Builder #2: Bruce West - email for more information


Location: Auckland, New Zealand


Start date: January 1999


First flight

Goal date: When the test pilot is happy

The series of pictures show the various steps I did to construct the chassis control lever unit, I cast the epoxy cover plate in a latex mould taken from an original cover, the original material was Bakelite From original drawings I began making the individual components, the valve block I made out of wood because my valve block is a dummy, I am using a hydraulic system to raise and lower the undercarriage and not compressed air.

The Pom's call the under carriage gear legs the "chassis" just in case you were wondering. Once made, I started to fit and rivet the various parts of the covers, the silver pins you see are called clecos and are a spring loaded clamp that fits into the hole you pre-drill for a rivet. They hold the parts together to allow you to pre-drill the whole unit, then disassemble to clear burrs etc.

Once cleaned you put back the clecos and start solid riveting the assembly together.

The slot for the lever was marked out and cut on the bandsaw, could be done because I had shaped the side into the circle, I finished off the slot with a file.

I milled the lever out of plate and turned up a knob in hardwood.

I bought a packet of the correct bolts from the UK ( I could have used American AN sizes but while the 3" 2 BA bolts were available on ebay why not use the real McCoy!) and finished it off A trial fit in the cockpit makes it all worth while!


                      Unit Cover                                            Chassis Selector Parts                          Trial Assembly


         Trial Assembly # 2                                      getting some paint                              Selector Valve in Silver


                     Done                                                  getting installed                                  Chassis Cap

The protruding guard that mates to the green frame #8 covers a chain driven by the lever. When the lever is set to "down" the chain is linked to a pin that releases the "up-locks" on the gear legs and the compressed air blows the actuator ram outward forcing the gear legs to the "down" position to engage the "down-locks". The reverse applies when "up" is selected. The silver wheels at the far end of the guard were chain guides, complicated three piece items that I thankfully do not need to duplicate. The picture titled "Chassis cap" is of the unit in the recently restored "Marion" an original Spitfire MK V completed by Warren Denholm's aircraft restoration facility AVSPECS out at Ardmore. They chose to colour the guard in cockpit green, I have seem several Spitfires and there seems to be no rule as to which colour is right so in the meantime I choose black.

Rudder Assembly


            Rudder Bias                                            Machined to fit                                           Trial Assembly


               Looking good                      Finished and painted Rudder Bias Unit

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