APSS SOPWITH 1½ STRUTTER
Status as at May 2014
The airframe has been back in in the workshop since October 2013 and final construction is in sight. The main stages to completion are now,
1. Completion of internal fittings, such as seats, safety belts, dashboard and instruments and pipe work. This stage also includes the fitting of the petrol and oil tanks although these have still to be made.
2. The cowling to be finally shaped and trial fitted to the engine.
3. Engine accessories to be completed, including back-up pumps and ignition.
4. The flying control wires to be fitted and adjusted throughout the airframe. This is a complex task!
5. Finally, the main flying and control surfaces to be covered and painted.
6. Miscellaneous. There is still some welding to be done, such as the engine tie-back frame, gun mountings, and some component items on the undercarriage legs.
A very important issue now is that we will need space for final assembly and engine runs, and we are in discussion with the Museum authorities on this.
With regard to timing, it seems possible, provided no major snags crop up, that we should have a complete airframe, engine run and ready for initial flight, in the autumn 1916.
Status as at August 2013
The Strutter is on display in Hangar 4 at the National Museum of Flight. After it's first assembly last year a lot has happened. A lot of internal components have been fabricated and most of the control wires are in place. The undercarriage has been assembled and mounted on the fuselage. Some final checks and measurements are being made before the aircraft will be disassembled again.
After a long wait the engine arrived in early August. Some minor adjustments are necessary to the engine mount before it can be added to the airframe.
A gallery of images has been added showing some of the activities in Hanger 4 during the summer of 2013. Note:- this gallery will open in a new window.
Status as at May 2012
Great progress has been made since the last update.
Preliminary fitting of the lower wings to the fuselage was conducted earlier as the weather was kind and allowed the assembly outdoors.
The fuselage, four wings and tail assembly have been fitted together for the first time. This exercise was to prove that the basic configuration was correct and all parts were in alignment. For this to happen a bigger space was required and the Nation Museum of Flight allowed us to use part of Hanger Four, beside Concorde and the 707 fuselage section.
A gallery of images has been added showing some of the activities in Hanger 4. Note:- this gallery will open in a new window.
All parts were transported from Building 32 to Hanger 4 and assembly started. This went well and the aircraft was on display to the public as various fittings and measurements were made. This took approximately 3 weeks.
The assemblies have now been returned to Building 32 for final assembly of all of the control wires, undercarriage and engine mounts. When this has been completed the aircraft will be re-assembled again for final confirmation that all the flying controls work. This is necessary as the next step is to cover the aircraft, after which internal modifications will be very difficult.
The engine has been ordered and should be delivered in a few months.
A gallery of images from the first assembly exercise will be available soon.
Status as at October 2010
The fourth wing is almost complete. All ailerons are almost complete. Fuselage construction progresses well with many of the controls, pulleys and bracing wires in place.
Status as at September 2009
The fourth wing is still waiting be completed but it is estimated to be finished by the end of the year.
Good, steady progress continues on the ailerons.
Construction of the fuselage frame has commenced.
Major tasks still to be completed:-
Status as at February 2009
The third wing is finished and varnished. All four wings should be completed by Autumn 2009. Assembly of the fuselage continues and will benefit from extra resources from the wing construction team, available in the summer.
Status as at August 2008
Construction of the fuselage has started and should take shape as most of the wood and metal components have been made.
Having completed the construction of the lower wings the team has started on the upper wings.
Status as at November 2007
The decision was taken to use a Rotec 3600 radial engine delivering 150+ HP. An option has been taken on this engine and delivery is foreseen in 2010.
A second lower wing has been completed as well as the first of the four ailerons.
The starboard upper wing is under construction and all four wings should be completed by the end of 2008.
Most of the fuselage brackets have been constructed and await welding, scheduled for January 2008.
Status as at May 2007
Since gaining the use of a third bay in Building 32 last January, working conditions for the group have improved and work has speeded up.
Separate spaces are available for component manufacture and major unit assembly.
Bay 2 is being used for the wing assembly alongside a limited metalworking area.
Bay 3 is being used for tapering, shaping and splicing the longerons. This bay also contains an aileron assembly jig.
At present the finished components are: fin, rudder, tailplane, elevators, lower starboard wing, fuselage longerons and cross-strut. The lower port wing is glued and awaiting wire cross-bracing and varnish.
Effort is going into finishing fuselage metal components. Assembly of the fuselage is scheduled for the end of 2007.
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The APSS is a registered
charity in Scotland, charity No. SC048150