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Avro Shackleton WR963 Project Thread

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    #81
    Thought H-P was the enemy of all things Avro mate!
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

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      #82
      H-P? Isn't that a sauce?

      "Opposition" was the term that one of the Vulcan supporters used when we were chatting during the day. It tickled me, so I thought I'd use it.

      Comment


        #83
        Evening all!

        Update from WR963's crew as at 09 Oct.

        Things are going fairly well at Coventry, and today was no exception. Lots of crew around, including yet another new lad, called Matt, who is just finishing his A-levels and wants a career in aviation. He's coming to work on the Shackleton with us to get a taste for it before he finishes school.

        One of the major jobs we needed to do was move the scaffolding from around the starboard wing. It was great for doing the de-icers and for the top of the wing to start with, but now it was getting in the way. The fact that we couldn't anchor it, or put a canopy over it meant the benefits we had hoped it would bring weren't as great as we'd hoped. We got it all down and packed away, and 963 looks a lot happier for it.







        Vic has finished installing the new wood into the port wing de-icers, so we now have a brand new full set. They really stand out, I've never really noticed them before.



        Things are coming on in leaps and bounds with the pre-oilers. No 1 and 2 have their pumps fitted, and 3 and 4 will have them on within a week or so. Our electrician was quite perplexed to find that they didn't work first time, but it turned out to be nothing more than a really thorough job done by the RAF when they removed the oil dilution system. Every junction, fuse and connection was disconnected and capped. When the last ones were found the pump on No 1 buzzed away sounding really healthy.

        The propellors for No 2 are a long standing pain, and to be honest none of us fancy a crack at building them ourselves. It looks as if we may be getting help from outside sources on this one.

        The good to come from all this is it looks as if we'll be running again before Christmas, which keeps us on schedule.

        The scaffolding had prevented us from opening the bomb doors all the way. They need to be exercised on a regular basis to keep the hydraulic rams happy. Seeing as we haven't moved them since January, now was as good as ever... so with the power on, and bomb doors "open" selected, we just need hydraulic pressure.

        Which was when I found people looking my way! So, up in the starboard undercarraige bay, and started yanking on the handpump.



        That's it, top just right of centre of the pic. The spar raps your knuckles as you pump, the handle's not quite big enough to get a big swing on, and high enough up to make you teeter on the undercarraige footpegs. The pressure on the handle is akin to trying to jack up a very heavy car. After a reasonable amount of time,the doors were fully open and I was free to collapse out of sight. (I work behind a desk. I'm not into this fitness lark)

        Last but by no means least we've progressed some more with the paint. The port wing is nearly completely re-sealed



        We've done some more painting along the fuselage, and around the tail







        You can see we have the first coat of white on, but we still need to do up the port side, and underneath. Under the tail particularly, as the camera bay doors don't look great and may need some attention before we paint them. We also need to do a bit of cleaning under there too, which is made more difficult when the ground is wet. We'll get there though... what you must remember is that by only working one day per week, this is only the SEVENTH day of actually putting paint on the aircraft.

        Still loads to do!

        Regards,

        Ric



        (ps... big thanks to my little brother for getting us down there in his car after mine broke, then for getting stuck in helping out. I know he reads this - so cheers, Phil.)

        Comment


          #84
          Excellent update and pics Rich! Is there any chance her tail could be lifted into flying attitude to do the repairs and repaint to the belly?
          Cheers,Peter
          "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"

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            #85
            She looks damn good mate, Ill be up next soon as im free

            Miss the old girl you know!

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              #86
              "The pressure on the handle is akin to trying to jack up a very heavy car".

              Ha! Just wait until they all look to you to close the doors again. OK for the first few pumps but when the weight of the 2 doors gradually comes on....... when you get to your desk you'll definitely look like this >
              Where did the fancy yellow steps come from?
              Rgds, Aerial

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                #87
                Peter,

                We're going to have to jack her at some point to change the mainwheel/brake units, so I suppose it's possible.

                The belly itself isn't too bad it just has a lot of ingrained dirt and greenery growing in the seams under there. We wouln't be doing ourselves any favours trying to paint over it.

                The camera bay doors, in particular the forward set, look a bit thin in places, and need cleaning, decorroding if necessary, then resealing using the seconite tape. We think part of the problem here was caused by the leaks we had into the tailplane (which are now GONE!! ).

