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News Update July 2011 (Parts 1 & 2 )

Story added on 1st July 2011

Its quite difficult to know where to start on this update but promises were never made on the quality of continuity, just information and hopefully lots of it. The Flea is finally complete and looks as good as new in its lofty perch. Final tensioning of the wings will be carried out after its settled down after its rebuild. Another bit of obvious progress is on the Voodoo from our signwriter (shown in the photo), what you cant see is the amount of detail applied to the fuselage by this dedicated team.

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Straight on to the F6 Lightning, this project is coming along very quickly given the rather poor state of the paintwork to start with. This latest batch of pictures show the camo painting complete and the underside belly about half way through. Although there are no pictures as yet of the Mystere it has also benifited from a partial repaint and now that particular corner of the museum smells of new paint and thinners. As is obvious the scheme chosen for the F6 is a 5 Sqn Lightning, XR771 served on 5 sqn coded AN. Efforts are being undertaken via the 5 Sqn Association to get the correct pilots name to put on the side. Finally on the lightning front a shot of the two lightnings nose to nose so to speak.

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Taking advantage of the good weather allowed the Sea Hawk repaint to be advanced a notch or two. The green on the nose always seem to suffer from streaking from the built in rain ways almost like tear ducts on the side they work extremely well, too well in fact because after a year or two the acidic content of the rain strips the paint. An afternoons work in good weather soon restores its good looks though.

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Finally the task allotted to our work experience lads who join us at this time of the year is the restoration of the Lightning F6 Firestreak missiles. Interestingly some etching on the body of the non drill round missile needs some explaining from those in the know. We are a mystified as to the relevance of these markings and would ask if anyone knows please drop us an email.

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The Model Show was an outstanding event this year, the weather was very much in our favour and in the words of both exhibitors and buyers it was a great show. It took some deft organising to get all the exhibitors and their stock in their allotted positions by opening time but it all went very smoothly and the clubs organising comittee deserve a lot of credit for making this happen. The museum for its part started getting the site ready up to a week ago, moving exhibits around to give the traders the space to set up their wares. Everything gelled together to make this annual event well worth all the effort. Pictures cannot really tell the story very well in this instance but a couple are shown just to give a flavour of the event.

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Back to the work in progress at the museum and some further updated photos of our projects. A lot of interest has been shown in our Hunter F6A since its re-paint so I make no apology for including a few more photos of it nearing completion (are they ever really completed). Research on the stencilling revealed a few shortcomings that we have tried to address and although we cant say that it is 100% accurate, it is shall we say more representative of an in service aicraft standard. Its not always possible ( much as we would like to) to do every aircraft to this level of detail as it is a great time consumer. A serious effort this time to make proper blanks for all the various vents on the aircrafts upper surface to keep out the rain. So rather than the usual speed tape approach which always looks amateurish blanks are being produced and fitted.

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Pictures on last months news showed the preparation that was on going on the Sea Hawk, this months photos show the completed grey sections after the re-paint, grey is one of those colours that is seriously affected by sun bleaching and will always be a problem for any museum.

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More progress to report on our Lightning F6. The fuselage and fin background coats have been finished leaving the roundals, decals and squadron markings to apply. Wings are the next target for painting but they need an awful lot of preparation work before that can be accomplished. Also shown in this line up is the intake of the Polish Iscra. It was decided to leave the ground running intake guards in place because they look so much better than the rather utilitarian sack like covers that would normally be fitted. This meant that we had to take steps to stop the rain from getting down the intake. A skilled woodworking member made some custom blanks that fitted behind the guards and after painting they were seated in place using clear bathroom sealant. Not a bad idea for a lot of our other aircraft as well me thinks.

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Follow ups on the progress of the Flea will follow later this month along with any other newsworthy items.

A reminder of the Art Exhibition is a must, August 16th to the 3rd Sept.

Update June 2011


We will start the June rolling update with a new picture of the progress on the Lightning, Its one of those projects that might take all summer to complete as the team involved are also two of our stalwart most active guides. Progress is being made though. Middle picture is a little bit of mission creep because its what you can see through our fence and its always interesting to see what other peoples activities are. Somethings take a long time to get attention and the third picture shows a ground rectifier unit that we reckon has waited at least 20 years for its turn to come.

Next in line for some remedial treatment this month and hot of the press is the Sea Hawk, sun and rain have not been kind to the grey... read more

News Update May 2011

Visits this weekend from a Lucas Aerospace group and a vintage car club complete with mandatory Alvis MGs and such kept the guides and cafe very busy. We were also represented by able volunteers at the Motor Museum in Coventry this weekend manning a stand highlighting the first flight of Whittles engine.

A few more shots of the Hunter to keep the rolling news theme alive. A very brief spell of suitable painting weather means that the fusalage and wings are finished, just the finishing touches to be completed on the roundals and yellows.

An update as well on the Sea Vixen nose repaint which is going on a pace.

Our Hunter XF382 is having a repaint, interupted at the moment by the lack of a suitable... read more

Old News

29/03/11: News Update April 2011
01/03/11: News Update March 2011
06/02/11: News Update Feb 2011
19/03/10: Latest updates
16/01/09: Les Bywaters
19/11/08: Latest updates
12/04/08: New arrival

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