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 »

I guess this is a bit of an "I'm still alive" post really. I've not been able to get my paws on any bits of 788 to work on (still!), but my own Lincoln has made massive progress
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With the addition of 3d printed U/C indicator, bomb jettison toggle, and mag switches. You may well shout "cheat" at me, but go away, look at the prices of these things on eBay, then come back and tell me I haven't made a sensible choice for filling holes...
Meteor news is as I say sparse. The models have made a little progress, the M-B Meteor III is on its own feet now
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My 1/72 model of WS788 has been waiting forever for me to be arsed to apply the serials. Now, the otherwise finished model of our spares donor VZ568 has joined it in sitting on the shelf staring meaningfully at me, awaiting the same final touches!
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I did receive a tip-off from my friend Chris last week. He told me to get hold of a DVD entitled "Rescue from crashed aircraft, 1945-1987", comprising of instructional films of how to report, locate, and rescue crews of crashed aircraft.
It's not for the faint hearted, featuring as it does Lancasters, Anson, Hastings, Hunters, Jet Provosts, Devons, Lightning, Victor and inevitably Meteors (why Chris punted it my way...) succumbing to fire, jaws of life, dismemberment by cranes or just the good old disk cutter. It is a fascinating watch though.
Anyway, and I suspect anyone interested in aircraft does this when watching tv, I saw a serial number on a Canberra in a mocked up emergency landing scenario which made me go "hang on a minute...". Yes, it's none other than our very own Canberra B.2 cockpit section, WH903, though looking rather more Canberra-shaped than she does now.
After service with 617sqn at Binbrook and 102Sqn in RAF Germany, she returned to the UK for conversion to T.11 status in 1965. This is likely when she lost the cockpit section we now have at YAM as an interactive, accessible exhibit. The rest of 903 continued in service with her new nose and in her new role until 1977 with 228OCU, 85Sqn and 7Sqn, finally perishing at the RAF Fire School at Manston.
I assume for this film, they took the port tip tank and Nav's hatch off (in the 'story' he had banged out) then rolled 903 down some carefully prepared holes for the nose and port gear because, as you see above, she went on to live a long and happy life!
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There was also 2 interesting pieces of Meteor content, though they certainly made me wince. In the first one an unidentified F.8 takes the part of a Meteor 10, reenacting an accident at RAF Seletar, Singapore. The pilot survived and made a full recovery from his injuries.
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This 8 is having a bad day and it's only going to get worse...
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In reenacting the rescue from the Seletar crash, they cut the nose off and dragget it away with a crane to access the pilot. Drastic, but it did the trick
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The second one sees F.8 WK671 suffering the indignity of visiting a Surrey field...
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After 'leaving her port wing behind' in the upper story of a house nearby. In reality carefully placed in the wreckage of a building awaiting demolition. As you can see the pilot made an incredibly skilled one wing belly landing... :dunno:
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WK671, delivered 1952, struck off 1957. A far cry from 671's glory days based at RAF Biggin Hill as 600 (City of London) Squadron CO's personal mount, here the crew extraction is practiced
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After a thorough dousing in foam she was placed under police guard to stop the local scallywags pilfering souvenirs!
From here, 671 went to Bicester, was spares recovered and scrapped. A total of 4 years, 9 months of front line service for this jet. A testimony to how fast jet aircraft technology moved on, that these jets had such short service lives...
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 »

Brilliant stuff Blue. All you need now is to add the rest of the Lincoln. Still, it brings back several awesome flights as an ATC cadet in the Lincolns of 7 Squadron at Upwood.
The photos of Meteors are a bit gory, but I'll try to find that film now.
The models are amazing too.
Be patient. Keep safe

Laurence

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

Post by Blue_2 »

I recall in the 'other place' you mentioned Lincoln experiences with Jim 'Lincoln 7' Coleman, Laurence. I also noticed that you mention the Chippy as your favourite type, which also happens to be the other type of panel I own and have restored...
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Next to the Lincoln, it looks truly tiny!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

Post by Archer »

Some nice panels there Blue_2! I always thought the Chippy had a VNE of 155kt though... is yours a different version?

