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Thread: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Thread

  1. #541
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Newbury, BERKS
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    652
    Fab update - always one of my favourites!
    Keep up the good work - would be lovely to see this running one day
    BOLTER, BOLTER FULL POWER! Keith, if he bolts again we'll have to divert him to St Mawgan

  2. #542
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Just S of Stansted TMZ Fairsted
    Posts
    3,363
    Well done all a great update she is coming along nicely
    SMOKE SMOKE GO!
    TA out

  3. #543
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Yorkshire. Next to runway 08/26
    Posts
    4,647
    She's going in the right direction... Nice to see we still have our followers on here!
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  4. #544
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Hawera (NZHA)
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    1,006
    Bravo Blue, Pauline and Julien! Those airbrakes look fantastic!
    "those who know keep quiet, and those who don't are frowned upon for asking." - snafu

  5. #545
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Yorkshire. Next to runway 08/26
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    4,647
    I have to admit, I do keep giving them a sneaky admire...!
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  6. #546
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    North Devon
    Posts
    119
    I'm another avid follower of this fascinating saga.

    We're up within striking distance in the next couple of weeks and a trip to the YAM to see this project is top of the list of places to visit.

  7. #547
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    Feb 2010
    Location
    Yorkshire. Next to runway 08/26
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    Enjoy your visit! I think progress will slow over September as I have a holiday looming. Off to visit 788's sister NF (T)14 in Malta!
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  8. #548
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Yorkshire. Next to runway 08/26
    Posts
    4,647

    Smile

    02/09/2017 Update
    788 has taken a back seat over the last couple of weekends while various museum events have been occurring which have required the attentions and time of us, her team, however normal service resumed yesterday. But first, let me take you back in time.... to Sunday.
    20170828_074403
    Mike Davey, Anon of this parish, has as regular readers of this thread will know been one of our greatest supporters, and as a supplier of finest quality new and previously enjoyed Meteor spares has made many things possible for 788 which we previously thought beyond attaining. As a bit of a thankyou we invited him to come and spend the weekend with us, and enjoy the sights and sounds of the YAM Rolling Thunder weekend. Now a good guest always brings some sort of a gift, and as usual Mike delivered, bringing a shiny new NF drop down step!
    20170828_080925

    20170828_081026
    As you can see, our fitted one is rather sad, so this is a fine addition to the restoration. Rather pleasingly, as Ali and I are off on holiday to Malta in the next couple of weeks, it is labelled up as having last been issued to the RN at Hal Far, Malta!
    20170828_081034
    So yet again, thankyou Mike.
    Fast forward to yesterday, and I found myself with most of a day spare. So, after catching up with sleep after a 3.30am finish from work on Friday morning, off to YAM I went! I decided to continue my efforts to access the airbrakes. We really need these open to access their wells to decorrode, repaint and protect them, as well as to get access to all the mechanics of the airbrakes. Our intention has always been if we can make it work we will, as regular followers of my scribblings will know, and the airbrake system is one of those systems which once recommissioned, can be demonstrated easily to passersby using the hand pump in the cockpit. We have to fit the 2 upper brakes off VZ568 which the French and I recently restored, so it made sense to crack on. I started by lifting the access panels aft of the starboard brakes. More screws undid than I expected; only 2 needed a visit from Mr. Drill...
    20170901_114940
    One of the idiosyncrasies of the Meteor is that you need to remove 2 panels to get to the airbrake rams (and incidentally the flap ram. More on that later...). Only problem being, to get to some of the screws holding these panels on, you need the airbrakes in the open position. Can you see the problem yet?!! I hoped I had enough room to squeeze the screwdriver in behind the airbrakes and access the pesky critters. Alas, not so. So a plan formed in my little mind. A few weeks ago Rich and I batted around the idea of plugging an external hydraulic pump into the hydraulic systems, where the piping is missing from the joins in the wing leading edge. Having been offered a surplus external manual hydraulic rig a couple of weeks back by our Heritage manager Gary, I decided to revisit this plan and attempt to pump the brakes open. After tracking down the pump and some 'spare' OM15, off came the port leading edge, and I plugged the pump in. I checked the integrity of all visible pipework associated with the airbrakes, and commenced pumping. After a few pumps I had fluid dribbling out of the Airbrake Closed circuit union so, taking this as the system was bled I capped that union off. Then it was moment of truth time. The pressure built, literally as well as metaphorically, then, with a couple of protesting creaks and cracks from the airbrake mechanisms, the 4 brakes twitched, then slowly, majestically rose (or lowered, in the case of the underside ones) from their resting places for the last 51 years with surprising ease, and perfectly synchronized too!
    20170901_141918
    Starboard upper
    20170901_151202
    Starboard lower
    20170901_151209
    Both lowers. Given we had been repeatedly told by an 'expert' that this would be impossible, the system would never be recoverable and that we would be assured of a whale of a time drifting seized bearings out to dismantle the airbrakes and we should just forget about dismantling them and paint them over instead, I'd call that a result! We are replacing the upper brakes anyway as we have the better pair off VZ568 waiting to go on, and we will replace all the steel bracketry on the airbrakes with new items. Then, once the whole system is serviced up, we have our first working hydraulic system on WS788 since January 1966! Looking at the condition of the 2 flap rams, they should need little persuading to bring back to life either...
    This Sunday sees YAM's Allied Forces Memorial day, so there was a mass tidy up occurring on site. I tidied away our steps and gantries, then had a bit of a sweep of the floor around the jet too. All glamourous, being a restoration team leader! I then took the opportunity to get a couple of nice uncluttered shots of 788
    20170901_161811

