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A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Thread

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    I shall do my best, thanks for the support chaps! I'm not sure when she will move, I'm hoping after Christmas.

    Another odd request, I have read that when she came off guard duties at Leeming, 788 was moved across the airfield slung under a Chinook. Would anyone on here have photos of this occurring?
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...


      I too enjoy the write ups I wish i lived nearer and was retired.


        14/01/2016 Update
        Hello and slightly belated New Year everyone! Apologies for the lack of updated over the festive period, but my laptop chose to retire.
        I did manage 2 visits to 788 over Christmas. Before Christmas, I spent a day at the jet spraying penetrating oil on the reluctant fasteners for the flaps and the leading edges of the wings, and seeing as the weather was less than great I then went and hid in the undercarriage bays. Seeing as my current plan given the Yorkshire winter is to remove small parts and restore them as I can't get on with the aircraft properly it seemed sensible to look at the u/c bay doors while I was under there. For some reason the inner doors have been locked in the up position, probably since the jet took up gate duties in the 60's. No good thing given the amount of crap accumulated on them over the years! After a lot of work and WD40 I managed to free the port door and drop it

        And after a similar amount of work, cursing and getting covered in ancient crap and mummified dead creatures the starboard door came down too

        Surprisingly the bolts holding the port door in place came undone with little fight, so the door came home with me for some TLC

        My second visit to the jet was a short one, my intent was to make sure 788 was OK in the crappy weather Yorkshire was and still is suffering, and to retrieve the kit of parts that is the step, and take that home for refurbishment too.

        I wanted to see how much space there was round the step unit, so I took the bits over to the jet to offer it up. Not a lot was the answer!

        The space where the step lives

        While I was in a curious mood, I stuck my phone in the hole to scope out what the innards of the jet not normally visible looked like. Surprisingly good!

        I needed to know how snug the step's fit was as the step box itself needs repairing. It has at some point had this corrosion repaired...

        By riveting this alloy plate over it!

        You may have guessed by now, it ain't staying like that, so I had best get fabricating. While I am at it, the step bracket will need a bit too

        But, in the spirit of confidence... anyone know where I can get replacement springs for it from?!
        Hopefully 788 won't be sitting in her puddle much longer. Poor thing...

        The good news is, she appears to have the proper canopy cover fitted under that tarp.
        Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...


          If you have a pattern spring, you should find somewhere local that will make them for you.

          I found a pair of wing fairings for you to add to the pile - I also have a wheel door - not sure which side.


            There is little or nothing left of the original springs, apart from a little bit of corroded steel wire! You can see it here, just in from the bolt head on the right.

            And the other 2 kicksteps on the jet are of a different sort; I had considered pulling them out for comparison but I suspect the springs may be different and also a pain to remove...

            Thanks for the extra bits, they will certainly be welcomed!
            Last edited by Blue_2; 14th January 2016, 15:03.
            Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...


              Out of interest Blue.
              Do you have access to a sand blaster? Preferably in a cabin.
              If you do and you can afford a sack or two of fine, glass bead, that is a good way of removing the corrosion and paint on small components.
              Don't use sand! It leaves a poor finish (porous). See photo for the surface finish after using glass bead. I would point out though that the glass bead is soon a fine powder and no longer of use..
              Click image for larger version

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                If only I did Robbie. It would make my life much easier...
                Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...


                  That last photo of yours I see a Buccaneer. There is a Fox and a 208sqn chevron on the side?


                    XV168, formerly gate guard at BAe Brough.
                    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...


                      Thanks Blue for this update, looks as if you have let yourself in for a lot of tedious work.
                      While I am pleased that you are tackling an NF14 it is not a well known type, having served little purpose in its day. This is in no way meant as criticism, but what is your particular interest in this a/c?
                      Man is not lost. Only temporarily uncertain of his position.


                        I shall try to answer your question Peter. Here goes...

                        In all the time I have visited YAM or been part of things at YAM, this jet never seems to have received anything but the most basic maintenance. I thought it deserved better, and it was about time the aircraft was restored. I have no particular link to this type in general, nor this aircraft in particular (at least I didn't until a few weeks ago!) apart from the fact that it seems to have spent most of its time fairly local to me in Yorkshire on gate duties.

                        I guess I have always been in favour of the underdog; the NF14 falls in that category in my opinion, as you say it served little purpose and only had a short service career, yet it did serve and played its part. It is a piece of British aviation history, not as significant a piece as say a Spitfire or Lightning, but a piece in its own right. Our museums would be boring places indeed if they only looked to preserve the dazzling success stories of British aviation!

                        People flew in them, and indeed died in them, in the defence of this country. It deserves to be restored and wear the RAF roundel with pride once more rather than rotting away quietly in a forgotten corner of the museum for that reason alone.

                        Plus I like a challenge...
                        Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...


