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

Post by Blue_2 »

Laurence, sadly it's not showing for me, because Photobucket is one of those hosting sites which nowadays charges you for hosting your pics and therefore won't let people see them unless you pay...

23/12/2019 Update
Last one before Christmas, and it didn't go anything like intended. Yet, it was still a really good day! What I planned was to get the perspex out of the canopy, and start treating the corrosion in the frames. What actually happened was Scott and I got Shanghai'd by Dave Taylor of the Victor crew to help jack Lindy up to recharge the port leg. We could then go about our business. At least we could have, had Lindy not had other ideas!
Image
She had lost oil and nitrogen from the port leg. We were able to recharge the Nitrogen, but it didn't lift her back to the right height. So clearly, the oil needed replenishing. More jacking needed, and the jack needed more oil! Meteor team to the rescue with OM15, and a carefully crafted ACME jack refilling device (an old bit of Meteor plumbing and a funnel!)
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More jacking, and Andre and I managed to replenish the oil part of the leg
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Upshot was, by the end of the day she was better in that the seal was playing ball and she wasn't dumping the new oil out, but she wasn't right as she still wasn't sitting at ride height.
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It was a pleasure to be working among friends on the jet that stole 7 years of my life again! There was morale...
pizza...
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And of course that giant jaffa cake was divided and conquered! It seemed only fair to let Eloise do the honours.
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While not productive for the Meteor, that doesn't matter; when needs must all the museum teams are happy to muck in together to help each other out! I did go and get another dose of penetrating oil onto the screws which will need winding out of the canopy shrouds though.
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And your eyes don't deceive, that is indeed another box of jaffa cakes!
Sometime between Christmas and New Year I'll have a day on site to do battle with the next phase of the canopy strip. Though there are now 2 little people in my life, who I am slowly indoctrinating in the ways of the Meteor, which gives me an excuse to play with Lego!
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So there you are, last pre-Christmas update. I hope you don't mind the distinctly V-bomber flavour rather than the usual Meteor doings, but it's sometimes nice to have a change. I hope you all have a very good Christmas, I'll be back sometime between Christmas and New Year with a more 'normal' update.
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

Post by LaurenceG »

Sorry about the photo. Yes, I recall now that Photobucket introduced that payment for third-party use a while back.
Thanks for all your work and entertainment this year, and let there be more in 2020.

Cheers, Laurence

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Yet I just checked and I can see it off my phone!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

Post by TEXANTOMCAT »

Brilliant stuff mate well done to you and the team - I wonder what the update for Christmas 2020 will show!

TT

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

Post by HAVAVSOC »

Hi Blue
More news from the Stradishall archives.

Copies of three pages from a 1ANS instructors logbook, listing four flights from Strad with WS788 in 1962.
However WS744 appears to have been used rather more frequently (12 flights)

PM me with address for the photos and details of whom to make the donation.

Happy New Year

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

Post by LaurenceG »

Why don't you make a new canopy like the one in your Lego? It might solve some tricky problems.
Laurence

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

Post by Blue_2 »

TT, cheers...I know what I'd like it to show!

John, looking forward to seeing what your archive produces; 744 did seem to be a hard-worked jet! Do you have anything in archives regarding the arrival of the 14's from Thorney Island,17/01/1962? Our 788 was the lead jet in the formation according to our good friend Keith Saunders, who was her nav. that day... Will get that info pm'd to you, probably tomorrow aft or Sunday.

Laurence, wish it was that easy!! :lol:
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

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29/12/2019 Update...

