Shackleton WR963

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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Richw_82 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:32 pm

No idea of a timescale yet, as the prop has to be built, inspected and fitted, then we have the fun of de-inhibiting an engine that has been sleeping for a couple of decades! It's one of the last batch done by the RAF's Griffon fitters, so we've confidence in it.

As soon as I know, you'll know... so don't worry.

Regards,
Rich
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Xplumberlives » Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:03 pm

Good luck Rich and Co, looking forward to that day! :ymapplause:
"All modern aircraft have 4 dimensions: span, length, height and politics.
TSR-2 simply got the first 3 right. ”
— Sir Sydney Camm
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Richw_82 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:27 pm

13 August

Its always difficult to keep momentum at this point in the year as people are off on holiday. For a couple of weeks the numbers of our crew were diminished, but now we're back to strength.

What's been going on?

We started with a few niggles. We've always had a few bits that were needing replacement but the trick was finding the parts. So we've been raiding the store.

To give you an insight into how much of a pain it is to find some of our stuff... In one pile alone we came across fuselage frames, a couple of brand new bomb aimers windows, some Grifffon cylinder banks - and that was just in the boxes we could get to. Then there's the six Griffon engines, 20 mainwhels and god knows what else.

We now have a complete aerial set up, with a brand new tensioner on the starboard fin. It had been safety wired in place after the last one failed, and had annoyed us a long time. Standing inside the aircraft now you can hear it hum merrily in the wind.

A major part of the search has been for glazing panels. we now have nearly a full set of cockpit glass, the latest part being a brand new pilots escape hatch.

Image

Fitting a new hatch is fairly easy, but the great thing is by consulting the schedule of parts, we found brand new seals to fit with it to keep the water out. I took a few shots while Vic was fitting this.

Image

Image

We've been continuing with replacing as many access hatches as we can, though the vast majority need drilling out and tapping. Where we don't have the panel or it is badly damaged, we're having new ones made.

Image

We are prioritising which ones we do, the most recent ones are to get access to the trim cables and sprockets. We're still working at freeing them off, the rudder is starting to behave but still needs attention.

Image

Image

20 years outdoors has caused a little corrosion inside but we're pretty happy that we keep going fairly deep into the aircraft yet she seems to have held up well.

The engine guys have been going at the engines, with filters, hydraulics, cams coolant, and a multitude of other tasks getting attention. The news is good with No 3 still behaving, the wear hasn't got any worse. We'll still keep a close eye on it, but it looks like it will make it to the end of the year. I'll report back on No 1 and 4 as they are done.

And last but not least... our old tug..

Image

Finally this old beastie earned its keep, shoving WR963 forward a few yards so we could put steel plate under her mainwheels to stop sinkage and help protect the tyres. There was a bet going on whether it would, and it seems it found some guts from somewhere! It's been getting some attention too to smarten it up and give it a long overdue service.

Regards,

Rich
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Xplumberlives » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:39 pm

:ymapplause: :ymapplause: Thanks for the update Rich, nice to see she is still progressing nicely! :ymapplause: :ymapplause:
"All modern aircraft have 4 dimensions: span, length, height and politics.
TSR-2 simply got the first 3 right. ”
— Sir Sydney Camm
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Mayfly » Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:05 pm

Keep up the good work - good to see the progress :ymapplause:
In memory of a very dear friend - Mike Pearson

Very fond memories of Robbie Gilvary - DTs 1st Vulcan Captain who taught DT all he knew.
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Kermit » Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:33 pm

great to see all the progress, good luck with all the rest, and as for the tug, it looks fit for quite a few more pulls ! :) looking forwards to your next report :D
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Richw_82 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:07 pm

Thanks guys! The tug is a museum piece in its own right, being ex Fleet Air Arm, we hope to get a service record for it if we can.
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Dan4th » Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:24 pm

Rich::::::::::::::

Well, I guess it's one of those situations
where SOMEONE has to do it, and it looks
like it's turned out to be YOU and your
CREW!

I might not be British, but I'm still very happy
that someone is keeping this particular Shack
in good order and looking better all the time!

What a Wonderful Old Aircraft!

And what a great Piece of History she is!

Good on You, Sir.......

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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Sploosher » Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:38 am

You guys are doing a tremedous job there............. :ymapplause:

She is certainly looking good, and I am surprised at the amount of `spares` that you have including 6 engines.. :-o

Will have to make a date and come down and see this wonderfull machine in action. \:D/ \:D/
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Richw_82 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:13 am

Thanks for all the positive comments, it spurs the team on. This stuff is all shown to them, and helps strengthen things when we can prove or following!

Not much of an update for you this week...

Engine servicing is continuing at a rate of knots. The negligible wear on the cams since the last inspection means we're going to extend the hours run before the next. If we can coax her back up to her old RAF servicing schedule that would be great!

We've also had a refuel, and on Saturday No 2 propellers arrived back on site. They will hopefully have passed the NDT tests soon (it was being organised today), after which we'll be sorting out hanging them on.

Next engine runs are pencilled in for Sep 15, and Sep 17. We're also taking steps to ensure we're serviceable for the annual night run photography event... ;)

Regards,
Rich
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Dan4th » Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:50 pm

Rich:::::::::

Who does the NDT tests?

Do you need some sort of "official"
certification to run the props?

