Postcards from Slough
Postcards from Slough

Trainer G-AFRV & Belfair G-AFJR at the Brussels Air Museum

Restorations of G-AFRV and G-AFJR in Belgium

These two aircraft were both originally built in Slough as Tipsy Trainers. G-AFJR was later modified to a Belfair with the addition of an enclosed cockpit in the 1950s. At some point they were acquired by the Brussels Air Museum.

 

The condition of the two aeroplanes were quite different.

  • G-AFJR was mostly complete but still required a lot of reparation and long term restoration work.

  • G-AFRV had sustained a heavy crash and needed extensive restoration including a new wing and a new tail.

In 2005 restoration work was begun in earnest by the Brussels Air Museum Restoration Society (BAMRS).

 

It was a daunting task but the work was carried out at a high rate thanks to the huge amount of reference material and knowledge accumulated over the years by Vincent Jacobs. This is a photo diary of the two restorations using data and images from the Brussels Air Museum Restoration Society website.

G-AFRV restoration as a Trainer

Tipsy Trainer G-AFRV c/n 10 was originally built in Slough in 1939

December 2005

Progress on G-AFRV was already very good

  • The fuselage structure restoration was completed

  • The tail fin restoration was completed and installed

  • Various fittings of the fuselage either retrieved from the wreck or manufactured if missing, were installed

  • The cockpit section was close to completion with the instrument panel already installed

  • The tail plane was repaired and ready for fabric covering

May 2006

Update on the restoration of G-AFRV

  • The cockpit fittings had been installed

  • The windshield was manufactured and installed

  • All the tail plane components was either repaired or manufactured with fabric covering and this work was also done for G-AFJR

February 2007

Update on the restoration of G-AFRV

  • The fuselage structure was completed and ready for fabric covering

  • The spare wing reparation was well advanced and soon to be finished

  • Various components such as landing gear and cowlings etc had been repaired

August 2007

Update on the restoration of G-AFRV

  • The fuselage now fabric covered

  • The spare wing repaired and ready for fabric covering,

  • Most of the components such as landing gear and cowlings etc had been repaired

Rondelles pour amortisseur means washers for shock absorber and these are components of the landing gear below.

December 2008

Update on the restoration of G-AFRV which is nearing completion

  • The fuselage had been painted

  • The spare wing and its ailerons had been fabric covered

Restoration of Tipsy G-AFJR had begun. The fuselage was completely stripped out to assess any for damage and begin necessary repairs.

Progress on G-AFRV

  • The wing was painted

  • All the components including landing gear had been installed,

  • An engine was purchased, refurbished and fitted

  • The cowlings were repaired or manufactured

  • The complete aircraft was assembled

G-AFJR restoration as a Belfair

G-AFJR c/n 02 was originally built in Slough in 1939 as a Tipsy Trainer

At some time during the 1950s, G-AFJR was modified to become a Tipsy Belfair

December 2009

Restoration of G-AFJR had already begun and was already was well advanced

  • The wing and the fuselage were cleaned and ready for the many small repairs that will be required

  • The engine had been refurbished

July 2011

Progress on the restoration of G-AFJR

  • The wing had been fully repaired and fabric covered

  • The fuselage had been repaired and fabric covered

  • Various ancillaries had been installed including the canopy with replaced perspex

  • The fuselage and the tail plane was painted

December 2013

The two Tipsy restorations were supposed to be moved upstairs with the help of a crane. The second Tipsy restoration, G-AFJR, with no prospect of a crane coming it was decided to manually move it upstairs before final assembly. The first Tipsy restoration, G-AFRV, was disassembled and moved upstairs soon afterwards. Both tasks were hard work but no damage was done the two exhibits were soon on display.

Brussels Air Museum Preservation Society

Formed in the 1970s, the society had the aim of restoring historic aircraft to display standard. It is staffed by dedicated volunteers and is a subsidiary of the Air Espace Lucht Ruimtevaart (AELR).

 

The AELR is a non-profit organisation responsible for the management of aircraft and historical documentation of Belgian aviation heritage. Other countries exhibits are also included. It is based at the Brussels Air Museum.

Brussels Air Museum

The Brussels Air Museum is located within the Royal Museum complex at the Cinquantenaire. The original buildings were constructed from 1875 onwards. The construction and enlargement continued steadily to accommodate the world universal exhibition of 1910.

 

The Air and Space department was created in 1972 and after 40 years the museum has evolved to include some 130 airplanes and other flying machines. Despite the huge hangar, the museum has had to store various exhibits due to a lack of space.

 

Other parts of the Cinquantenaire include the Archeological museum, Autoworld, the Military History museum, the Marine and the Armoured departments.

 

To visit the Brussel Air Museum click on the image below:

Belgian Aviation Preservation Association

A third Slough-built Tipsy, Trainer G-AFVN/OO-DRY, is being restored to flying condition by the Belgian Aviation Preservation Association (BAPA). Click on the Trainer below to follow the progress of this project and learn more about the association:

Acknowledgements

Many thanks for the help, support and guidance on this and other articles within this website to Vincent Jacobs. Some of the materials contained in these pages are routed in the Brussels Air Museum Restoration Society (BAMRS). To visit the BAMRS website, click on the image below:

Information contained in these pages is correct as of 2018

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