In the Sea Vixen cage there has been a lot of work on the canopy. The sliding rails with their rollers and drive racks have been fitted to the newly mated Perspex and frame and the final piece, the tail fairing is awaiting some crack detection and refinishing. That fairing is fitted around the ‘pull off’ rear attachment bracket which is designed to release the rear of the canopy at the correct moment in an ejection sequence.
An interim repair scheme for the lower fuselage rear frames has been received and volunteer Ricky has been removing the skin, stringers and damaged parts of frames and carefully cutting back to clean straight metal. In many places the original skin was in 2 layers of 36 and 48 thou metal and it seems probably that large sections were shaped separate to the airframe on a jig as there were spot welds between some of the great many rivet holes. These skins are very thin and to a large extent provide aerodynamic shaping rather than strength. Before any reconstruction can take place the repair schemes will need refinement. Apart from the skin and transverse frames to be repaired there is also work needed to the rear of the centreline bulkhead. This is where there are hard points for mounting the holdback bar and tail hook. Fortunately the tail hook itself took most of the abrasion with the runway and saved much of the structure above.