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News Update Feb 2011

Story added on 6th February 2011

Very remiss of us at MAM not to keep the news section of the site updated, no excuses tendered. To bring all of the news up to date would take a very long winded update so apologies for the somewhat brief mention of some activities. The work has finished on the new building alongside of the main hanger, now going under the name of “The Argosy Centre”, opened by Eric 'Winkle' Brown; its facilities have been put to very good use by members and resident clubs alike.

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The harsh winter period saw a lot of snow clearing carried out by members on our exhibits and path ways, suffice to say we were never forced to close even during the worst of the bad weather. No exhibits were damaged, the only casualty being the David Brown tractor that “popped” a couple of core plugs.

Complete now is the “Iskra” fully assembled, primed and painted in Polish Livery it is a credit to the small team that undertook the task last year.

The Pup replica that hung in the hanger for so long has now been returned to its owners and its progress to taxi status can be followed on the owner’s web site http://www.biggles-biplane.com/. In its place is the large model of the AW361 that was cancelled in 1965. Also shown is Cmdr Man E Quinn showing off his best Mae West in the Pilots seat of Canberra T17A WH 646 and his back seater Fl Lt. M.A.P Reader.

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The flea replica has also been taken from its lofty perch for a makeover in the Robin hanger during the winter. A lot of accumulated dust is being carefully removed and a sympathetic repaint after a few minor repairs will be undertaken before it is re-displayed.

Our Canberra WF922 has gained some nose art that it wore during its service at RAF Laarbruch and the F6A Hunter has also had the attention of our resident sign writer to renew the squadron markings. Two shots showing the Viscount interior to give an idea of the progress during the summer.

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We have had visits from the team that has undertaken the job of getting the Fairey Gannet T5 in the USA back to airworthy status and they have gained a lot of useful information and measurements (but no parts of course) from our resident T2. We were glad to co-operate and be a part of their long hard task.

With the completion of the Gnat wings the same team have started building from scratch a new back end to the Fletner helicopter. A lot of detailed and precision work is involved and has been helped by another small group who have refurbished the undercarriage, wheels and tyres to make it manoeuvrable within the small space allocated in the Robin hanger.

A team is bringing the facilities in our workshop up to date to comply with all the latest H and S requirements, although the downside to this is that I am told that none of the old hands can find anything anymore.

Like most museums a lot of hard work goes on daily behind the scenes refurbishing and putting out new exhibits etc and it is impossible to report on all of them, especially on our first update for some time. Hopefully a more detailed update on projects and news will follow shortly.

Latest updates

Building of a new education centre alongside the main Museum hangar commenced in mid February and the centre will be opened later this year; this is all part of the Museum's ongoing links with local education establishments and mission to educate as well as preserve the region's aviation history.

On the exhibit front, since the last major news update the F-86 Sabre has had several missing panels fabricated and a complete repaint; work continues on the Viscount with the intention of attaching the wings later this year and the Iskra has now been reassembled and put on display. Restoration work also continues on the F-101 Voodoo.
... read more

Les Bywaters

Les Bywaters, often referred to as 'Mr. Canberra', was a regular museum visitor and one of those instrumental in the restoration of our Canberra, WF922, and published on his website the detailed restoration diary written by Malcolm Lambert Sadly Les passed away on 13th January. All of us at the Museum are greatly saddened to hear of his passing and would like to extend our condolences to his family and friends. Les was one of those friends we would all like to have.

- Barry James, Museum Chairman ... read more

Old News

19/11/08: Latest updates
12/04/08: New arrival
09/03/08: News update
20/10/07: News Update 20/10/07
13/10/07: News Update 13/10/07
06/10/07: News Update 06/10/07
28/09/07: News Update 29/09/07

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