Percival Q6 G-AFFD

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16 years

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I think you'll find that picture doesn't depict a "restoration effort" but was taken when 'FFD was in a hangar at Redhill and used (with wings removed) as a training aid during a period with an aeronautical engineering college there. The aircraft at that time was silver with a red cheat-line if I recall correctly.

I thought that it never took up the registration G-AIEY once it was recognised that it had had a prior civil registration (i.e. G-AFFD) prior to impressment (and 'IEY was used for a Proctor).

We'll done Rex on the progress.

Tim

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12 years 11 months

Posts: 1,287

Great to see the restoration progressing so well. As a teenager this was another aircraft that I tried to persuade the owners of the Southend museum to save but there were so many less complex projects around at that time that an incomplete Q6 was regarded as way beyond restoration and my pleas fell on deaf ears.
Really looking forward to the day when she flies again.
Wasn't there a second Q6 G-AEYE with the technical college at Redhill in the 60's / 70's?

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8 years 3 months

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Hi All

Just for interest the centre section of the main-plane is attached by 66 bolts/nuts all of which have been replaced with new. These are not cheap !!!! This was completed yesterday. Being back on its wheels it is a stunning aircraft.

For those who may be interested in the design features let me say that this aircraft has been designed with secondary primary load paths, the first I have seen on an aircraft of this period and shows the consideration the designer Mr Bage gave to overall safety. All the wing attachment brackets are manufactured using stainless steel rather than steel and all have (at least) two brackets making the final part. These are attached using separate bolts through different areas of the structure so that in the event of a failure the remaining part can still carry the flight loads. This consideration was well ahead of traditional designs of the period.

We opened up areas of the main and rear spars to inspect internal condition by removing repairs carried out when in RAF service. The original structure appears to have been glued using Aerolite adhesive which only appeared in 1937 ? This would indicate that Percival may have been the first aircraft manufacturer to use this adhesive. It is far superior to the then standard glues used in (wood) aircraft structures, as anyone who has worked on DH and Miles types will know !!!!

Most of the engine cowlings and gear covers are with Murray Flint - Murray Flint Aircraft refinishing being painted in etch primer ready for initial fitting, this will allow the positioning of all the attachment brackets which is are the next item to complete. Murray will be carrying out the painting of this aircraft

All for now

Rex

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13 years 1 month

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EWP, litigious?

.....shows the consideration the designer Mr Bage gave to overall safety

Oooo, it's a good job that EWP is long since dead and gone - or he'd have the lawyers drafting the 'letter before action' already, even though it's a Sunday!

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8 years 3 months

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This may be but a lot of the drawings I have do have Mr Bage on them rather than Mr Percival.

If my research is correct EWP only changed to his name after Bage had left the company at which point he claimed the design as his own. Who knows which is correct, I for one only say it is a good design, well thought out and produced using the best materials and processes available at the time. The fact it has survived often in poor/outside storage somewhat confirms my opinion.

Interesting enough a copy of a transcript of an interview given by Mr Bage which I have, Mr Bage does claim he was the designer of nearly all Percival aircraft up to the time he left Percival and that the number p16 indicates it was the 16th aircraft design.

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13 years 1 month

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I'm in the Bage camp, but it's well known that, during his lifetime, EWP was a vociferous advocate for his own case to be the designer of all of the company's aeroplanes prior to his parting company with that. He persuaded many - often by means of the threat of legal action - to accept his case and he was unyielding in his demands for the correctness of that to appear in print and would not brook the publication of anything to the contrary. The subject is touched upon at http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?96472-Percival-Gull-Designed-By&highlight=.

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14 years 6 months

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My father went a Q6 at Luton airport at the end of the war or just after as he found a letter to a German woman, which he sent on through a POW working in Dunstable. Dad always thought the Q6 belonged to Irvin as the seats had parachutes fitted in the upholstery. So no need to put a chute just buckle up the seat.

Dave

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14 years 9 months

Posts: 887

WJ244: there were 3 in the scope of folk still sentient. FFD was the Redhill College GIA. G-AEYE attended the Shackleton Sales weekend, Kidlington, 25/4/59 as the last one active and was wfu promptly after. Petrel P5637 was burnt as G-AHOM at Thruxton, 10/60 (as were 3 Mosquito PR.XVI/PR.34 abandoned next to it).

Might the next Q be: why, then, given the structural couth noted above, were so few built? EP was actually skillful in selling 7 to A.M in 1938. The rash of new entrants, 1935/36, was not welcome: A.M's view was that the established "Ring" of 16 airframe designers both: produced their full share of turkeys, and existed on meagre business. Until Baldwin funded Re-armament as 1936 evolved, and sought "sub-contracting" (today, second sourcing). The Ring pursuaded Ministers that these upstarts would be propelled into unfair competition after the unpleasantness, if they were funded to learn all the tricks of the real designers' trade. So the deal was that R&D would be confined to the tried and tested teams. Airspeed got round that with (to be) Oxford by offering it as (today: Commercial Off the Shelf: Envoy) and so did EP for (Q-6) Petrel. A.M chose cheaper Rapide, subbed into carpenter Brush, for the jobs Petrel could do, and put EP to second-source Oxford, then Mosquito. Sensible when urgent quantity was needed NOW! Structural longevity was not sought.