                          I think "served little purpose" is rather harsh. It was certainly a step forward from the Mosquito night fighters it replaced and the alternative Venom NF.2/NF.3 was - having spoken to some who flew it - something of a let-down to put it mildly. Of course the Meteor's performance was not up to some of its contemporaries, but I have spoken to a lot of NF pilots and navigators and I haven't found one who said anything to suggest they thought it served little purpose.


                            Perhaps I was a little harsh. BUT it was well behind the times relying on a wing designed circa 1940, with compressability problems above Mach 0.8, which could only be reached by diving.
                            On the plus side it was a wonderful aeroplane to fly in, felt safe and solid, provided the pilot had some sense.
                            Man is not lost. Only temporarily uncertain of his position.


                              Well done , Blue 2 for tackling this "Baby",
                              Note that Roberts Post 25. His pics. 3-4-5-6-7 are of a Sea-Hawk C/pit and Mk 2D MB Seat. He must have mixed up his pics at the time of post,------- something we all do. Nice to see the help from forumites.

                              I was very,very lucky to be able to wangle a back seat ride in an RAAF Meteor T7 way back in 1963 in Australia. Brilliant experience, had to hold canopy just open whilst taxiing in/out and the sortie was several diving attacks on RAAF Edinburgh Field Tech area to aid a ground based camera tech operation. The noise of sitting close to 2 Derwent engines on full song was something that still lives with me to this day. This meatbox was still fitted with non ejection seats and was piloted by the (RAF) Technical Boss of the RAAF heavy overhaul section based there at that time. He was on loan service from RAF. This unit deep overhauled, Canberra's--Dakota's--Bristol Freighters--Meteors and I got loads of rides in them all too on Air tests. (But not Canberra ). So good luck with project Blue 2.

                              Bill T.
                              Last edited by WV-903.; 15th January 2016, 16:03.


                                You lucky, lucky person Bill! I'm not jealous of you having those types under your belt at all, noo...!

                                20/01/16 Update

                                My work vehicle needing MOT yesterday meant that I had a day spare, so off I went to the jet to do a bit of work. On arrival I found the tide had receeded little

                                My original plan was to remove the starboard inner gear door, but given the several inches of standing water under the starboard side of the jet I decided to not do that, and to take the port main door off instead. Simply undo 4 bolts according to the book. Well I found the bolt attaching the door to the leg, and 2 of the hinge bolts, all of which undid happily. the 4th bolt, the rear hinge, seemed, well, unusual. It looked like some sort of steel pin had been fitted instead, which I decided to hacksaw through as there was not enough play to wriggle it out. I'm glad I did too; Ladies and Gentlemen I present an early entry for bodge of the year...

                                ...yep, a bloody great nail!
                                I can only assume this was done when the jet was assigned for display. The bad news is it looks like the starboard main door has also been similarly, er, modded... Anyway at least one door is off.

                                And oddly a couple of layers down it wears green and grey paint. Any ideas?

                                The Meteor is now showing a leg. One job when I get the other doors off will be to give the gear and bays a damn good power washing and see how things look.

                                Before lunch I had a peep under the cover the jet was wearing as a cocoon. The aircraft was soaking wet with condensation under the cover, and indeed there was a lot of condensation on the inside of the cockpit canopy. I took the decision to remove the cover and open the cockpit up, my logic being that leaving the jet with just the canopy cover on meant that I could quickly open and air out the cockpit on any dry working day; this has to be healthier than leaving the jet cocooned up in sogginess!
                                788 emerges blinking into the daylight

                                First look in the cockpit

                                Pretty much everything is there!

                                In the rear I found an underside panel and the nosewheel door

                                And in the front bays I found one side's worth of wing attachment bolts and the missing landing lights

                                The other side's wing bolts were in a bay on the other side.
                                Getting some air through the jet; she dried out nicely with a couple of hours being opened up

                                I just need the tide to go out now! Anyone got King Canute's number?!

                                One thing I noticed on the nose, under the daubed on camo some dayglo paint from 788's Air Navigation School days could be seen

                                And I took a top panel off and took a couple of pics inside the fuselage centre section. Looks in good order!

                                The jet has now just got her canopy cover on, and looks a lot more presentable for it in my opinion.
                                Last edited by Blue_2; 20th January 2016, 13:50.
                                Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...


                                  Hi Blue

                                  Canute's doesn't get to Yorkshire much something to do with being him being flooded I'm told! Why am I not surprised on the nail mod? There is a wild rumour it will be dry at the weekend so should see you then.
                                  Victor K2 real combat jets have ejector seats!


                                    She looks in good condition the more you open up and investigate to be honest.. Well done!
                                    "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"


                                      The fuselage is in really good condition Peter. The wings are not too bad, apart from the undersides. Which will just take a lot of work to bring up to spec...
                                      Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...


                                        That nail tho......
                                        "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"


                                          Great report, Blue! And since you barely made mention of it I presume the canopy slid back without too much coaxing...

                                          Keep smiling - it's never as bad as you think!!