The Restoration Hangar provides the Engineering Department with a facility to conserve, preserve and restore aircraft and large aeronautical artefacts.
Grumman Martlet AL246
Following the success of the ground breaking Corsair restoration project (Corsair KD431) the Fleet Air Arm Museum's Engineering team are aiming to restore and conserve the Grumman Martlet AL246 in a similar manner.
The restoration will again involve the removal of the inaccurate paint finish applied during the 1960's, revealing (and leaving intact) the original paintwork from WW2.
This will allow the team, lead by Curator of Aircraft David Morris, to analyse the aircraft in great detail and unravel the truth behind where it has operated during its brief wartime service and what has happened to it in the years since.
Already there have been some exciting finds, particularly with the original paint colour scheme, which is not a normal scheme used by the Fleet Air Arm. The upper surfaces (being uncovered in 2010) are two-tone green and the lower surface of the aircraft duck egg blue. Research is now underway to establish exactly where this scheme originates from. Many other interesting details and witness marks are being discovered, including accident damage and parts identified as being from another Martlet aircraft.
Contacting people who have worked on AL246 (or other Grumman Martlets during WW2) is proving invaluable to the project, and adds much to the history and interpretation of the object by connecting it with people and their memories.
The Museum's Engineering Team also works closely with a number of research establishments (such as Bournemouth University School of Conservation Science) to ensure that methods and thinking are up-to-date and continually being improved upon.
The Fleet Air Arm Museum continues to lead the field with the specialised conservation and analysis of large mechanical objects, with many of the world's leading museums and cultural heritage institutes taking great interest in the thinking, application and results.
Progress on the Grumman Martlet AL246 can be viewed during a visit to the Museum through the glass walled restoration hangar.
The Curator of Aircraft would be very interested to hear from anyone who has been directly connected with Martlet AL246 during WW2 service (perhaps as a log book entry) during the post wars at Loughborough, or connected with its transfer to Yeovilton in the 1960's. Also any personal references to Martlet AL250 would be of interest.
Please contact David Morris at the Museum address or telephone 01935 842609 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
*NB - Please don't send anything in the first instance but make contact first, thank you.