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 »

20/03/2024 Update....
...sort of. Saturday was YAM's first Thunder Day event of the year. While we weren't participating as a replacement air starter for the Buccaneer which we now normally crew running days for had not been sourced in time, our good friend Mike Davey had brought his Cheetah engine for its first outing of 2024 so I was involved with that. First bit of business for the day though, we had some spares to pick up and move to our corner! Mike Eastman had been down in the week, and passed rather a lot of Meteor bits our way. We decided to load them on the billy cart to haul them across site to the Naughty Corner
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We love original packaging!
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So the 2 crates should hold a new rudder trim tab each...
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Armstrong Whitworth made ones too!
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Back to the day's events. In a serious blow to morale, the lovely Cheetah turned (as you can see from the props in the photo below!)
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But would not fire up. Consequently as the event commenced Mike and I were doing open heart surgery on the electrics and the ignition system of this old beast, but to no avail. Being busy with this for most of the event, the only runners of the day I got to see were the Devon
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And more excitingly the Jet Provost
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This was finally making its YAM display debut with Adam in the hot seat. Thoroughly deserved too after all the graft he's put in on this machine
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Running the Jet under Mick Whittaker's guidance. Look at that grin! Well done mate. The Devon did another run; with the Cheetah, the Bucc and the Dak all out of the game there was a bit of duplication going on to fill the day a bit for the 800+ visitors
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We then went back to Meteor business. To cheer ourselves up, we opened one of the rudder trim tab boxes. This was sealed in 1958! Taking out the screws
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Opening the first layer of packaging
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The tab itself, in its protective paper
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Revealed in all it's glory!
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The first time this tab has seen daylight since 1958. It's fitting kit is still in the box next to it, sealed up. We then had a look at what other goodies we had won
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This had waited even longer to see the light of day; like the trim tab it'll be finding its way onto the aircraft
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In the document box of the other trim tab's packing case I found this piece of history
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As is always the case, this bit of paperwork will be kept in 788's records in perpetuity.
As well as Mike Davey, we had another visitor with us for the day, Nick Beck. He has supported our work since forever, and as he'd trekked up from the south coast it seemed only fair to let him have a sit in 788 while we tested the new batteries in the trolley acc!
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Yes, new batteries! These beauties were sent up from WR963 at Coventry. They are now in our trolley acc, intended solely for the use of 788 and '63 when she arrives. As they are heavy and he couldn't be arsed to lift them into the trolley, Scott tried an unconventional method of fitting them...

...results were sub-optimal so I had to lift them in, in the good old fashioned way. But we have a good healthy supply of volts now!
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Also thanks to the Shack guys we have a proper 'chute pack seat cushion for the nav's seat too!
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So for 'show days' we have a chute for each seat. We just need one chute harness and correct seat harnesses for the seats now. Cheers for the goodies Rich, and thanks John for hauling this lot north! Towards the end of the day Gary casually mentioned we hadn't collected all the spares Mike had brought; we'd overlooked a couple of boxes in a different bit of the HP building. We hot-footed it over there, gathered them back to the safety of the Naughty Corner, so this is the amended version of the day's haul!
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We got some sorting to do! Thanks to Mike for bringing this lot to us.
Speaking of bringing... visitors also brought us goodies in the day!
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Thankyou for these, and thanks to everyone who took the time to come say hello to us, and tell us how much they appreciate what we're doing for 788 and my write-ups on here and Facebook. Getting such feedback in person (and from a number of people on Saturday!) really does mean a lot to us as a team. It's nice to know we're doing things right!
Late on Adam had another mild triumph, getting his favourite little tug to actually start so he could bring the Houchin back indoors. I'd say Scott's lungs didn't enjoy the experience much though!
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Right at the end of the day, sadly after everyone had departed, I got my hands on the 70th anniversary stickers we've had made. A bit of mild aircraft zapping may or may not have ensued...!
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Mike, Scott and I then repaired to the pub for dinner and to drown our sorrows at the Cheetah's refusal to play
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Despite the technical problems, which I'm sure Mike will have sorted soon (he's promised to keep me updated so I'll pass the info on, initial thoughts are booster coil failure), it was a great day in good company, with the usual Naughty Corner suspects and our friends in some of the wider YAM engineering teams, Mike, Nick and his better half, and of course the visitors who gave us some of their time.
Sunday morning I had to pop in to drop Mike back off to take his van and the Cheetah home. It's a good thing the weather Gods had been kinder on the event day of the weekend than on the Sunday!
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I then went back home for a few actual rare hours off from either the paid work or aeroplanes! Again, thanks to everyone who came for Thunder Day and chatted with us. I hope you all enjoyed it.
Remember, stickers now available to visitors to the Naughty Corner who ask nicely!
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More next time folks...
Meteor WS788/ Chippy WK640 Restoration Project, YAM
Shack WR963, Coventry
Other types meddled with by request!

