Friends of the Helicopter Museum

Whirlwind XD163 Restoration  -  The Fourth 8 Months

XD163's gearbox and its attachments, which had been lifted from the fuselage deck with the rotorhead, in February 2005, were thoroughly cleaned and overhauled, externally, before being painted in August 2005. 
Also in August 2005, a winch, (above left), taken from a Royal Navy Whirlwind, was being reconditioned. When completed it will be painted red and mounted on XD163's right side, above the cabin door. The helicopter's original winch is missing. The small hydraulic pump (above right), used to power the winch, was re-bolted onto the deck, below the hydraulic fluid reservoir. The pump is driven from the gearbox, via a belt drive running below the deck.
Work continued on refurbishing, painting and re-assembling XD163's rotorhead components throughout October and November 2005,
Progress with the refurbishment of XD163's cabin interior was visible (left) on 3rd December 2005, when a new area of re-painting was started. Meanwhile the completed rotorhead was slowly lowered onto the drive shaft above the gearbox and swashplate assembly (right).
The rotorhead and gearbox assembly was ready for reinstallation, on the deck of XD163, by the end of 2005. On 14th January 2006 the assembly was hoisted from its trolley and carefully lowered into place (above left). The gearbox was then bolted to the deck, from inside the cabin (above right), and work began on re-connecting lubrication, hydraulic lines and control rods. 
By the end of February 2006 most of the reinstallation of XD163's rotorhead and gearbox had been completed (above left). Meanwhile, because of patches of corrosion on the skin of the lower fuselage and on the floor beams, it was decided that the cabin floor panels would have to be lifted to allow closer inspection. This gave access to the flexible rubber fuel tanks (above right), three of which were removed to allow corrosion to be treated. Corrosion in the floor panel fixing bolts slowed the work.
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