Just eight short weeks have passed since the world’s last surviving Dornier Do 17 was salvaged from the bottom of the Dover Straits and delivered to the Royal Air Force Museum at Cosford, Shropshire, for conservation.
Since its arrival, significant progress has been made in treating some of the aircraft’s smaller components, several of which are now on display at the museum.
The Dornier fuselage and wings will remain in their purpose-built hydration tunnels for the foreseeable future and continue to be systematically sprayed with a low concentration citric acid based solution, preventing any further corrosion. A number of smaller components have already been painstakingly worked on by apprentices and volunteers and some great results achieved. Items including an engine valve, empty bullet cases plus a tube from the flying controls have proved to be in remarkable condition following treatment.
A sprocket and roller chain have also been conserved and are working freely once again.
Darren Priday, Deputy Conservation Centre Manager at the museum, said: “As the Dornier lay at the bottom of the sea the currents and tides have effectively been like rubbing sandpaper over the aircraft for 73 years, but she’s survived remarkably well.”
The museum has recently acquired several thousand original Dornier 17 production drawings which will aid the rebuild process. These invaluable drawings have been supplied by European Aeronautical Defence and Space company (EADS).
Since its arrival in June this year thousands of visitors have viewed the Dornier for free and additional viewing panels have been installed to allow visitors to see more of the aircraft.
For visitors wishing to gain even closer access to the aircraft, volunteers from the Museum’s Aerospace Museum Society will be working on Dornier components every Tuesday and Thursday between 10:30am and 3pm in the Museum’s Test Flight Hangar and answering questions.
For more information go to www.ramuseum.org or call 01902 376200.
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