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

  1. #721
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    Fascinating stuff as usual - I've said it before but I'll say it again. This really is the most enjoyable thread to read as I watch the splendid job being done.

  2. #722
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    Cabbage, while your theory makes perfect sense, and indeed I do the same, the cruciform fairing was one bit never painted dayglo.
    Malcolm, many thanks for your continued support and kind words!
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  3. #723
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    We shall be having a bonus midweek jet day tomorrow! I'm sure there will be an update on here tomorrow, plus the usual live updates through the day on the Facebook page for your entertainment and amusement...
    It also means I can pick up some bits for other Meteor project's that I forgot to bring home on Saturday in readiness for taking to Newark this Saturday to hand over. Not that I am forgetful of course...!
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  4. #724
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    11/04/18 Update

    A nice bonus midweek day off meant I could go aeroplaning today. It was just as well too, as at the weekend we had forgotten to scrape off the rear nacelles! Fortunately after half a week in stripper longer than intended they still played nicely, and have now been re-treated to get the last stubborn bits of paint off
    30698051_2044837469121618_5857544552585008253_n
    After the nacelles, I unwrapped the rear fuselage and got busy with the scraper. The results are I must say very pleasing indeed. They have highlighted some skin damage that has occurred during 788's sadder years...
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    30624753_2044837582454940_1853352069665797865_n
    But overall, she's starting to look a bit good...
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    Before lunch, I climbed up to give the rudder lower bolt and the upper fin bolts another dose of penetrating oil. I also undid the bolt from the control input to the rudder.
    After lunch, and showing a VIP (my dad!) round site and the jet, I got on with removing the fuel tank bay lid, so it can come down onto the deck for prep. Not easy but I managed it by myself...
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    Revealing some interesting pencilling on the fuel tank bay front bulkhead/cockpit rear bulkhead depending on how you look at it
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    The lid itself isn't in bad order. It needs a couple of bits of light skin damage seeing right
    30698178_2044941875777844_2954368125002255414_n
    And in the shot below the frankly shoddy scab patch (left) over an access (identical to the one on the right) will need removing and replaced with a newly made hatch (same as the one in the centre). I assume the original was pilfered during her time at Leeming by a souvenir hunter, and they decided this was the best answer...
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    Finally I gave the rear light fairing another dose. Even this has a dent in. You wouldn't know we've been using the port wing as a bench would you...?!
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    Not a worry; it all needs to come off anyway!
    Final shot of the day; 788 reflecting on how lucky she is to have wintered indoors
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    Hope to see a few of you at Newark on Saturday!
    Last edited by Blue_2; 11th April 2018 at 21:08.
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  5. #725
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    More good stuff.

  6. #726
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    One small step...............
    She'll be airworthy one day!

    Andy

  7. #727
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    I wish!!!
    If we can get her to sing the Derwent song that'll do for me...
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  8. #728
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    This might help:

