A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Discussions regarding historic aircraft, restoration and preservation etc
Post Reply
User avatar
Blue_2
Posts: 395
Joined: Thu 13 Jan 2011, 10:29 am

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Something a bit smaller and more humble than restoring 63's full length bomb doors Dom!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

User avatar
Blue_2
Posts: 395
Joined: Thu 13 Jan 2011, 10:29 am

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Monday morning, up early for work, so it must be time for...
10/08/2020 Update!
I was on site by myself yesterday, to try and work my way through a few more items on the jobs list of 788. The list appears to be growing faster than we can knock items off it! My start plan for the morning was to get some of the canopy latching gear out of the bay behind the cockpit. The Good Book says 'simply remove'...
Image
And for once, as far as the hood locking valve was concerned, it was not lying!
Image
Access to the bolts was not great though, so this did take a while, a few interesting 'approach angles', and some mild swearing. The microswitches were labelled and dropped pending testing too, and while the canopy hook mechanism chose not to come off, it has been given a good dose of penetrating oil to think about its life choices with during the next week. Other bits of the hook mechanism, and the hook latch shield, did come off and are awaiting some tlc along with the locking valve.
Next port of call was the canopy motor. One look at the motor mounts told me thay would benefit from a squirt of fluid and again some time to consider their options. I removed the pulley cover while I was up there, and found a tale of woe, sadness and misery beneath.
Image
That rusty stalagmite is, believe it or not, the canopy chain. Joy. Still... once all the manky ancilliary bits are out, and we are back to the good base provided by that lovely solid airframe Armstrong Whitworth built, we can always build it all back up using nice new or reconditioned parts. That's the theory anyway.
In a shock move, something was fitted to rather than removed from the cockpit yesterday! The corrector card holder arrived in the week, and was fitted to its position on the port panel on the rear cockpit equipment frame
Image
I believe that's most of the NF(T) rear cockpit equipment sourced and fitted now. AP's/documentation detailing the rear cockpit fit is non-existent, so it's been done by referring to photos of all the other incomplete T cockpits out there, period photos, and the recollections of those who flew her. I reckon once the kit is all back in, it'll be something like.
Speaking of cockpits... as it was a nice day I decided to open 168's lid for a much needed airing. She does look nice sat out in the sun...
Image
My afternoon consisted of trying to clear another project that has been scattered around the bench for too long irritating me, the rudder pulley brackets from the rear fuselage. If you recall, in the dim and distant past someone decided they wanted the pulleys more than 788 did, and decided to do the wrong thing and literally rip them out of the brackets. I had removed the smashed wreckage of these brackets from the fuselage last year, and between them and a bit left behind of the equally damaged pulley brackets in the back of 168, I made up approximate templates of the 2 main parts of the 3 piece bracket sets.
Yesterday I found me a bit of alloy, which was lying around unloved and just begging to be chopped up and condemned to spend the rest of its days in the dark of the Meteor's radio bay, so I obliged. I marked the sheet up from my paper templates, which amazingly hadn't been eaten or blown away during the museum's closure... I then nibbled out the bits I needed to, to make the main cuts more guillotine friendly.
Image
I like to use the guillotine, as it gives a much nicer straight cut than I can ever achieve by hand. It's lovely and quick too. Back from the HP workshop, with 4 pieces of lovely cut metal in one hand, and a brew from the tea van outside the hangar in the other...
Image
next, the business of marking, heating then bending the metal, after which the corners and edges were filed and smoothed, then the new components were primed up in our high-tech spray booth (the gravel, out the fire door and turn right. Can't miss it). Here they are, with the poor mangled wreckage they will be replacing
Image
I then struck up another vintage piece of equipment, our pillar drill Terry one of the airfield staff donated to the project.
Image
Cheers Terry, it's a handy bit of kit! It made short work of the job too; soon all the brackets were marked up using the old mangled stuff as templates, and suitably riddled with holes.
Image
I mocked up the port bracket with its new pulleys, to make sure everything looked correct
Image
Happy with that. Just got to 'liberate' from stores the correct bolts, nuts and shims to mount the pulleys in the brackets now! Then simply remember how this lot goes together
Image
Yeah, that's going to be lots of fun...
It was time to go close 168's lid, and then I put 788 to bed too and headed home
Image
But that wasn't the end of the news on 788 for the day, oh no! Our friends 'somewhere in East Yorkshire' on the Canberra WK124 cockpit project borrowed 788's bare instrument panel to copy as a personal project for themselves, agreeing to return it to me stripped of the old horrible paint. Well, true to their word, I received photos yesterday to show they had indeed done this...
Image