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8 years 11 months

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For me, all the real Percivals were wooden and designed before EWP left his company. After Huntings take-over, it really became a different firm. That's not a criticism, it was just the end of an era where composite wooden aircraft had spanned the gap between largely fabric-covered aircraft through to largely metal, aluminium-skinned a/c. Whilst EWP was clearly the driving force in the company during those halcyon days - and would have formulated the concepts, all the evidence points to Bage as the key designer. Indeed, the whole approach to, as well as the look of the designs, starts to change as soon as he arrives.
Even today, if one looks at, for example the Vega, one can see an aircraft that easily out-performs all the equivalent spam-cans still prevalent in GA. True, being wooden, it needs to be hangared, but the Vega was a 170mph full four-seater machine on only 200hp, with a range and load-carrying ability that can still embarrass many modern a/c. This was wholly down to Bage, who took the Gull Six, - only a three-seater, - stretched the design to carry four (In comfort.), and yet cleaned the airframe-up so that it was only very slightly slower. It's also worth remembering that the wings could also be folded. All that performance and without retracts.
What a pity the RAF opted for the Rapides over the Q6 - or we might have still had a number of Q6's flying. All power to Rex for getting the last of her breed flying again...! :)

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8 years 3 months

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Restoration pictures

An idea of the standards we are working to. This quality of restoration takes time and will not be rushed.

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7 years 9 months

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Google Q6 Photos to see photos of the aircraft on the I.O.M on it's wheel etc, looks great in that blue. The gent who owned her at that time did a lot of work. ( The Hard part. )

Can't wait to see it fly....!

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8 years 3 months

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Google Q6 Photos to see photos of the aircraft on the I.O.M on it's wheel etc, looks great in that blue. The gent who owned her at that time did a lot of work. ( The Hard part. )

Can't wait to see it fly....!

Barry Greenwood preserved this aircraft at significant expense to which we should all be grateful. I find it hard to accept the above !!!!Will post pictures of some of the repairs we have found. Part of the repairs carried out have been inspected by an aeronautical stress engineer who has condemned them as unfit for flight. It may be that the aircraft was being repaired as a museum piece however we are working toward this aircraft being returned to flight.

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11 years 4 months

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An idea of the standards we are working to. This quality of restoration takes time and will not be rushed.

That looks stunning! Having been there, I very much appreciate the time and effort that goes into this sort of work. What kind of glue is that on the root rib? I'd be tempted to say Aerolite judging by its colour, but wasn't the Q6 a bit early for that?

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8 years 3 months

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That looks stunning! Having been there, I very much appreciate the time and effort that goes into this sort of work. What kind of glue is that on the root rib? I'd be tempted to say Aerolite judging by its colour, but wasn't the Q6 a bit early for that?

We are using aerodux 501 adhesive. The original appears to be Aerolite. This adhesive was first developed in 1937 ? and it appears Percival may have been the first aircraft manufacturer that used this in the construction. Jimmy who is doing the wood repairs is first class in his field. His finished glue joints are something to behold as is all his work.

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11 years 4 months

Posts: 1,744

We are using aerodux 501 adhesive. The original appears to be Aerolite. This adhesive was first developed in 1937 ? and it appears Percival may have been the first aircraft manufacturer that used this in the construction. Jimmy who is doing the wood repairs is first class in his field. His finished glue joints are something to behold as is all his work.

Ah thanks, thought that might be Aerolite with the pink hardener. Must indeed be one of the earlier uses of Aerolite then. A good thing, since that does away with a lot of the ageing problems that the organic glues (casein and the like) cause in vintage aircraft. As for Aerodux: I use that as the standard glue as well. There simply is no better alternative. Strong as hell, very easy to work with. Looking forward to see the Q6 in the air in due time...

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17 years 1 month

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I think we are all in agreement on that. Such a good looking aircraft will be a beauty regardless of colour scheme I reckon.

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8 years 3 months

Posts: 23

Google Q6 Photos to see photos of the aircraft on the I.O.M on it's wheel etc, looks great in that blue. The gent who owned her at that time did a lot of work. ( The Hard part. )

Can't wait to see it fly....!

The "hard part" ? already done - read on !!!!!

These pictures show some of the areas we found before our repairs - Top left clearly shows damage to a control pulley mounting, top right is the ply used to cover this damage, as can be seen although it shows aerolite glue it did not fill the gap. centre top is the finished item after repair. Bottom is a general picture of the flaps after our repairs.

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14 years 9 months

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Thats nasty. Its worrying when you find something like that, you can never be sure what else might have been bodged. The flaps look lovely though.
I had it in my mind that the outer wings were new build, is that correct.

Richard

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8 years 3 months

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The outer wings are new. We have little detail on the construction but the manufacture was done without any drawings !!!!! These may well become fire-wood but we will partially strip to determine construction to see if they can be repaired & certified. We are aware that the wing root fitting attachment points are wrong, the aileron balance weight position is wrong, the aileron general shape is wrong. Hence my comments that the earlier repairs may have been only to museum standard. If these are repairable then Jimmy Smith will be the one who can do them, if not we go with new. This will be one of the last jobs we will do.

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8 years 3 months

Posts: 23

Hi All

Engine controls and services have been installed through the wing leading edges. Oil tanks cleaned, pressure tested, painted and installed. Inboard fuel tanks cleaned, painted and pressure tested. Wood work repairs (stringers and formers) between the fuselage and main-plane are well of the way to being finished. have started installing new fuel lines and hoses ready to install the inboard fuel tanks. With the tanks installed we can carry out the initial fitting of the engine cowls and fairings.

Back to work for me - Rex