RAMP RAMBLINGS……….By Keith Bradshaw, photo’s Steve Jeal.
An occasional update of DAS’s progress on the aircraft restorations.
What’s new? You may well ask. Well over the last few months there has been a flurry of progress on the airliners out on the ramp at Duxford.
Back in June the Ambassador was finally finished after 29 years of restoration in time for the DAS 40th anniversary celebrations. This restoration actually took longer than the amount of time the aeroplane was flying in airline service! With the tail logos painted on and some displays in the cabin telling its story and that of Dan Air it’s now looking very good. DAS recently hosted a visit by some ex Dan Air staff some of whom had served on the Ambassador fleet including “ZO” when she was in service. They had a number of good stories to tell, the cabin crew members all agreeing they hated flying on her the day after a livestock charter as the smell of the animals lingered somewhat !
The BAC 1-11, as you may know, had been repainted by the members at the beginning of the year but had left the “paint shop” with a large snag list not least that the tail logos were missing. Thanks to British Airways and our decal supplier this has now been rectified and along with some sterling work on the snag list its beginning to look finished. The one major job outstanding is the replacement of some crazed windows. Following a visit to a scrap yard in Southend we now have all the spares we need and this job should hopefully be completed after the winter months when the weather improves.
As usual during the summer we had some French engineering students with us for work experience. They all enjoyed their time with us and left with a new understanding of restoring old aeroplanes and a new found love of “A Full English” and Bacon sandwiches! Ben and Marine helped sand down the roof of the Trident for repainting which was started by DAS members Shaun and Marketa. This had to be put on hold for a while, due to the work on the VC10, but has restarted and the primer is now complete. Again when the better weather returns the top coat will be applied as there are no plans for any hangar space to be available to us so it will have to be painted outside.
The same job was planned for the VC10 but due to its size outside contractors had to erect scaffolding for access to the cabin roof. This was completed in time for our next batch of students, Louise and Louis, to commence the preparation for the painting. Due to a spell of bad weather this job took longer than expected but the roof has now been sanded, primed and top coated to look as good as new.