Rebuild Progress October 2019

rb2The rebuild is moving along at a very steady pace, and this month we are delighted to bring you some more details of that work, which has been taking place since mid summer.
The rear fuselage is made up of a series of sheet metal frames which are covered by long curved sheet metal panels. The skins are stiffened by ‘stringers’ that run the length, some over 8 feet long. These are rolled ‘top hat’ section (Hawker A.std 1067) made from 22swg light alloy and attached to the skin panels by 1/8” countersink rivets.

There has been an update to the progress at Airframe Assemblies which highlights the implementation of repair procedures on the stringers, as specified in the Typhoon repair manual. As far as we know this is something that has not been done since May 1945.

There are a total of 26 individual stringers that have to be separated from the skins. This entails carefully drilling out each rivet where a typical length of stringer contains some 200 rivets. Firstly it is necessary to ‘centre pop’ the centre of each rivet head so that the drill will not skid off. The head is then carefully drilled to a depth that will separate the head from the shank of the rivet, rather than drilling right through.

Drilling the rivets


The stringer can then be easily separated from the skin panel and the rivet tail removed without enlarging the rivet holes. Some of the stringers are intact along their length, others alas have sustained damage along the way. Where ever possible the intention is to retain the original undamaged portions, splicing in new sections as required utilising original Typhoon repair schemes as outlined in the appropriate service repair manual.


Once the stringers are all separated, the next step is the long process of paint stripping them. Despite the outward condition of some of them underneath the many layers of paint they are in remarkably good condition.


rb3To give an idea of the amount of time required just to remove all the rivets then if it takes approximately 2 minutes to drill a rivet, an average of 200 rivets per stringer and 26 stringers in total then we have 10,400 minutes (170+ hours) just for this step. This highlights where the costs are accrued in the rebuild of a unique aircraft, we need the support of everyone to get RB396 back where she belongs. Just £4 (the average price of a drink in your local) from each of our followers would see the rebuild of the rear fuselage completed, please do help and visit the donation page or our webshop.




Visit our gallery for more updates…


Support us

Would you like to have a direct input on the rebuild? The best way to get started is to become a supporter. You’ll receive some great benefits and most importantly of all, every penny will go into the labour cost of getting RB396 back into the sky.