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chrisward123
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by chrisward123 »

Great Update as per usual matey.
Hope Mike gets the Cheetah engine sorted for Cockpits North (Dumfries & Galloway) then Cockpit Fest (Newark).
Hope to finally meet you at NAM and grab a cheeky sticker off you :grinning: (obviously in return for a Jaffa Cake Donation!)
Lakes Lightning Collection

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

Post by TEXANTOMCAT »

Another great update fella well done! We’ll let you zap WN904!

But not G-RAVL, keep your dirty RAF mitts off Handley Page’s finest!

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 gents! Looks like I'll have to bring a slack handful of zaps to the 'jumble and to cockpitfest...
Meteor WS788/ Chippy WK640 Restoration Project, YAM
Shack WR963, Coventry
Other types meddled with by request!

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

Post by TonyC »

Blue_2 wrote:
Wed 20 Mar 2024, 8:46 pm
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Despite the technical problems...
Technical problems, TECHNICAL PROBLEMS, I'll say you've got technical problems, look at the size of the head on those beers, it's a disgrace, you pay for a pint of of beer, not ¾ of a pint and the rest in air and you're a Yorkshireman! :grin:

True story, my grandfather, who was from Nottingham, was known to return beer if it have a head on it and if his other favorite tipple (Gold Label Barley Wine) had even a few bubbles floating on in, it too was returned ("It's a wine young man, not a lager!") and lets not get started on beer being cold ("Landlord, beer should be sold at room temperature, not put through the freezer!")

Oh, a great update with plenty of new Meteor shaped bits and pieces to play with, thise tabs look to be in remarkable condition, considering how long they have been wrapped up :thumbsup:
...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 »

What you're not taking into account is the amount of the glass' content we had already supped between bar and table Tony! The landlord is scrupulous when it comes to not serving short measures.

Hoping to get on with sorting the new spares into the stash this weekend. Got visitors coming though, so it may be a bit of a busy one...
Meteor WS788/ Chippy WK640 Restoration Project, YAM
Shack WR963, Coventry
Other types meddled with by request!

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

Post by TonyC »

Blue_2 wrote:
Thu 21 Mar 2024, 6:04 pm
What you're not taking into account is the amount of the glass' content we had already supped between bar and table Tony! The landlord is scrupulous when it comes to not serving short measures.
Phew, you had me worried for a minute but trust that you all followed the instructions written on the chalkboard behind you all? :laughing:
...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 »

As they say in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, "them's more like guidelines"!
Meteor WS788/ Chippy WK640 Restoration Project, YAM
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TEXANTOMCAT
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by TEXANTOMCAT »

Blue_2 wrote:
Thu 21 Mar 2024, 2:51 pm
Cheers gents! Looks like I'll have to bring a slack handful of zaps to the 'jumble and to cockpitfest...
Surely you can put up your Paypal and persons can acquire a sticker - you should see how far round the globe your zaps can appear on aircraft - plus Zac will want to put one on a Hobbit or summit won't he?

TT

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

Post by TonyC »

Blue_2 wrote:
Fri 22 Mar 2024, 7:42 am
As they say in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, "them's more like guidelines"!
:joy: :joy:
...and pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in Space cos there's bugger all down here on Earth!

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

Post by K5054NZ »

TEXANTOMCAT wrote:
Fri 22 Mar 2024, 2:35 pm
plus Zac will want to put one on a Hobbit or summit won't he?
:rofl:
Zac in NZ
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Blue_2
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Blue_2 »

