Volunteer technicians building a half-size replica of a Blériot monoplane in 2014 to mark the centenary of the first aircraft to land in the Woodley area in 1914. The wheels are from a Silver Cross pram.
In early 2013, when the Blériot replica was finally completed, it was lifted into place on a specially manufactured display stand.
The Blériot propeller was fashioned by Chris from a mahogany-like piece of tropical hardwood.
Sometime in the summer of 2015, a model Spitfire kit was donated to the museum. It was of wooden construction and the volunteers assembled it in our workshop. It was decided to acquire and fit a motor to drive the propeller and to make the control surfaces active. This would include making the undercarriage retractable in an authentic way. The volunteers were faced with quite a challenge, not least was the fact that the kit seemed to be only 85% complete.
The model Spitfire in position in the museum
The volunteers were faced with quite a challenge, not least was the fact that kit seemed to be only 85% complete. It was decided that using a normal remote control for a flying model wasn’t appropriate so a scaled-down mock-up of a Spitfire cockpit. It really was quite an undertaking to translate the movements of a control in the model to operate the converted transmitting controller was really not simple.
The remote on the left had to be converted so it could be operated by the cockpit on the right
The controls made to look as authentic as possible but of a larger scale to the ‘cockpit’ to make them robust and easier to operate. The controls in the ‘cockpit’ operate the throttle, undercarriage, flaps, ailerons, rudder and elevators.
The display was set up and commissioned in the museum in early September 2017 and soon proved to be very popular. Anybody visiting the museum can operate the Spitfire and learn from the information boards how the controls affect the orientation of an aeroplane. Volunteers are always on hand to help with this display.
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