Buccaneer XV168 Restoration Project

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BuccaneerBoy
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Buccaneer XV168 Restoration Project

Post by BuccaneerBoy »

Hello All

After starting a thread on the restoration of Buccaneer XV168 over on the now frankly useless Key Forum and after a few gentle nudges from Graham (Blue2) who I also work on Meteor WS788 with I'm starting a nice new shiny thread on here so you can all see the progress on the project. As some of you may be aware we are lucky enough to have 3 Bucc's at the Yorkshire Air Museum so from time to time I will also post bits about XN974 and XX901 as well.

Ill do a bit of a catch up on the progress on the project so far over the next few days and any bits and bobs that I think you might all find interesting.

So first off a bit of history on XV168:

Buccaneer XV168 was built by the Blackburn Aircraft Company at its factory at Brough in East Yorkshire. As the runway on the companies airfield next to the factory wasn’t long enough for the Buccaneers to take off from, XV168 like all the other Buccaneers was taken by road to the former WW2 airfield at Holme on Spalding Moor where Blackburn had its flight testing facility.

After all the pre delivery test flights been completed XV168 was delivered to the Fleet Air Arm and allocated to 801 Naval Air Squadron which it served with until the Royal Navies aircraft carriers were retired from service and like many other Royal Navy Buccaneers it was transferred to the Royal Air Force.

Throughout XV168 many years of service with the Royal Air Force it was operated by 12 and 208 Squadrons and 237 Operation Conversion Unit.

Upon the retirement of the Buccaneer from Royal Air Force service XV168 was selected to return to its place of birth at Brough, now part of British Aerospace. On 15th October 1993 XV168 made its last flight and became to only Buccaneer ever to land at Brough with the help of a portable airfield arrestor system and its tail hook.

XV168 served as a gate guard at the Brough site for many years, but due to the redevelopment of the site a new home needed to be found for the aircraft. BAe systems (formally British Aerospace) donated XV168 to the museum and on 18th August 2013 XV168 became the last Buccaneer to leave Brough (and the only one to leave twice) on her road journey to The Yorkshire Air Museum to join the museums 2 other Buccaneers XN974 and XX901.

A coup[le of pics of 168's move from Brough to Elvington. ( all images are my own unless otherwise stated, if you wish to use any of my images please just ask :)

ImageIMG_2351 by Scott Clayton, on Flickr

ImageXV168 arrival by Scott Clayton, on Flickr

And the museums other 2 Bucc's on the day 168 arrived XX901 in its Gulf War colours and XN974 in her old wrap aroiund camo scheme.

ImageIMG_2375 by Scott Clayton, on Flickr

Well I think that's enough for today, hope you all enjoy following the progress on XV168
Last edited by BuccaneerBoy on Wed 12 Feb 2020, 5:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Ryan.
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Re: Buccaneer XV168 Restoration Project

Post by Ryan. »

One of my favourite aircraft. Be watching this one with interest. :clap:

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Blue_2
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Re: Buccaneer XV168 Restoration Project

Post by Blue_2 »

Good to see you finally made it across Scott!
Meteor WS788 Restoration Project

TEXANTOMCAT
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Re: Buccaneer XV168 Restoration Project

Post by TEXANTOMCAT »

Good to see this here look forward to the updates!

TT

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BuccaneerBoy
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Re: Buccaneer XV168 Restoration Project

Post by BuccaneerBoy »

Hello again all

Right to start getting you all up to date on where we are at with 168's restoration.

The project started in May 2019. I was part of the team who look after the Victor at Elvington but apart my love of said V bomber ive always loved the Bucc ever since seeing an amazing display at an airshow when I was a small lad. And been a proud Yorkshireman you cant get a much more Yorkshire aircraft than a Buccaneer :)

After 168's arrival nothing really happened with her as manpower isn't abundant (we are for the most part all volunteers) and other things had taken priority. She spent a stint out on the airfield as almost a gate guard and this combined with her years of inactivity at Brough and nothing really happening at the museum with her she was starting to look very sad and not fairing to well.

So I decided to take her on as my own project, like Graham I still help out on the Victor when needed as well as the Meteor, in the whole we are pretty much one big team each with our own project.

So I digress

The plan for 168 is two fold. Firstly to get her repainted, she quiet badly faded and the last repaint she had at Brough was done by the apprentices.....and it looks like they used 6 inch brushes and paint from B&Q :D

And secondly is get as many of her systems working as possible, she has engines but these are stripped of pretty much all the accessories and as the RAF swapped them out after she flew into Brough we don't know the condition of the engines but we presume they were scrappers. they do turn freely by hand and the bearings sound ok but you never know. so before everyone asks are we going to get her running again my answer is unlikely.......but never say never.

I initially started 168 on my own but within a couple of weeks Simon who helps Graham with 788 jumped in to help where he could.

So this is what we started with....

