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Thread: Avro Shackleton WR963 Project Thread

  1. #61
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    You've no idea how happy I was to stumble across that picture! I knew all MR2's had the white scheme applied from factory.

    I'd like to see '963 looking exactly like that (turrets and all) but I think its a bit too much for the moment. The paint scheme alone represents a missing poertion of her history though, so I'm happy at that.

    Regards,

    Rich

  2. #62
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    When I arrived at St. Mawgan in late 1963 none of the aircraft had turrets. However where they had put "temporary" skinning etc, in place of the original fitments it was clear to see the turret installation. In ASF when an aircraft came in for a Major, more work was done to remove the final traces of the turret installation. Although knowing what had been, it was still possible to see traces of the turret installation by looking at the skinning in the galley area, now it's an escape hatch. It was particularly evident when you had a MkII on one side of the hangar and a MKIII on the other side.
    Peter Mills

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by richw_82 View Post
    The paint scheme alone represents a missing poertion of her history though, so I'm happy at that.
    Well done for perservering with the plan, can't wait to see it done.

    Peter, that seems about right, phase1 being '58-60 ish and the short lived all grey scheme in that period aswel. I'm not saying it was part of a phase work but coincidental with the time maybe.
    I must admit that I hadn't realised that the turret replacement was originally a patch, I assumed that they could either have the turret or the escape hatch fitted.

    Before the Mk.3 first flew there was an artists rendition of what it would look like, it was in the white scheme with a mid upper fitted, obviously an early version of photoshopping a Mk.2!

  4. #64
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    Looking really good Rich. You'll be wearing your softest brothel-creepers to walk on that wing from now on then?! Good work
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  5. #65
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    I'll be dangling by my safety harness from the cherry picker if want to reach anything up there!

    I want that paint to stay nice for a while. I keep looking at the three pics of the wing, showing how we started, taped up, and now with the paint on... it just looks so much better. It'll look really smart once we get the roundels and walkway stencils on, but thats a few weeks off yet.

    It's looking like I'm going to be booking a few holidays at work and heading down Coventry for a few days at a time, if we want her done on schedule. At the present rate, we're going to get beaten by the weather the way things are going. We got held up massively by the heavy rain a few weeks ago.

    Regards,

    Rich

  6. #66
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    More news from us!

    I know its been a couple of weeks, rather than the usual one, but the paint preparation is taking so much time, I've had to cut back a little to make these updates worth reading! Also the difference between photos is a lot more noticable.

    Today (18th Sept).

    Once again the weather scuppered us, but only in the late afternoon. we didn't get as much done as we wanted to; but still got quite a way.

    First job was to get the boat tail cowling on No 4 back up out of the way. Rob insisted on lending a hand by pointing it out so you guys can't miss it.



    Then he and our new crew member Gary set about the Port wing upper surface with the seconite and dope. They managed top get quite a bit done, so soon we'll be getting the medium sea grey on that wing too, so we have a matching pair!



    They had to halt briefly as the pipe manufacturers arrived today to make the first set of hoses for the pre-oiling system. I would have taken a photo, but I didn't really want to interupt them. I couldn't get a picture of the hoses either, as they've been taken away as a pattern to make a full set for each engine.

    The main effort today was getting the nose section of the fuselage wearing its first coat of white paint. This involved a whole load of sanding which showed up some of the old 8 sqn markings again. As a result I have to report that the name she carried "ERMINTRUDE" is gone forever (unless I get carried away with the masking tape again when the boss isn't looking.. )

    Coventry Airport fly-in is next weekend so we really were wanting '963 to look a little more presentable for the occasion. I'm glad to say we managed to pull it off. Judge for yourselves.. (bear in mind this is only the first coat, so I know there's some bleed through of the grey.)







    So there you go... we have a very tired but happy crew of painters and the beginnings of a smart looking old aeroplane.

    If you can't wait the 14 days for the next update, come to the fly in on the 26th and see WR963 and loads of other classics in person. The event is in aid of the charity "Help for Heroes" and you can find more info here:

    www.flyincoventryairport.com


    Regards,

    Rich

  7. #67
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    Hi Rich, Thank you for your updates, which I like to read ! All looks "bleeding" good to me ! must come to see you all again very soon ....

    Keith.
    NOSTALGIA ..... It's not what it used to be .....

  8. #68
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    Excellent update Rich! I wonder if any of you have spared a thought at how clean the white paint will be once engine runs resume??
    Cheers,Peter
    "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"

  9. #69
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    Fantastic work,and a big well done to everyone involved
    "Are you aware it is private property? Why you'll be asking to bomb Essen next."- Kingsley Wood,regards plans to bomb the Black forest Sept 1939.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter View Post
    Excellent update Rich! I wonder if any of you have spared a thought at how clean the white paint will be once engine runs resume??
    I have it on good authority that authentic soot will be added as per the AP :diablo:

  11. #71
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    Soot

    Ah but,those exhausts were not fitted when they were painted white!!!

