A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

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Blue_2
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Blue_2 »

Man cannot live by jaffa cakes alone!
Meteor WS788 and Chipmunk WK640 Restoration Projects, Yorkshire Air Museum. Other types meddled with by request...

ZRX61
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by ZRX61 »

Blue_2 wrote:
Mon 12 Apr 2021, 5:21 pm
Man cannot live by jaffa cakes alone!
But you should at least try....

ZRX61
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by ZRX61 »

Blue_2 wrote:
Sun 11 Apr 2021, 9:05 am
As she stands, no. Most of the ancillaries are missing off the back of the engines, there's no brakes fitted, the exhaust systems are all mock ups, none of the flight controls are connected up, and there's no electrical system in place. Then of course there's the small matter of wrong handed fibreglass replica props moulded from Dak items...
Most of those could be fixed with $$... I can think of a few warbirds flying around with DC3 props.. & technically, the lack of brakes doesn't prevent trundling.. but it does make untrundling a bit difficult :)

Probably be simpler to just hang a set of C130 engines on it ;)

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Blue_2
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Blue_2 »

ZRX61 wrote:
Wed 14 Apr 2021, 9:19 pm
Blue_2 wrote:
Mon 12 Apr 2021, 5:21 pm
Man cannot live by jaffa cakes alone!
But you should at least try....
I like things like a car, a roof over my head, the odd pint... sadly these things cannot be bartered for with jaffa cakes!
Meteor WS788 and Chipmunk WK640 Restoration Projects, Yorkshire Air Museum. Other types meddled with by request...

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Blue_2
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Blue_2 »

ZRX61 wrote:
Wed 14 Apr 2021, 9:24 pm
Blue_2 wrote:
Sun 11 Apr 2021, 9:05 am
As she stands, no. Most of the ancillaries are missing off the back of the engines, there's no brakes fitted, the exhaust systems are all mock ups, none of the flight controls are connected up, and there's no electrical system in place. Then of course there's the small matter of wrong handed fibreglass replica props moulded from Dak items...
Most of those could be fixed with $$... I can think of a few warbirds flying around with DC3 props.. & technically, the lack of brakes doesn't prevent trundling.. but it does make untrundling a bit difficult :)

Probably be simpler to just hang a set of C130 engines on it ;)
2 problems. 1, the $$ you mentioned. 2, the Dak props, such as she wears replicas of, are actually the wrong handed rotation for a Bristol Hercules engine!
Meteor WS788 and Chipmunk WK640 Restoration Projects, Yorkshire Air Museum. Other types meddled with by request...

ZRX61
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by ZRX61 »

Blue_2 wrote:
Thu 15 Apr 2021, 8:53 am
I like things like a car, a roof over my head, the odd pint... sadly these things cannot be bartered for with jaffa cakes!

I've had some very odd pints....

ZRX61
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by ZRX61 »

Blue_2 wrote:
Thu 15 Apr 2021, 8:55 am
2 problems. 1, the $$ you mentioned. 2, the Dak props, such as she wears replicas of, are actually the wrong handed rotation for a Bristol Hercules engine!
Hastings props?

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Blue_2
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Blue_2 »

ZRX61 wrote:
Fri 16 Apr 2021, 11:38 pm
Blue_2 wrote:
Thu 15 Apr 2021, 8:55 am
2 problems. 1, the $$ you mentioned. 2, the Dak props, such as she wears replicas of, are actually the wrong handed rotation for a Bristol Hercules engine!
Hastings props?
Too many blades!
Meteor WS788 and Chipmunk WK640 Restoration Projects, Yorkshire Air Museum. Other types meddled with by request...

Spartabus
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Spartabus »

Enough of the waffle, have you found a Lidl for supplies of the Jaffa Cake Coffee, or do I have to post you some? :D

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Blue_2
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Blue_2 »