Image
Then I got the message "we're painting the Canberra cockpit interior today, want 788's panel painting while we are at it?"
Well, it seemed rude not to...
Image
...and it does look pretty damn good! Huge thanks to the 124 guys for saving me a job. Looking forward to getting this, the AH adaptor plate and the small caption panel back and building the panel and looms back up! Then, we can fit the panel and have instruments etc hooked up to 788's systems and hopefully functional for the first time since 1966. Exciting stuff...
If you haven't come across the WK124 project yet, do give them a look. They have dragged an ex-fire school Canberra cockpit back from almost beyond saving. Many, including me, said she was beyond redemption, but chuck enough determination, skills, bloody mindedness and enthusiasm at it and nothing is impossible. These guys certainly proved that, and have a good little collection of aircraft and interesting 'stuff' building up... https://www.facebook.com/wk124tt18/
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

TEXANTOMCAT
Posts: 84
Joined: Sat 09 Aug 2014, 5:40 pm

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

Post by TEXANTOMCAT »

Super stuff Graham- this thread is becoming a national institution like the Shipping Forecast or Car Boot sales or Pork Pies (or summit)

I think people would have withdrawal symptoms if it isn’t posted on a Sunday night.

You need to think about having a voice over done, someone like the late Peter Sallis would have been perfect!

“More WD40 Gromit? “

TT

User avatar
Blue_2
Posts: 395
Joined: Thu 13 Jan 2011, 10:29 am

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Glad you hold it in such high esteem TT! To rank it alongside the mighty pork pie is high praise indeed...
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

User avatar
TonyC
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat 02 Nov 2019, 3:01 pm
Location: Lost, if you find me, please let me know...

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

Post by TonyC »

Blue_2 wrote:
Mon 10 Aug 2020, 8:19 am
Glad you hold it in such high esteem TT! To rank it alongside the mighty pork pie is high praise indeed...
Pork Pie might be wrong but, Yorkshire Pudding, that would be the Mount Everest of all praise! :lol:
...and pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in Space cos there's bugger all down here on Earth!

RAF4EVER
Posts: 632
Joined: Tue 27 Mar 2012, 6:49 pm
Location: Hoofddorp The Netherlands

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

Post by RAF4EVER »

I prefer a Ginsters Cornish Pasty

User avatar
Blue_2
Posts: 395
Joined: Thu 13 Jan 2011, 10:29 am

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

Post by Blue_2 »

There's nothing wrong with the high praise associated with the mighty pork pie, saying the 788 project is an institution akin to the Yorkshire Pudding, now that's a whole new level right there. Especially if you take the gravy into account...

RAF4EVER... while a proper Cornish pasty is a fantastic thing to behold, any similarities between one and a Ginster's product is entirely coincidental. Mass produced, over-peppered, poor quality effort. Now if you want a proper pasty, Barnecutt's of Bodmin is the place to go...

