The first task in the restoration
was to strip the flying surfaces and closely inspect the underlying structure.
In the process more horrors were uncovered, resulting in the decision to completely restore all four wings with new spars
and other woodwork, together with new wing root fittings and all new hardware.
The port upper wing stripped of fabric and ready for a close inspection.
A rear view of the leading
edge spar at the front interplane strut attachment showing severe compression
in both the spar cap and the spar
caused by over-tightening of the strut bracket bolts. The maximum permissibe crushing of the spar here is 1.5 mm. The actual crush was nearly 3 mm.
So this spar is scrap.
The front view of the rear spar at the rear interplane strut attachment point. Similar spar crushing is evident. Another scrap spar.
Now for the lower wings.
The port lower stripped.
An ugly repair to the leading edge.
But the repairer missed a foot-long split in the spar web!
Another suspect repair in
the starboard lower, including spar damage. The repairs to the lower
wings were required after various
accidents in the hands of Keith Woodmansee as he struggled to master the Tiger at Harvey Field.
A creative rib and leading edge repair.
A badly warped rib.
More creative rib repairs.
And more non-approved repairs and home-made rib clips in the starboard lower.
As a result of these findings,
the decision was quickly made to replace all of the woodwork in the wings.
The objective is to ensure that this Tiger will be as strong once restored as it was when delivered from Hatfield in 1938.
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