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July/August Update

Story added on 30th August 2014

Well the summer holidays are almost over and as usual the best of the weather seems to be still to come. No complaints though as the museum has been extremely busy this summer with the guides pushed to the limit. The weather as usual has played a big part in the summer maintenance programme, it really can get too hot to paint on some days and sitting on the aircraft trying to paint and not get burnt in the process is difficult. Lots of fun moving the Hunter in to a new position between the Javelin and the Argosy. The aircraft hasnt been moved for well over 20 years and after some preparation and an initial tug it all went very smoothly considering the brake units are still in situ.

There is some discussion going on at the moment regarding the installation of a webcam at the museum which is accessed from the website. The yes debate centres around the increase in web site traffic that it will bring and the access it gives to overseas visitors. Only part of the site would be visible acting (we hope) as a taster for the casual web site visitor to come and see the rest. Against the installation would be the argument that perhaps you would have seen enough to not visit. Further arguments are that it provides the management a live view during particularly inclement weather and of course increased site security. Further debates are sure to follow with other points of view having to be taken in to consideration.

The Tornado has had a few more parts added, the most visible being the rudder. It is difficult to get all the parts together quickly and one suspects that the recent tasking of the aircraft overseas hasnt helped the flow of available spares.

Torn rudder

At last the Canberra re-paint has been completed. It was promised to be finished by the end of August and it has just scraped in to the time frame. The aircraft has been jacked up and the wheels rotated along with some greasing carried out of the undercarraige and flaps. To try to make the exhibit more interesting we have aquired an 8 inch flare carrier to exhibit alongside the aircraft. Our plan is to put five mock up 8 inch magnesium flares on the carrier to show what the Canberra PR3 carried in one of its night time photographic roles. Further pictures will follow of the carrier when the missing pieces that have had to be fabricated have been fitted. If any one has or knows of a Flare beam to which the carrier attaches to, we would be interested. The ministry photo is from 1959 of the loading of 8 inch flares to a PR canberra.

Can nose mock up flares

mod photo

At long last our Mig killer Phantom has had the decals applied to the port tail after a succesful re-paint carried out earlier in the season.

phantom tail

June Update

June saw the summer Model show come and go, not without a great deal of effort it has to be recorded as it seems we are getting very tight for space again and to clear the Robin Hanger is no mean task. Every one chipped in and moved what seemed like a mountain of aircraft first out and then back in again. Not only aircraft but missiles, bombs and a whole range of support equipment had to be shuffled around.

Now to the aircraft that are undergoing repaint. The Phantom is beginning to look aggresive again and the team are gradually finding the time to put some paint back on the airframe and it must be around 50% complete. As with most aircraft they are much larger when you get up close and personal so given the other commitments in June they are doing very well.

As... read more

May Update

Sorry for the delay in posting the update if your a regular reader, Truth is we have been very busy and its one of those jobs that you always mean to do but never quite manage.

The Tornado is the story of the month for us. A team tackled the airfix kit laid out in the hanger and with the help of a crane it was assembled over a two day period. No real snags were encountered and the well engineered aircraft went together quite smoothly.

There are still some parts to come before it could be called anywhere near complete but its standing on its undercarraige and the wings are swingable (by hand). Plans are afoot to get the cockpits populated as well.

Although I wont bore you with anymore pictures (Just yet) of the Canberra it is undergoing a... read more