                Ben,

                You know you're welcome any time. So say all of us..

                Aerial,

                I think I'll let the engines build the pressure for that one! I don't like that idea much... even if it gives me another reason to be snoozing at my desk.

                The yellow ladder is the crew ladder. As we use a set of steps with a handrail for visitors to get into 963, I borrowed it to get up onto the footpegs. At the other side its relatively easy, but there's a leak that needs chasing on this engine, and the tyre is very oily. It's all too easy to slip and I didn't fancy yet another trip to a hospital!

                Regards,

                Ric

                Comment


                  #88
                  Excellent work Rich, has to be 52 plus years since a Shack last appeared in that scheme.
                  http://www.abpic.co.uk/search.php?q=...t=most_popular

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                    #89
                    Yes, agreed. You are all doing a fine job on the aircraft and one well worth doing too. Thanks for the info on the ladder - I didn't recognise it. Ones I have used didn't have treads, merely rungs. I see what I think is a hinge between the bottom 2 treads and ones I have used in the past were all fixed length with hoops at the top to hook over the door sill. This wouldn't have been a Shack II ladder, or would it?
                    Rgds, Aerial

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                      #90
                      Thanks chaps!

                      pagen,

                      You're more than likely right about the length of time since a Shackleton's been in white. We were discussing this earlier and realised that not only is it something that hasn't been seen for a good long while, it will mean that of the three complete MR/AEW.2 in the country there will now be one representative of each major phase of its life.

                      Aerial,

                      I'll have to check. I don't think there's a hinge in it, it may be just a trick of the camera. It still has the hoops at the top to hook over the door.

                      Regards,

                      Ric

                      Comment


                        #91
                        Great work Rich. The old girl's really coming along
                        Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

                        Comment


                          #92
                          Hi all,

                          Well, I managed to get down to work on the Shackleton but forgot the camera! I got a few snaps on my phone, and if I can persuade it to talk to the computer I'll get a few put up later.

                          The weather was kind to us today so we got a reasonable amount of work done. Very strange to be at Airbase and not hear things happening... though we did have a few visitors later on in the afternoon, mainly people who work on the field. Lots of light aircraft buzzing about too but no classic stuff today.

                          By 10am, most of our little gang were present so we got on with the tasks we had to hand. LAS Aero had delivered a box full of the dope and thinner so that was immediately put to work - the port wing root being finished and some of the fuselage joints. There's still a good few yards more of sealing tapes need doing in various places, but it's easy to apply and most of us have got the hang of it now. The hardest part is getting some of the old stuff off.

                          The guys have been hard at work with the rubbing down in the past couple of weeks, and this showed, with us being able to finish the last grey patch on the port side in no more than half an hour. The paint was starting to go on at around midday, which meant that it caught the most of the afternoon sun. WR963 is now white on both sides, with just her belly left to do. The grass is keeping it wet though, so we might have to wait until spring. Downside of working outdoors I suppose.

                          One little problem which is going to get a remedy is the algae is starting to grow back on the unpainted areas of the roof, and causing water run-off to streak the sides. I intend to set about it with some kind of anti bacterial/fungal/vegetation detergent (it's probably some left over Agent Orange the Americans used to kill trees in Vietnam..) and I'm going to wash it off next time I visit, before rubbing down the top of the fuselage.

                          We're bringing grey paint the next visit as well so at least the top will have fresh paint on - the portion at the back is free from streaking and looks great.

                          A similar story is at the front where the old paint had steaked the white. This shouldn't happen again, as the entire antiglare panel, and gunners canopy frame has been painted by one of our crew today.

                          Towards the end of the day a few people showed up at the gate trying to get access, they didn't realise that Airbase was closed for the winter. In the spirit of things, we gave them the date of the night runs, and Airbase's website address. We may have a couple searching Flypast forums and the Shackleton out too through the wonders of the internet... I couldn't really miss an opportunity could I?

                          The "Friends of 963" group has also been restarted, which is good news. The Vulcan can raise so much money in a month, we can surely find a few more members to help support 963 and a fraction of that funding too. More details to follow on this development in a bit.