Oh, and who is the prop manufacturer?

I'm a nut about propellers... :ymblushing:

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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Xplumberlives » Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:58 pm

Good news Rich, looking forward to the NIGHT TIME PHOTOGRAPHIC OPPORTUNITY! :ymapplause:
"All modern aircraft have 4 dimensions: span, length, height and politics.
TSR-2 simply got the first 3 right. ”
— Sir Sydney Camm
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Cluny » Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:18 pm

Thanks for the updates Rich , count me in for the Night Run and possibly the 17th [if I can get cover at work] :)
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Richw_82 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:52 pm

The night run is becoming an Airbase/Classic Flight tradition and we've missed it the past few years. I think from memory 2008 was the last time WR963 took part. A tentative date has been suggested as 10 Dec, though I've no confirmation... so don't make any firm plans until you hear more!

The propeller is a DeHavilland Hydromatic, which is basically a licence built Hamilton Standard. My manual for it is down at Coventry so I can't give you the exact specs! The prop has some peculiarities with it being contra rotating, the translation unit and rack bolt set up (to make the back prop change pitch in sync with the front prop) being the majority of it.

The NDT testing is being done by CFS Aeroproducts at Coventry. Technically we don't need to as WR963 is not a flyer, so there is no legal requirement for it. However, it goes without saying that it is safer to do so, and we do everything on the aircraft to airworthy state as it guarantees the work is the best it can be.

Regards,

Rich
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Dan4th » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:58 pm

Technically we don't need to as WR963 is not a flyer, so there is no legal requirement for it. However, it goes without saying that it is safer to do so, and we do everything on the aircraft to airworthy state as it guarantees the work is the best it can be.


Of course, it would also assist in flying the aircraft
sometime in the middle of the night when no one's
watching!

:p :p :p :p :p :p :p

Thanks for the information!

My pal Tom will be interested as he used to work
on Hamilton-Standards in the US Navy years ago....

I'll show him this thread and get his reaction!

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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Richw_82 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:50 pm

Just a little addition, as with Airbase's "Imagineering" event on over the bank holiday we couldn't get much done on WR963 with lots of visitors milling around.

Servicing is nearly finished, and there will be a short engine run on 10th Sep to check everything is behaving before we resume the normal runs. We have plenty coming up through the next few months, so don't worry if you want to see her in action and can't make it.

Regards,

Rich

STOP PRESS!!!

A deal has been struck which should see WR963 safe well into the distant future, and increase the Shackleton Preservation Trust's involvement at Coventry substantially - hopefully to the mutual benefit of Classic Flight, Airbase, and the SPT.

There will be an official statement forthcoming, more news tomorrow evening!
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Xplumberlives » Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:04 pm

BRILLIANT Rich, I hope it all goes well!
"All modern aircraft have 4 dimensions: span, length, height and politics.
TSR-2 simply got the first 3 right. ”
— Sir Sydney Camm
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Richw_82 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:14 pm

NEWSFLASH

Some of you that are in the Coventry area may have heard rumours regarding Airbase and the involvement of the Shackleton Preservation Trust.

With the permission of our Chairman, I can now confirm that the SPT will take over the operation of AIRBASE from today, September 1st 2011.

I can't say much more at this point (not due to secrecy, more due to lacking details!), but rest assured there will be more news over the next week or so.

The official statement is awaiting approval and should go out soon.

Regards,

Rich
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Xplumberlives » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:16 pm

Congratulations to all of you! :ymapplause: :ymapplause: :ymapplause:
"All modern aircraft have 4 dimensions: span, length, height and politics.
TSR-2 simply got the first 3 right. ”
— Sir Sydney Camm
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Kermit » Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:06 pm

Didnt see that one coming, must try and keep up :D
well done all of you, looking forward to more details/news !
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Richw_82 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:56 am

Hi guys, sorry for the short notice...

WR963 will be doing an engine run this Saturday, at around 1400hrs (exact start time to be confirmed today). There may be a couple of spare seats on board as there should be no VIP's or AIRBASE guests around this time.

Regards,

Rich
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Xplumberlives » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:33 pm

Thanks Rich, i'd love to join you but not enough notice, hope all goes well! :ymapplause:
"All modern aircraft have 4 dimensions: span, length, height and politics.
TSR-2 simply got the first 3 right. ”
— Sir Sydney Camm
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Richw_82 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:52 pm

No worries. Plenty more to come, next checks are in 10 hours, so we're good for a few ground runs yet. That should see us well into next year.

The runs on the 15th and 17th are still on, btw.

Regards,

Rich
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Richw_82 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:25 am

10 Sep

Engine run was carried out with the minimum of fuss.. all three engines starting quickly and coming off the priming stage nice and promptly.

It was nice to see the Nimrod joining in proceedings, though I've yet to find out from the engineers how many engines they got started. Both starboard side appeared to be lit, with one seeming a little incontinent. We had some 400 individuals visit AIRBASE this weekend, so not a bad showing.

Next Shackleton engine run is THIS Thursday, then again on Saturday.

Regards,

Rich
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Xplumberlives » Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:34 pm

Glad it went well Rich! :ymapplause:
"All modern aircraft have 4 dimensions: span, length, height and politics.
TSR-2 simply got the first 3 right. ”
— Sir Sydney Camm
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