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Aug/Sept Update

Story added on 6th September 2015

The museum is still going strong despite several phone calls worried that we might be included in the sale of another aircraft organisation on the airfield. Just to re assure everyone we are going from strength to strength and are awaiting planning consent ( in its last stages) to enable the extension of some of our facilities.

Work wise we have made fairly steady progress on our scheduled summer projects. The T55 Saudi Lightning is complete, the Canberra has had a complete power wash and rub down ( sounds like a racehorse) and is looking shiny both inside and out. A lot of attention was made to re waterproof the navigators hatch windows which after a prolonged sit inside during the rain showed were the water drips noticed on the floor were coming from. Both ejection seats webbing and packs were serviced as best as possible, removing mould and accumalated dirt and dust. Its over 10 years since its major restoration and although the cockpit isnt opened on a regular basis it still gets used and sat in occasionally.

Canberra 1 Canberra seat

The next almost complete project is the Mystere. Fully repainted the scheme has been changed and as the picture shows it carries a lot more in the way of decals, although there are a few more to go on it certainly has lifted the look of this rather unspectacular airframe quite considerably.

Mystere

The Whirlwind has had a lot of attention lavished on it and is about half way through its repaint. Not a straightforward rollering job due to its construction it just takes a lot longer to do than a normal repaint.

Whirlwind

Whilst on the Helecopter subject the newly affixed tail on the historic Fletner is still ongoing not just a case of bolting on a structure there are control runs, rudder hinges to be fabricated from original drawings, it all takes time and perhaps its one of those cases where photographs do not do the work involved justice.

Fletner Tail

Not normally mentioned is the Lockheed Electra cockpit. When it first arrived it had no front windscreens fitted due to their scarcity as spares for the remaining flying examples they were robbed out. We fitted some locally made perspex windows but over the last few years the U/V has taken its toll on the front perspex(funnily enough the rear of the double glazed unit didnt discolour at all). We are now going to fit new laminated windscreen glass to the front and hope that this is now going to become a permanent answer. It does now play an active part of our guided tour so is well worth the effort to get it right. A roomy cockpit able to house a full family of visitors plus guide it does get used on a regular basis and is equipped with lighting to enhance the experience. This photo shows the cockpit with just the rear most glazing in place.

Lockheed windows

Finally although started late and will probably have to spend the winter in undercoat is the repaint of the Fairy Gannet trainer. An airframe which when you get up close is a great deal larger than it looks. Sanding down and painting will take some time and the weather may play a part in how long it takes to complete even to the undercoat stage. Please bare in mind this photo is a before image to give you an idea of how much work has to go constantly to keep the exhibits looking good. The completed image will eventually appear.

Gannet

Whittle News

Whilst not attempting to emulate the good books and writings about the great man an interesting exhibit has been stored at the museum for a considerable time and it was thought that it was about time it saw the light of day.

The item in question is a Whittle power unit the W2/500 engine. Interestingly it was rescued from a scrap yard in Coventry by some foresighted members in the early days of the museums history, but for them this gem of an engine would have been lost forever. When it was recovered it was stripped down for appraisal and stored.

The unit without any apparent stampings or data plate that we could find would have been manufactured around 1941/2 and it precedes the complete W700 on public display in the Whittle exhibition hall at the museum. It is as a quick... read more

Summer 2015 Update.

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... read more

Old News

17/05/15: March to May Update
15/02/15: Jan/Feb Update
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

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