ImageUntitled by Scott Clayton, on Flickr

One of the first jobs to tackle was getting into the cockpit. the canopy is (usually) opened electrically by a motor and drive chain system, but after putting a battery in 168 we discovered that she wouldn't open. (we later found out one of the operating micro switches had been taken out to be used on 974) so after looking into our very limited AP's (aircraft publications) at that point we found out the way to do it manually which involves declutching the drive system and winding it open manually with a handy fold away handle which is stored under the access panel on the spine....and so we get to this

ImageUntitled by Scott Clayton, on Flickr

The spine panel removed. you can make out the handy fold away winding handle painted red.

ImageUntitled by Scott Clayton, on Flickr

The handle fitted into place.

And after some pretty hard winding......

ImageUntitled by Scott Clayton, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Scott Clayton, on Flickr

This is the first time she had been open in a good few years which is probably why it wasn't easy work getting the canopy open but after much lubrication and opening and closing a lot since the project started the canopy opens much easier. getting the canopy to open electrically again is one of the jobs on the list to do, if we can find a replacement micro switch.

Right that's ya lot for today.....More to come

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BuccaneerBoy
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Re: Buccaneer XV168 Restoration Project

Post by BuccaneerBoy »

Blue_2 wrote:Good to see you finally made it across Scott!


Better late then never Graham :D

cabbage
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Re: Buccaneer XV168 Restoration Project

Post by cabbage »

Good to see her in safe hands.

I have spent quite a lot of time in both cockpits, whilst serving on 208 Squadron, in the early 90's.

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BuccaneerBoy
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Re: Buccaneer XV168 Restoration Project

Post by BuccaneerBoy »

cabbage wrote:Good to see her in safe hands.

I have spent quite a lot of time in both cockpits, whilst serving on 208 Squadron, in the early 90's.


I'm sure you'll be glad to know that she's going back into her 208 colours when repainted

cabbage
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Re: Buccaneer XV168 Restoration Project

Post by cabbage »

:yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo:

baz1962
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Re: Buccaneer XV168 Restoration Project

Post by baz1962 »

Another great thread saved from Key! :biggrin:

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BuccaneerBoy
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Re: Buccaneer XV168 Restoration Project

Post by BuccaneerBoy »

Time for another work so far post while I have a bit of free time.

This one will look at the prep work for the repaint that we have carried out so far.

Although we will be brining 168 indoors for her repaint all the prep work has to be carried out outdoors due to the dust it creates, this then makes the prep work a long drawn out process as we are at the mercy of the elements.

The prep work kind of started by accident as I rubbed down the port main undercarriage door while I was waiting on something else.

ImageUntitled by Scott Clayton, on Flickr

where I sanded through the existing paint down to bare metal those areas were treated with etch primer which is the dark grey areas on the door.

The door was rubbed down by hand and there was no way I was going to do the whole jet by hand so on the next trip to the jet the sander was brought to bare on 168. As I had started on the port door I started heading forwards from there.

ImageUntitled by Scott Clayton, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Scott Clayton, on Flickr

On the days the weather wasn't good enough to do prep on the aircraft some of the access panels that were showing signs of corrosion were removed and worked on in the hangar.

ImageUntitled by Scott Clayton, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Scott Clayton, on Flickr

As the months have gone by when the weather has played ball and we haven't been doing other work more areas of the jet have been sanded.

ImageUntitled by Scott Clayton, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Scott Clayton, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Scott Clayton, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Scott Clayton, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Scott Clayton, on Flickr

So that's pretty much as far as we have got with the paint prep, as you can imagine not much has been done over the winter months but once it stops chucking it down or blowing a gale we will get back at it and fingers crossed the repaint will happen during the summer.

TEXANTOMCAT
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Re: Buccaneer XV168 Restoration Project

Post by TEXANTOMCAT »

Superb update thanks as ever for sharing!

TT

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TonyC
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Re: Buccaneer XV168 Restoration Project

Post by TonyC »

Ditto, looking forward to the next update :clap:
...and pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in Space cos there's bugger all down here on Earth!

MCB
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Re: Buccaneer XV168 Restoration Project

Post by MCB »

Scott,

Firstly, well done on looking after the old girl. I can see she needs some TLC. Secondly (by way of information, not criticism!) I take issue with the statement:

>XV168 became the last Buccaneer to leave Brough (and the only one to leave twice).

A goodly number of Buccs made the journey from Brough to HOSM more than once, for various reasons. A few examples:-

XK525 - Brough to HOSM 12.7.60 and 26.6.70 (for JP233 ground testing).
XK526 - Brough to HOSM 26.8.60 (as S.1), 7.5.63 (as S.2 proto) .
XK527 - Brough to HOSM 6.10.60 (as S.1), 7.7.63 (as S.2 2nd proto).
XK531 - Brough to HOSM 30.3.61, 14.11.65 (after Mods).
XK532 - Brough to HOSM 29.4.61 and again 21.3.65.

XN925 - Brough to HOSM 15.4.62 and again 26.10.63 (after Mods).

XN976 - Brough to HOSM 12.7.64 and again 18.2.71 (Martel).

Also many more....

An example of one that did the journey 3 times:-

XT281 Brough to HOSM 12.10.65 (new), 28.3.71 (Martel), 25.3.73 (full S.2B).

Keep up the good work looking after XV168!

Cheers,

Mike

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