29/03/2024 Update
Here's something unusual for the forum, a virtually live update!
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It's to make up for being a week behind basically. Sorry, but blame the day job again... I have the laptop in the hangar with me today to make cross referencing part numbers easier, but I've had enough of that for one day so I thought I'd get caught up with the forum update instead. So, back to last weekend, a little bit of fettling happened as I had a set of HP/LP levers to convert for Mike Eastman. Mike is the chap who brought us the latest spares stash which we are midway through sorting, but he has his own F.8 to restore too. Unfortunately its previous owners thoroughly stripped the cockpit interior out, so Mike is now working hard to reinstate as much as he can. I had this spare mismatched pair of HP/LP levers for him
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and as you can see a spare HP lever top. So I decided to convert the odd set to match. First, dismantle and rearrange levers
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Then dismantle what would become the new HP lever, and mark it for cutting and drilling
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Cut, bend, drill, test fit...
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Paint...
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Then when dry commence reassembly!
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I had to make new brass bushings for the HP lever top
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But the set were soon as reassembled and matching as they were going to get!
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No idea why the caption on one is the other way up, but they are I'm sure close enough for Mike
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Ready to go. Nice to be able to repay him!
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Next day we began inventory on this lot
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John was in, but we subcontracted him to the Jaguar to get a missing panel made
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I was busy most of the day with visitors, including discussions and a site walk with our friend who is going to do the haulage on our Shackleton, but Tom got on very well with arranging the new spares into types and similar components
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I finally got to get involved after all our visitors, including a party from Newark Air Museum, had gone happily on their way. Let inventory commence...
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By close of play we had got a few boxes sorted and were starting to make headway
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Oldest package of the day we encountered...!
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There was still all this lot to do as well though...
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...but that's a this weekend job. On to this weekend, and here we are today, this morning looked promising weather wise
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But that didn't last!
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168 looks unimpressed
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Presents had arrived. Thanks to a donation by our friend Mick Clow at Heron Landscapes, we were able to obtain this off ebay this week
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It's the Meteor T.7 Illustrated Parts Catalogue (IPC) We have the one for the F.8, and half an NF.11-13 one, in pdf form, and that is as close to an actual NF.14 IPC as we are ever going to get. This T.7 one fills most of the gaps in our parts number knowledge
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It's had a life, but as long as we treat it with respect and care it should still have many years of useful service to give
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We also received a bag of F.8 crash recovered goodies from Farlam Airframes
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Some very interesting, and believe it or not useful, bits in among this lot.
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While this pipe is definitely knackered, it was good to be able to find it in the new parts book
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Thus confirming its origin
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This airbrake synchronising pulley has seen better days
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While it is unserviceable in itself, it would yield useful parts such as the bushings if needed
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On to why this steam powered laptop is in the hangar today...
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It's much easier to read the F.8 and NF IPC pdf's off the laptop screen than my phone! I've been plugging away, and got a few more boxes done and sorted
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Of course sometimes it's more fun to take a wrapped part...
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...unwrap it and offer it to the jet to find it's home!
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So, some progress with the parts sorting...
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But I'm off to find something more fun to do and let Tom carry on with this chore tomorrow! The power to delegate is a wonderful thing...


More next time folks...
Meteor WS788/ Chippy WK640 Restoration Project, YAM
Shack WR963, Coventry
Other types meddled with by request!

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

Post by TEXANTOMCAT »

Wow nearly a livestream- VR Jaffa munching next!

Another great update have a fab Easter!

🫡

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

Post by Blue_2 »

Steady now, this was technologically ambitious for us!

You have a good one too old chap.
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by K5054NZ »

Great stuff Graham! I'm in awe of how you find the time to do all this work on all these different machines and still find time to share such comprehensive after-action (or in this case during-action) reports. Well done that man!
Zac in NZ
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Blue_2
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Re: A-W Meteor NF.14 WS788 Restoration Project

Post by Blue_2 »

