Friends of The Helicopter Museum

Westland Wessex Series 60, G-AVNE, Restoration Page 3

The cockpit canopy (above left) was found to be weakened, with sections of severe corrosion. All the electrical cabling and other fittings were removed by the end of October 2008, so that the canopy could be lifted and, eventually, replaced with an unused spare canopy which has been in storage. The original doors from G-AVNE were in good condition and are being retained but better door frames have been obtained from a donor Wessex. Parts of the nose top structure, forward of the canopy, were showing severe skin corrosion. Replacement panels were fabricated and the structure beneath was treated and primed prior to repainting (above right).
The rear transmission platform on which the tail rotor drive shaft brake was mounted, suffering from severe corrosion beneath the brake assembly mounting plate, was removed from G-AVNE early in 2009 (above left). It had been decided, initially, that this deck should be replaced by one obtained from a donor Wessex, XR526. The donated platform was examined again and found to be in good condition but its mounting bolt locations did not match those on G-AVNE. A small portion of this platform was, therefore, cut out and grafted into the original deck, after refurbishment, to replace the corroded area. Some of the components removed from the platform were replaced and repainted (above right). Others were fitted after it had been returned to the fuselage.
By May 2009 G-AVNE's main gearbox and rotorhead were cleaned, refurbished and repainted. Being in relatively good condition and mounted on the forward transmission deck which was itself in a satisfactory condition, there had been no need to remove them.?
Throughout 2009 work continued on the removal of corrosion on the cabin interior walls. The strengthening gussets, on the formers, were in especially bad condition (above left). After cleaning, an etch primer was applied, which chemically eats into the metal and bonds a thin coat of primer paint onto the surface (above right). A second coat of primer was often required before final painting took place.
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