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Chippy GTi! :lol:
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 »

There was I nipping along at 200 kts. Where did that ASI come from I wonder? It's prompted me to Google "Chipmunk panel" and it's amzing how much variety there seems to be. Anyone know what the original would have been? My experience is UAS 1960s but I can't find any photos with the year marked. Maybe this: https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-1950s ... 59202.html

Laurence

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

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Everything else has now been ceremonially turfed off the bench... because this is here!
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And for obvious reasons this long awaited kit has taken precedence. Having helped and advised on the kit, I've been awaiting it eagerly to see just how much they have listened and how good it is. There's a few little omissions, but overall it's a bloody good effort.
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There's 2 raised outlets missing from each engine nacelle, the gun bay fume vent outlets under the wings aren't present, and the latches for the radome stand too proud (they should be defined but flush with the flanks of the aircraft; I pointed this out and they were reduced, but not enough), a few of the colour call-outs are wrong (trimmer wheel is grey not black, nav's instrument shroud is black not leather colour, sure I'll find more...), as it the blurb on the instructions about the NF.14 being 17 inches longer than the NF.12, but other than that I am impressed so far. So,on with the detailing...
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Cockpit detail is lovely.
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So I made a start on assembling the beastie
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It'll want some detail scratch building in here, I'm building mine as 788 in NF(T) fit so the radar will not be fitted, leaving obvious the detail omitted from the floor area between the 2 cockpits
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So on the making list, the racking for the starboard floor, the GGS gyros and racking for the port side floor, plus the bodies for the master compass and Gee box as only their faces are provided, as part of the rear console
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I'll also need to make the Rebecca scope, mount, and its accompanying control box. Also stuff like the nav's mute foot switch, stuff you'll see with the lid open or closed. You can see a lot through that big blown canopy I should expect...

So, in the absence of anything more productive to do this morning, I got on with the NF a little more. As mentioned I have an amount of scratch building to do to swap this from NF to NF(T) spec, like our jet. Without the big bulky radar fitted you see all the way into the cockpit floor of that middle section, so I first made the sub assemblies that fit in the bottom of that area including the Gee box racking and the GGS gyro.
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The Gee box face and the master compass face were cut from the radar console piece. I made a box for the Gee and used a piece of sprue to make the body of the compass
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I then fitted these, added the port side to the cockpit, fitted the kit's frame for mounting the nav's altimeter and ASI, then scratch built and fitted the nav's panels, the Rebecca scope and its mount, and the Rebecca control box.
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With the real cockpit for comparison
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and with a 50p coin for scale
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Quite happy with that. The fuselage is now assembled and drying quietly...
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

Post by ianf »

Blue I am glad to see the kit finally come. Your sounded like me on the Lindy Kit, I spotted all kinds of stuff on that kit missing. Anyone would think were obsessed on the real thing! :grin: Two observations on the kit, I was disappointed it did not come in a 1/48th crate. and How quick was the shutter speed on the 50p/cockpit comparison? I have never seen a Yorkshire man and his cash separate for more than a fraction of a second!

Ps your work bench is starting to look like the area round the jet is this deliberate? :whistle:
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Blue_2
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Blue_2 »

Ian I really don't want to sound harsh on the kit at all, it really is bloody good. As you say we likely know the subjects far too well!!

The 1/48 crate will be used for the second release, which will incorporate the little known Burmese Free Apple Pie Force decal option :wink:

The money is safe. we are in lockdown old chap. But I did place the coin gently on my soft cutting mat, for fear of fellow sharp-eared Yorkshiremen tuned to the sound of unattended small change hearing it! One can never be too careful...

And yes, I am building 788 to scale so a scale chaos around the jet is only appropriate!! But the scale morale board has not been deployed yet...
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

Post by ianf »

I know your not being harsh, It does indeed look a impressive beastie. I may have to purchase one. I thought you were being brave on the 50p. One thing I did not spot was the jaffa stash, mind you their location was always a bead window subject! Disappointed to hear its the Burmese markings I thought the Greek Air force pie decals would have been more appropriate..
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LaurenceG
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by LaurenceG »

Wow! the plastic one is going faster than the tin one.

Laurence

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Laurence, unlike the real thing I am allowed near the plastic one! :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

Post by Blue_2 »

I won't bore you with a step by step process of the build up to this point, but the Dayglo Meteor paint schematic has been dug out..
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And after adapting to the NF, and referring to the archive for ANS jets, the 1/48 version of 788 is at this point...
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I'm saddened that my camera on my phone seems to wash out the dayglo, it really is nothing like the washed out shade in the photos, it sort of slaps you round the face with it's dayglo-ness! I'll try a shot off my proper camera tomorrow, see if that captures it better...
The 2 1/72 Meteors have been finished off too, with the application of serial numbers. The Sennybridge F.8 and spares donor VZ568, and 1/72 version of WS788.
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This version of 788 has now moved on to a new home with Simon, another member of the Meteor team.
Finally, coincidence of the day. I don't know if anyone else has noticed this, but our Meteor F.8 preserved in 616 Sqn colours, the Sennybridge Meteor F.8 spares donor, and WS788 in her ANS colours have something else in common... They all bear the squadron code C!
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 »

