One autumn weekend, early in WWII at an aircraft factory at Broughton in North Wales, a group of british workers, men and women, set out to smash a world record for building a bomber from scratch. There were 6,000 men and women working at the factory in Broughton, North Wales and at peak production they built 28 Wellington bombers a week.
The record-breaking attempt was a challenge. The usual time it took to build a plane was 60 hours – in order to put the bomber together so quickly some of the parts were pre-assembled - but the workers had to synchronise their efforts and follow a minutely detailed plan.
They managed to build a Wellington Bomber in 23 hours and 50 minutes. They worked so quickly that the test pilot had to be turfed out of bed to take it into the air, 24 hours and 48 minutes after the first part of the airframe had been laid.
How they did it
9.00am - Workers fitted together the different parts of the wings and fuselage.
10.27am - Electricians laid the wiring and fitted electrical equipment.
1.45pm - Workers pinned and stitched the fabric onto the plane's wings and fuselage.
6.15pm - Cranes used to attach the wings and engines to the fuselage.
8.23pm - The night shift began. Propellers and main turret were added on.
3.20am - Final inspections carried out.
8.50am - The plane was completed.
At 9.45am the workers assembled to watch Wellington Bomber LN514 take to the skies. The plane was flown to its operational base at RAF Kinloss in Scotland where it was used to train future bomber crews for the remainder of the war.
In No. 6 Maintenance Unit, Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, civilian workers pose with sections of an Airspeed Horsa Glider, as received from the manufacturers, before assembling. April 1944 View attachment 12934