A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Discussions regarding historic aircraft, restoration and preservation etc
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Blue_2
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A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Blue_2 »

Morning all!
I'm hoping a good number of the readers here will know me, and the restoration project I am running at YAM to return what was a very sad, scruffy looking Meteor to health.
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For the duration of the project (just under 4 years and counting so far...) I have run a thread over on the Key forum recording the project, work done, parts acquired, jaffa cake consumption, you know the important stuff! For those who are unfamiliar with 788's story so far, it's all here:

https://www.key.aero/forum/historic-avi ... ad?page=76

Anyway, we all know what's happened over there, with the reboot of the forum. So as a result, I've decided to migrate the thread across here where there are actually some forum users to see what we are up to! I hope the thread is as well received here as it used to be in the old place, and look forward to sharing our project with you all.

*Anyone wishing to bring jaffa cakes to the hangar would be well received!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project

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

Post by Spartabus »

Good to see you here, you were the last remaining reason I visited the Key forums. Now, the important question. Exchequer rulings aside, do you personally see the mighty Jaffa Cake as a cake or a biscuit? This is a far more important question than 'Jam or Cream', 'Barm Cake or Muffin' and 'Scone or Scone' to the world at large. Secondly, do you entertain any of the alternative 'new age' recipes that are out there, such as the occasionally available 'Lemon and Lime' or 'Blackcurrant' (let us never speak of the abomination that was the Strawberry flavour)
Keep up the good work :)

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

Post by goldilocks »

Thank goodness your here Blue_2. Just like Spartabus said, you were the only reason for continuing to look at the other place - now I can forget that it ever existed !

Keep up the good work

Goldilocks

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

Post by Schanche »

Yes great to see this thread here, admire the work in completing this project big respect to all involved :clap:

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TonyC
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Location: Lost, if you find me, please let me know...

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

Post by TonyC »

:clap: looking forward to the next update...
...and pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in Space cos there's bugger all down here on Earth!

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

Post by LaurenceG »

Hello Blue. As I've just said over on the dark side, I was grateful to you for sticking out there as long as you have. So I'm following you over to happier hunting grounds. Looking forward to the rest of the saga of 788.

Laurence

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

Post by DOUGHNUT »

Glad you are here but very sad that the 75 pages of the old thread are lost. Hope that you have some way of personally archiving all that you have posted.
A question I have often wanted to ask. You freely give your time to the restoration of '788 but what are the YAM's long term plans for it ?
Sincerely hope that all your good work will not be in vain should 'the Management' decide it did not fit with a new plan.

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

Post by Monsun »

A good decision Blue 2, I've finally given up with Flypast as the only threads I looked at were yours and Duxford Diary.

I seem to recall that I promised you a Meteor book but it will have to be next year now!

Peter

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Well... thankyou all for the welcome, it certainly seems that migrating was the right thing to do! :rock:
I've to go do that paid work thing right now, but I'll be back on later to respond properly to everyone's posts, and to add a round up of 'the story so far'...
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project

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

Post by Steve Bond »

Good to see you have moved over here. Having followed your project since the start I look forward to enjoying reading about continued prpogress.

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

Post by TEXANTOMCAT »

I think you'll find a lot of people have migrated from the trashed Key forum to here Graham just to follow the saga of Jaffacake consumption!

:)

Great work as ever!

TT

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

Post by WebPilot »

I'm very happy to see this thread, I've been very frustrated to not have a regular update!

RE Jaffas cake / biscuit, its simple. When a cake goes stale it goes hard, when a biscuit goes stale it goes soft. Stale Jaffas are hard, ergo they're cakes.

adam2628
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by adam2628 »

WebPilot wrote:I'm very happy to see this thread, I've been very frustrated to not have a regular update!

RE Jaffas cake / biscuit, its simple. When a cake goes stale it goes hard, when a biscuit goes stale it goes soft. Stale Jaffas are hard, ergo they're cakes.

OK, it's not 42, it's this.

