Prior to Peter Jackson dismantling his Brisfit acquisition from The Fighter Collection here in the UK, they managed to get the three airworthy examples up and in close formation at this past Saturday evenings show at Old Warden.
"This aircraft is composite rebuild, using one of the Weston-on-the-Green frames, and major components from the original no. 7434. Number 7434 was in itself a Mk. IV rebuild of an earlier Rolls-Royce Falcon powered F2B and served with the serial F4516. Many Early F2B's were reconditioned in the mid-twenties to Mk. III and Mk. IV standard, which increased the all-up weight. It was placed on the civil register in October 1932 as G-ACAA. The 'new' aircraft was started by Skysport Engineering at Hatch for The Fighter Collection around 1991, and the period registration G-ACAA was allocated in October 1991. The complete aircraft minus engine was moved to Duxford in 1993, and its first post-restoration flight was on 30th June 1998. It currently resides in hangar 2 at Duxford. For the 2001 season the Brisfit has been grounded, due to a problem with a cyclinder in its Rolls-Royce Falcon 3 engine. The fault can be rectified, and it is hoped that is will be in the air again soon."
"Bristol F2b D8084 No.139 Sqn RAF Villaverla Aerodrome September 1918
Originally formed in March 1918 as 'Z' Flight and attached to No.34 Sqn in Italy for long range reconnaissance duties. By July 1918 a second flight had arrived and the combined unit was known as No.139 Sqn RAF. The original marking of two vertical white bands soon gave way to four white and three black bands and ultimately expanded to the 12 and 11 depicted here on D8084. This aircraft also carried a spanwise w/b/w stripe between the upperwing."
Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 18, 2006 11:47:36 GMT 12
I wonder if it will take on a more local colour scheme, or that of a New Zealand pilot, when it arrives in New Zealand. The colours it has already are stunnig and original though, so I'd be happy either way.
Post by Peter Lewis on Jul 19, 2006 22:00:30 GMT 12
From A J Jackson: G-ACAA (7434) F4516;20.1.33 C R A Oakley, Woodley 5.34 H A Carson 2.36 A E Green and A P Fraser, Elstree 12.46 registration cancelled
From PilotWeb:: British & Colonial Aeroplane Company, Bristol Model F.2B. Constructor's serial 7434, built 1917, RFC serial F4516, 13 Squadron, Civil Registration G-ACAA, Rolls-Royce Falcon III engine serial 1173, 275 hp
THE FUSELAGE WAS obtained in a trade with the RAF Museum in 1989 and was one of those discovered many years earlier at Weston-on-the-Green. Its construction number was found on various components. A further search and subsequent trade with the Museum provided two complete and one damaged wing, three ailerons, a lower centre section, four interplane struts, two centre section struts, flying wire trunions, tail components, pilot seat bearers and observer seat.
Further trading, with the Shuttleworth Collection, provided an upper wing, further tail components, flying controls including rudder bar, undercarriage and tailskid structure.
Skysport Engineering provided complete original instruments and an aero Vickers machine-gun, all sourced over many years. Aero Vintage provided the original Lewis gun, together with a No.2 Scarff ring.
Skysport was appointed by TFC to commence restoration in May 1991, even though no engine was in prospect! The basic airframe restoration was completed in October 1992 and incorporated over sixty per cent of the original wooden components. New woodwork was varnished in a distinguishing shade. All of the steel parts were recovered, apart from new flying wires, which were made to original patterns.
The author and his son Nicholas spent many years in the hunt for a suitable Falcon engine and were finally successful in a complex trade with the Prague Technical Museum, which included parting with rare Grand Prix Bugatti engine & supercharger parts and an early Liberty aero engine. A perfect, original propeller was purchased at Christies.
The Shuttleworth Collection was appointed to overhaul the engine, having successfully completed their own engine some months earlier. TFC was to provide industrial and technical back up and sourcing of parts. A radiator was made to original drawings and pattern, as were oil and fuel tanks, plus cowls.
The aircraft was finally assembled and engine fitted at Old Warden by Skysport, Shuttleworth and TFC engineers and a successful first flight carried out by Shuttleworth's chief pilot Andy Sephton. The only faults deemed to be important were a slight oil leak from the engine drive shaft (quickly corrected) and a slight coolant loss (not easily diagnosed and much longer in remedy--finally put down to inadequate air space and steam conversion capabilities in the original radiator design--now converted to later modification state).
Andy Sephton, Peter Kynsey, Stuart Goldspink and Stephen Grey carried out further test flights late in 1999 at Duxford.
Fans are looking forward to seeing this aircraft together with the only other flying Brisfit in the world at Flying Legends Airshow, Duxford on 8 & 9 of July.
For want of any precise information on the aircraft's original markings, early on in the restoration process, a decision was made to paint the Brisfit in the colourful markings of D-8084, an F.2B of 139 Sqdn, which fought at Villaverla in Italy during 1918 whilst assisting Italian Allies in the successful defence against the AustroGerman invasion. That aircraft was closely photographed at various times, including when HRH Prince Edward of Wales (later Edward VIII) was to fly as an observer.
Retirement is something for the young. Once you are old you never seem to have the time.