Yes, they were a bonus. On Sunday I swapped over the inner box and three of the lids slotted straight in. They all just need a clean. I managed to press out the two rusty bushes that had locked up the triggers on the control hand piece and Mark stripped them down and laid out for painting. Then I turned to sorting the other end of the ammo path, the exit for the links and spent shells, We’ve so far only got the four side plates, and I bolted them back on to take measurements. I made a drawing for the two outside chutes that pass through the cupola and direct the spent ammo clear of the tail. I’ll make a mock up of one next time. After that I’ll need to figure out how to make the flexible parts between the cradle and the outlet. The fourth box lid still needs a pair of latches before it’s complete. I’ve got one latch to repair and have made enough parts for a start on the second.
On the left is the repaired latch with the replacement knob fitted for the one I broke off while trying to free up the rusted slider. On the right the parts for the second latch. All I need to find is a spring so that the slide bolts will remain extended.
Last Sunday Mark and I got talking about the gunner’s safety belt for the turret. He only had one of the side brackets that the end of the belt is attached to, so we checked through the box of spare fittings for another. No luck there but it’s not too hard to make one. We weren’t quite sure how the belt was attached to the bracket either, so I brought out a box of assorted belts to see if we could find one that matched. There wasn’t anything suitable. After a bit of Oogling today I came across: Harness, Safety, Type D, RAF Stores Ref 6F/167. This appears to be the right style and the two large eyelets on the end of the webbing must be where it’s fastened to the bushes and bolts on the bracket. Tomorrow, armed with a photo, I’ll make another search. I might even venture down to the Lanc to see how it’s rear turret is equipped.
Mark and I shone our torches through the side panel of the Lanc turret but it only had a loose seat pad and just empty holes where the harness should be attached. We had better luck in the Sunderland and found this Type D harness over the Engineer’s seat. I’ve borrowed it to check that the turret bracket at top right fits OK and it does. I’ll need to repair and stabilise this harness before returning it to the cockpit. We found that both pilots’ harnesses need to be refitted as well and there’s now a growing to do list. The turret still needs it’s own harness, so if you know of one that might be available, please PM me.
Post by Richard Wesley on Aug 21, 2021 10:34:28 GMT 12
Thanks Ron for the harness posts, it hadn't occurred to me that the turret would have had a belt, the seats themselves always looked so uncomfortable to start with. I can see though that with flying gear and parachute, and then the plane bucking around, a belt makes sense. Interesting the Lanc may be missing its one, which shows there are always more parts to find to complete any restoration.
Finding time to go through some negatives passed on to me recently from Tom Craill’s photo collection. Please excuse the quality, it’s the best I could manage in lockdown. Just put it down to eyes teary with nostalgia.
Walkaround of NZ2305 in MOTAT’s Western Spring’s workshop circa 1969.