...and as far as engineering goes, the last update of the year! Eloise and myself were in. Our intention was to defeat that canopy...and we were not interested in taking no for an answer! While waiting for Eloise to arrive I made a start winding out the screws from the canopy side shrouds
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Then, we continued the Battle of the Perspex! This time, it finally saw our point of view.
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giving us a bare, grotty canopy chassis
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First job, removing the canopy catch inspection window
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This came home with me for polishing as it has mild UV damage
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Its mounting ring was soon rubbed back and in paint though
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The rails had grot problems...
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So we decided to get them onto the bench and under the fibre wheel, to dig out the corrosion
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A long, messy process, but in the end after finding makers' marks...
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We masked up..
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...and then primed the port rail
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Another view of the data plates for you...
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...and the rest of the Instant Canopy kit!
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Finally, tonight the viewing window has had the UV damage polished out and is good to go back on!
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So that's about it for this year. As always, thanks for your support, best wishes for 2020 and keep checking in with 788!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

Post by Malcolm McKay »

Good work Eloise, oh and you too Blu_2. Thanks for the update.

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

Post by K5054NZ »

Thanks for sharing your progress, it's always a joy to see the latest update.
Regards, Zac Yates

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

Post by TonyC »

Malcolm McKay wrote:Good work Eloise, oh and you too Blu_2. Thanks for the update.


Here, here and hoping you have a productive 2020, oh and a few more pictures of '788's mascot please (Eloise :whistle: ) :biggrin:
...and pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in Space cos there's bugger all down here on Earth!

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Mascot? After a year spannering with us she's a proper aircraft fettler, not just a mascot!! :lol:
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

Post by AirportsEd »

I didn't know that it was possible to polish out UV damage - I learn something every day!
Great thread - please keep it going.

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

Post by Blue_2 »

AirportsEd wrote:I didn't know that it was possible to polish out UV damage - I learn something every day!

It is if it's not too deeply established. The main canopy going like it had mostly protected the small viewing window, leaving it salvageable.

