Friday, August 20, 2004

Future assured for last airworthy Bristol Freighter

Although it has not flown since 1999, it is hoped that Bristol 170 Freighter C-GYQS will fly to its new home later this month. The Freighter has been in storage at Terrace, British Columbia, since its owners, Hawkair, ceased mine work in the remote locations of Western Canada. It has now been donated to the Reynolds-Alberta Museum, at Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada. In early August, the fuel tank bags were replaced, and maintenance was performed on the engine blower shafts. Both Bristol Hercules engines were started for the first time in 2 years without a hitch.

The starboard Bristol Hercules starting for the first time in 2 years
The starboard Bristol Hercules starting for the first time in 2 years - photo courtesy of Sean Keating

Update 27th Aug: The aircraft made a successful 38 minute test flight on 27th August. The Captain was Scott Swanson, co-pilot was Lori Skinner and
engineer was Paul Hawkins - one of the founders of Hawkair. Delivery to Wetaskiwin is planned for 31st August, depending on weather.

Update 29th Aug: The Bristol Freighter took off from Terrace at 10.30am Local time on 29th August, and after a low pass over the airfield, it left on delivery to Wetaskiwin. The Weather over the Rockies closed in, and after about 200 miles and two hours the crew landed at Fort St. James to await better weather.

Update 30th Aug: On Monday 30th August, Quebec Sierra left Fort St. James, but this time landed at Prince George, only 80 miles further on, due to weather. The aircraft can only fly under Visual Flight Rules, and the crew have found many of the valley to be 'blocked' by cloud. The Freighter will now have to wait for a week before another attempt is made to fly her to her new home.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Engine fitted to Duxford Brisfit

In early August, The Fighter Collections Bristol F2b Fighter (G-ACAA, "D8084") was noted with its engine installed. The aircraft has been grounded at Duxford since 2001, when a problem was found in a cylinder of its Rolls Royce Falcon Mark 3 engine. The fault was found to be chrome contamination, and the crankcase and cylinders have now been overhauled. The engineers at TFC are usually very busy, especially around 'Flying Legends' time in July, and it seems they have now found the time to reassemble the engine.

The Fighter is based on one of several original frames found in a barn at Weston-on-the-Green in the 1960's, and was rebuilt by Skysport Engineering, making its first post-restoration flight on 30th June 1998.