A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Discussions regarding historic aircraft, restoration and preservation etc
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ZRX61
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by ZRX61 »

Are you running a pool on who will be the first person to impale themselves on the IFF antenna?.. or is it a foregone conclusion? :lmao:

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Oh it's bound to be me!
To be fair, under that bit of the nose isn't a place we'll be visiting often, so it should be safe.
The UHF aerial on the port intake is a sod though!

The rudder cables are going in the post this morning I'm told; maybe, just maybe, they'll be in their new home this weekend...
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

DH82EH
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by DH82EH »

Another great update.
I find that a disproportionate number of aircraft technicians are left handed. (I'm not).
I'd be interested to find a statistic. It is quite uncanny and often useful!

Thanks as always.

Andy

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

Post by Blue_2 »

There are certainly times being a southpaw seems to help!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

baz1962
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by baz1962 »

Going by the similar damage on the F8 pulley brackets it looks like the same clown did the damage! :wall:

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

Post by Blue_2 »

baz1962 wrote:Going by the similar damage on the F8 pulley brackets it looks like the same clown did the damage! :wall:

I can't disagree; who would have thought that Meteor rudder cable rollers would be such a desirable item?!

I should be at Elvington tomorrow, but how much will get done on 788 is anyone's guess as I have already been collared to help fold Buccaneer XV168's wings, and I suspect I'll get roped in to helping with the anti-det runs on the Victor too.
In the meantime, I thought I would share with you a picture which arrived this week for the WS788/1ANS archive. It is an image taken at Leuchars BoB day, September 1963, showing a pristine NF(T).14 WS840/N. Images like this are something I collect, both for the interest and for the help in making sure our repaint of 788 will be as accurate as we can get it.
Image
840's history is one which contains more than its fair share of questions, and a mystery to boot, before reaching a sad conclusion for the jet. On retirement she flew to Northern Ireland, where she was placed on the fire dump at (I am told) Ballykelly. In the 80's she was found on her belly and painted black on the dump at Aldergrove.
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(not my pic, apologies and credit to the original photographer)
One of our Nimrod team remembers here being there in the late 80's. A team was formed to restore her, but nothing ever came of it. This is where the mystery comes in. The aircraft then disappeared, before a number of years later her rear fuselage from the wing trailing edge back appeared in a paddock in Northern Ireland, where it lies to this day.
Image
(Again not my pic, I was sent it. Credit original photographer)
So where did she disappear to? What happened to the rest of her? Could it be that the rest of her (including that really nice canopy!) still exists, dismantled in a barn somewhere? One day we might find out...
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 »

Interesting pics Blu_2 - I'm surprised you haven't launched a secret operation to invade Northern Ireland and snaffle that tail section. :biggrin:

But in the mean time it would be great if the canopy was located somewhere.

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

Post by Blue_2 »

If it wasn't for the cost and distance, I would have snaffled it! No idea what I'd have done with it apart from removing a few choice parts though...
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 »

04/02/2020 Update (better late than never I guess!)

Apologies for my tardiness, but here's Sunday's fun and frolics for your enjoyment. Simon and I were in, and after bacon formalities the first job of the day was unwrapping presents for 788. New canopy roller, being checked for size...
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Looks good to us... and it has friends!
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Next present, from our friend Jason in south Wales restoring the cockpit of Meteor WL405...
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Forward rudder cables! We laid these out for a good looking at...
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The final piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is reinstating the controls. More on these later... Next job, getting the rudder pedals working as they should. Easier said than done as access isn't great, so we took the front seat out for now. I then started work on the pedals, freeing off stuck and damaged pulley spools and letting our penetrating oil work its magic
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I really want to avoid taking the pedals out if I can, as that's going to be a pain of a job. While I was in there I stripped the top of the trimmer box off. It needs some love, and the perspex of the trim gauges replacing as they are beyond opaque! While we are not reinstating the trim system, it'd be nice to get the trim controls looking good. Trimmer box stripped...
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top, old perspex, and elevator trimmer on the bench
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Also the rudder trim knob and associated fittings in the tub.
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Then lunch, after which I went and assisted with XL231's anti-det run. As usual the lady was on fine song...
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Then it was back to the Meteor, and preparing to begin fitting the first forward rudder cables. This meant accessing the lower inner bays of the nose to get onto the back of the first pulley in the system. While the cut cables pulled out through it, there isn't room to send the new cables with their turnbuckle fixings back through. So much cursing later, the hatch was off. I sent my phone in to do a reconnaissance of a bit of the jet unseen for decades...
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On the right hand wall are the bolts I needed to undo to remove the pulley. There are also what I take to be pencil drawings done during manufacture!
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We love finding stuff like this. So, cables on the spool...
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Through the aforementioned pulley, which was refitted straight away...
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And back down the fuselage to the next bay, ready for battle to recommence next time. This is the tricky bit, as access is, er, interesting...
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More next time folks...
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

Post by WebPilot »

Blue_2 wrote:So where did she disappear to? What happened to the rest of her? Could it be that the rest of her (including that really nice canopy!) still exists, dismantled in a barn somewhere? One day we might find out...


