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

  1. #841
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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...

  2. #842
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    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...
    36756835_2098170633788301_4692630367952175104_o
    Which Darren soon had in place
    36756840_2098171070454924_1964388161379368960_o
    And also... a box of colourful wrapping.
    36778369_2098170807121617_6586505323928879104_o
    "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
    36820563_2098170933788271_3611019566865448960_o
    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!
    36776556_2098171283788236_2064306207539068928_o
    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.
    36769290_2098313660440665_7429035043906912256_o

    36814466_2098313697107328_1565440112521641984_o
    Success! After lunch I began the long task of refitting the tailcone's skin...
    36775576_2098314303773934_820617926410240_o

    36796986_2098482200423811_6709380872228831232_o
    A long, tiring job in the heat of the hangar but I got there in the end.
    36805856_2098482273757137_5385475813330124800_o
    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.
    36860770_2098482380423793_8963165613639860224_o
    More next week folks!
    Last edited by Blue_2; 8th July 2018 at 22:01.
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  3. #843
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    That's a very simple and effective spray holder.
    Well done Ali.
    I will feel free to steal that idea

    Andy

  4. #844
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    Another great start to my week - thanks from this antipodean.

  5. #845
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    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...

  6. #846
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    Reading
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    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.

  7. #847
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    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.
    36814401_2099285197010178_6340353459635617792_o

    36867587_2099285290343502_8791125170975670272_o
    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...
    36816475_2099287150343316_1393385827177857024_o
    We have the measurements, the camera, and the diagram in the AP. We just need the camera mounts, and we are good to go!
    36888025_2099286513676713_4764320600552374272_o
    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.
    36817684_2099413543664010_1719562059001102336_o
    The other panels, including the hyd tank access panel, currently in process are finally giving.
    36739784_2099413633664001_911520574222630912_o
    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.
    36832223_2099413706997327_6999896063607832576_o
    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.
    36849477_2099413830330648_1935145962443898880_o
    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!
    36861943_2099467046991993_333925701444960256_o
    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...

  8. #848
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    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.

  9. #849
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    Gerroff! That lovely piece of kit is far too useful to us...!
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  10. #850
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    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.

  11. #851
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    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...

  12. #852
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    Aug 2004
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    Well I suppose that everyone has some vice.

    Excellent stuff as usual Blue_2.

  13. #853
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    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 at 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.

  14. #854
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    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.
    20170702_155604
    That's the destructor! And here is it's Honourable Mention in the AP...
    36970926_2099958176942880_456544277556625408_o
    I hope that sheds some more light on it chaps!
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  15. #855
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    Jun 2011
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    Lincoln
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    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.

  16. #856
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    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 he’s only got one ar*ehole”
    Man is not lost. Only temporarily uncertain of his position.

  17. #857
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    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...

  18. #858
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    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 at 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.

  19. #859
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    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...

  20. #860
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    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...
    20180714_114930
    But nothing beats seeing the original logbook entries!
    20180714_115010
    Turns out Peter is qualified to do pre- and post-flight servicing on NF14's too; that could come in handy!!
    20180714_115455
    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...
    20180714_132259
    And for the first time since May 1957 took his old seat.
    20180714_132905
    I then got Peter to sign the inside of the starboard JB door
    20180714_134922

    20180714_134918
    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.
    20180714_153926
    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...

  21. #861
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    Thank you Blue2 for a most enjoyable day. I am most impressed with the thoroughness with which you are tackling the daunting task of making this old bird presentable, and wish you every success. While I shot some huge lines I can assure you that they were all true.
    Man is not lost. Only temporarily uncertain of his position.

  22. #862
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    What a lovely update. Peter, I cannot imagine how it felt lowering yourself into the seat again after so long. Amazing.
    "those who know keep quiet, and those who don't are frowned upon for asking." - snafu

  23. #863
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    Peter and I were more concerned about how he was going to get back out of the seat!
    Last edited by Blue_2; 16th July 2018 at 09:11.
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  24. #864
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    That seems to be a common issue. Once saw some ancient Corsair pilot clamber up the wing & jump into the cockpit like a teenager. Then there was an "oh ******" moment when it came time to get out of it.
    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.

  25. #865
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    I have to make an awful confession, with my advancing years as an excuse, I am now not able to get my leg over.
    Man is not lost. Only temporarily uncertain of his position.

  26. #866
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    Too much information.................

  27. #867
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    And Mr. Verney makes his 1000th post on the Key forum in style!!!


    *of course, he meant over the cockpit side wall. But that's not as amusing...
    Last edited by Blue_2; 17th July 2018 at 05:21.
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  28. #868
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    Fantastic update!
    Thanks for sharing!