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

Post by Blue_2 »

I shall address the most pressing business first if I may Gentlemen. The Jaffa Cake. Yes, fuel of any discerning restoration team, it has long been a thing of furious debate and controversy. Indeed civil wars have been waged over lesser matters... I believe my learned friend WebPilot has pretty much nailed it with his answer; I'm happy to take that as Gospel.
Any other flavour is just plain wrong; were someone to bring us such an abomination as an offering, they would be taken behind the hangar and dealt with appropriately! :hide:

Now, Key forum. Yes, for the last 3 years and 11 months it has been a good and fruitful home for the project's updates. Good in that it was a well used forum, with many aircraft minded visitors, who took an active interest in our project. Fruitful in that it not only brought many great contacts our way in the form of people with parts, manuals, or knowledge to share, but also people who flew our aircraft during her career. The project is to us as much about 788's people as it is the aircraft, and that is why we ask her former aircrew who visit us to sign the JB door. One day these fine chaps will no longer be with us, but their mark will be on their jet. These people wouldn't have known about the project had it not been for the Key forum. Then one day, they decided to do an update, which they made a colossal @rse of, and we noticed 'trade' falling off considerably. Then, the latest abortion hit our screens, and apart from a few loyal die-hard fans (thankyou!) we had nobody commenting, and no idea if anyone was even bothering to look in. It's had a fair crack of the whip, but the time comes you just have to pull the yellow and black handle. One of these updates takes a bit of my time to compile, and I'd rather spend that time writing something a good number of people are likely to read than something nobody will visit or read.
I hope the forum doesn't get killed; if nothing else it will serve as an archive of work to date. I may just be better off printing the old thread off, just in case I ever get round to writing "the book"...
So, 788. For those of you who don't know her, she is an A-W Meteor NF.14, built at Baginton in 1953. She entered service with 152sqn in 1954, before conversion to NF(T).14 status. Then as a navigation trainer she served with 2 Air Navigation School at Thorney Island, then 1ANS at Stradishall, before retirement. Her final flight was to RAF Kemble for disposal on January 6th, 1966.
This wasn't the end for her. After parts reclamation, 788 was allocated to RAF Patrington for gate guard duties in 1967, and has stayed in God's own county ever since. When Patrington closed, she was reallocated to RAF Leeming, where she stayed until the early 90's when, after a restoration, she was demobbed and moved to YAM. In the mid-2000's she had some work done on her tail, then about 6 years ago she was partly dismantled and moved in for an abortive restoration. Just under 4 years ago, I was looking for a project to really get my teeth into, and found 788 in the corner looking very sad.
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That scruffy old thing was the project for me! First job was to unwrap her, then retrieve from the various corners of the site whatever parts we had of her
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Most of a cockpit, most of an airframe, a cut up wiring loom... and that was it. Challenge accepted. For the first 2 1/2 years we were outside. First job was to shift her out of that lake in the corner,and start learning our way round her
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In mid-2016 we refitted her wings, making her look like a Meteor once more
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Progress was still painfully slow as we were nowhere near electric. A move closer to power helped, but we were still outside. Then a move to outside the workshop happened, giving us way better facilities. We were still losing great bits of the day unbuttoning then buttoning up the jet, but it was better than nothing.
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In the background, we were busily beavering away finding all the missing parts we could. Every bit of the control runs had been removed, new wingtips were sourced, many replacement panels came from the barn of Mike Davey, we were building up our knowledge and AP libraries on the type, and even having to journey to South Wales to pick over the bones of F.8 VZ568!
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Then, we got to move 788 indoors. Finally hangar space was allocated, so in she came
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We could now start stripping the jet down panel by panel, and begin getting the paint off!
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Also, stuff started to come back to life...
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And we could really start getting into the metalwork. More restored and done items were appearing on and around the jet...
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Then we made our final move to date, into what we call the naughty corner
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This year has seen a lot of metalwork; rudder, upper fin, ailerons, tailcone all rebuilt, lots of rot removed, and currently we are in the process of replacing the 2 lower nacelle skins.
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Next year we hope to reinstate the 1ANS silver/dayglo colour scheme, and really start bringing the jet to life. There is a new centre loom being made, we have one engine and hopefully a second in the pipeline, so watch this space...
Meteor 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 »

DOUGHNUT wrote:A question I have often wanted to ask. You freely give your time to the restoration of '788 but what are the YAM's long term plans for it ?
Sincerely hope that all your good work will not be in vain should 'the Management' decide it did not fit with a new plan.

