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Thread: Avro Shackleton WR963 Project Thread

  1. #91
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    Great work Rich. The old girl's really coming along
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  2. #92
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    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

  3. #93
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    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)

  4. #94
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    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

  5. #95
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    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!"

  6. #96
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    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

  7. #97
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    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

  8. #98
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    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

  9. #99
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    Keep at it slag! Sounds epic mate

  10. #100
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    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!"

  11. #101
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    Sat 13th Nov

    A clear day and plenty to do down at Coventry. Very impressed with the new airport security gate, and it works just as you'd expect. It caused none of the access problems that we had worried about.

    We had two new volunteers working today - Mark, and Lee. Lee is pretty handy with a camera, and I'm hoping he's going to drop in here and post some of the photo's he took.

    Vic Marriot has started on the job of removing all the seized access panels under the wing, and armed with penetrating fluid, screwdrivers, a drill, and various other evil looking implements he started 'persuading' them to come off as they should. The more stubborn ones will be drilled and tapped.

    Gary Thorn is still rubbing down unpainted areas, as while we can't get paint most days now we need to keep on top of the preparation and cleaning just in case we gat a chance to get some paint on. It also prevents the green algae growing back on the unpainted areas.

    One of the important jobs this week was to again check the fuel tanks. After finding water in there last week, the tank cap has been taped up and sealed. There is now no water getting in there, so wherever it's getting in is obviously around that area - whether its a blocked drain or not I don't know. We were very happy when all tanks showed bright blue good fuel at the drains.

    Rich Marriot cracked on with finishing the installation of the No 4 pre-oiling pump, and when he had finished, there only remains a little electrical work, and the replacement of a severed pipe before the system is complete. Once it has passed it's checks, that job will be finished totally - and will be a unique system for an Avro Shackleton.

    To test the system requires oil and the Shackleton drinks a lot of it. An error somewhere in the order means you get what we did - the correct oil, 80 gallons or so, from the correct manufacturer, in the correct viscosity, but in quart bottles!!!! 37 boxes of them in total, or around 400 bottles.

    The task was met with good humour and by sharing them out between the engines, and assigning one man to each engine to start filling, the job was done fairly quickly.

    One task that proved surprisingly involved was the latches for the spinner on No 3 prop. The spinner is secured by six spring loaded latches, that have a slotted screw in the top. They are supposed to turn through 90 degrees to lock them, to prevent the spinner coming off when the engine is running. No 3and 4 (possibly the others too) have always been stiff and a pain to lock. This stiffness turned out to be dirt and solidified grease, and once stripped cleaned and refitted, they lock with a satisfying "click".

    As you can guess… most of our work now is geared towards waking WR963 up, it’s not going to be long now. We’re probably no more than a couple of weeks off. Stay tuned..

    Regards,

    Ric

  12. #102
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    Hi all,

    just a few quick picture updates from coventry and the progress the guys are making






    hopefully more to follow next week
    Lerch

  13. #103
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    20th Nov... somewhere in the Midlands..

    Well, things never go to plan do they? 963 didn't run today. We started the day really hoping to, but she wouldn't co-operate. The tanks have oil in, the pumps work but for some reason we just can't persuade the oil up into the cams, despite the pressure showing off the gauge.

    We pulled the engines through a couple of turns just to see if it was an airlock, but still nothing. We expected teething troubles though, as while it been done on a Griffon in the past, its never been done on the Shackleton. The engineers are deep in the books at the moment, and I'm sure they'll solve it before too long. Its got to be something fairly simple as the pump is fitted in where we normally pre-oil from manually.

    In other news -

    We had a really good sized team today (12 people!), and could task a couple of people to each engine, meaning we could get the engines uncowled and the cam covers off for testing inside 3/4 of an hour.



    We managed to strip clean and refit all the spinner latches, meaning they weren't going anywhere. They now lock securely with a satisfying "click".



    There were several bits going on inside, seats getting cleaned, and we even had a few visitors, which made what was a very cold and grey day just that bit more pleasant.

    There's always next week... maybe 963 won't be in a mood.

    Regards

    Ric

  14. #104
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    I suspect the oil is rather cold. Also make sure the pumps are well primed before connecting the engine side up.


    Bruce

  15. #105
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    Cheers Bruce.

    The pumps were priming as we cracked the outlet line, and they also have a bleed screw. It was cold (about 3 - 4 deg), but the new oil should cope with the temperature.

    The thoughts getting bounced around as we left were that the oil has come up against a non return somewhere, or the high pressure provided by the pump is opening a relief valve somewhere and dumping oil back into the tank.

    I don't know the ins and outs of the Griffon that well, so I'll have to wait to see what they come up with.

    Regards,

    Ric

  16. #106
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    In that case, is your priming line going straight to the engine? I seem to recall a priming point on the front of the heads, so bypass all the oil galleries if you can.

    You could also try putting a heater in the oil tank, and get it nice and liquid before you run the pump.



    Bruce

  17. #107
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    Regarding the priming line - I think so. I'll have to ask. The heater sounds an idea, particularly given winter temperatures.

    Rich

  18. #108
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    27 Nov.

    A cold cold day! And the snow would pick today; the first meeting of the restarted "Friends of WR963". Our friends at Airbase kindly let us use the Canberra cafe, which gave us a nice warm place in which to enjoy coffee, food and tall stories. There is a wealth of good things to come from this little group and the enthusiasm is pleasing. We also had access to the hangar, and one of the Classic Flight GST was on hand as a guide. Many thanks to all for helping make it a great day!





