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Short S.45A Solent Mk.4 — SH.1559 — ZK-AMO “Aranui”

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:39 am
by Kiwithrottlejockey
I visited MOTAT in Auckland today, mainly to take a look at the Solent in its new home, and managed to strike it lucky and discover somebody working on it. While I was chatting to him, the conservator in charge of the restoration project turned up and allowed me to take a look inside the flying-boat. He gave me permission to go anywhere I liked, so I literally did, except that I kept out of the nose compartment and the tail compartments on both the upper and lower decks as they were full of bits & pieces which would have made it a bit hard moving around safely.


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Re: Short S.45A Solent Mk.4 — SH.1559 — ZK-AMO “Aranui”

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:39 am
by Kiwithrottlejockey
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Re: Short S.45A Solent Mk.4 — SH.1559 — ZK-AMO “Aranui”

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:40 am
by Kiwithrottlejockey
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Re: Short S.45A Solent Mk.4 — SH.1559 — ZK-AMO “Aranui”

PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:07 pm
by seawings
Hi All,

OMG..! What an opportunity to have. Thanks so very much for these images, they appear to be doing a really thorough job on the ol' Girl. It gives you a real good look at the 'innards' that one wouldn't ordinarily see and all the intricate construction covered by the skinning and panels.

Thanks so much for sharing these with us all.

Did they mention when they think they would get the work completed?

Re: Short S.45A Solent Mk.4 — SH.1559 — ZK-AMO “Aranui”

PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:22 am
by Kiwithrottlejockey
The conservator I spoke to is a chap called Gerry Barton and he is the head conservator at MOTAT. He isn't involved in any of the actual hands-on restoration of anything, but is more of an overseer who ensures that everything is restored to the highest conservation values. He doesn't just deal with aviation projects, but rather oversees anything at all that is restored at MOTAT.

Gerry told me that the restoration which was carried out on ZK-AMO many years ago was largely cosmetic, although some known corrosion in the wings and engine nacelles was dealt with at the time. However, the flying-boat had quite a bit of water damage within the fuselage from the decades it spent stored outside, so when it was removed from the original display hall to allow the huge new display to be built (the original hall is still there and opens into the new hall), they did a lot more digging beneath the surface to see just how bad that known water damage was, and discovered it was fairly extensive. Hence the decision to completely strip the interior and carry out a major restoration to get the aeroplane back into pristine display condition. They are doing the lower deck first, as that is where the worst damage is, then they will be moving into the upper deck. However, a major priority at the moment is to complete a number of tasks being undertaken on the Short Sunderland, which is still outside, then move that into the huge new display hall alongside the Solent. So although work is underway on the Solent, mostly by one person at the moment, the major priority is to complete what is currently being done to the Sunderland, then get that inside out of the weather, then they will be working full-out on both of the big flying-boats. However, I imagine it will be a number of years before both are fully completed, but progress is being made in the right direction.

As a matter of interest, the chap who is currently working on the Solent told me his previous job (immediately prior to working on ZK-AMO) was working on the exterior restoration and painting of the Short Solent Mk.3 at Oakland, California. He is a professional restorer who has worked on numerous projects in various museums around the world, mostly dealing with transport vehicles, including aeroplanes and a lot of railway stuff.

Re: Short S.45A Solent Mk.4 — SH.1559 — ZK-AMO “Aranui”

PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:56 am
by seawings
Now, THAT's a very nice career to have!

Re: Short S.45A Solent Mk.4 — SH.1559 — ZK-AMO “Aranui”

PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:49 pm
by Kenny
Beautiful... lucky bugga...

Re: Short S.45A Solent Mk.4 — SH.1559 — ZK-AMO “Aranui”

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:14 am
by Cameraman
Morning Guys n Gals,

she's coming on fine and its great to see such work taking place on a historic airframe.

Regards

Reggie

Re: Short S.45A Solent Mk.4 — SH.1559 — ZK-AMO “Aranui”

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:55 am
by flyernzl
Last weekend I received a slightly belated birthday present - a model of Solent ZK-AMO.

This is one of a series of mementos put out by Ar New Zealand as part of their 75th birthday celebrations.

It measures 185mm long and suits my model-making capabilities. All you need to do is attach the wings and bolt on the display stand.

Seems to quite a reasonable representation.

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Re: Short S.45A Solent Mk.4 — SH.1559 — ZK-AMO “Aranui”

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:11 pm
by MrWidgeon
Nice Peter, lucky you.
Looks a bit chunky, but then I'm not as svelte as I used to be either.
I think it would look just fine in my collection too.

Bill