As proven last week Zac, I don't always have time to get a write-up written up! I do try though. The absolute madness that has been the day job over the last couple of months is coming down to more sensible levels now with the pre-Easter rush subsiding, meaning I'm starting to have time for life away from work again. This Easter weekend, 2 days in the hangar doing what I enjoy and 2 days doing what normal human beings do with their time off, has been a very welcome break indeed (yes I know, define normal!).
Anyway, on with...
02/04/2024 Update
Following on from the last, nearly live, update I posted, after writing that up I decided to call it a day for now on doing inventory, and decided to do something with 788 instead. Namely, get the brand new rudder trim tab assembly fitted. I have 2 of these, one in a nice wooden crate which I have a plan for
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and one which was in a much less nice but equally serviceable board crate. So, I decided to open the nice crate...
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and despatch its contents, still sealed, into the less nice crate
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Whose lid I then screwed back down and I then dispatched to stores, logging it in the inventory of course! This left me with one complete, sealed rudder trim tab kit in stock, one lovely proper wooden crate...
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...and one orphan trim tab and fitting kit. It wouldn't stay orphaned for long though, as it was off to be fitted to 788. First though I had to unwrap the fitting kit, which was very, very well packed indeed! After taking off the outer paper wrapper I was faced with this, an inner wax sealed paper wrap
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Inside which was a card box, taped sealed shut
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On opening the lid, and unwrapping the corrugated cardboard within, I finally got a glimpse of the components of the fitting kit!
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Each item was painstakingly bundled up and sealed in its own bit of greased paper or plastic, then taped, then labelled, then taped again. Here is the full kit, finally unwrapped and complete with typed and stamped checklist, seeing daylight for the first time since it was packed at Baginton in 1958
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You get everything down to the small split pins! So I borrowed a ladder from over near the Jag, and got on with fitting the tab. Here it is on a jet for the first time
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It's only been waiting 66 years to finally get to do its job!
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Bolted on for the night. As the battery drill was flat I would charge it overnight then drill the upper and lower bolts for the split pins the next morning
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Then it was time to call it a day, well a night. I love how good a paint match we managed to the original High Speed Silver
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On leaving the hangar you could tell by the weather it was a British Bank Holiday!
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"changeable" is I think the word the forecasters use as a get out of jail free card!
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Next morning, we were awoken by a rumble in the sky. Another old machine overhead
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Passing over us at 10,000ft, low for one of these over our way. At least on Boeing's order books, if not actually built and flying, while our Meteor was still in service, and still going strong! Strange to think she may have shared the skies with 788, and yet is still in the service of her country in 2024. Onward to YAM, and it was a much nicer day!
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I had Tom and John in; John got on with making things, in this case the custom battery tray to securely fit our modern-spec battery in 788's 1953-spec battery bay
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while Tom carried on inventory after a crash course in how to use the Bible and the AP's on my laptop.
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I got the trim tab bolts drilled, and the split pins fitted, and after giving the tab a last wipe over with a degreaser rag that was job done!
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Carrying on through the rest of the morning, I was fetching the NOS boxed spares we have owned for quite a while but never properly recorded off the shelves and adding them to the pile of boxes to be processed-in
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This made Tom sad. I also tried to tidy and make a more sensible setup of our shelves
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Making space for both the trays we have sorted and the trays to be sorted in, also adding the large NOS items on the shelves such as the flap jacks, airbrake jacks, and undercarriage retract jacks you can see on the left in the above photo to the inventory list. By lunch Tom had got on well
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And John was ready to do a test fit of his battery tray!
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Looks like it should do the job nicely. Sadly we were gazumped during lunch on a pair of aircraft battery tie down clamps I had been bidding on ebay, so we'll have to keep an eye out for another set to secure the battery to the tray unless John gets all inventive. Such is life...
After lunch, John carried on with his tray, I took over from Tom on inventory to give him a change of scenery, and Tom went to the bench to start prepping the old nosewheel leg damper for paint. The NOS one we fitted the other week flatly refuses to hold charge, and we know the one we took off is scruffy but good, so we've decided to get the old one looking nice and swap them back, leaving sorting the NOS one as a job for in the future when we're bored one day! We had a break from our jobs though, as we welcomed one of the Meteor Boys to our corner. We'd been told that there was a chap visiting who particularly wanted to see our Javelin as he had flown it, I saw him and got chatting and as I expected for a jet fighter pilot from that era he had also flown Meteors, marks 3, 4, 7, 8, 11, and a 14 once! It would have been rude not to let him take a seat in his old office...
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he then told us tales of life in RAF Germany on NF.11's, flying an F(TT).8 in the Mediterranean, all sorts of fascinating stories of life with Meteors
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As we do with all the Meteor Boys who visit, we asked him to sign the JB door. But the starboard one is now a bit too full, so he inaugrated the adding of signatures to the port JB door
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"Bob" Kelly, 96 Squadron
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The 2 doors together
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It's always great to hear the stories from the chaps who operated these jets; hopefully 788's 70th "do" in July will see more names added to the doors! Back to work, and I was going through the trolley of spares, finding we had unexpected quantities of certain items. It seems we are the people to talk to if you want a Smiths instrument filter circlip for example, as we have a whole heap of them!
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As the day went on, John got as far as he could before being called away to do domestic stuff. Tom carried on with paint prep, and I carried on filling our shelves with trays of stuff!
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This all looks far too organised for us; of course I'll never be able to actually find anything ever again!
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Speaking of finding things, before it could go nomad again I reattached a cover from the starboard electrical bay that I had definitely not lost and been hunting for quite a while now...
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And Tom masked up and got the first coat of primer on the damper
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Custom spray booth to the rescue once more!
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That would do for the day, the dog decided I needed dragging to the pub!
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Apart from having to pop in to drop stepdaughter off to work in the NAAFI Sunday and Monday, that was it really. I did have a chat with Scott yesterday as we have an event on next Saturday celebrating the 30th anniversary of the retirement of the Buccaneer fleet. So our 3 Buccs, his pride and joy when he's not working on 788 with us, will take centre stage
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I also snuck another coat of primer on the damper while nobody was looking!
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Found a bit of local aviation history when we were out and about on Sunday, we visited Easingwold on our way back and stopped for a pint in the George hotel, the pub of choice of an aviation legend and author Squadron Leader Jack Currie DFC
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If you haven't read his books Lancaster Target and Mosquito Victory, get them found and read! It's great to see the pub commemorates him, one of the aviators and authors whose books I devoured when I was growing up.
Anyway, that's the Easter update done. If you're coming for the Bucc 30th event on Saturday, it'll be good to see you!


