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Spitfire NH341 Restoration Update #24

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

Release Date: 27th July 2016

Period Covered: 1st July 2016 – 27th July 2016

Wings

The starboard wing top skinning is now complete. The wheel bay skin is currently being riveted in place on the port wing. The remaining wheel bay and radiator bay structure is being finalized. The starboard wing will be completed first and is due to be removed from the jig at the beginning of September with the Port wing following two weeks later. The undercarriage door kits are arriving next week and these will be assembled and trimmed while the wing is in the upright position.

Fuselage

The rear canopy has been cut and the side skirts and front hoop have been drilled off. Final fettling will take place to ensure the canopy runs smoothly and easily in the runners. The fuel tank bay liner has now been painted and fitted. The fuel tank cover has been finished and internally painted. Various holes have been cut and brackets made for the installation of the heavy battery main cables.

Systems

Setting up of the undercarriage legs continues. The stay rods have been assembled and various shims made to optimize clearances and ensure the correct contact between the up and down lock brackets. The wheels have been overhauled and painted and the new bearings are ready to fit. The vent pipes for the wing tanks have been made along with the various fairleads and brackets. These pipes will be installed before the lower wing skins are finally fitted. The spinner has been painted and will be sent for balancing this week.

Tail unit

The tail has now been painted.

Next Month...

The fuselage is to be painted. The starboard wing will be nearing completion. The u/c doors will be in work.

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. On the 29th June 1944, NH341 downed an ME109 five miles West of Caen. NH341 destroyed another BF109 on the evening of 30th June 1944 over Thury Hurcourt. However, by the 2nd July NH341 had been lost. Warrant Officer James "Jimmy" Jeffrey 411 Squadron - was flying a morning patrol in NH341 when he was engaged by FW190's of JG26 South-East of Caen. W/O Jeffrey was shot down, but he baled out and successfully evaded capture, returning in late August. Read his amazing story HERE

The Spitfire Mk IX NH341 restoration and its conversion to a dual cockpit T9 version is being undertaken by the experts at Historic Flying Ltd (HFL), Duxford.