26/04/2021 Update

Now, doesn't that look like a little bit of normal service resuming?! After we demolished bacon o'clock sarnies provided by my better half, myself and Simon were on site yesterday morning to continue helping YAM get ready to reopen to visitors on May 22 (all being well). We decided to continue our Halifax fettling, as there's a few jobs we needed to get seen off. One involved the Flight Engineer's panels on the replica cutaway cockpit section we have in the Bomber Command display. Yes, it seems we have become the YAM authority on Halifax F/E's panels!
These panels are as well made as the ones out of Friday, but the populating of them has been on a very much 'make do and mend' scale. You'll see what I mean... Anyway, we needed to pull one of the sheets of protective perspex off the exhibit to allow access, get the F/E lower panel out and take it to our bench for work, fit the oil pressure gauges to the upper panel, sort, return and refit the lower panel, give as much of the interior as we could reach a spruce up, then refit the perspex. Sounds easy if you say it quick!
We soon had the perspex sheet off, and the lower panel and the cover panel giving access to the rear of the upper panel off too
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The plan was to remove 5 of the genuine push buttons from the cutaway cockpit F/E panel and transfer them to Friday 13's F/E panel, fit the 5 3d printed push buttons from Replitek to the cutaway's panel, and replace the cowl gill controls and fit the missing warning lights on this panel. We had no plans to restore this panel to the same extent we have Friday's panels, we just want to take it to a higher level of authenticity using parts we have spare from getting Friday's panels as close as we can to perfect.
Here are the 2 panels from the 2 cockpits together, Friday's top and the cockpit section's bottom
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Note the differences; Friday's is a Mk.III panel, whereas that from the cockpit section is a Mk.VII. The most glaringly obvious issue with the cockpit section panel is the 4 cowl gill controls, made from ally sheet, bottle tops and what look like handles off 1970's bedroom furniture! I had some oil cooler shutter controls spare (thanks John!) so I reckoned I could make something a whole lot more like what you see in the lower left corner of Friday's panel
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I can't fault them for ingenuity!
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So Simon got on with swapping the push buttons from one panel to the other, and fitting the 3d printed ones to the cockpit section panel, while I got creative with the 4 bits of metal, 4 lamps, and 4 shutter controls. I reckon that looks a lot more like the real deal!
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Of course, the captioning isn't quite right, but nobody will see that in the cockpit section as it is quite dimly lit to give the authentic feel of a Halifax cockpit at night. Also, it's certainly better than the handles off Auntie Mabel's bedside drawers! After a lot of measuring, sucking of teeth, and precision pillar drill-ing, I had all 4 made and ready to go.
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Simon had also cracked on with the great push button migration (I don't think he wants to see another 5c/540 for a LOOOONG time!) and the panel was ready to refit
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We don't have the right long range tank gauges to fill the holes on the right; evidence suggests not all Hali VII's had them fitted anyway. Friday's panel looks better for its full complement of buttons too...
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So we trooped back to the Bomber Command display, to fit the oil pressure gauges and refit the lower panel. Again, the oil gauges had been fitted to the outside of the panel. We hadn't the time to pull the upper panel and alter the panel to take the gauges fitted correctly, so I just fitted them on the outside. The vast majority of our visitors won't know it's not right anyway...
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While we were in there I took the opportunity to clear some cobwebs from the pilot's station, and get an unusual shot of it. For another 'make do and mend', it's not bad.
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And I'm not just saying that because I did some work on the pilot's control column (yes, that is an Anson yoke, best we could find at the time...) and made a set of rudder pedals for it a few years ago either! So panels in, spiders evicted, perspex back on...
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I think that's an improvement!
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Meteor business got a look-in too. Ebay once more proved fruitful; after the disappointment of being sniped on a genuine A-W maintenance manual for the NF last week, I did get this publicity pamphlet, now added to my archive
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In with it was this photo of a pair of 85 Sqn Meteor NF.14's
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To 788. Here she is, just as we left her...
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Simon was going to go upstairs and finish off his work on the rudder trim actuator...
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But the Halifax panels hoovered up his day. I acquired a new jack this week after our past one expired (due to overwork!) so jacked each of 788's wheels up in turn to rotate the tyres
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This hadn't been done in over a year thanks to Covid, so was waaaay overdue! We also had some bits arrive... but I'll tell you about them next time when I fit them. Because I'm determined next time I/we are in, the Halifax bits will be pushed aside and 788 will get all of the attention for once!
Finally... YAM enjoying the Spring sunshine
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Normality, such as it will be post-covid, is getting ever closer guys...



Wonder if Auntie Mabel wants the handles off her bedside drawers back now?!
Spartabus wrote:
Mon 26 Apr 2021, 7:03 am
Enough of the waffle, have you found a Lidl for supplies of the Jaffa Cake Coffee, or do I have to post you some? :D
Fear not, we are spoilt for choice for Lidls round here!!!
Meteor WS788 and Chipmunk WK640 Restoration Projects, Yorkshire Air Museum. Other types meddled with by request...

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Blue_2
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Blue_2 »

Just a little addition to the archive to share with you this week, an ebay win in the form of a slide of WS788 taken in 1975 which shines a little more light on her post-flying career
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The date for her move from RAF Patrington to Leeming is unclear, as the final entry in her movement card reads "To Patrington as a display aircraft, 7967M" dated 19/6/67, but looking at this photo it appears she is very freshly repainted and wearing a different camo scheme to that which she wore at Patrington so I would assume very recently moved, so late 74/early 75 for her move seems reasonable.
She wears the white serial and identifier only used on the NF's very late in service which suggests she was diligently painted to the correct RAF scheme for late NF's, a scheme she never wore as she had undergone NF(T) conversion by the time that was introduced, and spurious 68 Squadron markings. 68 never flew the NF.14, operating only NF.11's out of RAF Wahn, and I assume the reasons for this choice of unit markings were pertinent to the then-Station Commander and are now lost in the mists of time. It also suggests that the underwing tanks she had worn while displayed at Patrington didn't travel with her to Leeming, or if they did Leeming didn't bother refitting them. I wonder if this means some fun and games await us when we turn our attention to their mounting units on 788 then...?
Also, for some reason they have locked the nosewheel doors in the up position, later unlocked and now they are stuck open. Another job on the list... The mainwheel inner doors are also locked up, and stayed that way until I started the 788 project! Also, some bugger has painted over the perspex window for the nose leg mounted landing lights!
The IFF aerial under the nose which I reinstated last year is missing at this point too, suggesting it was removed for ease of road transport of the nose section and never refitted. The electronics cooling ducts, removed during NF(T) conversion and later added back on over the blanking plates to make her cosmetically look more like an NF, have not been fitted at this point.
It appears from what detail I can make out through the canopy (a see-through canopy; there's a novelty!) the seats and rear instruments are all in place except the Rebecca scope, the GGS tray is in but no GGS appears to be fitted.
Anyway a nice snapshot of 788's state of play, 9 years after her final flight.
Meteor WS788 and Chipmunk WK640 Restoration Projects, Yorkshire Air Museum. Other types meddled with by request...

