An interesting aerospace project at Tml arrived via Kennett Aviation, the heritage aviation experts based at North Weald Airfield near Epping, Essex. The unfortunate wheels-up landing of a Spitfire in France had destroyed the supercharger impeller of this legendary aircraft. After all, the blades on the original impeller were machined straight before being shaped by hand using rudimentary blacksmith style methods and heat. However, Tml stepped up to the plate.
“We were offered the original Rolls-Royce drawings from the 1940s, but to be honest very little was legible,” says Mr Dyer. “As a result we had to reverse engineer an old, rusty impeller and with the co-operation of Hethel design consultancy Active Techno-logies Ltd, who helped generate a CAD model which we were able to import into hyperCAD®. From here, optimised hyperMILL® toolpaths were produced before machining on the Matsuura. Within no time we supplied the Spitfire rebuild team at Kennett Aviation with two replacement impellers made from heat resistant stainless steel S154 to help get the Seafire Spitfire in the air once more.”