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.

Building 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.

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