Spitfire NH341 Restoration Update #23

Read the June Spitfire Restoration update of the Aero Legends Spitfire NH341 which is being restored and converted to a dual cockpit T9 version.

Release Date: 1st July 2016

Period Covered: 26th May 2016 – 1st July 2016

Wings

The trailing edge and flap mounting structure has now been completed. The inboard and outboard flaps have been successfully trial fitted. The wheeled walkway skins have been drilled off. The large wheel bay top skins with blister and flap door are being worked.

Fuselage

The front and rear windscreens have been positioned and set up with original sliding canopies. The screens are now being assembled from an assortment of original and new parts. The cockpit doors are finished and the fuel tank cover has been cut for the filler cap. The fuel tank firewall panel is under construction.

Systems

Telflex controls for the fuel cock, airbox flap and propeller control have been installed. The air system is now complete and has been tested. Various electrical items have been installed and brackets for power sockets and ground power sockets are being made. The forward elevator bellcrank and rear seat structure are now permanently fitted. The fuel tank sender has been tested and fitted to the tank along with all the unions and filler cap. It has been pressure tested and painted. The port undercarriage leg, pintle and lock have been fitted to the wing and are in the process of being set up. Various shims of different thicknesses and tapers are used to achieve the correct clearances in both the up and down positions.

Next Month...

All the wing top skins will be finished and riveted in place. Installation of electrical wire will be underway and fitting of the front screens will continue. The tail unit will be painted.

Spitfire NH341 was built at Castle Bromwich as a Spitfire Low Level Fighter (LFIXE) and delivered to 8 MU on the 28th April 1944. It was sent to Miles Aircraft for modifications to be fitted before delivery to 411 (Grizzly Bear) squadron RCAF on 22nd June 1944. This was the only squadron NH341 served with and was flown by several pilots the most notable use of NH341 was in the hands of Flt Lt Hugh Charles Trainor who gained his third kill in 48 hours on 29th June 1944 when he downed an ME109 five miles West of Caen whilst flying her. Flt Lt Trainor destroyed another BF109 on the evening of 30th June 1944 over Thury Hurcourt, again in NH341. Flt Lt Trainor gained ace status later flying another Spitfire when he destroyed two more BF109s in a single flight on the 4th July, this was after NH341 had been lost on the 2nd July whilst being flown by another pilot who escaped unscathed after tangling with FW190s South East of Caen.

The Aero Legends Spitfire restoration NH341 project and conversion to a dual cockpit T9 version is by the experts at Historic Flying Ltd (HFL), Duxford.