And thankyou!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

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02/01/2020 Update

...Only joking, just thought I'd best start practicing typing 2020 rather than 2019! I thought it might be fun to do a WS788 Review Of the Year though, and look back on how much further we have brought the project forward over the course of a year. Bear in mind some weeks there's only one day of work by one person goes into this jet, as it's a volunteer project and we have lives outside of the museum (!), and I don't think we do bad...
January, we started the year on a high, with the reinstating of the elevator controls.
Image20181229_154337 by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
For the first time since 788 was retired, the elevators are directly controlled from the stick via control rods we were donated, the layshaft retrieved and restored from the Sennybridge wreck, and a replacement set of cables. After this we were on to a much quieter month, restoring items such as gun camera mounts...
Image49499992_2223535511251812_333720599576707072_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
Image49899211_2227632360842127_6173307539950665728_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
Suppressor box brackets...
Image50073180_2227556000849763_3796731543267835904_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
Image50055554_2228188414119855_6378683418527399936_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
And lots of chopped cockpit wiring
Image50943442_2236029706669059_1357195728367124480_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
February also started quietly. Mostly at the jet by myself, I finished the rewiring of the starboard console, checked out all the cabling in the rear cockpit junction boxes
Image51069005_2240300859575277_9216912822653419520_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
and generally got things ready for putting power on in the cockpit. One little job was acquiring some glass paint (thankyou Hobbycraft!) and setting up a production line converting a box of clear bulbs we had been donated into red instrument panel bulbs. A job sat at home in front of the fire? Don't mind if I do!
Image51475096_2242938622644834_1724391272984084480_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
Image51278376_2243017062636990_622207166232657920_o by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
Did painting the bulbs work? Yes it did!
Image52504129_2249752945296735_8109007609010323456_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
Image52381262_2249752995296730_5335246102083928064_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
We even managed to rig a light to give the CRT of the Rebecca scope a dull green glow, so everything in the rear cockpit apart from the Gee box is now powered and lit.
Image52536880_2253793734892656_3386997564514500608_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
Later in the month, other members of the team started to emerge from hibernation to get on with such jobs as refitting the rear portion of the rudder cables. We send little Eloise in for that job...
Image52338490_2249734978631865_4601294826091053056_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
Image52595442_2253806048224758_4670921601783431168_o by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
And stripping down wheelsets, ready for restoration and assessment of the brake drums for potential re-use
Image52384648_2249658575306172_6366850087842217984_o by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
At the end of the month we had our first taste of what has shaped most of the effort this year, metalwork in the control surfaces. Paint stripping the lower rudder leading edge revealed a blister of corrosion...
Image53359688_2255549618050401_1345322359996809216_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
This clearly needed further investigation, leading to...
Image53366863_2255549651383731_5257775655252131840_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
So, that'll be needing surgery...
March started unusually, with BFBS coming to film a news piece about 788 and the project
Image53429988_2257177651220931_1776011840669614080_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
After 788's moment of fame it was back to chasing rot out of the rudder. I ended up making a new leading edge, replacing the original steel item with a thicker gauge alloy. We figure the less steel in the jet, the better.
So rot was chased out of the rudder leading edge, but there was some within the rudder too, so one side skin had to come off to allow this to be treated
Image52920238_2257308617874501_1650647165548101632_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
Image53395003_2260945604177469_6565615212886491136_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
A few days work saw this done, everything treated and painted, and the rudder ready to reassemble
Image53617016_2261034957501867_6426174254898741248_o by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
Then it was a case of simply make and fit new leading edge section!
Image54729565_2263646487240714_4634160521430433792_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
the upper leading edge of the lower rudder was also replaced
Image54523983_2268922440046452_2584250258288541696_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
then after stripping and priming, it went into its silver topcoat
Image54524784_2268922676713095_2513968452838883328_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
March was also the month the electrical rehab of 788 started to take shape, with the first of several visits by Kev Penfold. An ex-V-bomber electrical man, he is leading the charge on rehabilitating 788's chopped cabling. more on that later...
Image54525866_2268713573400672_1388644372261634048_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
Image53918259_2268922750046421_3920978813927817216_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
April saw a thorn in our side removed, as the last bolt holding the upper fin on finally stopped being stubborn...
Image55726445_2273460516259311_8579280599204757504_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
This needed some metalwork repairs. It also wore the remains of the 1ANS tail markings, on the section hidden by the cruciform bullet section. This proved invaluable later in the year as it gave us the measurements for the tail markings! We also finished the lower rudder repaint
Image56897032_2281777938760902_8187118671689154560_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
The upper rudder's leading edge was investigated for corrosion too, and found to be perfectly OK. We also made progress on the other end of the jet, with special guest engineer and friend Mike Davey (now more used to getting his hands grubby on Phantoms!) giving us a day, and replacing all the latches on 788's radome
Image58380847_2287355578203138_5228404916535427072_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
Before painting it up. It's now ready to fit.
Image57598443_2287456694859693_3971298740962066432_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
We also started on a little side project. We had been given the pillaged shell of a trolley acc which had been headed for the skip. On closer inspection I reckoned it could be brought back to life, so I blagged a pair of truck batteries from work, and we got the little critter throwing out voltage once more!
Image58419253_2288010731470956_5254752758484959232_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
I made a new lid for the front box, fitted a voltmeter, on/off light and new switch blagged off my friends in Malta, added a mains charger in the battery bay, and we even used it to feed power to 788 for the first time!
Image58549587_2290356187903077_4177547563051778048_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr

Image58701268_2290466967891999_4151991876280385536_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
It then got handed over to Eloise as a little project for her to run; simply rub back and repaint!
Image59410582_2290467097891986_1887174978793635840_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
May saw a lot more in the way of paintwork, on both 788 and the trolley! Danni and Eloise really chucked some work at this
Image60389733_2304110446527651_898886451180077056_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
We also got one leading edge, and our new nosewheel, into fresh shiny paint. Including on the nosewheel, a Stradishall stores number, as seen on a blown-up shot of 788 parked at Valley in 1964!
Image60836881_2306747112930651_2516901404400943104_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr

Image60969847_2306563642948998_5777082045092069376_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr

Image60724397_2306751716263524_8217949802365714432_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
We also began what became the major effort of the year, the removal, restoration and refitting of the ailerons and all associated systems. Starting with accessing the steel hinge covers and the mass balance weights in the wing...
Image61251647_2308767276061968_9093312593111547904_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr

Image61639245_2308767242728638_8271823514189692928_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
From the get go we could tell this was going to be a long task. And it was...
Image60970114_2308767169395312_4174564390437126144_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
June started well, with the team participating in YAM's first Open Cockpit Day. We had put a lot of work in for this to ensure both the NF and the F.8 were ready, and both jets in our care had a good stream of interested visitors through the day!
Image61857907_2313407535597942_2935564199255867392_o by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
Then, it was on to more metalwork. One little job I completed was the starboard undercarriage door, which I had kicked under the bench and forgotten about!
Image62328275_2316080295330666_4216362372211671040_n by Graham Buckle, on Flickr
I also changed my image hosting as Flickr started to want money from me!
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Kev's quest to trace the wiring continued, and we received news of an individual keen to help us by building a new centre section wiring loom after seeing our plight on the BFBS/Forces TV piece filmed a couple of months previously. Part of Kev's quest required full access to all nose section bays, so we got busy removing panels, drilling out screws from reluctant captive nuts just for him. That such a high proportion of the screws did undo after 50+ years speaks a lot for the quality of the original items I think.
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The starboard main panel revealed a bit of unpleasant nest activity round the emergency air bottle
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this was soon treated and the affected area repainted though
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The efforts to remove the first aileron, the starboard one, continued too. Rust, rust everywhere!
Image
July started the same way June ended, rust brown! The aileron was dropped and stripped of its rusty fittings
Image
which it turned out our French interns had a knack of turning back to shiny!
Image
The month continued in a similar vein; slowly working our way through stripping the rusty components off the aileron, getting the other aileron ready to drop, cleaning and refurbing components, priming and painting them on our hi-tech paint rig......
Image
Away from the ailerons, the upper rudder also got prepped and painted, and the wiring wizards visited and confirmed they could make us a loom. A huge relief to me, and a great step towards bringing the jet back to life! Hopefully early 2020 it will be with us... But yes, July was all about the ailerons. Later in the month the port one was finally persuaded off
Image
meaning both ailerons were on the trestles. A steady stream of parts from the 2 were flowing to our French interns to be blasted clean, returning, being primed, painted, serviced where necessary, and readied for refitting while the ailerons themselves underwent remedial work for corrosion and damage
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Last working day of July saw the rudder finally completed, and looking bloody good!
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August... and you guessed it, more aileron giblets, aileron de-corroding, aileron riveting, aileron component fabricating... BLOODY AILERONS!!!
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As a change of scenery we rubbed back and repainted the upper fin though
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As well as various aileron hinge bays and components
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Once the fin was done we decided to put it out of harm's way... back on the jet!
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The rest of the month really was more of the same, getting the ailerons worked through. At the end of the month I began the process of replicating the rotten steel hinge access panels though
Image

Image
September began with the ailerons building up nicely, some metalwork making a flush repair for one of the port trim tab skins, and the canopy opening panel coming out for some tlc
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This was soon restored and refitted to the jet
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The hard work of reassembling the ailerons and making up new hinge covers was nearing completion...
Image
Then in preparation for the refitting, the aileron recesses in the wing and the aileron leading edges were painted silver. A full dry reassembly of the ailerons, mass balances and hinges off the jet was carried out too...
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The last working day of the month saw both ailerons back in position, attached to the controls... job done!
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...nearly.
October saw the beginning of the end for the Key forum being the online home of the WS788 project, and a lot of wirelocking and split pinning of the freshly restored and refitted aileron assemblies.
Image
Prior to hurtling headlong into our next big job it seems, stripping out the engine nacelles and replacing their lower halves with NOS items! This started with a hoover out of the ammo, engine and fuel bays. We decided to start on the fuel tank bay repaint while we were at it
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then we nipped to the Newark aerojumble, to pick up the skins from our friends from East Midlands Aeropark
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before spending a day stripping out the fixtures and fittings from the lower halves of the nacelles. We also continued the canopy dismantle, as well as getting some more bits into paint while the temperatures held
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November saw the replacement of all the duff captive nuts from the access panels on both sides of the nose, as we had been provided with new shiny ones! It also saw the beginning of the engine nacelle change...
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A long job and a LOT of drilling.
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But as you can see from this comparison of the 2 skins, very necessary.
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Image
It was also the month I finally gave up posting updates on Key, and moved the whole Meteor "shooting match" over here, nto UKAR.
The war on the canopy was then stepped up to priority one, as we have an opportunity for new glazing but ours is needed as a master for the moulds.
Image
December...and yes the christmas tree with Meteor topper was again deployed as a matter of urgency!
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After a LOT of hard work over a few months by a number of team members, we got the front perspex out of the canopy finally
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And after a similar amount of graft, the rest of the frame was disassembled and the rear half followed
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And we have started refurbing the metalwork of the canopy
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So there you have it, Meteor WS788's 2019 in a nutshell. Thankyou to my team, everyone who has turned a spanner on 788, brought bits, donated money, supplied jaffa cakes, or just offered words of support. It all means a lot.
Roll on 2020!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

