Scout XT617 Restoration Blog Day 2

Scout cabin

The weather seems to be taking a turn for the better, this morning Bee and Peter convened in the museum car park with a spring in their step, there were blue skies, a very gentle breeze, and some warmth in the sun too.  However, it was noted and observed that the road gritter was out on base and they wondered if someone knew something about the weather that they didn’t know.

Today was going to be dedicated to the two roof panels (mentioned at the end of the previous blog post). The one above the pilot (O/S front) and the one on the N/S rear. Both had severe UV damage and had become very brittle and also having two gaping holes (see photos), meant they had to come out. The N/S rear having had a “repair” to it (see photo of cross-stitched copper wire and blobs of silicone), but really needing more attention than a patchworked effort.

Damaged roof perspex

The trusty WD40 came out and a pre-dismantling squirt was administered. Initial trying, but not very successful attempts at unscrewing framework holding the domed perspex in place yielded no satisfaction. Age and weather have aided in the rivnuts now being non-functioning and so every screw tried, just turned and turned with no release.

Both Peter and Bee know from experience that once a rivnut has “let loose”, the only way is to gently and carefully insert a prybar between the outer and inner surface, giving some pressure and seeing if this will help get the screws to budge. That worked to a fashion, but it was awkward working from the same angle, so, it was agreed that the perspex had to come away to create a hole for Bee to be able to stand up inside the heli, whilst Peter could stand on the outside.

Safety glasses, gloves and some elbow grease later saw the 2 roof panels give up their last bits and pieces (see pic of pile of perspex gathered together). This gave a stable platform for Bee and her prybar and Peter could then huff and puff (with the occasional insult directed at the hardware) and get the screws out of the frame.

Damage to perspex

It took an hour and a half for the first frame to come off and about 45 minutes for the second one (obviously learnt some lessons along the way), they have now been set aside to be worked on.

For next week, Peter has graciously accepted the delicate job of separating the top and bottom frame from each other and to remove the remnants of sandwiched perspex whilst Bee will clean up the bonding paste from the Scout frame, sand it down and start preparing it for corrosion treatment, paint and reinstallation once new perspex is sourced.

This concludes several very fruitful and successful hours again today………and Peter and Bee will be returning to the HAS next Sunday, 12 February 2023, so watch this space.