Lead Forensics

Our Work

Reverse Engineering Beagle Pup Prototype

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About the Project

PES Scanning were asked by ATSO Engineering Ltd to provide a digital archive of the aircraft’s fuselage and wings ahead of its restoration. We undertook photogrammetry and 3D scanning of the aircraft and processed the scan data to generate 3D CAD files. This provided ATSO with a full record of the aircraft’s exact measurements.

G-AVDF first flew in April 1967 and became the first of 176 aircraft built. The Pup was designed as a single-engined all-metal two-seat aerobatic aircraft or as a four-seat touring aircraft. The aircraft had been in storage for many years, and the plan was for it to be restored to flying condition by the 50th Anniversary of the aircraft in April 2017.

The Challenge

As the project continued a donor aircraft was sourced to provide parts but whilst some parts were a straight fit, it soon became clear when attempting to use some production donor parts, how very different the prototype was. Holes were in different places and screws different sizes, strakes were a different shape and so it went on. However, the greatest difficulty became apparent when ATSO’s engineers, attempted to fit the donor wing spar brackets to the Prototype. They would not fit.

With no access to the relevant original plans, the PES team worked with ATSO to see if the spars could be reverse engineered to the required size and shape. Using newly captured 3D scan data, the PES design engineers delivered 2D manufacturing drawings from the scan data for Light Aircraft Association (LAA) approval.

The fresh scan data ensured the spars could be reverse engineered and adapted for G-AVDF. Once the drawings were approved, test parts were manufactured, and a first fitting was made. Final spars were then custom manufactured by the PES Performance team – just for DF.

The Outcome

After the newly manufactured wing spars had been added and the wings refitted, restoration work continued on the Beagle Pup prototype until in spring 2020 it was ready to begin flight tests.

At Turweston Aerodrome on 19th May 2020, the aircraft took to the skies for the first time in 51 years, following its intensive five-year major restoration. Once certified for flight by the LAA, the Beagle Pup prototype was repainted back to its original colour scheme and in September 2020 the work of all involved in the project was celebrated.