Post by LaurenceG »

Phenomenal! What a year! Well done to all the team.

Laurence

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

Post by K5054NZ »

All of what Laurence said! I have thoroughly enjoyed following '788's progress and the team's antics throughout the year and am excited to see what 2020 brings.

Thank you Graham for keeping such a wonderful record of this restoration., and sharing it with us.

Happy New Year from NZ!
Regards, Zac Yates

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Cheers guys! And thankyou for following us across from 'the other place'!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Normal service resumes...
04/01/2020 Update
Last one before the drudge of returning to work on Monday. I had Lewis with me today, a young chap who all being well will be taking part in activities on 788 in the future. We need people like him to get into this sort of thing now, otherwise the preservation scene will start to suffer from a shortage of manpower and skills in coming decades... Anyway, once bacon formalities were done, it was to the jet. After paperwork and a look round, I set Lewis on with freeing up the 2 seized forward rollers on the canopy rails, while I got on with finishing the job of removing the last remaining access panel on the starboard side of the nose
Image
Lewis learning about the joys of 50+ year old aircraft bits!
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I got the hatch off, and found someone had been there before me...
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Cutting pipes to the ground pressure test connector...
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In order to get to, and cut, the canopy jettison lever behind the instrument panel
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That's not supposed to look like that...
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And this rod is supposed to go through the instrument panel, and have a jettison pull attached. Only it's been snapped off...
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Bloody vandalism. I can only assume this was done during her time at Leeming to allow access to the cockpit. I really wish they hadn't... This is more what it should look like...
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This we can repair... but we are still left missing a canopy jettison handle. Anyone got one...?
Anyway... back at the bench Lewis had freed off the rollers, so we prepped and painted the rails. Once they had left their hi-tech spray booth (!) we returned them to the canopy area
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Before continuing the effort to remove the screw stumps from the side sections of the canopy frame
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One down...
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Painted and added to the done pile...
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2 down...
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And again internally painted, and returned from whence it came
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So a productive day, not one laced with the best news necessarily but we've had worse. There's certainly nothing here we can't fix.
The joys of seized, butchered teleflexes...!! :wall:
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

Post by TEXANTOMCAT »

When Graham and The Meteors (Feat. Elouise) release their first album it should be called ‘Seized, Butchered, Teleflexes’

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

Post by Malcolm McKay »

Thanks Blu_2. That's a shame about the butchery behind that panel.

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

Post by Domvickery »

This is a great read Graham, I love a good project thread, thank you for bringing it over.

Whats the ultimate aim with ‘788, is it a static, taxiable or even an airworthy restoration?
Free straws available to clutch at - PM me. Inventor of the baguette scale

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

Post by K5054NZ »

Graham can confirm/update, but as of the September 2019 issue of FlyPast magazine the aim is a runner:
ImageFlyPast September 2019 pg14 by Zac Yates, on Flickr
Regards, Zac Yates

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

Post by LaurenceG »

By the way, it's good to see that this thread has earned its rightful place on a new Historic Aviation page. Here's hoping for an excellent 2020.

Laurence

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

Post by Blue_2 »

That's the plan.
Could have spared us seeing that photo again!!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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