  29. #869
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    19/07/2018 Update

    Midweek bonus update for you all! Yesterday I was off work so, as I tend to do, I went to do a bit more on WS788. On arrival, I did one job I have been meaning to do for a while now, marking our territory correctly!
    37274739_2108041686134529_953523726584905728_o
    Just after this, I heard the sky being beaten into submission outside the hangar. It had to be a Chinook making that row!
    37332293_2108174519454579_7403537584007151616_o
    Yes, indeed it was. Chinooks and 788 don't have a good history; the last time she encountered one, it did a fantastic job of writing off her outer wings...
    Back to work, and item of the day was the canopy shuttle. This sits in a track on the spine of 788, the rear of the canopy is mounted on it, and the shuttle then carries the rear of the canopy along the fuel tank bay roof as the canopy is slid backwards and forwards. As you may have seen in recent updates ours appears to have been danced on by a pregnant elephant, and then rectified using car body filler by the bucketload. I decided this isn't good enough, so I cracked on with removing the skin. Easier said than done, the screws didn't really want to play!
    37271063_2107821842823180_8895249974393044992_o
    After a bit of hammering, drilling, and mole-gripping of old screws, all were out and all but 3 of the captive nuts holding the cover skin on were reusable. Here, you can see the main part of the shuttle in the middle of being rubbed down to remove decades of corrosion, rubbish, muck and dead wasps, flies, T-rexes etc...
    37419705_2107821879489843_3637414322742755328_o
    OK, I exaggerate about the T-rexes, but it's clear this hasn't been apart for a pretty long time. This is the inside of the skin, in the midst of being gently beaten back to the shape it was when it left the A-W factory
    37305931_2107821942823170_5254575582494064640_o
    The shuttle was serviceable after the rub down, so I primed it then painted the part hidden under the skin in interior green.
    37277284_2107822012823163_1877362756638736384_o
    The bolts are not a cunning hedgehog disguise, but to prevent the captive nuts from getting inadvertently filled with paint. While this was happening the skin got to enjoy another ardrox-ing.
    37308175_2107822082823156_1319812247123394560_o
    After this the canopy mounting end was painted silver
    37412330_2108041499467881_2632791914243424256_o
    The skin was re-treated and wrapped, and the whole lot left on the bench to do it's thing
    37313565_2108041596134538_7289722715894710272_o
    Before I retired for the day, while I had the drill out I dealt with one thing that has been annoying us all for a while now. A while ago, before 788 became our project, the museum thought throwing 788 at some French students to sort was a great idea. This turned out to be a bad idea, as they got a little rivet- and panel-crazy, making plates to cover over such things as the radio bay hatch for example. They also plated over the inboard cannon apertures and, well, it didn't look good. I finally got the bl**dy things drilled off yesterday...
    37370399_2108033089468722_1383816953574981632_o
    ...and tactically redeployed them to their proper place. The bin.
    37282217_2108033176135380_8145977210025541632_o
    Home time, but that wasn't the end of my day for, after tea, with AP, paper, pencil, ruler and hastily scribbled notes in hand, I headed over to the pub to draw up plans to manufacture a missing item for 788, which is my mission for today.
    37327771_2108230926115605_7294262088304689152_o
    Now how's that for dedication to the Meteor cause?!!
    Last edited by Blue_2; 19th July 2018 at 09:40.
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

  30. #870
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    Not boring you all to sleep with a bombardment of updates am I?!
    19/07/18 Update...
    At risk of sounding like one of Rene's monologues at the beginning of an episode of 'Allo 'Allo, a recap. You may remember last episode I was in ze public 'ouse (OK enough of that now. Behave...) I was in the pub, drawing up a set of plans. Well these plans were to aid me in manufacturing a replacement mounting platform for the G45 gun camera in 788's Starboard leading edge. In there should be something like this
    36888025_2099286513676713_4764320600552374272_o
    In reality, 788 has, well, this...
    36816475_2099287150343316_1393385827177857024_o
    It would appear that somewhere, at some time, someone has taken rather too much of a liking to 788's gun camera mounting and made off with it leaving some pitiful stumps of aluminium. Yesterday I straightened these up and then, using them and the camera aperture in the leading edge as datum points, did a whole load of measuring and scribbling numbers on a bit of paper. Last night in the pub, aided by a pencil, a ruler, another bit of paper, and several pints of Yorkshire's finest, I drew up a plan for scratch building a new camera mounting bracket. Why, you may ask, am I bothering? nobody's going to see it once the jet is assembled. The answer? Because we are putting the jet as right as we can possibly get her. She doesn't need a gun camera, but we have one so we may as well fit it. And if we may as well fit it, we may as well fit it right, for what a few rivets, a bit of old Dakota skin salvaged out of the tin store and my time on a day off work cost us. Something like this is an item I can make at home in my own shed, rather than having to traipse across Yorkshire to the museum. So why not!
    I started with my piece of flat tin, and made 3 bracket components, 2 of which I then riveted together to make the larger double bracket
    37342701_2109067102698654_8802370658076983296_o
    The third one had its flange bent over, and was then put aside. Next the shelf for the gun camera mounting was cut. It was clamped into position on the 2 bracket sets then, after a couple of rivet holes were drilled it was cleco'd together and the rest of the rivet holes drilled and countersunk
    37334186_2109067166031981_5186372438136455168_o
    It was then riveted together, and all fitted happily. After a rub down it won the last of my etch primer...
    37516348_2109067266031971_6857029486949433344_o

    37392535_2109067336031964_6416631786754801664_o
    Then I couldn't resist trying the camera and mount for size!
    37394257_2109067426031955_3883422825322643456_o
    Incidentally, if anyone has a spare Type 32 adapter plate for the gun camera to sit on, I'd love to hear from you!
    So tomorrow's jobs, finish fitting the plug bracket and paint the whole thing in interior green paint. Then, at the weekend... go fit it!
    Restoring Meteor NF.14 WS788, one rusty nail at a time...

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