Play / pause Working on the Sunderland

Working on the Sunderland

  • Peter Hubert
  • Interview by: Jess Boydon


The job on Far East Flying Boat wing

was a major operation.

It was called the Operation 700. And.

We weren't associated with the squadrons.

There were three squadrons, 88

Squadron.205 and 209.

And they used to work away from Singapore,

up in Malaya.

Where the flying boats

because there was guerrilla warfare.

So we were virtually at war.

It was active service.

The aircraft came in for the major service

every so often and

it was taken out of the water.

The wheels

two wheels had to go on either

and a rear trolley

had to go onto the back

and it used to be pulled up by a lorry

and it was taken straight into the hangar

and everything was stripped,

The engines taken off,

The turrets were taken out.

It was my job

to dismantle the rear turret

and get it taken out,

put on a trolley

on the side of the hanger

stripped everything down

and everything.

Everything mechanical had to be checked.

The turrets are covered with perspex.

And if they're damaged, at all

and replace them.

Bear in mind that there were no spares.

You know, it wasn't the sort of aircraft

where you had all these spares

So you had to make it. And.

But we managed

What we had to do is get

a huge sheet of perspex

and make a jig.

For it to go intr,

then we used to take it over

and put the

perspex sheet in boiling water

to make it a bit flexible.

Put it in a jig,

clamp it down.

It was all done manually.

Which I love doing.

You know, you've made it from scratch.

When it was all finished,

we had to put it all back together again.

The rear turret, which was my job.

Is held in position

by about 50

0BA nuts and bolts.

Otherwise, it'll fly off

and If you go on a Sunderland,

you look down the back there's a panel

underneath the turret,

which held the

rotary motor,

and all of the nuts and bolts

were underneath there.

So you had to

lie on your back.

Put your hands up there and do

all of these nuts

And when it was all finished,

it was all painted

and it came out of the hanger.

Like a brand new aircraft.

Every time.

  • Peter Hubert in the cockpit

    © RAF Museum

  • The hangar at Seletar

    © RAF Museum

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