Viscount
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Viscount »

Following on from the previous post, Ken Ellis as editor of his first Wrecks and Relics (Ed 4, August 1974, Merseyside Aviation Society) notes that:
PATRINGTON, YORKSHIRE, on the A1033 SE of Hull. This station has closed but no record of its gate guardian, Meteor NF(T).14 WS788/7967M 'JHW' of 25 Sqdn, moving has been reported. Perhaps it is still there.
That sets the scene for W&R Ed 5, April 1976, MAS, for Ken Ellis to record that:
LEEMING, NORTH YORKSHIRE. Javelin FW.4 XA634/7641M in 137 Sqdn colours was joined on the gate by October 1974 by Meteor NF(T).14 WS788/7967M (ex Patrington).
In a 1978 W&R 'spin-off' called 'In Uniform' (pub MAS), Ken Ellis provides a paragraph long summary of the 'record card' history for WS788. As this is reasonably well known I'll skip the service history section (but if requested can copy the summary onto a post here quite happily) and start the quote at retirement from active service:
WS788. . . . . It was retired on 6th January 1966 to No.5 MU at Kemble, and declared a non-effective airframe on March 8th 1966. It was then allocated to Patrington, as 7967M, as a display airframe on September 5th 1967. It was here that it acquired the tail coding 'JHW' in honour of Wing Commander J.H.Walton, whose initials had been carried on locally based Javelins and a Vampire. When Patrington closed WS778 moved on to Leeming in late 1974. It no longer carries the marking 'JHW'.
W&R 6, in April 1978; W&R 7 in March 1980 or W&R 8, in April 1982 do not add anything in the way of comment re markings carried.

W&R 9, in May 1984 (W&R now published by MCP) and W&R 10, March 1986 both report that the RAF Leeming gate guardian WS788 is marked as "WS844" coded 'JCF'. W&R 11, in 1988 just records that it still wears "WS844".

W&R 12, in May 1990 notes under LEEMING that Meteor NF.14 "WS844" was put up for tender 3/88 and was acquired by a private individual, but not moved. Yorkshire Air Museum took it on and "WS844" moved to Elvington early in 1990. Cross-referencing to the ELVINGTON entry provides nothing additional. It is worth noting though, that the Meteor is one of only 8 aircraft listed under the YAM entry, how the collection has expanded since.

At that point my W&R collection becomes incomplete. While I located a date for the move to Leeming, I failed to find what I was particularly looking for, mention of the change into 68 Sqdn markings - but thought the chronology between end of service life and the move to Elvington as recorded in 'Wreck and Relics' might be of interest to some. Just pleasantly surprised that I can throw a tiny chink of information on the past of an aircraft that I have become a passionate weekly follower of due to "Blue 2's" detailed reporting of the high and lows of his painstaking (and sometimes painful) restoration work progress.

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Blue_2
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Blue_2 »

Viscount, very good of you to trawl the books and provide all these extra details on 788's life as a gate guard, particularly dates! I'll add all that gen to my written summary of her career.
Further to the individual who acquired her before selling her on to YAM, I can add some info on that score. The chap bought her intending her to be a gate guard for his business, but changed his mind after seeing the extensive wing damage caused when the RAF moved her across the airfield as an underslung load under a Chinook, damage that was not disclosed in the original tender documents! Lacking the knowledge of how to make these repairs he was happy to make them someone else's (YAM's) problem!
Fortunately one of the Leeming resident Tornado F.3 squadrons then approached YAM asking if they could "borrow" 788 for their squadron's anniversary celebrations having previously flown the type, keeping her at Leeming a year or so longer than intended and offering to repair and repaint her in exchange.
Sadly for them the Gulf War scuppered the celebrations they had planned, but after that had calmed down although the anniversary had now passed good to their word they repaired and repainted 788, returning her to her correct 152 squadron colours (the same paint she is slowly being stripped of today, that time expired Tornado GR.1 paint is good stuff!) rather than their colours before sending her on her way to us!
Glad you enjoy the thread!
Meteor WS788 and Chipmunk WK640 Restoration Projects, Yorkshire Air Museum. Other types meddled with by request...

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K5054NZ
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by K5054NZ »

Fascinating stuff!
Regards, Zac Yates

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