.

Martin has continued work on the Vampire and is making a first-class job. Kevin has made a fine job of cleaning up the taps, dies and other tools, which have been generously donated to TAC. He has sorted the tools into labelled boxes so it is now very easy to find the tool needed for a job. Anthony Boote has joined TAC and has been helping Kevin with the tool restoration and Dave with building racking in the annexe. He also gave Stewart hand on the Goblin engine project. John Matthews, Dave, Phil and Stewart went to collect a modern lathe from a house in Bromborough donated by a friend of John's. The lathe is now in storage in B18 awaiting a final position to be designated.

Dave has been working on the Parker, FIU and has completed the application of a seal coat to the whole of the outside of the aircraft. Dave has nearly completed installing wooden slats in the racking in the annexe. John Matthews has been working on the Chipax and now has the aircraft sitting on its support stand, rather than on its nose. John has been working on the storage compartment behind the rear cockpit and stripping paint from the aircraft. John has obtained six padlocks, each one being operated by the same key. The padlocks will be used as follows: two on B42 door, one on B42 outside barrier, two on B28 door and one on the container. (See Treasurer's report) John plans to obtain a seventh padlock as the container is secured with two padlocks. Paul G has continued his work on the Meteor nose undercarriage leg. This now fully primed and is awaiting finishing with silver paint. Peter is also working on the Meteor nose undercarriage leg and has prepared the operating jack and another component ready for painting. Both Paul and Peter have been working to de-rust the support structure for the nose undercarriage leg. This structure bolts to the front bulkhead of the aircraft. Stewart has prepared and fitted three more combustion chambers to the Goblin engine. Eight are now in place.

Other News

June Update - A potted summary of other activity.

Terry has continued to fit out the instruments in the two cockpits of the Chipax which look excellent. Bill has sorted out some of his aircraft components at home and has very kindly donated a selection of fine items to TAC for sale (see photograph in the Appendix). Included are two very unusual rocket tails. Mike has taken all of them and has offered them for sale at Newark Aerojumble. Other than that Bill has been tied up with work at home and has been unable to do any more for TAC. Paul Brown and David Bradley have recently joined TAC, and with the help of John Matthews and Dave Arkle, have moved the Avon engine from B18 into B42. Paul and David are going to restore the engine to static display standard. They have made a start cleaning it up and will, at a later date, strip parts off for further cleaning and painting. Gerry has been helping HPT by cleaning and painting curb stones by the car park. They certainly spruce the area up. Gerry has repainted the outside of the doors on B28 as, now that the wood has shrunk, bare wood is showing where the T&G joints are. Gerry has also prepared and put the first coat of paint on the right hand front window of B28.

John Morris has continued with the development of his very fine 3D video of Hooton Park airfield and Hooton Hall. John has been working to get three computers provided by Dave in working condition. John and Stewart attended a two-day course on 3D printing given by The University of Chester at Thornton Science Park. Contacts made on this course may prove very useful in getting unavailable aircraft components made.

The Parkgate Festival was held on two days, 2nd and 3rd June. Mike and Stewart attended both days and were joined by John Morris on the Saturday and Kevin, Phil and Andrew on the Sunday. The Gannet cockpit was taken to the Festival and Mike took his Double Wasp engine. Ex member Ian Starnes was present both days with his Jet Provost cockpit. During the event there was considerable interest in TAC and what we had to show.

Company Registration No 1150097 Registered Charity No: 268238

Copyright The Aeroplane Collection 2018