Now, away from food for a second, our Heritage manager Gary returned from Somewhere In The South yesterday, bearing a gift!
Image

Image
Yes, one Meteor NF starboard wing inner leading edge, looking in much better condition than ours! We have been told it is believed to have been 'liberated' from a scrap NF in the 50's/60's, but I haven't any further gen on it at this time to confirm or deny this. This one comes complete with G45 hatch, and the plug in the leading edge for when there is no camera fitted, which ours is missing. So a quick strip, repaint, and fit! Thanks to the person who passed it our way, and to Gary for gathering it up. I'm looking forward to giving this a proper look over, and trying to work out why on earth it's painted black. The only all black NF that springs to mind was poor old WS840, the NF.14 which mostly perished in Northern Ireland during the late 80's. And, of course, this one from the 1983 BBC drama "The Aerodrome" (which incidentally our stored AEC Matador bowser, stored awaiting restoration and still in its paint from this, starred in)...
Image
So yet another mystery for us to mull over, as if we haven't got enough!!
Also... the first replacement part for the new secret side project was sourced yesterday...
Image
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

RAF4EVER
Posts: 632
Joined: Tue 27 Mar 2012, 6:49 pm
Location: Hoofddorp The Netherlands

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

Post by RAF4EVER »

Not much chance of getting a real Cornish Pasty here in The Netherlands.

Spartabus
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon 04 Nov 2019, 3:58 pm

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

Post by Spartabus »

Might I suggest, rather than a Cornish Pasty, one samples a Welsh Oggie and then partake in deep contemplation about how good one used to think Cornish Pasties were until I ruined your life and introduced you to the God of pastry parcels.

RAF4EVER
Posts: 632
Joined: Tue 27 Mar 2012, 6:49 pm
Location: Hoofddorp The Netherlands

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

Post by RAF4EVER »

Again not much chance of getting one in The Netherlands

User avatar
Blue_2
Posts: 395
Joined: Thu 13 Jan 2011, 10:29 am

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Spartabus wrote:
Tue 11 Aug 2020, 1:26 pm
Might I suggest, rather than a Cornish Pasty, one samples a Welsh Oggie and then partake in deep contemplation about how good one used to think Cornish Pasties were until I ruined your life and introduced you to the God of pastry parcels.
You have my attention...!

RAF4EVER, having been to the Netherlands a few times I know you have your own culinary delights which more than make up for the lack of Cornish Pasties. Oliebollen are so bad... yet so good!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

RAF4EVER
Posts: 632
Joined: Tue 27 Mar 2012, 6:49 pm
Location: Hoofddorp The Netherlands

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

Post by RAF4EVER »

They are only available in December for Christmas and New Year

User avatar
Blue_2
Posts: 395
Joined: Thu 13 Jan 2011, 10:29 am

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

Post by Blue_2 »

That's why that's when I go! :smile:
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

User avatar
Blue_2
Posts: 395
Joined: Thu 13 Jan 2011, 10:29 am

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

Post by Blue_2 »

16/08/2020 Update
Apologies if this one seems a little rushed, but I'm out at work at silly o'clock in the morning and away from home till Friday probably, so rather than wait till then I thought I should get today's update up now. Don't want you all pining!
Not the nicest of Yorkshire summer weather...
Image
but being in the hangar this didn't affect us! Simon and I were on site. First thing we did was give our new wing leading edge a looking at...
Image
Turns out it's pukka NF.14...
Image
So while Simon made use of the bench to make up new brackets for the rudder autostab housing...
Image
...I got a coat of paint on the rudder pulley brackets I made last weekend
Image
Then took the existing leading edge off and hung the new one on so I could work on it.
Image
It is in much better condition than 788's existing one, which has a very dented leading edge
Image
So I cracked on with trying to free the dzus fasteners for the G45 camera cover using magic spray, elbow grease and a percussive attitude adjuster...
Image
...which worked, as they all undid!
Image
I then set to making a new tin skin for the G45 camera lens bung, as this was missing
Image
For part of the day we had very welcome visitors, good friends of myself and 788, Rich and Shez Woods. They have both dirtied their hands on 788, though another machine I am proud to be associated with, Shackleton WR963, is their 'everyday' machine.
Image
Hopefully we will start to see more of them pretty soon! Back to work, and I needed to visit 168 for clues to the smallest and most mangled brackets in the rudder pulley mounts. I had forgotten, but 168's mangled mounts still had one of these brackets, nearly intact
Image
I decided it was little use to 168, so removed it. I then reverse duplicated it (if that makes sense) to make a port side bracket for 788, then rubbed it back and primed them both
Image
At close of play I had begun fitting the pulley brackets, and I'm very pleased to say they are a perfect fit!
Image
And Simon's brackets were made, drilled, and test fitted.
Image
They too are spot on. And now, I'm off to bed, as it's all too few hours till I have to be up for work!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