                          Regards,

                          Ric

                          Comment


                            #93
                            Rich

                            Although taken a week ago when I was helping out at Airbase, the following two pictures may serve to illustrate the wonderful progress you guys are making - the Shackleton seems to be grinning with pride and a partial rainbow in the second shot celebrates your efforts.

                            Tim



                            "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."(Mary Baker Eddy)

                            Comment


                              #94
                              Tim,

                              Those are absolutely cracking shots of 963, and thanks for the kind compliments on our work. I think the first is my favourite of the pair, but they both show the white well.

                              Regards

                              Ric

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                                #95
                                She is really looking great now thanks to all the hard work you guys have put in. When is the first engine runs again?
                                Cheers,Peter
                                "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"

                                Comment


                                  #96
                                  We were hoping to run before christmas, but it's looking a little too close for comfort now. Due to injuries, illness, and various other issues, we've had difficulties getting the manpower on the engines we need to finish the job.

                                  I can't give an idea as to when she'll run at the moment as we don't know how long its going to take to finish the work. Doing it right is more important than doing it quick... frustrating as it may be.

                                  We are still looking for more volunteers to boost our team, so if anybody's interested and feels they are within reasonable travelling distance, drop me a pm.

                                  (bonus points if you're handy with a spanner )

                                  Regards,

                                  Ric

                                  Comment


                                    #97
                                    For those of you interested, a friend of ours has just placed some photos of the Paphos Shackletons on our Facebook page. You have to be a member of Facebook to see them.

                                    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?...2965648&v=wall

                                    is where to find them if you want to look... obviously you take your chances once you click (as with any link), but it is pretty safe last time I checked.

                                    Regards,

                                    Ric

                                    Comment


                                      #98
                                      Hi all,

                                      A little update from me regarding WR963. I've had to wait for e-mail updates from the rest of our crew as I've not been able to attend as regularly as I like.

                                      We have no less than four new volunteers due to show up next week, which is great and will boost our manpower levels. It makes the heavy work just that little bit easier when there's many people hands on. All in all, good times for 963.

                                      So what's been going on?

                                      The weather has turned, and it looks unlikely we're going to get more paint on until spring - we can't afford to spoil things by getting moisture trapped in there. The fuselage is more or less sealed from water, as are the top surfaces of all the wings and tail. We've got through some 12 rolls of the sealing tapes, which is about 300 yards, and we still have various little bits like the camera bays still to do!

                                      Various niggles are constantly being looked at - but you have to have a sharp eye to spot them! We've removed the damaged rudder trim tab on the port side to replace it with a new one from store. We've also had some seats re-upholstered, so visitors can once again sit in the pilot or co-pilots seat pretending to fly it without getting a numb **** from the rivets.

                                      The next long job to keep us occupied will be an epic drill-and-tap-athon on all the underwing access hatches, to see if we can get rid of the last bit of stiffness from the ailerons, and unseize the trims. It's got to be done before the new paint goes on there, so doing it while we're at a halt seems logical.

                                      A little bad news... while we have managed to stop the evil water creeping into the fuselage and wing structure, it found a new place to hide. Not a good place either, it being inside the Port No 1 fuel tank. I found the first lot, being quite disturbed when with all the other tanks showed good blue coloured fuel from the drains, this one produced vast quantities of colourless odourless (and tasteless..) liquid.

                                      Close to 6 litres of water have been drained from it, and it had made its way into the line and priming pump. It looks as if its been caught just in time, and investigations are ongoing as to how its getting in. The tank cap recesses have been taped up for the moment as they're the prime suspect.

                                      For every bit of bad news there is some good... in our case its the impressive progress made by our engineers fitting the new oil priming system. They just have No 4 engine left to do, all the others are in fitted and ready to be tested. Once we can confirm there's good oil flow to the cams, everything will be buttoned up and it will be getting about time to wake WR963 from her slumber again.

                                      The engine guys are pulling out all the stops to make this happen sooner rather than later. We all agree she's been quiet for far too long. Who knows... we might just even be able to surprise a few people if 963 co-operates.

                                      Regards,

                                      Ric

                                      Comment


                                        #99
                                        Keep at it slag! Sounds epic mate

                                        Comment


                                          Thanks for the update Rich! Won't be long now before shes growling once more well done!
                                          Cheers,Peter
                                          "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"

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