I forgot to answer this. I think 788 is pretty secure in her home. While she won't get to live indoors permanently, I hope she'll rotate in and out once restored, as space requirements permit.
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project

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

Post by Malcolm McKay »

You can run but you can't hide Captain Jaffa Cake :yahoo:

I'm here !!!!

Great to see you set up and posting - as ever keep up the good work :clap:

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Just when I thought it was safe...! :lol:
After thinking about what Doughnut said, I've just spent an hour saving all of the 77 pages of the thread in "The Other Place" onto my laptop, so they won't be lost if Key decide to pull the plug on the forum they have successfully murdered to death. Not something I had considered, but a good idea, so cheers for that. I was surprised to note that 22 of the 77 pages are from this year, so it looks like we've had rather a busy one, and we ain't done yet!
Going through the pages reminded me that there's a couple of things I haven't mentioned for the benefit of the UKAR-ites who may not have stumbled across our project previously. Firstly, the museum has a second Meteor, which we have also taken under our wing, F.8 WL168.
Image42838130_2167258086879555_2705534989356761088_o by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
Now while she is not in bad condition, she has had her cockpit pillaged, losing instruments, oxygen regulator, and main instrument panel.
Image44943314_2181637762108254_8017185249786068992_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
SO, we built a panel from a blank piece of alloy, and raided YAM Archives for instruments. We couldn't get a full set of correct instruments, but we did our best.
Image44197059_2176287569309940_62953392946806784_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr

Image44458175_2178839082388122_7718972398975844352_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
The finished item is seen here with 788's panel on the right
Image44837565_2181622288776468_6758830638888910848_o by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
In its new home...
Image44916313_2181637838774913_1813823667591708672_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
She has now gained the last few missing items, and the office looks really good!
Image51977421_2249642765307753_390235385575243776_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
Indeed my team were able to man both Meteors as part of the YAM Open Cockpit day earlier this year, which was the first big museum event us and our aircraft have been able to take part in!
Image57360330_2285024575102905_4979790597167513600_o by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
Another item restored this year has been our humble little trolley acc. This was given to us, as it had been pillaged for parts and its next destination would have been the skip. Externally it was complete but scruffy, and while pillaged it had retained many of the important bits.
Image58652622_2288010808137615_4752347000530272256_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
I acquired a voltmeter, a new switch, and also some truck batteries from work, and we soon had life back in the old beast!
Image58549587_2290356187903077_4177547563051778048_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
After a bit more work getting the thing serviceable, including fitting a mains trickle charger, it was passed over to our tame ATC cadet Eloise for rubbing back and painting. And it has to be said she did a top job!
Image59410582_2290467097891986_1887174978793635840_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr

Image60598808_2304110406527655_2989270076642820096_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr

Image60389733_2304110446527651_898886451180077056_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
So we now have a reliable source of ground power for 788... and it looks pretty swish too!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project

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

Post by Archer »

Good to see this topic turning up here! Your summary also got me thinking about a photo I took in August 2013, showing WS788 outside but complete (see here). I guess that the 'abortive restoration' wasn't long after I took that photo. Although faded, WS788 at least looked complete from a distance, and I was surprised to see the photo of how you found her, partially dismantled and covered up. Quite a striking difference to me. Anyway, she is well underway to being a much healthier Meteor now.

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Archer, I think the abortive restoration was indeed the year after your pic. The outer wings were removed to get 788 into the HP building, then various small items were removed for restoration, and scattered to the 4 winds! Then the restoration effort stalled, the indoor space was needed for something else, so off out to Corrosion Corner she went.
And then...!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project

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

Post by Junk Collector »

Another refugee from that utter and total disaster at Key here, thought would have a go, hope more topics migrate over, pleased to be able keep up with this one now, keep them coming

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

Post by richardgtb »

Brilliant to see this thread again, Watching with much interest!

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Good to see so many familiar names on here!
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LaurenceG
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by LaurenceG »

It's also good to see your short history of the 788 project you just concocted for the newcomers. Makes good reading.

Laurence

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

Post by Blue_2 »

It is the very, very (very!) abridged version for those not familiar with the project, but it gives a flavour of the story so far...
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project

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

Post by Kip Casper »

Great to see this thread. Good luck and long may it continue.
http://www.gcse.com/english/there.htm - learn how to use 'their', 'there' and 'they're'.

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