1 July 1999
Happy Canada Day and Hello to All,
This is my first attempt to contact en masse our Tiger Friends worldwide and , more locally, members of the Toronto Aerospace Museum's Tiger Moth Restoration Team with an update and SITREP.
The purpose of this report is to keep our members informed and involved with the project and to facilitate the scheduling of upcoming activities, the hunt for parts needed and found, any special tools or materials required and generally to make the entire project more productive and enjoyable for the Team as a whole. This form of contact may eventually evolve into a Tiger Moth web site linked to the Museum's web site ( when we get one :) ) Anyone interested in developing or assisting with that mission please step forward... haha.
I would also like to hear your suggestions for improving our effectiveness- which may be a challenge considering we are severely constrained by a lack of space, finances, tools and time - but let's hear your ideas anyway.
The restoration of dh82a CG-NGS is appoaching it's first year anniversary which makes me somewhat nostalgic, impatient and proud all at the same time. The "wreck" was transported to the Museum on 8 July 1998. I'm sure back then I believed it would be flying by now ! Seriously, haha. OK so I was a little optimistic. However I had no idea at the time how difficult it would be to locate drawings, parts, tools, materials, volunteers, etc. to carry the project forward. Now I understand why NGS sat in a barn for almost 20 years!
The past year has seen the development of an impressive global network of contacts. The engine has been overhauled by Watt Martin. Parts were inventoried and assessed for usability and many missing or damaged parts were sourced and acquired through Malcolm Goosey, Tom Deitrich, Watt, Jerry Fotheringham and my old alma mater, the Great War Flying Museum. Many drawings of original parts were located through Watt, George Neal, Skytrade, Bill Orbeck and Flying Wires. Stan Finch lent his artistic skills to reverse engineering many undocumented parts for replication. Alaskan Sitka Spruce and Baltic Birch plywood for all new wings and upper decking woodwork has been purchased and ripped to size. All ribs, spars and miscellaneous bits have been drawn on Autocad by the fastidious Brie Gillespie and plotted to full scale for use as templates. All rib jigs have been constructed and are undergoing quality control checks. ( How's your wrist now, Ian ??)
Building technique testing of rib part measuring, marking, cutting, fitting,sanding, steaming, bending, bradding and gluing ( and glue removal !! ) skills are all coming nicely. It's hard work rediscovering and learning methods commonly used in the 1930's as it always seems like there HAS to be a better way. The urge to substitute technology for craft runs rampant specifically between myself and our resident Russian Aerospace Engineer, Comrade Kopylov !!
We finally have a dedicated and expanding work space within the Museum and an even more dedicated team of over a dozen volunteers and for that I am most grateful. Without your assistance and support the restoration would be impossible to finish in time for our new "Millenium" target deadline - Thanksgiving 2000 !! I believe that is realistic given the rapid improvement apparent in our output lately. We are starting to achieve a critical mass of workers, skills, materials and a clear direction for our efforts ( Ribs !! ) This finally makes it possible for more independent work by individual Team members once appropriate building skills are learned and demonstrated.
Of particular importance is our continued search for an appropriately licensed air maintenance engineer to oversee our work if NGS is to be re-certified upon completion. Without this it will be necessary to reclassify her as a homebuilt which I think would be a shame given we have traced her roots courtesy of Stuart McKay of the DH Moth Club to the Indian Air force during WW2 . Any leads on this one would be most welcome !!
The project and the Museum in general has ongoing needs for non-construction input such as development of a computer database inventory of parts and artifacts, photo - documentation of parts and progress, maintenance and canvassing of a growing list of contacts worldwide for parts, info & technical support, web site setup, publicity and networking ( scrounging ) etc.
Our current list of Missing Parts includes :
H. Rear Trimmer Assembly
H.35274A Centre Section, Front Spar Tube Assembly
H. Front Cockpit Door Latches, L&R
DHC1973 Pulley Bracket Assembly
DHC1986 Wheel Brake Cable Assembly
DHC1729 Rod, Connecting Front & Rear levers
No. 4092 Cap, Vent Assembly
H.35708,9 Fixing Plate, Tank Support, L&R
H.34886A Connecting Pipe Assembly
H.28029 Adaptor, Petrol Tank
SP.331/3 Washer, Adaptor to Petrol Tank
H.31059A Operating Rod Assembly
H.11118 Fin Attachment Bracket
H.33307 Drain Plate, Rear Fuselage ( 10 )
H.33266 Clip, Assembly, Drain Plate to Fuselage ( 20 )
H.34900 Harness, Cable Shield ( 2)
H.39603 Mk. 3 Cover, Elevator Rockshaft
H.35673A,4A Acorn Assembly, L&R
H. Pitot Head Assembly
H. Navigation Light System , complete
H.19895A Cable Guide Assembly, L&R
H.37086 Fairing, Fin
H.25965A Rudder Hinge Plate Assembly
H.25996 Distance Piece, Rudder to Fin
P6 Tecalemit Greaser, Hinge Pin
H. Hub Cap, Mainwheel, DH Logo, L&R
Fabrication Drawings are required for the particularly elusive :
H. Side Cowling,L
H. Side Cowling,R
Persons with machine shop and metalworking skills are needed to fabricate parts from drawings on microfilm. Does anyone have any friends in the Toronto Society of Model Engineers ? This is right up their alley. We also need a 35 mm Microfilm Reader-Printer. ( A-P, how about the Paper ? Do they have any castoffs ? )
I have contacted the Toronto School Board and many manufacturers and distributors of tools and shop equipment to donate some of their products to the Museum. To date only Busy Bee Tools has responded positively with the promise of a drill press and a spindle sander. The recent purchase of the scroll saw and belt sander and Neil Steenberg's kind donation of the vintage Table Saw have made rib construction a reality but we must continue our efforts in this area if we are to move forward on other fronts. If anyone has tools they could donate, loan or " store " at the Museum it would be much appreciated. The Museum can issue tax receipts for any charitable donations of tools, parts, materials, artifacts, professional services, etc to the cause.
Project Volunteers can also claim tax receipts for time spent on the restoration including travel costs, meal allowance and potentially time donated to the restoration itself. It's almost like getting paid for having all this fun!! haha. See me for details and expense forms for record keeping purposes and making claims.
If anyone isn't yet an actual, bona fide, card carrying member of the Museum, you should be !! Not only because the TAM needs your financial support but because officially we are not yet open to the public and all persons using the premises MUST be a member. Please see Natalie McHaffie of myself to signup immediately.
By September, TAM expects to have the Lancaster Bomber on site for a static restoration and hopefully a well equipped restoration workshop. We plan to be open for regular school tours and the general public next Fall and we are hoping to attract student volunteers from aviation programs at Central Tech and Centennial College. The excellent progress made on the full scale Avro Arrow to date will continue apace and our membership will grow rapidly from our present 250+ as our profile improves within the aviation community and the public at large. In short, things are just starting to get interesting !!
If anyone has any special interest or skill they feel they could apply to the Tiger Moth Restoration Project or any other ongoing project at TAM please let me know and we will try to accommodate you. If you have a part or a drawing that could assist us to get CG-NGS back in the air please give me a call to arrange a donation, sale or trade !!
Thank you all again for your continued help and support. Your comments and feedback are most welcome and encouraged.
Keep 'em flyin !!
Tiger Moth Restoration Crew Chief
Toronto Aerospace Museum
65 Carl Hall Road