    It won't help 788 fly- but it might taxy one day?
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  9. #729
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    We have just the thing to bolt that to Mike...!
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  10. #730
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    16/04/18 Update
    It's been a busy old weekend for the Meteor team, certainly for me it has anyway! Saturday morning saw me trundling south to Newark for the re-scheduled Aeroboot. I had to say hello to 788's sister preserved there, WS739.
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    How I covet those underwing tanks and pylons! To digress for a second, the office tell me they are in talks with Jet2 to repatriate the pair of underwing tanks Malta have donated us. Fingers crossed...
    It was a busy visit, what with eating bacon sarnies, mugging Howard for coffee, and then indulging in the NAM traditional toasted panini! But we managed to do some aircraft trading as well, and catch up with many old acquaintances and people who have been a huge help to 788 and continue to do so. Goodies for 788 were gathered off Max Blood, Mike Davey (more on that shortly), and the chaps from East Midlands Aeropark restoring the TT.20 there. We were able to trade our old ammo bay doors to them in exchange for radome catches; that's what the aeroboot is all about isn't it?!
    Mike had very kindly brought goodies for us, including a replacement rear cruciform fairing and a Derwent starter motor. As I was off back to the van to drop some bits off I took the fairing, and we planned to grab the big heavy lump of starter later. Later came, I went back to claim it only to find Mike's van to discover Mike's van had set off home! See, we are mega organised, us aeroplane folk.
    In the jumble proper, I didn't find much I needed for 788. It must be a good sign that, unlike 2 years ago when I was desperately hoovering up anything Meteor, I can now look at an item and say "no, we don't need that, we've got one'. I nearly weakened and bought the Meteor mudguard, but I couldn't get it to a price I liked and I am sure I have 2 in stock anyway! I did come away with some nice paper though...
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    Genuine NF (all marks) Pilot's Notes, used, worn, amended. Fantastic!
    So overall tally, we came away with a cruciform fairing, rare pilot's notes, plumbing and electrics, another spare set of HP/LP c0ck levers, bits for our trolley acc, and I touched what will be one of 788's starters! Not a bad day's business and a thoroughly good day out.
    Yesterday, I made my way to YAM with my plunder. I hoped with myself, Andy and Rich on site it would be a productive day, and it didn't disappoint. First order of business after bacon and brew was to check that the fairing would actually fit. These aircraft, like many from the time, were to an extent hand made and a part off one airframe won't necessarily fit another!
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    Our one slid home nicely though, so rectification and painting can now commence
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    Meanwhile Rich started reacquainting himself with 788,looking into how to get the canopy motor off
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    And Andy continued paint stripping the components off the jet. One of the leading edges is basically done, and the other isn't far behind. I continued trying to persuade the rudder lower bolt to come out. It continued trying to persuade me to give up and go away. So I did, but only as far as the NAAFI for lunch, having first left the bolt thinking about things after another blathering with penetrating oil.
    After lunch, we had a visit by 2 members of the Victor team Scott and John, orphaned because their fearless leader had cancelled their working day and forgotten to tell them!
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    They came under the pretence of offering to help us with 788. In reality they were only after one thing...
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    Yep, that's our stash of the universally recognised fuel of aircraft restorers gone!
    To be fair Scott then did prove a big help to me in getting the rudder off. After some serious big hammer work, the bolt finally submitted.
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    I passed the rudder straight over to Andy, as we want so paint strip it to see how bad the leading edge corrosion you can see in this shot is. Scott and I then turned our attention to the upper fin, with limited success. For now...
    Rich meanwhile had started trying to sort the mess that is cut wiring in the centre section
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    29983753_2046683965603635_2029631253913550983_o
    A lot more little jobs got done in the afternoon, with extra hands we got on well. Andy had the paint on the rudder bubbling gently
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    Close inspection (sadly the flash has washed it out) revealed traces of dayglo on the rudder lower mounting, another indicator the rudder is original to 788
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    Given that it had been a very good, positive weekend, morale was high as you can see...
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    Pics courtesy of Andy; we feel sure the previous generations who flew and maintained 788 would approve heartily of some high jinks!
    We put serious hats back on, and had a debrief and laid our plans for next weekend and the next few weeks.
    And then... last night, while having a pint and idly looking through the museum's facebook page, it turns out that in just under a fortnight's time there is a special Buccaneer day at YAM. Behind 788, in the hangar, lurks Bucc XX901, one of YAM's 3 'Bricks'. I got hold of our heritage manager and, just as it had with me, the penny dropped with him that 788 will have to move out of the hangar to get 901 out for this event. Great. So sadly we will lose next weekend it seems prepping 788 to move, refitting stress panels, securing loose items etc, rather than getting on with restoring her. I have been reassured she won't be spending any time outdoors, and that as soon as the Bucc and the Cayley glider are out she is going back in. This was the main thing I was worried about, given the canopy is off and the rear half of the jet is now in unprotected bare metal.It's just a bit of a pain in the bum when we have just got nicely settled and on with stuff. Still, such is life...
    Last edited by Blue_2; 16th April 2018 at 08:20.
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  11. #731
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    Take the opportunity to get 788 as far to the back of the hangar as you can whilst the Buccaneer is out...............

  12. #732
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    Very nice update, although I couldn't help myself looking at that big beauty in the back of the last pic.
    Cees

  13. #733
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    That big beauty gets a loving pat from me every visit Cees...
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  14. #734
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    Always great to see progress being made on the old Lady - that pic by the way - IMHO - makes you look like Oddball from Kellys Heroes! Woof Woof - that's my other dog impression! ......

    Popping in on Thursday so hope to see her "in the flesh" at last!
    Last edited by 1958biggles; 17th April 2018 at 11:46.

  15. #735
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    Wonderful stuff as usual, I really look forward to these updates.

