News Update April 2011
Story added on 29th March 2011
The annual model show is to be held at the museum on Sunday 26th June all the usual traders will be here with loads of bargains to be snapped up. Following this the Art Exhibition is to be held from the 16th August to the 3rd of September, an event not to be missed as it will also include a master class for aspiring artists and a chance to talk to some members of the Guild of Aviation Artists.
Back to the more mundane matters of what’s been happening on the ground or as in the case of the Canberra, off the ground.
Our Canberra PR3 has been airborne on jacks this month to allow for the quarterly main and nose wheel rotation to take place, this prevents flats forming on the rubber and greatly prolongs the life of the tyres. Having gained access, a good clear out of dirt and spiders was carried out and the tyres given a good coating of tyre black. As can be seen from the photo daylight is visible under the wheel. Next photo is a general view and gives a good idea as to its overall well polished appearance.
The T33 has had a good wash and touch up, red is a very difficult colour to keep looking bright and fresh, just ask the team who painted it a couple of years ago how they have to constantly revisit the project.
A small but significant improvement to the Buccaneer nose section was the addition of the correct intake blanks. These will stay in place, we hope, unlike the temporary ones that a good gust of wind would displace.
Now to the DH125, after a complete rebuild of the support columns a few years ago it was noticed during this winter that the paint at the bottom of the front support covering was peeling off, allowing water to soak up the cladding. Like most of these tasks the more you look the more you find so a more permanent solution was sought. Some donated pressure treated decking was fabricated to fully enclose the bottom of the supports. This was then liberally coated with sealant and the gaps filled with expanded polystyrene, to form what we hope will be a more satisfactory weatherproofed structure. The 125 is still electrically and hydraulically live and it is regularly opened to visitors, so safe well maintained supports are a must.
Although the picture was taken during the winter (remember that) the Phantom is getting some TLC from a recently rejoined member, ultimately we are working to get better viewing of the cockpit if suitable access can be secured. No promises on this but updates will be forthcoming.
I have put together as best as I can a report from our display cabinet restoration team. We obtained a dry stored Tail Warning Radar (Orange Putter) used on Canberra’s and Valiant’s for our static cold war equipment display area. It was in excellent condition so a cabinet is being prepared for its display as we speak. Photographs I hope can show more than written explanations just how complex this equipment is. We do not have the correct cockpit cathode ray display “yet” but have pressed a WW2 screen in to service to show what the pilots would see when a "bandit! approached from the rear. If anyone has any idea of the service unit this equipment appears to have originated from we would like to know IE MRA 17. Renovation is now complete and we are waiting for the cabinet paint to dry before it goes on display. Next month we will have photos of the working 1985 and 1986 VHF Radio display now located in the Argosy.
The workshop refit is virtually complete, just a couple of coats of paint to go on the newly built separating walls and doors and we are ready to make a mess of it all over again.
Something that regular visitors might have noticed is the improvements made to the Museums road entrance. This has been done in our usual stealth like manner. After the final tarmac topcoat had been applied it made the approach to the museum a lot safer and looking less like a 4*4 testing area.