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 »

You say this as if you expect anything to ever make sense in British aircraft design!!
Speaking of the instrument panel, I bit the bullet today and did the Great Wiring Arguement. This was something I had begun before lockdown. Then that happened, then the panel had to be stripped and repainted, so back to square one
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Choose your weapons!!
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Unfortunately many of the telltales I had written on the wires had worn off, so I had to bell each one through from the Breeze connector all over again...
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But we were soon done.
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And there she is, ready to refit, plug in and (hopefully) come to life on Sunday!
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Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

Post by K5054NZ »

That panel looks fantastic, Graham! And the fact it works is just brilliant.
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 »

*hopefully works!
I'll know tomorrow, and all being well the good people following on here will know soon after...! If it all works, it'll be the first time in 54 years it's all been powered up...
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. How ever do you do it?! Next step, taxi trials.

Laurence
Last edited by LaurenceG on Sat 29 Aug 2020, 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Ant.H »

Great work, that kind of electrical spaghetti is the stuff of nightmares! Fingers crossed everything behaves once installed.

I can see what you mean about the size of some of the gubbins behind the panel!

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Laurence, I just read the book a good few times then crack on! A number of years restoring old British cars with all their quirks and foibles stood me in good stead, and I picked up a thing or two at YAM prior to getting 788 disinterred from her grave!

Ant, there's not a lot of room behind there once you drop the panel in. I see me paying a price in skin tomorrow!!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

Post by AirportsEd »

This is such a great thread.
Wiring diagrams give me headaches, so I can only applaud the skills on display here!
I haven't visited the museum for a couple of years, but I am looking forward to having the opportunity again before too long.
Keep up the good work!
Ed

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Cheers Ed! You shouldn't need anadin for today's update though.....
30/08/2020 Update
Another busy one, with just me in and working on 788. I took the instrument panel back across to YAM with me, crossing Market Weighton hill (for those of you who know East Yorkshire geography) raised a big smile as the climb and the descent proved the altimeter and rate of climb indicator to be working as advertised!
On arrival, I went to find a present one of our facebook followers had notified me he had left hidden the previous day
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This will be getting filled, then fitted to WL168 as it's better than hers. Cheers Neil!
Anyway, on to the business of the day. I really couldn't be arsed with another day of living the trogladyte life in the back hatch, so instrument panels it is!
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First job after putting my test batteries on charge was fitting the Oxy reg I refurbed during lockdown
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Before finding which cut tail in this lot was the turn and slip indicator feed...
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As I was fitting a new earth for the whole panel, I cleaned up the earth point, removing the "sympathetically disconnected" previous earths
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Then started wiring up. Obviously I had to put power on, this time it was to the JB3 busbar though, using my 2 test batteries to give 24 fat volts
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So for the first time everything would be running correctly together through the jet's own fuses off the busbar rather than individually through our safety inline fuse. Like for example the landing lights...
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After much cursing at Breeze plugs, wires, and Armstrong Whitworth, as its not much better working in there than the rear fuselage (the seat is NOT going back in until the panel is finally buttoned down and all behind it is finally done!)... I gingerly turned the dimmer on the panel for the red IP lighting. And...
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That red glow you can see is what i like to call...success! At the same time, the gyro in the turn and slip could be heard spooling up. The UV lights didn't spring into life due to a duff fuse (seems I'm going to want a good few 2.5a fuses...) but once I found one and swapped that out, they too worked. So... chuck the panel in for now! I couldn't resist pulling the cockpit cover over to get a couple of shots of the instrument panel...
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There's some instruments to swap and the GGS wiring to finish before we can button the panel down, but that's as far as we can really take the wiring in the forward section of 788 until the loom cuts in the centre section are resolved. Everything that was missing or chopped behind the panels has been resolved though, so everything should work when the centre section is sorted.
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Waking the jet up after 54 years dormant is very, very satisfying...
Last edited by Blue_2 on Mon 31 Aug 2020, 7:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

Post by Ant.H »

Brilliant, literally! That's a very good day's work, great to see and congratulations.

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Not sure if this will work, but... it should link to a little video over on our facebook page from yesterday showing everything up and running... Apologies for the camera work, an award winning cinematographer I ain't!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

12jaguar
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by 12jaguar »

awesome

John

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

Post by LaurenceG »

Neat, but be careful: the fuel gauges read zero. Don't go too far.

Laurence

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

Post by PeterVerney »

Excellent, wind the hood shut and lets hear those Derwents wailing

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

Post by TonyC »

What they :point_up_2_tone2: all said!

Its a shame there can't be 4 Saturdays per week, so we can see the current update 3 times a week :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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Blue_2
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Blue_2 »

Thanks chaps! Still on a bit of a high from yesterday. It's one thing keeping something live and serviceable from directly after its retirement, but quite another thing to drag it back out of the grave kicking and screaming after 54 years' dormancy. Is she the only NF.14 that can do this? I don't know. There can't be many capable of showing signs of life though.

If I had my way I'd be in that hangar working on that old girl 4 days a week. Sadly, that don't pay the bills...!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

Post by TEXANTOMCAT »

Awesome work GB as ever matey!