  12. #72
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    She's looking bl**dy brilliant!
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  13. #73
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    She really looks the business.

  14. #74
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    She's looking magnificent once more - in fact, not unlike my avatar! Hopefully I'll get to see her next year.
    Along the edge of this airfield, the old prop-shaft airliners stand.
    Altimeters reading zero, formless memories lingering...


    theguitarsmith.com

  15. #75
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    Perspex?

    The olde Growler is starting to come together nicely, good work chaps! Do you have replacement perspex as I see 'the milk' has set in (common problem)?

  16. #76
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    Thanks for all the compliments! Glad you guys like it. It means a lot to us all, and makes the aches and pains worth it. Stripping and sanding all that way is like having a good work out. I was thankful for the power steering my car has on the way home, after hefting the sander about all day!

    To answer some questions;

    We all know that putting WR963 back to true MR condition is almost impossible. As such, we have accepted the fact that we are only representing what has gone before...and so far doing quite well at it.

    The plan is, and always will be, to make her as accessible as she can be to the public and nothing we do is to interfere with that. So overall she's staying AEW - we're leaving the exhaust pipes on, even though they don't match the colour scheme. The various aerials and AEW lumps and bumps are staying too.

    As for the exhaust soot... we'll see what happens when she's running again. Now we have a larger number of people working on her a scheduled maintenance and cleaning regime can be put in place.

    On the other hand if the pipes keep the exhaust stains away, my father (who's organising the paint side of things) has suggested we fake exhaust stains using airbrushed paint. I know 'weathering' has appeared on a few aircraft recently, but I'm not sure I like the idea.

    In regards to the perspex: we have a number of replacement glazing panels, it's just a matter of figuring out which ones we have and which ones we don't. For the ones we don't have, we're going to test a few of the products out there that advertise the removal of the fogging caused by UV. Depending on how bad it is, it may have only attacked the top layers - but if you look at the corner panels below the windscreens, I think they're beyond help!


    Regards,

    Rich

  17. #77
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    You need to run a huge 200 mph fan in front of the Shack with all the engines running to get the authentic soot effect!

  18. #78
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    Like a Griffon maybe?

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by richw_82 View Post
    we're leaving the exhaust pipes on, even though they don't match the colour scheme.
    Hi Rich, though not introduced as such in that period, some of the white aircraft did have the pipes fitted (like the 42Sqn wreath drop Shack).
    I wouldn't worry about fake weathering either, it looks odd when it is applied to a real aircraft IMO, just let weather gradually and naturally if desired.
    Some white Shacks were beautifully turned out, take a look at the Coronation Review pics!

    I do hope that in some way you can represent the right bomb doors and add an ASV bulge (foam layers and fibreglass was '795s original trick!).
    Anyway well done for persevering with what you have done thus far!
    Last edited by pagen01; 19th September 2010 at 13:00.

  20. #80
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    Hi all,

    Just a brief update from me while I have a moment to myself.

    Work continued this saturday with our carpenter getting stuck into the deicers on the port wing. He's making really good progress, having nearly completed the section between the inboard engines. There are several large boxes that have appeared over the weekend full of bits for the pre-oiling system too!

    Sunday saw the fence that usually runs alongside us gone, and the airfield full for the fly-in. We had WR963 open at 9am, and from that point onwards we had a full aircraft, and a good queue all day! None of the team got more than a half hour break, and we finally managed to close at 5.30pm (after all the cadets, fire crews, police had been for a look!).

    We estimate we must have had about 500 people through the aeroplane and we only had to upset one person who thought it was great fun to start flicking switches (including the mag switches, despite the visible signs saying "DON'T" ... naughty boy!) Sorry to say, but USA, he was one of yours and he wasn't a youngster.

    Most of the comments about the aircraft were good, though there are a few that don't want to see it white. The one I felt most sorry for was the gentleman who was on Shackletons with 38 Sqn, who was a little peeved that his squadrons colours are being replaced.

    Interesting visitors included Sqn Ldr Pablo Mason, and a gentleman who produced a letter from his cousin telling him to look out for WR963 as he was her pilot on 224 Sqn on Gibraltar... so he was really pleased with paint choice! In light of the new colours, he's going to get his cousin to come up and see us.

    Sorry there's no photos of 963 this time around as none of us got chance to take any... but it was a cracking event, and we got a few shots of the other big Avro (the opposition! ) as most people dashed outside to see her. I'll put them up later on the fly-in thread.

    Regards,

    Ric

  21. #81
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    Thought H-P was the enemy of all things Avro mate!
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  22. #82
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    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.

  23. #83
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    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.)

  24. #84
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    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!"

  25. #85
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    She looks damn good mate, Ill be up next soon as im free

    Miss the old girl you know!

  26. #86
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    "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

  27. #87
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    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

  28. #88
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    Excellent work Rich, has to be 52 plus years since a Shack last appeared in that scheme.

  29. #89
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    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

  30. #90
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    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

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