    20170901_161829
    So there you have it, this week's progress on 788. OM15 blood has flowed through her veins once more, something many said would never happen!

    Away from the jet, the museum passed on to me an email from a pilot formerly associated with 788, Rip Pearson. In the course of an email dialogue this week, he has told me he flew 788 33 times as a staff pilot with 2ANS, and indeed made his last NF14 flight in her. one thing I didn't know was that, like most RAF units of the time, 2ANS had a 4-ship demonstration team at the time, Rip was no.4 in this team, and his usual steed was 788! He has some cine film from this time, which once he has converted it to a modern format he is happy to share with us. So that's something to look forward to, footage of 788 showing off in the late 50's!

    I shall leave you with this picture, of something we were once told would be impossible...
    20170901_162804
    Last edited by Blue_2; 2nd September 2017 at 10:00.
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  9. #549
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Posts
    1,725
    Great work, many congratulations on continuing to bring her back to life.

  10. #550
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Preston, Lancashire
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    286
    Splendid job, great to see those airbrakes open!

    Regarding your comment that "we had been repeatedly told by an 'expert' that this would be impossible", this reminds me of the opening speech when the Stratford Canal was reopened after years of voluntary effort, when it was said (I paraphrase) 'when we started this job, all the experts said it would be impossible. Fortunately none of us were experts, so we just got on and did it'.

    Andy

  11. #551
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    214
    Bravo. Truly wonderful to see the old girl so much improved.

  12. #552
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    Jan 2008
    Location
    The Wirral
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    2,682
    Brilliant, Graham - and thanks you very much for the warm welcome and a splendid last weekend.

    For those of you who don't know Graham, have never met him or are unable to visit the museum to see his pride and joy, here is a snappy pic of the man himself looking suitably and justifiably proud of "his" jet.

    And, as if that isn't enough, the work these guys do to support the fabulous Victor live runs at Elvington. I had the privilege of accompanying the team when they had the hefty job of retrieving and recovering the Victor's brake chute after its live run down the runway in front of a very appreciative crowd (note the Victor, just visible in the distance about to commence its run).

    It was a pleasure to be in your company, folks.

    Anon.
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  13. #553
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    May 2009
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    Ipswich
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    990
    Excellent work to get those airbrakes working, congratulations.
    Man is not lost. Only temporarily uncertain of his position.

