All is ready for the lift of the telescope on 19 June.
Work completed so far includes the removal of the main mirror, the corrector plate, the finder and the guidescope. The main tube has been disconnected for the yolk, and is ready to lift.
The entire operation will be under the sole supervision of Mr Rob Bridgland, an apprenticed engineer and a man of enormous engineering experience. He will be identified by a fluorescent jacket on site.
All tools and equipment required will be supplied by us, including some that have been specially fabricated.
On 17th we will clear the site and disconnect all electrical supplies to the dome. The site will then be sealed to prevent unauthorized access. We will prepare the base assembly and yoke for lift, and remove a section of floor (as agreed) to enable the removal of the base assembly.
The 18th is a buffer day in case of unforeseen difficulties.
The crane (supplied by Borley Bros of Cambridge) will be on site by 0900 19th . A 10 ton truck with HIAB will arrive between 1000 and 1100 from Knighton. The crane operator has visited the site, and has discussed the lift procedure in detail with my engineering consultant. We hope to have all components clear of the dome, loaded and away by 1400. The afternoon will then be spent tidying up the site, making safe any electrical systems and generally making good to the satisfaction of Peter Weeks. We hope to be clear of the site by teatime. Then home for gin and medals.
The only technical issue that remains is whether to remove the yoke from the base assembly. This would be a complex task, and is not strictly necessary. Almost certainly the telescope was installed with the yoke in place, and there are no technical or safety implications in removing both components as a single item.
Specific details of the lift have been discussed, in detail, by Mr Bridgland and the Borley Bros representative, but Mr Bridgland is currently abroad installing some appallingly big machinery in Romania, so specific details will have to await his return on 15 June.
But always remember the military principle “no plan survives H-hour”!