Category Archives: Undercarriage

Making Connections, Leaving Impressions

Saturday I spent the day displaying some Tiger Moth parts at Vintage Aircraft Weekend.  I brought along my broken propeller, a spare cylinder and a wheel.  It was great meeting everyone and having something tangible to show to those who have been hearing about the airplane for months.

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The stand that I made for the propeller out of PVC and plumbing fittings worked beautifully, I have a few improvements in mind for the next iteration but I think it will make regular appearances whenever I set up a display.

Of course, being the tinkerer that I am, sitting around all day with these parts on hand quickly wore through what little patience I have.  At the end of the day I grabbed a convenient screwdriver and began taking the wheel hub apart to see what was inside.

Nothing on this airplane is as simple as it could be.  The plates that protect the bearings look pretty complicated to machine, hopefully I won’t have to replace any.  The screws looked rusty but, as with everything else on A17-370 they came free easily and the threads are in fact perfect.  Sort of an odd thread pitch, will have to do some research there.

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The real surprise came in the bearings themselves.  One looked quite old and I couldn’t find any markings on it, but when I opened up the other side it has a very modern-looking STROM bearing, made in the USA.  I’m assuming this was a replacement part installed around the 1970s?

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Even cooler though was what I found when I looked at the under side of the plate that had covered this bearing.  Check it out:

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Talk about leaving an impression!  That’s a “grease stamp” left by a previous bearing.  It’s too bad the make and model of the bearing wasn’t likewise left behind, but it’s still pretty cool, eh?

I’m still in the process of collecting tools and equipment for the restoration, some of which have required some restoration work of their own!  It’s good practice and keeps me busy.  I’ll be attending a small gathering of de Havilland aircraft on Saturday, September 10th at Harvey Field.  If you’re interested in coming, drop me a line!

Finally, I have signed a lease for a hangar at Arlington Municipal Airport.  It’s a 40′ T-hangar in a building that is only a year old.  I look forward to moving some of my things in on the 17th and starting to finally “set up shop”!  I will have to schedule a “hangar-warming party” sometime soon… if you have any ideas for the festivities let me know!

Finally!

It’s been a long time since my last update, not a lot of interest has been happening on the project.  Mainly I’ve been clearing up space in the apartment and trying to set up a work area.  I’ve also built up a huge collection of tools and hardware, much of it from the Free section of Craigslist, and so a lot of that has needed to be cleaned and reconditioned before use.  It’s all good work and has kept me busy but… on Sunday I hit a major milestone which I have to share.

I have Tiger Moth parts now!

Tiger Moth Parts - Batch 1-1

Tiger Moth Parts - Batch 1-2

Tiger Moth Parts - Batch 1-3

These are the loose parts which were scattered around Cham’s hangar, mostly spares that either came with the Moth from India or were sourced/purchased for the restoration.  There are also some Chipmunk parts mixed in, once I’ve cleaned and identified those I will use them for bartering.  None of the instruments are likely to be used, so if you see something you like, let me know.

It’s so wonderful to have the smell of old airplane parts permeating my apartment (*ahem* “hangar”)… I can’t wait to start cleaning these up, identifying and inspecting them, tagging them for re-use, use as templates, or barter.  This feels like the first concrete step… after 3 months of non-stop work and over $6,000.  I am a very happy airplane owner 🙂

Parts Manual into Excel

What seemed like a very long but necessary step is now complete, I’ve transcribed the dh.82a Schedule of Spare Parts (1943) from PDF into Excel.  This will allow me to better track the components of my Tiger Moth and also make it easier to search for missing parts by their various identification numbers.

I’m going to share this document here, eventually I will add a Downloads section for future versions of this file and more like it.

You may download v0.8 of the excel file here.

In future revisions I hope to cross-reference each part by drawing number, add the Canadian parts and part numbers, and generally continue to build it out to become more useful.  Eventually it will be ported over to a database where I will keep images of each part from my aircraft, reference images for manufacturing new parts, notes on the condition and origin of each part, etc.

If you have any resources that might be helpful in further expanding this document, please let me know.