Warbirds Online visited the airworthy restoration of DAP Bristol Beaufort A9-141 based at Caboolture airfield in February to view the recent progress on restoring this great Warbird.
The Beaufort is repositioned yet again to allow for the fitting of the starboard wing which has been much anticipated. The wing is completed and preparations are being made to fit it onto the aircraft. The mounting points are being replaced with restored components as the originals fitted were only to allow for accurate measurements to be made and adjust the alignment.
Progress is also being made on the port wing which was recently respared. The leading edge ribs are now being fitted to the wing and this will allow all the cables and internals to be refitted and the wing leading edge skins to be fitted so it can be completed and replaced on to the aircraft. Once the wings are refitted the aircraft will be structurally complete and the task of final fit out recommenced in earnest.
In our last report on Beaufort A9-141 we mentioned that the aircraft had been lifted to allow it to be worked on internally more efficiently. This lifting was by way of stand under the tail wheel. Recently a purpose built cradle has been constructed to support the rear fuselage more securely.
Work has been undertaken on the exhaust and nacelle areas of the aircraft and this is ongoing as some adjustment is still required to have an accurate fit for the engines and exhaust system. This is a time consuming and tedious task but one that’s vital for the safe operation of the aircraft.
The volunteers have also been very busy constructing new workshop areas for instruments and electrical equipment as well as all the machine tools. The hanger has also undergone a process of reorganization to utilize the space more efficiently and remove unnecessary equipment. Storage space on the mezzanine level and under the eaves of the hanger has been used to store underutilized items. All this activity has freed up a lot of space around the Beaufort and shortly scaffolding will be placed around the aircraft to allow for easier external access to the airframe.
In coming weeks more of the hangar re arrangement and building works will be completed to allow the volunteers to concentrate their efforts fully on the aircraft restoration itself. Whilst its satisfying to have a good working environment it’s a whole lot more fun to be working on the aircraft full time!
With this renewed activity on the Beaufort there is a sense of momentum as it reaches for the milestone of structural completion and whilst there is still a mountain to climb in terms of actual completion the progress being made and the enthusiasm of the team working on her is palpable.
Whilst all of this work has been ongoing the new (to the Beaufort Restoration Group) Cessna O1 Birdog has had quite a few outings with many of the group getting a ride in the back seat. Whilst the aircraft was very accurate and complete when it arrived in the hangar much detail work has gone into the aircraft to add some more small touches and necessary maintenance. It’s great to have this operational Warbird in the hangar.
Warbirds Online will continue to report on the progress on the restoration of Beaufort A9-141 in the coming months.
© John Parker 2016