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A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Thread

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    The temptation to make a comedy destructor, like the stereotype cartoon round black bomb with fuse and the word BOMB stencilled on, is proving hard to resist I must admit!
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...


      08/07/2018 Update

      Another sweltering day in the People's Republic of Yorkshire! It started well by the arrival of Darren Swinn, bringing goodies from one of our leading benefactors, Mike Davey. First up, a starter for our Derwent...
      Which Darren soon had in place
      And also... a box of colourful wrapping.
      "How bizarre" you might be forgiven for thinking. But under the wrapping was an essential item we have been waiting on; the replacement rudder shaft! Seen here with the original off 788
      Ali got on with cleaning up some of the original bolts for reuse and cleaning and priming the brass shim that mounts at the top of the rudder shaft. I had to share with you her genius spraying rig!
      Meanwhile I prepared the shaft for fitting. First I dropped the bolt in panel which sits just forward of it out, then I drilled the holes in the shaft's lower mounting panel out sufficiently to take 2ba bolts. Then, with little trouble, the shaft was fitted, and connected up to the new rudder rod fitted last week. The panel was then refitted.

      Success! After lunch I began the long task of refitting the tailcone's skin...

      A long, tiring job in the heat of the hangar but I got there in the end.
      She looks a lot better with her rear end correctly clad once more, but stripping the skin to make access easier was without doubt the right thing to do.
      So the lower rudder mounts are now in and ready to go, we just need a centre mount frame now, and the rudder issues are no more!
      One last shot, 788 taking a last look at the outside world before we shut her in the hangar once again.
      More next week folks!
      Last edited by Blue_2; 8th July 2018, 22:01.
      Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...


        That's a very simple and effective spray holder.
        Well done Ali.
        I will feel free to steal that idea



          Another great start to my week - thanks from this antipodean.


            It was a more productive day than I thought it would be Malcolm. Getting that skin back on actually went easier than I had envisaged!
            We had a large number of visitors from Australia and NZ in yesterday, all on organised aviation tours/holidays to the UK. Many took the time to chat with us about the project, and took great interest in 788!
            Andy, yes her spraying rig worked... but I wish she hadn't sprayed my best pliers grey!!
            Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...


              Excellent stuff guys, great to see the rudder coming back together! I'm consistently impressed both by your work and by the generosity of forumites in dredging up spare parts for you - what a community effort!
              Armchair enthusiast, but also a fan of sofas and recliners.


                09/07/18 Update
                It appears I told a little fib in my last update. While there will be more next week... there will be more today first!

                TT, we do what we can. The fact that there are still good people out there, both on the forum and facebook (better known as the domain of gum-flapping keyboard warriors sadly) who pass items our way makes our job infinitely easier. We just bolt/rivet/wirelock all the goodies together we are donated!

                So, to today. I had to go to the museum, as I didn't like leaving the last few rivets on the tail not done, plus I wanted to have a bit of a tidy before one of 788's former aircrew, Mr. Verney of this very forum, comes to pay her a visit on Saturday. Want the old girl, and his old office, looking their best!
                So I finished the riveting, and fitted new captive nuts for the bump stop to bolt to. More on that item later. But first,the tailcone skins, now with full compliment of shiny rivets once more.

                After lunch, I decided to set up the starboard inner wing leading edge, back in its home temporarily. I did this as I want to make a mounting for the G45 gun camera. Temporarily refitting the LE gives me datum points, as I will have to build the mount from scratch. First job, removing the camera access panel from the LE section, went surprisingly well36854811_2099285447010153_4109693535110823936_o
                What remains of the mount? very little as you can see...
                We have the measurements, the camera, and the diagram in the AP. We just need the camera mounts, and we are good to go!
                With the G45 panel having taken far less time than I anticipated to free off, I turned my attentions to the various panels in the process of being paint stripped once more. The tail bump stop, which some genius when she was a gate guard thought would look great in Light Aircraft Grey, is now stripped of paint. It'll get some tyre black at some point to feed the rubber. It's metal mounting plate is primed, ready for the whole lump to go back on 788.
                The other panels, including the hyd tank access panel, currently in process are finally giving.
                The sooner our new paint stripper arrives the better! It is revealing hidden nasties on the canopy shuttle though, like copious amounts of car body filler.
                On the corner you can see where some filler has broken away, the filler is about a quarter of an inch deep. This doesn't bode well, but we'll see what the Ardrox reveals. In its own time of course...
                Before I left I took a pic of 788, with her tail end restored to a somewhat more familiar profile than of late.
                Once I got home I decided I had earned a beer, so I broke out my 2ANS tankard and a bottle of Leffe, fuel of choice for Meteor project leaders!
                788 spent 1959-1962 with 2ANS; I often wonder if the good Wing Commander A C Hollingsworth to whom my tankard was originally presented ever flew 788...?
                More at the weekend. And this time I mean it!!!
                Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...


                  The vise collector in me would have that Record 25 temporarily purloined for a quick resto...
                  If anybody ever tells you anything about an aeroplane which is so bloody complicated you can't understand it, take it from me: It's all balls. RJM.


                    Gerroff! That lovely piece of kit is far too useful to us...!
                    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...


                      Key word: *temporarily*

                      so something like this... (which actually has aviation history as it came out of the Lockheed works at Burbank)

                      becomes this...

