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Summer 2015 Update.

Story added on 21st July 2015

Slowly the site is taking on a new shape with several aircraft moves being completed over the summer. The Tornado is now parked much further up the site and is in a much more photogenic position These moves means the planned concreting and building can go on at the bottom of the site without risk to any of our aircraft. One of the major improvents noticed by members and visitors alike is the replacement of the roof glazing in the main hanger. Let there be light and there was light. Much better for working and viewing.

First past the post in the re-painting stakes is the Saudi T55 Lightning. Of course they are never really finished as its always possible to find new aspects of a repaint to improve on but at some stage you have to re assign the resources elsewhere. Complete with its Arabic markings in place its gleaming silver torso is good for a few more years of exposure to the Midlands atmosphere. Just after completion the cockpit was opened and although a cockpit renovation isnt needed its always prudent to have a check on its condition. The interior is covered up by a waterproof cover which catches the water ingeress very nicely. A small amount of corrosion was dealt with on the Pilots Harness buckles but the general condition was excellent. The 8 day clock was wound up and it started just fine. The whole interior was treated with an interior cleaner and lubricant and the waterproof cover re instated. Although it cant be seen (we hope) a new method is being trialled to keep the birds from alighting on the aircraft spine and making a mess. It consists of a fishing line strectched between the cockpit UHF aerial right down to the tail and then re attached to the other Cockpit UHF aerial. Initial results appear pretty good and it does seem to deter the bigger birds anyway. But time will tell and its not copyrighted at all so you are welcome to use the idea if it suits your requirements.

lightning 1 lightning 2

lightning 4 lightning 3

The Dassault Mystere in its new livery and the Beagle interior are coming along well and pictures will follow on the next update.

Her is an answer to a question that you never thought to ask. If you are either a Canberra enthusiast or a WW2 Radar/Radio afficianado you might have wondered why English Electric made the Canberra Fin skin out of marine ply covered with doped fabric and not aluminium alloy. It wasnt a weight C of G issue as some people think but one of requirements to give the Navigation equipment "Gee" aerial a place to fit. The frequency of "Gee" was only just above the frequency used by aircraft VHF communication but the aerial needed to have a reasonably high gain for the equipment to operate at all at extreme range from the transmitters. Not going to go in to the details of how "Gee" worked as its covered by several good web articles. But it did mean the Canberra,s initial requirement was set in stone for the rest of the aircrafts life well after the "Gee" system was discontinued. For those who have never had the chance to look inside the Fin (and who has) the atached photo taken during the restoration of our Canberra PR3 WF922 shows the aerial in all its glory.

Fin Aerial

As with most museums the average age of the volunteers is still far to high. This inevitably means that some eventually check out to the big hanger in the sky and this has been the case recently with us. A well liked worker and guide has recently passed on and along with all the members we would like to pass on our condolances to his family. No Names No pack drill but members will of course be aware of the details.

March to May Update

Time is flying past this year and an update on museum activities is well overdue. On an aside after several comments about the very local major road improvements being made adjacent to the museum it is worthwhile checking if any road closures are in place that might coincide with a proposed visit. This will dictate which is the best direction to approach the museum from. It has to be said that it doesnt seem to have made great deal of difference to our visitor numbers at all in fact the reverse being true on current attendance figures.

The Tornado is now altogether and is safe to move from its assembly area. It is proposed to move it further up the site to give unrestricted access to improve the hardstanding area outside and adjacent to the Robin hanger. This move will mean far better... read more

Jan/Feb Update

Like most others in the museum fraternity (except the privilaged few) we have had to put up with whatever the weather throws at us and although it hasnt been extreme so far this year it certainly has dampened down the outside work. None the less the hardy few have braved the odd day outside to get some work done although it has been sporodic.

The Mystere is in its winter coat of white undercoat. We have found that leaving the paint to harden over winter is condusive to the final paint staying on for a little bit longer.Some years ago we did the same with the Boulton Paul and that is still proving its worth.

Next to have some final touches done during a spell of sunshine was the dear old Canberra PR3. Time ran out after the repaint this year to do... read more

Old News

07/12/14: November/December Update
27/10/14: September/October Update
30/08/14: July/August Update
27/06/14: June Update
24/05/14: May Update
22/02/14: Jan/Feb interim update
13/12/13: Xmas opening

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