Bomber gets overhauled
Published Monday, May 9, 2011 3:32PM MDT
It was a big weekend in Nanton at the Bomber Command Museum of Canada.
The anniversary of V - E Day was celebrated on Sunday along with the 70th anniversary of the Lancaster Bomber's first flight.
Volunteers at the museum spend hours restoring the vintage aircraft and there is never a shortage of work.
Greg Morrison is an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer and SAIT instructor.
He enjoys spending his free time working on the Lancaster Bomber.
"We're trying to bring the aircraft to a war time condition, so anything that was post war on the aircraft was removed, and we're bringing it slowly back and we're using the original wiring, piping all that kind of stuff," said Morrison.
Just over 7300 of the aircraft were built in the 1940's.
The planes were one of the main heavy bombers for the RCAF.
There are currently only 17 left and only two are airworthy.
The museum's Bomber will be fully restored to flying condition, but it won't take to the air.
Lately, the museum has been getting some help from an unusual source.
The sewing and upholstery shop at the Calgary Correctional Centre is unique to provincial and federal penitentiaries.
Jon Hurdman runs the shop and contacted the Nanton museum to see if he could help out.
"I was in the British army for a number of years, and a number of my family were in the forces, it's also a variety, something different for the guys to do, it brings them a little more recognition, gives them a little more pride, something interesting and different to do for them," said Hurdman.
Inmates in the shop typically work on repairing prison clothing and recovering chairs for non-profit groups.
Now they are working on the old plane and say when the bomber seats came in there wasn't much to work with.
"It was uh pretty old and rusty, it's nice to see though how old it was and it's a pretty historical feeling you get when you do that kind of stuff," said Warren.
Inmates also made wheel covers to protect the tires from dripping fluids from the engine.
They also plan to repair a curtain behind the pilot's seat and fix the padding.
The Calgary Correctional Centre's sewing and upholstery shop is also working on projects for Heritage Park and a number of legions in Calgary.