                      Except being a Record it would be a darker shade of blue..
                      If anybody ever tells you anything about an aeroplane which is so bloody complicated you can't understand it, take it from me: It's all balls. RJM.


                        Very lovely! I did note the temporarily, truth is, sInce we acquired that bench there hasn't been a single working day the vice hasn't been used!
                        Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...


                          Well I suppose that everyone has some vice.

                          Excellent stuff as usual Blue_2.


                            Time is the issue with restoring a vise if it's the one you're using every day.. but then one day you find another that's better than the one you're using, so you restore the new one & swap them out... However, there's a good chance you then find one even better & the process starts all over again. Which is how I ended up with about 40 bench vises...& this is the one that will replace the blue on once I get the new bench built..

                            except when I say one, I actually mean two because ya have a swivel on one end of the bench & a static on the other.. so these two Morgans

                            will be replaced by these two Rock Islands..

                            ok, that's more than enough vises for now
                            Last edited by ZRX61; 11th July 2018, 00:52.
                            If anybody ever tells you anything about an aeroplane which is so bloody complicated you can't understand it, take it from me: It's all balls. RJM.


                              Impressive bench ZRX!
                              One item of recent interest and discussion I forgot to post about was the destructor. In the picture below, if you look to about 8 o'clock of the yellow footstep, there's a square panel held on with thumb catches.
                              That's the destructor! And here is it's Honourable Mention in the AP...
                              I hope that sheds some more light on it chaps!
                              Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...


                                On a light-hearted note, I'm tempted to suggest placing a spring (under tension), with a piece of card attached, with the word BANG written on it, in the fashion favoured by the original TV Batman series, behind the closed panel.

                                And yes I'm a former RAF Armourer.


                                  Pleased to see the progress you are making, and very much lookingforward to carrying outan inspection on Saturday.

                                  Stand by your beds, here comes the Air Vice Marshal,
                                  He may have rings right up his arm,
                                  But hes only got one ar*ehole
                                  Man is not lost. Only temporarily uncertain of his position.


                                    Cabbage.... far, far too tempting!!!

                                    Peter, likely 788, or Z as you knew her on the squadron, will be in more pieces than when last you saw her, but she has to look worse before she gets better...
                                    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...


                                      Blue2: That bench was originally a Hamilton Standard prop stand. We'd hung fresh props on an A26 & the boss says "Chop that up & throw it in the dumpster"... I loaded it into the back of my truck & took it home to *repurpose* instead. That was about 25 years ago

                                      It may become a genuine aviation artifact, most of the wood came from Hamilton Standard, one of the vises came out of the original Lockheed ADP at Burbank & the other one came out of Lockheed ADP at Plant 42 in Palmdale.

                                      ADP: Advanced Development Projects = Skunkworks
                                      Last edited by ZRX61; 12th July 2018, 02:01.
                                      If anybody ever tells you anything about an aeroplane which is so bloody complicated you can't understand it, take it from me: It's all balls. RJM.


                                        Functional and with history. Nice!

                                        If anyone's at a loose end this weekend, needs a break from that football silliness, or is too far from RIAT to be lured in I shall be at the jet on Saturday. It'll be a different day to normal because Mr Verney is coming to check on our progress, making sure 788 is being restored to his satisfaction, and to show and tell his logbook and pics from when he flew in her and her sisters. It'll make for interesting listening!
                                        Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...


                                          15/07/2018 Update
                                          if you are looking for much spannering and metalwork fettling, I am afraid you will be disappointed this week. However, if you want to learn a bit more about 788's brief career as a night fighter, read on...
                                          From the earliest days of this restoration and my postings on this here forum, Peter Verney has been posting on here with pictures and tales from his time as a Sgt nav/rad on 152 Squadron, the only operational NF unit 788 served with. For a while now a reunion with his old steed has been discussed, finally yesterday it came to pass! A thoroughly interesting morning was spent in the NAAFI poring over Peter's logbooks, photographs, and hearing stories of his time on late mark Mossie NF's and Meteor 11/13's in Egypt, then back in the UK on 14's. He had listed all the times he had flown in our 788...
                                          But nothing beats seeing the original logbook entries!
                                          Turns out Peter is qualified to do pre- and post-flight servicing on NF14's too; that could come in handy!!
                                          After lunch, we took a walk over to 788. I had warned Peter that 788 is in quite a state of undress, as I have said before she has to look worse before we can make her better. After a tour round her, Peter went to size up his old office...
                                          And for the first time since May 1957 took his old seat.
                                          I then got Peter to sign the inside of the starboard JB door

                                          If we are lucky enough to get any more ex-788 aircrew visiting, I shall be asking them to do the same.
                                          Peter then went for a look around the museum, while I got on with a few little jobs. We are still trying to trace the rudder cables, and what actually remains of them. To assist in this I spent a while getting these 2 access panels off the starboard side.
                                          Rudder cables can be seen; the further back they go, the better.
                                          After a while it was time to take Peter back to his digs in York. It was a thoroughly interesting day, full of laughs, almost unbelievable tales, and some rather good photographs recording a long gone piece of RAF and world History. Thankyou Peter for taking the time to come spend the day with 788 and I!
                                          Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...