The 1/48 scale version of WS788 is finally finished!
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So there you go. If you have a bit of spare cash and time (who hasn't got the latter right now...) you could do worse than buy yourself Sword's latest offering. It's a nice thing to build.
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

Post by Blackbird »

That looks superb - very well constructed👏👏

Andy :grinning:

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

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Cheers Andy, I'm chuffed with how it turned out. It's now sat on the shelf, glowing gently...!
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Blue_2
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

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21/05/2020 Update

Yes, an actual update, of actual restoration, of actual proper full size bits of WS788, not just a model! Obviously the museum has to be visited regularly by paid members of staff to monitor the site, the aircraft etc. As a result I was able to get a few bits sent to me for restoration. First, a job I wanted to do properly rather than the quick tidying job I had previously done on it was the Rebecca control unit (Control Unit Type 526A, 10L/16745 in the book of words). I started reducing it to components, a process it wasn't massively cooperative during...
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It's a lot of innards packed into a small box...
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All but one knob came off reasonably well, just the one needed a while to think about its life choices
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The absolutely filthy controls went and sat in a bath of strong kitchen cleaner for a while; amazingly good for these jobs!
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While the casing components went to go see Mr. Nitromors for a while. After a while the controls came out of their bath looking and smelling much better!
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So out came the white paint to restore their markings
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The casing was scrubbed, washed, and left on the kitchen drainer overnight to dry
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It all then received some attention to remove the loose flaky areas of the either foil or dip coating (I don't know and can't tell which), the corrosion which had been harboured under that layer was dealt with, then the priming and painting began
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This morning, the small pot of white paint and the tiny brush came out...
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After this had dried, it was simply a case of remembering what went were. A bit of a transformation from this...
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To this...
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I think it's been a job well worth doing, especially as this is one of the dominant items at eye level in the rear cockpit.
In other Meteor news, some goodies arrived from Bruce at GBAS this week. Some of you will know Bruce and the fact he has probably everything for any aircraft ever to serve with the RAF, somewhere... Anyway his eBay sale unearthed some goodies for 788...
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Some new cockpit lamp shrouds as some of 788's are a bit battered, a NOS battery bay hatch (made by AW, none of yer Gloster rubbish!)
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And a box of fuses, made by a likely long-defunct company
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One last thing this week, I decided the old oxy bay door off 788 I have had lying around for a bit needed something doing with it. It's a bit battered, and was replaced with a nice NOS one from Mike Davey. So I gave the old lump a tidy and a repaint, and it now hangs on the wall.
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I'll let the silver paint settle a little longer then get it stencilled up...
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

Post by TEXANTOMCAT »

Wonderful stuff Graham!

TT

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

Post by TonyC »

Blue_2 wrote:
Thu 21 May 2020, 1:37 pm
21/05/2020 Update
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Nice work but how did this box manage to avoid the Phantom Wire Cutter of Olde London Town?
...and pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in Space cos there's bugger all down here on Earth!

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

Post by Ant.H »

Great to see some real bits of Meteor making progress, all that effort is certainly worth it for the finished Unit. Great hand-painting skills with the white.

Interesting to see the Maple Works box, I grew up very close to that address! Small world...

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Tony, it survived because it wasn't originally 788's, we found it for her. It didn't escape though, one plug had been chopped out...

Cheers Ant!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

Post by AirportsEd »

Excellent work, again!
Well done.

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

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Blue_2 wrote:
Thu 21 May 2020, 6:40 pm
Tony, it survived because it wasn't originally 788's, we found it for her. It didn't escape though, one plug had been chopped out...

Cheers Ant!
Ahhh, still looks go though!
...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 looks a lot happier than it did! Also, we have a Baldrick-esque Cunning Plan to get the Rebecca scope looking like it is a fully functional unit... Watch this space!
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by TonyC »

Blue_2 wrote:
Sat 23 May 2020, 1:57 pm
It looks a lot happier than it did! Also, we have a Baldrick-esque Cunning Plan to get the Rebecca scope looking like it is a fully functional unit... Watch this space!
Is it as cunning as a fox what used to be Professor of Cunning at Oxford University?






Well, someone was going to go there! :grinning:
...and pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in Space cos there's bugger all down here on Earth!

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