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A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Thread

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    Andy, you may well get your wish... read on!

    I had business to attend to this morning but arrived on site at lunchtime to view with mine own eyes that the Meteor has indeed entered the building!
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    As you can see her day fighter F8 sister is keeping her company.
    First order of the day, opening hatches. Our intent is to let the aircraft dry out (water is still dripping out of her despite being indoors a few days now). So if it can open it will open! I made a start...
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    Before Rich arrived to assist with the canopy. Before this we enjoyed a lunch with Mike Eastman and his good lady, learning of the good old days when scrapyards were brimming with Meteors etc! Hopefully Mike has some bits for us including a nice set of oxygen bottles for 788's oxy bay.
    After lunch, the canopy came off. Rich and I have got this off to a fine art! It is now ready to go away and be magically transformed into a lovely transparent canopy. We opened the fuel tank bay, which will be adorned with a fuel tank in the not too distant future, and most other access panels on the jet.
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    We have been offered staging to allow safe access to the tail. To get this to the rear of the jet, we need to tow her out one last time. Then she can go back in and on jacks ready for the undercarriage bays to receive some tlc, the nose leg to be changed and the mainwheels swapped for the nice new ones with brand new NF-correct block tread tyres Mike Davey kindly supplied us with.
    Another goodie arrived today; an air reservoir, courtesy of those lovely chaps looking after Vulcan XM655 at Wellesbourne.
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    Finally, as requested by AndyY, a look at what lies within the nose radome...
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    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

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      Hmmmmm......not as interesting as I'd hoped! But thanks anyway!

      Andy

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        Real progress.
        I always understood radar operated through a great collection of boxes, now you've opened the bay behind the scanner they are revealed in all their glory.

        Many thanks for keeping us updated.
        Man is not lost. Only temporarily uncertain of his position.

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          Yup. That's all there is to radar.
          A bunch of tupperware firing through 136 lbs of steel plate.
          Don't tell the Germans!

          Great to see her indoors. Thanks for the update.

          (yet another) Andy

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            Too many Andys!!!

            We find the bays where the black boxes live makes an excellent store for our small spares! Over the next few weeks our store box and toolboxes will migrate across to our work area behind the jet, so the nose bays will be cleared to consolidate all our spares in one location.

            Ps. Tupperware? We aren't that posh! 'Previously enjoyed' Chinese takeaway containers thankyou!
            Last edited by Blue_2; 5th November 2017, 08:18.
            Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

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              What corrosion horrors are sitting under that steel plate?

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                Not a lot really, as fortunately it doesn't sit against the airframe, its on mounting studs.

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                  Yep, nothing to worry about there. Behind the ballast the bulkhead is near perfect...
                  Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

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                    If anybody is at YAM this weekend for the Remembrance day commemorations, some of the Meteor team will be on site. While our jet isn't now easily accessible due to her position in the hangar, she can still be seen, most easily from the walkway leading under the Halifax.
                    If you holler we'll hear you I'm sure!
                    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

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                      Hope the Remembrance Weekend commemorations go well, Blue_2 and you have a few Meteor fans over to have a look at the latest progress on '788.

                      I was interested to see the inside of the nose radome on the earlier pics. I'm one of those who wonders what is still inside the covers/lids/hatches on old aircraft. It can sometimes be a pleasant surprise at what equipment is still there. Conversely, it can be a big disappointment, having removed dozens of screws to find the cupboard is bare, so to speak.

                      I wonder what the chances are of finding the correct scanner dish and mechanism to re-fit to your jet? Are there any known to be about - does anyone know what it looks like (apart from being dish-shaped, of course!)? Perhaps, being US technology they were all destined to be destroyed when withdrawn from use?

                      Anon.

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                        What radar was originally fitted? Something tells me AI Mk.18 but I might be wrong. Was this US technology?

                        Andy

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                          Radar was AI Mk 21 a UK version of the American AN-APS57, I believe.

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                            I was wondering if the US-content/design of the radar would have been subject to their stipulations on what happened at equipment end-of-life?

                            Anon.

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                              OK, I think AI Mk.18 was fitted to the Sea Vixen.

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                                It is a Mk.21, however even if we had one it wouldn't be getting fitted as the radar was removed as part of the conversion to NF (T) specification to which we are now restoring her.
                                I have pictures of the radar unit in the AP, which I will try and remember to post for your entertainment at some point.
                                Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

                                Comment


                                  Save you hunting, here is a shot of the control panel layout. A right muddle and note how the top right corner is rounded off, the sets had been produced to fit into an American night fighter of the period. I have criticised this set in the past, it had reasonable detection range and discrimination but a poor display.

                                  Man is not lost. Only temporarily uncertain of his position.

                                  Comment


                                    I meant the nose mounted radar scanner Peter...
                                    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

                                    Comment


                                      Evening all! I thought I ought to get my finger out and get a couple of progress pictures posted after a few weekends making the most of being warm(ish) and dry in the hangar.
                                      Among our first jobs was moving all our equipment out of the engineering workshop to our allocated working space behind the jet. We also rescued our belly tank on its trolley, as it looked incredibly lonely and sad sat by itself behind the Gannet! On our way across we decided to see if it could be used as an auxiliary fuel tank for Andy, seeing as he regularly travels furthest to work on 788...
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                                      He seemed unimpressed at the idea, so we stowed the tank away in the hangar instead.
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                                      Work has continued with stripping panels from the jet. All the rear fuselage access panels are now off
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                                      As are many of the fwd panels. Our trolley acc. is plugged in, just so it doesn't get 'claimed' elsewhere...
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                                      We have moved on to the wings and engine nacelles. As you can see in this pic Andy took of me, we are at somewhat close quarters with our neighbouring airframes...
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                                      But both rear nacelles are now off!
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                                      After a lot of good work, mainly by Andy, the intakes are well on the way to being ready to come off also.
                                      Last week I moved on to the wings, or more specifically the wing root fairings. These had been blessed by Andy with penetrating oil the week before, and boy did it help!
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                                      No nasty surprises on the starboard side
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                                      However the port side is full of leaves. Let's hope nothing unpleasant lurks under the foliage...
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                                      The 4 fairing sections are in lovely condition though!
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                                      It hasn't all been about removing parts from the airframe; a couple of items have been fitted. Our radio shack donated 4 knobs to make our Gee set a little more cosmetically complete
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                                      And Mike Eastman very kindly brought us 3 oxygen tanks, seen here being fitted by Andy in their bay. It's as good a place to store them as any!!!
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                                      So there we are, up to date for now. Still plenty to do, but at least you can see we are still working hard for and on the old girl!
                                      Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

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                                        I salute your enthusiasm and that of your helpers. Well done one and all!

                                        Comment


                                          It's nice to see the Gee Indicator with some knobs, even if not the correct style............... They do look OK, though.
                                          I'll inspect the correct ones and assess how hard it would be to make some replicas.
                                          Andy (the other one).

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