TT

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Cheers TT!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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hunterxf382
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by hunterxf382 »

She's coming along rather nicely Graham - you deserve a pat on the back for the progress being made!
I can vouch for the smugness at seeing the cockpit light up for the first time in years as it has done - did the same of Hunter XF382 many years ago. Little steps that lead to a much bigger and bolder goal of course. The attention to detail is admirable!
Keep up the sterling work - it makes very satisfying reading on here :)
Pete Buckingham
Volunteer in Aviation
Former RAF Engineer
http://hunterxf382.weebly.com/

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Cheers Pete!
I'm not sure it's smugness, more satisfaction at returning something back to functionality which others had previously declared not possible, or not worth while, and pillaged for their own uses. Coupled with surprise that my rewiring and overhauling of the equipment actually bloody worked!!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

Post by HAVAVSOC »

Hi Blue 2

More good work in progress.

Perhaps when the time is right you might venture south and tell our members all about it?

All the best
J
www.havavsoc.org.uk

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

Post by Brenden S »

Great work mate, keep it going. You are doing a wonderful job bringing it back to life.

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

Post by Blue_2 »

J, I'd be happy to. That way I can bring you a little 'thankyou' from 788 in person...

Brenden, cheers! We'll keep plugging away at her.
Speaking of which, who opened their big mouth about wanting more Sundays so they could get more updates to read? Well you got your wish, today was an honourary Sunday as my job for today at work fell through, so I checked they had space to sneak little old me onto today's COVID precautions staff list at YAM and off I went! meaning of course I can now bring you...
02/09/2020 Update
Of course, certain priorities had to be taken care of on arrival...
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Then after Sunday's achievements, with this being an unscheduled work day I had the luxury of being able to sit down, take a moment, and think to myself "what do I feel like doing today?". For some given the weather this morning lounging around on the grass sunbathing would have seemed like the right thing to do, but not me. I decided to not go cave dwelling in either the radio bay or the cockpit, while there are jobs to finish on both the panel wiring and install and the rudder pulley brackets I have tweaked a muscle in my shoulder, and I just really didn't feel like it today. One thing I did do while I was considering the deeds of the day was drag out some plastic sheet, sat a couple of the panels most stubbornly refusing to shed their old paint on it, and used them as test pieces for our new Silmid paint stripper, kindly provided for us by the guys down at LAHC.
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I figured give them a thorough coating and leave them to think about things for a while... but results were soon to be seen!
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I decided I felt like a nice "stand at the bench and make something" kinda job today. Fabricating new mounts for the starboard outer Rebecca aerial? Yeah, why not! The old one had literally fallen out when its mounting plate had mostly rotted away, which is less than ideal. Its base had also split very badly, but I was able to retrieve the base from the Jet Provost Rebecca aerial which had been masquerading as 788's dorsal radio aerial for years. So, the base went to 788's original Rebecca aerial blade, and the JP blade went to become a replacement for 788's missing IFF aerial, under the nose. Confused yet?! Here's the 2 aerials getting a coat of yellow.
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Furthest from the camera is the Rebecca aerial, nearest is the (now) IFF aerial with the baseplate I made fitted. On our shelves I found the stainless steel Rebecca base plate, the pathetic mortal remains of the mounting plate, the old and terribly split Rebecca aerial base and all the original anti-vibration rubber mounts. They looked nasty...
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First job was to split the rubbers away, then see how many nuts, bolts, washers and bolt sleeves I could salvage. Not an easy task...
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These 3 were the worst offenders. I decided to let them enjoy some oil, and think about their life choices while I went off to find some lunch
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Before seeking fodder, I went and checked and scraped on the paint stripper test specimens
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Certainly looking more hopeful than the last stuff we were using... Anyway lunch deployed, it was back to measure, cut, drill, paint, and fit a new aerial mounting plate, using alloy rather than steel this time. This took a while, but it turned out well. Our bench pillar drill is a godsend, making chain drilling the large hole for the aerial base so much easier than a hand drill would have been. I was able to save a surprising amount of the original mounts, all the rubbers, all the bolt sleeves, and even a few of the nuts and bolts!
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There, it's all friends again, and even has a shiny new earth braid fitted!
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So, time to chuck it back in the wing... The bay looked really tidy, at least it did once I'd ripped out that comedy foam "seal" stuff someone had araldited in...
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New foam made, and in went the aerial!
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Sadly, the previous "restorers" of the aerial set had butchered the sealing plate as you can see, so I'll need to make and fit a replacement to keep the weather out of the bay. Probably with the aid of some PRC sealant, just to be sure...
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But that wing looks much better with the correct number of aerials fitted now!
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Then, the day was nearly done. I just had time to test fit and check on the hole alignments of my IFF aerial.
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Perfect! With 20 minutes left, I removed the access hatch from the belly panel under the cockpit floor. Here it is blinking in the daylight for probably the first time since 1965
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This panel accesses the bay the IFF aerial mounts in. This bay continues forward into the battery bay, eventually opening out into the nosewheel bay. Here is the view from the belly access panel looking forward...
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...and from the nosewheel bay looking aft
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It all looks perfectly happy, at the weekend I might give it a clean and a vac out, then I can get my paws in with the securing nuts for the IFF aerial and that's yet another job ticked off!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

Post by TEXANTOMCAT »

Again terrific stuff matey! - in the hard to reach areas once you've hoovered out are you going to ping some etch and paint down or some waxoyl?

ATB

TT

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Probably paint at some point for the battery bay. Waxoyling (or ACF50, or equivalent) will see the rest of it right.
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project, Yorkshire Air Museum

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

Post by TEXANTOMCAT »

Cool cheers fella

TT

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