More next time folks...
Meteor WS788/ Chippy WK640 Restoration Project, YAM
Shack WR963, Coventry
Other types meddled with by request!

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

Post by TonyC »

Great update as always and with regard to the Buccaneers, there can't be many museums that have as many as YAM have, just a shame they are currently outside!

With regard to the inventory listing, is there a reason you are cataloguing everything on paper, rather than as a spreadsheet? Curiousity needs feeding :laughing:
...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 »

TonyC wrote:
Tue 02 Apr 2024, 4:53 pm
Great update as always and with regard to the Buccaneers, there can't be many museums that have as many as YAM have, just a shame they are currently outside!

With regard to the inventory listing, is there a reason you are cataloguing everything on paper, rather than as a spreadsheet? Curiousity needs feeding :laughing:
You say that, 974 only came outside last week for the upcoming event!

Recorded on paper, rather than spreadsheet because we don't (yet) have a Meteor documentation computer! That laptop is my own, doesn't and isn't going to live in the hangar as my better half needs it at home for her stuff, and certainly isn't accessible to everyone unlike good old pen and paper!
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Other types meddled with by request!

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

Post by hunterxf382 »

What an incredible update Graham! Not only the meatbox bits, which of course are the main reason for reading, but your rather impressive stores system coming together!
Noticeable that the top shelf material is the most important stock for your team to carry out such arduous tasks in all weathers ;) As for the genuine spares stash - you look like your starting your own vintage AWA spares service now!
Just a thought on your leaking N.O.S. damper issue - perhaps the seals have dried up in storage?
Pete Buckingham
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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! Priorities and all that...! Maybe we need an A-W Main Dealer sign for the stores area...!

Re the damper, that was my thinking too. At some point way down the line a seal kit should see it right.
Meteor WS788/ Chippy WK640 Restoration Project, YAM
Shack WR963, Coventry
Other types meddled with by request!

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

Post by TonyC »

Blue_2 wrote:
Tue 02 Apr 2024, 5:17 pm
You say that, 974 only came outside last week for the upcoming event!
Sorry just re-read my post and it may have come across as a criticism, which it wasn't, just nice to see 3 Buccs on one site!

Tony :thumbsup:
...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 »

Not a worry Tony, just a shame we won't be running '74 tomorrow but it should still be a great day
Meteor WS788/ Chippy WK640 Restoration Project, YAM
Shack WR963, Coventry
Other types meddled with by request!

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

Post by Brenden S »

Another top notch update. It was also great to see Flypast do a post on facebook about the restoration as well.

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

Post by Blue_2 »

I still need to get round to putting up a post from this weekend! Work has again run me ragged.
The Flypast post will be in this month's News section of the mag, with a full article on 788 to follow after the 70th birthday 'do' for the jet hopefully.
Meteor WS788/ Chippy WK640 Restoration Project, YAM
Shack WR963, Coventry
Other types meddled with by request!

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

Post by K5054NZ »

Blue_2 wrote:
Thu 11 Apr 2024, 7:35 pm
with a full article on 788 to follow after the 70th birthday 'do' for the jet hopefully.
Outstanding!
Zac in NZ
#avgeek, modelbuilder, photographer, writer. Callsign: "HANDBAG"
https://linktr.ee/zacyates

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