  14. #554
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    cambridgeshire
    Posts
    1,539
    what a great feeling to get a system working again. Well done all

    John

  15. #555
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,660
    That's fantastic - looking better and better with every post.

  16. #556
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    Feb 2010
    Location
    Yorkshire. Next to runway 08/26
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    4,647
    Thanks for your kind words Mike. Looking forward to the next beer call!
    There is something incredibly satisfying about bringing a system believed dead back to life. Even more satisfying are the resulting looks of surprise from museum staff who have never seen 788's brakes deployed!
    Maybe flaps next....!
    Last edited by Blue_2; 4th September 2017 at 09:20.
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  17. #557
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Reading
    Posts
    1,119
    Well I know nothing about hydraulics but am suitably amazed that those airbrakes worked first time and the system didn't explode somewhere!
    A very well done to everyone concerned!
    Armchair enthusiast, but also a fan of sofas and recliners.

  18. #558
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    Feb 2010
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    Yorkshire. Next to runway 08/26
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    The system seems to have survived very well. The next question will be what condition are the hand pump seals in...!
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  19. #559
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Running for the border
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    1,650
    My little spares stash says - whatever condition we want them in!

  20. #560
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Preston, Lancashire
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    286
    My recommendation would be to replace old hydraulic seals wherever you can, if replacements can be sourced, it will save a lot of hassle long-term.

    Andy

  21. #561
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Yorkshire. Next to runway 08/26
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    If we have new seals then new seals it will be!
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  22. #562
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Newbury, BERKS
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    652
    Fab work guys - I doth my cap to you! Seriously though, I love your updates - it's like reading a favourite book that once picked up, it's difficult to put down
    BOLTER, BOLTER FULL POWER! Keith, if he bolts again we'll have to divert him to St Mawgan

  23. #563
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    WestNorEastSouth
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    5,687
    Great update B2 - it is a rare pleasure when anything hyd related goes better than expected
    Great progress as well - lovely to see !

    rgds baz

  24. #564
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Finally arrived in God's own country!!!
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    110
    "..... it's like reading a favourite book that once picked up, it's difficult to put down".

    Perfectly put. It is indeed. And I am now only an hour away so once I have found cameras and other miscellaneous items ready for a trip to YAM,from a pile of packing cases, I'll be there!!

  25. #565
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Yorkshire. Next to runway 08/26
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    4,647
    I'm glad you all enjoy our updates. It's nice to be able to bring them to you all once more after the hiatus caused by photobucket deciding to take its bat home (yes, I am still bitter...!).
    If we can raise awareness of the NF14 as a type, and awareness of some of the good work that is being achieved at YAM, then it's all good!
    We hope to be back on site on Sunday, after shamelessly skiving at Scampton airshow on the Saturday. If you see us at Scampton, or at Elvington, do say hello!
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  26. #566
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    209
    Whooo! Someone's found a way to get the photos working again: Check out the "Photobucket Fix" thread

    https://forum.keypublishing.com/show...hotobucket-Fix

    Working for me: I've got all the photos back on this thread...

  27. #567
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    351
    Blue_2 wrote

    "If we have new seals then new seals it will be!"

    What are you folks trying to do? turn this in to a replica of a Meteor? Those aren't the seals it left the factory with!!

    Great work folks. Great thread.

    Andy

  28. #568
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    Feb 2010
    Location
    Yorkshire. Next to runway 08/26
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    Mahone, oooh! If that sorts the thread's previous posts I shall be a happy chappie. Will give that a go over the weekend, cheers for the heads up.
    Andy, we are going for new build. And like a certain V-bomber, then attempting to flog the original bits for a small fortune!!!
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  29. #569
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Rindge NH USA
    Posts
    504
    Are these seals any kind of standard size or something unique and for that particular application only?

  30. #570
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    214
    we are going for new build. And like a certain V-bomber, then attempting to flog the original bits for a small fortune!!!

    And my family think I am not very streetwise! My advice is to delete the word 'small' from the above!

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