March News update, our Viscounts first public access.
Story added on 23rd March 2012
The new website has been received very well by members and public alike. Comments of "Long Overdue" were noted but the general consensus was that it had good presentation with just the right amount of fact. Tony's artwork coming in top for the most praise. Too much fact it has been mooted means that you can glean all the information from the site and negate a visit. That isn't our intention I can assure you and most visitors comment that it takes a good day to absorb all the information on offer at the museum. With that out of the way on to a rather late March bulletin.
As a special feature of our open cockpit day on Bank Holiday Monday the 9th April, we are going to allow for the first time, public access to the cockpit and cabin of the Viscount 700 F-BGNR. Not the usual wormhole experience of going in one end and then getting unceromoniosly dumped out of the other, visitors will be invited to sit and take in the 50/60s atmosphere of the interior and stay for as long as they like. We are if the weather permits going to open the Lightnings T55 and F6, Canberra PR3, Hunter, Starfighter, Sea Vixen, Sea Hawk ,Argosy, Vulcan, Whirlwind. If you want the Phantom cockpit Im afraid you will have to bring your log book with you to prove you flew them (Its a matter of safe and practised access). There will be no "special charges" levied for any of this and no tin rattling as you leave, we aim for you to experience as many different cockpits as you can squeeze in to, in one day, all with knowledgable guides at the helm.
Now a few pictures and reports of progress on our machines, the weather is on our side at the moment so we are streaking ahead with the Vulcan paint preparation, its rather a large area to clean off the bird droppings from but members have stuck with it and as you can see from the photos its all clean and ready for rollering.
Straight on to the Hunter and we decided to open up the nose cone that covers the Radar Ranging radar T/R to check on its general condition, we expected a fight but were pleasantly suprised that it came off rather timidly. After removing the birds nest ( yes we checked it first) the area was giving a makeover and a check made on the anti vibration mounts that hold the radar in place (albiet upside down) all was fine. Plugs were loosened greased and re-connected. There was no sign of the gun camera though but as we have an example in one of our display cabinets there seemed little point in hiding it out of sight, so we replaced the nose cone and remade all the latches just as the makers (Armstrong Whitworth if you didnt know) intended.
Next up suprise suprise is the Viscount. Nothing major to say from the team except to report that the finishing touches to the control columns have been completed with the addition of working clocks complete with lighting. Aviation followers will know the extortionate prices asked for aircraft clocks which we would never pay, so these were fabricated from two quartz movements purchased from a pound shop with the replaced photoshopped faces they look as good as the original article and no one unless they read this will ever know the difference.