User avatar
K5054NZ
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat 17 Nov 2012, 2:23 am
Location: Whanganui, NZ

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

Post by K5054NZ »

Another great and detailed update Blue, thank you for sharing!
Regards, Zac Yates

User avatar
Blue_2
Posts: 395
Joined: Thu 13 Jan 2011, 10:29 am

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

Post by Blue_2 »

My pleasure! As I say, apologies it was just a bit rushed, that's all.
As things stand, this Sunday's plan is to final fit the rudder pulley brackets, and maybe get another bit of paint on them and their bolts to keep them nice, get the pulleys in, and hopefully clean out and paint the little bay for the autostabiliser. It will be refitted next time Simon is in, along with his newly made metalwork, however as with all the trim gear we don't intend to return it to serviceable. Too many cables missing, and too many remaining components seized!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

User avatar
Blue_2
Posts: 395
Joined: Thu 13 Jan 2011, 10:29 am

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

Post by Blue_2 »

24/08/2020 Update
And you thought last week's was a rushed effort! Very quick round up of yesterday. This was my home for some of the day...
Image
Continuing the fitting of the new rudder pulley brackets, a horrrible job involving getting your hands into places no hand should go. I assume in service this was a 'split fuselage' job. Anyway, first I dropped the fuselage diagonal stays to aid access
Image
Needless to say we won't be reusing the bodge hardware previously "securing" them!
Image
After a lot of time, contortion and swearing, one set was in
Image
Followed by the comparitively easy shimming and fitting of pulleys
Image
Then as I started on set 2, I was summoned out of my hidey hole as Lyndon and Joe Blackburne had arrived returning 788's refurbed instrument panel!!
Image
Seen being modelled by some miscreant. happy with that!
Image
While they were with us, they had brought their brand new replica 14 panel made using 788's as a template...
Image
...so we had to throw it in to see how it looks! Pretty damn good!
Image
While going through stuff, and photographing some of our machines for references for their projects, they spied the ARC52 racks were still in our hangar neighbour the JP. I have an ARC52 spare on the shelf, so we decided to give it a better home...
Image
Then Joe cabled it all up.
Image
After they had gone, I carried on fighting the port pulley bracket, gaining ground but losing skin and patience. Finally I won
Image
Next week I'll fit the comparitively easy cross braces and bracketry, and that's a job done!
I have brought the panel home to populate and wire up during the week, ready to drop in and (in theory) get stuff working next Sunday. So you may get a bonus midweek update!
Right, off to work.....
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

cabbage
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun 17 Nov 2019, 9:29 pm

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

Post by cabbage »

I can testify on the awkwardness of working on British built aircraft of a certain vintage, ie. Vulcans and Buccaneers.

The designers seemed to take a perverse liking in to making any servicing tasks as difficult as possible. Most access panels are tiny, and any person carrying out the task needed to be double-jointed, cack-handed, and able to do the task by feel alone.
(connecting up and lockwiring the electrical connection on the underwing fuel tanks of a Buccaneer spring to mind).

Even the Vulcan could be awkward, as anyone who has tried to squeeze between the "bang seats" whilst wearing waterproofs or even NBC gear will testify to.

