Saturday, July 19, 2008

"The Forums", did you know?

I often go to the various aircraft forums to read about the latest gossip and views. Many of the comments are uninformed, but really would I expect any different from people who are not involved in the profession. What can I tell them about their profession, probably nothing.

We operate aircraft that were designed in the 1930s and 1940s. Some of them were designed and built in other countries to a different philosophy. Some of the aircraft that we operate never operated in England, so there is no garden shed in Essex or any other county that is full of spares for these aircraft.

We have a comprehensive store, but we cannot hold a spare part for everything. We did manage to find a contactor and a magneto switch for the B-17 “Liberty Belle”. But we didn't have any luck with finding a spare flap motor. She made do.

When the P-40B had prop problem we had to go into the system to fix it. It operated fine on the ground, but when we got airborne again the automatic system did not work but the manual did. It turned out to be a faulty switch, no we didn't have a spare so we had to tear it down, fix and put back together.

The CR-42 is a particular problem. We have managed to find most of the aircraft instruments, because some of them are common to other Italian aircraft, but cockpit fittings, that is more difficult. Pictured below is part of the fuel gauging system that we had to make totally from scratch. Inside is a whole mess of gears.

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