  16. #736
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    Fairly short and sweet update for you today. I spent most of the morning working on the rudder. Sunday's dose of paint stripper came off revealing traces of black from her time pretending to be WS844 on Leeming's gate
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    My main job was to remove the remains of the main bearing from the rudder's post. This was it after it came off and was given a gentle sandblast.
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    I fear it is scrap; replacements will be sought.
    After lunch, I decided to make something for a change. I drilled off the comedy panel the RAF had used to cover the missing hatch out of the fuel tank bay cover, and using its twin as a pattern, made a set of parts to replicate said hatch
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    A bit of filing, drilling, cursing and riveting later, and result!
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    Quite chuffed with that, much better than the RAF's effort.
    The devil is in the detail...
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  17. #737
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    What are you going to do with the holes from the patch? Rivet them, or weld them?

  18. #738
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    Rivet probably. Skim of filler, sand off, good as new!
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  19. #739
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    Looking great!
    Thanks for the report.
    Good reading for the morning, as usually.

    Juraj

  20. #740
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    Always nice to hear from our international fanbase!
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  21. #741
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    The Meteor night fighters have not really been treated too well in preservation. The RAF Museum's NF.14 is strung up in the roof at Cosford, Newark has the only NF.12 and their NF.14 is about to come in for some much needed TLC and we have lost the only flyer. Yes there are a few others, but for me, WS788 is going to be the one example that truly represents the mark and shows future generetions just what an early jet night fighter was really like. Your efforts cannot be praised too highly; thank you for what you are doing.

  22. #742
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    Very kind words Steve. Newark's 12 is a lovely thing, admittedly the 14 is in need of some love though.
    I'm not sure 788 truly will represent the marque, given that we are returning her to NF ( T) spec rather than what she was originally built for, but she will certainly be unique in that respect once she's done. After all, she spent 2 years doing the job she was built for, and 12 doing a job she happily proved ideal for by coincidence!
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  23. #743
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    22/04/18 Update
    It's a bit of an unusual one this week. Not a great deal of engineering occurred! Ali, Andy and myself mustered, our main goal for the day was to get the area around the jet tidy, move all our stuff into the hangar corner, and prepare the jet for her brief trip outside next week to allow Buccaneer XX901 out from behind us for next Sunday's Thunder Day/Buccaneer anniversary joint do. First though, the front cruciform fairing was unwrapped and scraped off. It is now shedding paint happily...
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    while the poor thing is battered and has had some filler applied previously, it's not too bad. It looks like it has had a new nose cone fitted at some point during its flying career, as there was no red primer on the nose cone but there was ANS silver paint.
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    It's the little stories like that which make me wish I could find where her F700's went after she was disposed of. I am told by one of the chaps who looked after her as a secondary duty at RAF Leeming that, even on gate guard duties, the F700 was dutifully maintained with any and all work done. Sadly YAM never received the 700, so I assume the skip at Leeming was final destination...
    Next jobs, we went round the jet securing loose items, closing hatches, bolting the fuel tank bay brace back in, and refitting the panels under and along both sides of the fuselage. after this we started moving all our tools, gantries, shiny new stepladders, and components off 788 into the corner, tidied her tarpaulin away, had a good sweep round, and mid-afternoon declared that was enough, she was ready to move.
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    We hope that once the Bucc is out, the F8 visible in this shot will come out too and 788 will end up more or less where she is situated. All our gear is stacked tidily in the corner
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    It will soon be joined by a large workbench from the workshop, giving us our own workshop facilities in the hangar.
    All in all, a bit of a non-day. More a gear change ready for the next phase of the rebuild you could say. At least it means we should get that pesky '109 off our tail finally!
    One other bit of news from site, the chaps have been busy with the repaint of the Canberra T4, one of YAM's longest standing airframes and one which has been well overdue some love for years now. Pretty much only the roundels remain to be done. I think they have done a fantastic job!
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    That's it for this week. Next weekend, updates on 788 settling into her new home... and Thunder Day!
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  24. #744
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    788 will look as good as the Canberra before too long............