Cabbage

User avatar
Blue_2
Posts: 395
Joined: Thu 13 Jan 2011, 10:29 am

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

Post by Blue_2 »

I feel your pain.
The Meteor is a lesson in awkward aircraft design. If you look at the last photo I posted, you can see the access holes through the bulkhead the brackets mount on. Behind that, going forward along the aircraft, is the next bulkhead, the tank bay rear bulkhead. Now consider that there is I guess at most 1 1/2 inches between the 2 bulkheads. Then consider pipes, looms, pulleys and flap balancing cables also run through that area further restricting usable space, then look how far from the holes some of those bolts are. Finally, the bolts come through from behind the bulkhead, so getting the bolts positioned, then through the bulkhead, then getting a 2ba spanner angled onto them with sufficient purchase to ratchet the nut on, is an artform in itself! A very frustrating game of fumbling around through sharp edged orifices, in the dark, and with limited room to manouver.
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

User avatar
Blue_2
Posts: 395
Joined: Thu 13 Jan 2011, 10:29 am

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

Post by Blue_2 »

This evening's work. Simply take pile of bits and shiny freshly painted Meteor instrument panel...
Image
...and reassemble!
Image
The AH and fuel gauges will be swapped out as we have new items coming from Bruce of GB Airspares (thankyou Bruce!), but the panel really does look fantastic! Still to be done another night this week, wiring the panel looms back up and writing in the panel captions...
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

ZRX61
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun 03 Nov 2019, 5:35 pm
Location: Aerospace Valley, SoCal

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

Post by ZRX61 »

RAF4EVER wrote:
Mon 10 Aug 2020, 6:07 pm
I prefer a Ginsters Cornish Pasty
Cornish people don't eat Ginsters crap... ;)

Gt5500
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue 09 Jul 2019, 4:40 pm

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

Post by Gt5500 »

ZRX61 wrote:
Tue 25 Aug 2020, 8:54 pm
RAF4EVER wrote:
Mon 10 Aug 2020, 6:07 pm
I prefer a Ginsters Cornish Pasty
Cornish people don't eat Ginsters crap... ;)
I still find it baffling that someone went to the trouble of securing PGI or PDO whichever it is for cornish pasties and somehow overlooked the fact that a Ginsters abomination met the criteria. They're about as far from a cornish pasty as it's possible to get.

Ant.H
Posts: 139
Joined: Wed 15 Jan 2020, 2:21 am

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

Post by Ant.H »

It's great to see all the above progress at last after all the lockdown stagnation, that instrument panel looks good as new.

While we're on the subject, I can't help thinking the instrument layout looks a bit haphazard. It seems to be a bit of a retrograde step from the "basic six" arrangement, what was the designers' logic?

User avatar
Blue_2
Posts: 395
Joined: Thu 13 Jan 2011, 10:29 am

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Cheers Ant! I have tried to keep things moving on the project while we were in the doldrums, but there's really only so much you can do.
In terms of The Grand Plan, this year is a total write off; we are just trying to salvage what we can in the way of man hours on the jet and jobs done from the wreckage of 2020!

The slightly scattered approach of the NF IP is an odd one. I just went through my Meteor Pilot's Notes for most marks starting with an April 1945 issued provisional Mk.III set (the earliest I own), and as far as the single seaters go the panel does alter but keeps what is recognisably the 'basic six' configuration. Mks 3 and 4 have the six in front of the pilot, with the engine instruments below them. Then in the 7 comes the first big change, moving to the same general layout shared by all the later marks with the addition of a machmeter and moving all the engine instruments to the right hand side of the panel. The 'basic six' is still very much front and centre though. It all starts to get a bit wonky after that; in the F.8 I presume due to new instrumentation coming into use, and the attendant fit issues, and in addition cramming the GGS and its attendant tray in above the panel, the AH and compass drop a bit. It's a similar story in the NF.11. By the time you get to the 14, it's all gone the other way for whatever reason. The only reasonable explanation I can think of is to be more easily glanced down at, everything that could be moved down was. Presumably the compass and AH couldn't be moved down because of equipment and the nosewheel bay on the centreline.
I guess we'll never know...
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

Ant.H
Posts: 139
Joined: Wed 15 Jan 2020, 2:21 am

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

Post by Ant.H »

Thanks for the explanation Blue, it makes a lot of sense. One of the reasons I asked the question was because I have a facsimile edition of the Mk.III Pilot's notes and I couldn't help thinking that the cockpit layout made more sense in the earlier versions, especially when you consider the NF with a high proportion of the flying likely to be on instruments.

Post Reply