I have this airframe as scrapped at Aldergrove in 1991. The tail appears to be in a "horse training paddock", so my guess is the dismembered tail was taken for use as a makeshift jump. It wouldn't be the first to suffer such an indignity.


Image

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

Post by Blue_2 »

The longer it stays hoof dent free the better...
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 »

Thanks for the update Blu_2 - that recabling of the controls looks like a profanity inducing exercise.

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

Post by Blue_2 »

I see much expansion of vocabulary and loss of skin in my future..!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

Post by TonyC »

WebPilot wrote:Image


Reminds me of RAF Halton, I used to live in Aylesbury (1976-99) and would often drive past the camp and remember seeing similar airframes dotted around the field being using for jumping fences!
...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 »

It's certainly an ignominious end to an aircraft's life, being clattered repeatedly by the hooves of Tesco burgers...

Given the weather forecast this weekend, I won't be heading over to Elvington for Meteor fettling. An hour trip each way in what they have forecast doesn't sound the brightest of ideas.
Good thing I brought a couple of little bits home to work on then...!
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 »

08/02/2020 Update, Meteor Works East, awaiting Storm Ciara doing her worst...

...and it's not been a bad day here on the coast! It would have been a good day to go to YAM had I not had an appointment keeping me here. Still, with a free afternoon I got my homework, in this case the trimmer box top, done and dusted. The top was as we say manky, having been blathered with paint years ago. More importantly the perspex for the trim gauges was totally goosed and impossible to see through.
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First job, using the old bits as a template, making new transparencies for the gauges. All marked
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Then cut and test fitted
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With the glazing issue solved, it was time to look to the top itself.
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A nitromors basting took the blathered on paint off...
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Unfortunately this revealed that, while the raised markings for the rudder trimmer were still present, the elevator ones had been all but worn away over time. Still, I had enough to work with, so crack on with the steadiest hand I could muster. No pressure...
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Half way there...
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I found the very faintest remnants of the elevator markings, so used them as my guide. It turned out ok, so I stuck the new windows to the back of the panel...
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And here you go, job done! With the old glazing for comparison
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I'll do some minor tidying of the lettering tomorrow... but I'm chuffed with that.
Hope my UK readers keep safe from Ciara! Normal service resumes next week all being well.
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 »

Neat bit of work there Blu_2.

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Turned out OK I reckon! Hoping next weekend I'll get the trim controls painted and the whole unit reassembled.
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Blue_2
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Blue_2 »

Just as a little experiment, I decided to attack the discarded perspex glazing out of the trimmer box lid with my Micromesh kit. It's goosed, so I thought there's nothing to lose. You may recall before, it was impossible to see through after years of UV exposure...
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Well the micromesh kit completely restored the transparency of the piece...
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But the UV had left the perspex deeply cracked.
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So good... but unlikely to be good enough for reuse. On the plus side, if you have fogged but uncracked perspex, I can thoroughly recommend Micromesh products. And no they haven't paid me to say this!!! :lol:
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Brenden S
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Brenden S »

Great work. Keep it up.

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

Post by Wyvernfan »

Good to see you’re still at it Blue!


Rob

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Still plugging away. Hope the weather doesn't stop play for a second weekend...
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

Post by TonyC »

Blue_2 wrote:But the UV had left the perspex deeply cracked.
Image
So good... but unlikely to be good enough for reuse. On the plus side, if you have fogged but uncracked perspex, I can thoroughly recommend Micromesh products. And no they haven't paid me to say this!!! :lol:


The modeller in me says drop the plastic in some Klear, it might improve the finish :smile:
...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 »

The thought had occurred to me too TC. Might be a worthwhile experiment as there's other similarly unhappy glazing on her needing some love.
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 »

Well... last week it was Ciara, this week it was Dennis. Heavy rainfall and subsequent road flooding (clean the drains out East Riding Council!) left me with no way of getting out of town and to Elvington yesterday morning, so that's another weekend lost to the bloody weather.
But... things have been happening. You may recall we discovered the rudder's main mounting frame had been removed at some point in 788's dim and distant past? And this putting all the load on the lower mount and bearing had spectacularly killed it? Well, our friends at East Midlands Aeropark lent us the frame off their NF to copy. Here it is...
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So some of our Heritage team have been busy replicating this essential component. Start with a tube...
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Cut it into carefully measured sections...
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Fettle...
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Using the original and some wood, make a jig...
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Then dispatch to a workshop in the village to be expertly TIG welded. Result? Probably the first Meteor rudder mount frame manufactured in 60 years!
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Very excited to see this in the metal, and get it fitted! Huge thanks to the Heritage guys, and to Gary Hancock for sending me the pics across.
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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