  25. #745
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    That's the idea!
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  26. #746
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    06/05/18 Update
    Not a huge amount to report from last week I'm afraid; Andy and I were on site for the Thunder Day, but we were deputising on the Victor team (that old girl never quite lets go of her old crew members!) so apart from checking all was well with 788 we did little Meteor related. 788 herself has been out of the hangar, allowing 901 to sneak out from behind her for the line up as part of the 60th anniversary of the Bucc's first flight theme of last weekend. She is now back indoors temporarily, more or less where she was. The Cayley will also be coming out of the hangar, destination as yet unknown. It is now on terra firma, awaiting moving to wherever it's headed. This coming weekend is a 1940's weekend, for which I predict our hangar neighbour the Argus will be coming outside, so there will be more hangar chess to be played. Therefore it will more than likely be another couple of weeks at least before we can get settled and set our stall out again. Not that we will let that stop us! We'll just do what we can in the meantime.
    Anyway, back to last weekend's fun, firstly a few pics of some of the Thunder Day action and participants
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    This one's shot of the day for me; Bucc tails
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    The ever eco-friendly Pathfinder in action!
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    One Meteor related thing did happen. On special days the museum has a 'show and tell' desk out, on which there are a good number of aircraft related items, such as flying gear, helmets, ammunition, basically various and assorted items out of Archives that normally don't see the light of day. Harry was running this last Sunday, and among the items he had selected to show was a set of stereoscopic viewers for photo recce interpreting. Now given that we have a couple of photos in our paperwork of 788 in the colour scheme we are returning her to, I pilfered the viewers and had a good look through them at the photos.
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    As a result, we now know for example that all the thumb latches in orange areas of the jet (such as on the JB access panels etc) are silver rather than orange, and that the radome latches that fall into the anti glare panel are silver rather than black. It's details like this we want to get right...

    Fast forward a week, Andy and I were in yesterday. As the weather was glorious, we decided to let 788 catch a few rays!
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    As all our stuff is still packed away in the corner of the hangar we decided that the easiest thing to do was to spend the first part of the day working on the control systems, starting with the port cannon bay aileron pivot, in readiness for fitting the port main aileron rod that we are all sick of tripping over! The pivot was given another soak in penetrating oil; the colour of what came out, particularly from the upper bearing, was not pleasant...
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    This whole unit will have to come out for stripping and rebuilding, as we did with the starboard one last year. Giving it some attention did give us enough movement in it to swing it out of the way to fit the rod though, which was a more awkward process than envisaged and claimed some of Andy's skin! It is in now, and 788 has a pair of main aileron rods for the first time in decades. On both sides they are mounted in rollers salvaged from VZ568, during that memorable trip to visit her on her lonely Welsh hillside.
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    The next job is simply to link them up in the fuel bay to the centre pivot, which runs directly from the control column to the real bulkhead of the cockpit. You can see here where the rod protrudes into the bay from the port wing, and the pivot point.
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    There should be a pair of rods to link from the pivot to the rods. We have suitable items for this, first though we need to remove the remains of the old rods from the pivot after some previous carer for 788 gave them a right royal chimping!
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    I love how easily accessible everything on this jet is...
    While I was in that vicinity I removed a canopy motor access panel, in the hope this might make Rich's quest to remove and restore the canopy motor a tad easier
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    I then climbed higher to give the reluctant upper fin bolts a blessing of penetrating oil. While I was doing all this Andy was busy under the jet battling the reluctant fasteners holding the intakes on.
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    While he was at it he cleared a couple of drain holes that had escaped previous attention. So now we have, in an Only Fools And Horses style, a money making scam
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    Meteor Springs mineral water anyone?!!
    We put the jet to bed, and her cockpit pigeon crap cover back on, ready for her to do the hangar Hokey Cokey again this week. There will be no work done next week, as it is the museum's 1940's weekend and engineering work is suspended on site. Hopefully normal service will resume the week after though!
    Last edited by Blue_2; 6th May 2018 at 08:52.
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  27. #747
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    Looks like you had some fun!
    Thanks for the report.

    Juraj

  28. #748
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    Thunder day was a good one. Right now we are just looking forward to getting 788 settled so we can get back on with the restoration proper.
    One bit of good news, we have sourced the last 2 missing pieces of the aileron control system. Very soon 788 will have some flight controls working from the cockpit control column, probably for the first time since 1966!
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  29. #749
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    Fair amount of water being drained!!! I would hate to see what corrosion lies under the skin.

  30. #750
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    The intakes will be coming off for a lot of looking at. They may well be replaced completely.
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

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