    WR963 wasn't too happy with the overnight low temperatures! Our first job was to get in so our visitors could have a tour. The lock barrel on the crew door was well and truly frozen, so the 'alternative' method of entry was used. This involved a less than amusing Bambi impression done by yours truly on the starboard wing. Happily, with a little persuasion from inside, the door behaved and the tours could be done.

    After lunch, most people had left to get home before any more snow arrived, so we took the opportunity to open up no4 engine cowling and have another crack at the pre-oilers. We've bled and rebled the system, the oil is quite viscous even in low temperatures, we've tried pulling the prop through with the pre-oiling pump going but still nothing seems to make its way up to the cams.

    That's where I have to chime in with bad news..

    There are some things you just don't want to have to write. More so when you realise how hard people have worked to try and make something good happen.

    Sadly, I have to tell you all WR963 will NOT be running at the Classic Flight night runs on 11 Dec. It didn't really take a genius to figure out that our target date of "just before Christmas" for running was decided on for a reason. We gave it our best shot, and ran out of time.

    The pre-oiling system still has issues that need working through. As such, we're not willing to run an engine knowing that we have less than adequate lubrication for those vital first few minutes. So to all those that were hoping, and to those that knew what we were up to and were keeping silent for us... I am truly sorry.

    Regards,

    Rich

  19. #109
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    Nevermind Chris, she's looking lovely regardless. I saw the rather sad state of her sister at Long Marston a few years ago and I'm just relieved to see one being looked after so well.

    Keep up the good work!

  20. #110
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    Think you might have confused me with someone, as I'm Rich, but thanks anyway.

    The Long Marston Shackleton is still there and in no better state than she was a few years back.

    Regards,

    Rich

  21. #111
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    Cracking work there Rich, better to take your time and get things right than just rush ahead to achieve running by a certain date.

    I can only really echo what forumite Benjamin has put before us so beautifully and eloquently here, erm ...keep at it slag!

  22. #112
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    We had a little discussion last Saturday about what we could do to get her running, and theres no real way to do it. Even if we pull the rocker boxes off and douse everything with oil, the bearings still are starved.

    We're priming through the place where the Griffon AP says we should be. Somethings not right, or there's a blockage in there that caused the horrendous wear on the cams to start with. We will get to the bottom of it.

    We have plenty of work to do, and lots of things in the calendar for next year, which you guys will hear about. One of our new guys lives on the outskirts of the airfield, so he's keeping a winter weather eye on her when us that are further out can't.

    We are keeping well and truly at it! I believe the motto is "Constant Endeavour".

    Regards,

    Rich


    ps. First time Ben has ever been described as eloquent. I didn't laugh.

    Much...

  23. #113
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    I suspect Pagen had been at the irony pills!
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  24. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by richw_82 View Post
    Think you might have confused me with someone, as I'm Rich, but thanks anyway.

    The Long Marston Shackleton is still there and in no better state than she was a few years back.

    Regards,

    Rich
    Ooops! Sorry Rich, I sort of did! Chalk it up to posting at 3am...


    ...and the Chez Vegas location tag.

  25. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayce View Post
    Ooops! Sorry Rich, I sort of did! Chalk it up to posting at 3am...


    ...and the Chez Vegas location tag.
    No worries.

    Chez Vegas? I take it you know of our town then!

    Wherever you are you'll have to come look at 963 sometime if you haven't already.

  26. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by pagen01 View Post

    I can only really echo what forumite Benjamin has put before us so beautifully and eloquently here, erm ...keep at it slag!
    And quite right too

  27. #117
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    I love it how you lot keep cracking the whip. If it wasn't for us in the North nothing would ever get done.

    Okay... back to work I go!

  28. #118
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    Hi Guys
    I`m sure you will have done this already, but just in case. . . .
    Even if these priming pumps are gravity-fed, I have set them up and run them for ages with no pressure build up on first installation. What usually works is to slacken the outlet pipe or remove it altogether which helps the pump to prime, alternatively fill the pump and preferably the feed pipe with oil first.

    Sorry if I`m teaching Granny etc etc!

    Pete
    If I had a quid for every time someone mentioned "buried crated Merlins", I could buy one!

    www.flightengineering.co.uk

  29. #119
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    Pete,

    Your experiences sounds similar to ours. We're going to up the bore of the outlet pipe, as we believe this will help with flow and reduce any restriction we had there. We did get as far as removing the pipe and pumping into a container to check and to prime the pump but we believe the low temperatures aren't helping either, by thickening the new oil and that within the engines.

    There's not going to be any work done this Saturday by the look of the weather, but we'll be there the following week and see how much further we can get.

    Regards,

    Rich

  30. #120
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    Mon 13th Dec

    I managed to get a bit of time off and went down to work Shackleton today. We were due to be getting a visit from a guy who rebuilds props with a view to doing ours but he had to cancel at the last minute.

    This meant I was in a position where I had tools, time, and not a lot to occupy me... so with the other brave members of our group who had turned up we decided to take another look at the pre-oiling system. We weren't overly happy that we couldn't join in on the night runs, and we were determined to find the cause of the problem that prevented us.

    After trying various combinations and setups, and by checking the oil flow at each stage we found a couple of restrictions that needed to be overcome, but the good news is this -

    Before I left Coventry today, WR963's no.4 Griffon engine was successfully being pre-oiled by use of the onboard pump only - with all the cam lobes and fingers getting a good supply on both banks. There's a little more minor tweaking to be done; but its working!!


    Regards,

    Ric

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