Shackleton WR963

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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Jigsaw » Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:15 pm

Great stuff. I'm with Rich as far as the last pic goes. It's a belter.
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Xplumberlives » Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:41 pm

Thank you.
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Olicat » Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:24 pm

great shots!
Fly fast jets and/or C130s over my house please, I'm bored!

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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Cluny » Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:53 pm

Yep , that low down shot is fantastic :)
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Richw_82 » Sun May 15, 2011 1:02 pm

Time for some more updates!

4th May

The Press Day at Coventry on looked to be well attended with people wandering around from various publications and organisations. Hopefully a sign of things to come as there has been a LOT of hard work done at Coventry on things other than the Shackleton by a lot of people. It's cool to watch the place evolve.

Crew for the run on the Press Day was:

Dave Woods and Ricky Marriott in Pilot and Co-pilot positions, myself as Engineer, and John Cubberley overseeing us. We also were also thrilled to have aboard Don Johnson as a guest. Don was an Auster pilot in the Malaysian jungle during WW2 and had no end of stories to tell.

WR963 once again behaved herself with only a couple of problems. We had an intercom issue which caused a bit of feedback until it was traced, and a weeping fuel priming line. As it was late in the day we had to leave it until the next visit.


7th May

A wet Saturday down at Coventry but a reasonable days work. Two of our guys are busy at work cleaning and repainting parts of the interior, a couple of us went leak chasing and the pneumatics should be back before long.

Leaks:

First up... the heavy rain has shown we have some more work to do. The prolonged dry spell has dried out more of the old mastic around the cockpit canopy frame and the beam lookout windows. We have water dribbles! The next fine day will see it sorted as we'll dig all the old stuff out and put new in.

More worrying was the fuel leak. When we shut down we found the priming overflow on the starboard side was still chucking raw fuel out - but with the pump off. Initial thoughts were that I had overprimed during the start, but not so. The supply line into the fuel priming pump was weeping fuel. We got it off the aircraft today and this is the state of it:

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It caused a few sharp intakes of breath when we took it off. It must have cracked to the point of failing on this last run. Typically this pipe is hard to see hidden behind the air intake and outlets for the generator, so you could only feel it rather than see it until it was off. I'm not convinced its the original pipe, I think its a legacy from 10 - 15 years ago when Air Atlantique were using her as a test bed. So, from now until we can get Pirtek to come visit, 963 will be a bit quieter than she has been for the past month! All being well she'll be fit and well by this time next week

The air bottles came back from testing today, with all the NDT, x-ray, ultrasound, and boroscope testing done. Four bottles passed, one bottle failed with the wall thickness down to less than 1.6mm and metal flakes seen on the x-ray! Luckily for us we only need four, but a good job we sent the spare too.

The props are currently across the other side of the airfield causing much head scratching at CFS, as the last ones they did were in the late 1990's for the AEW2 that went to the USA. I should have more news later if all goes well - but we have to admit things have slipped a little with getting this sorted out.


14th May

Windy again at Coventry, but dry!

Plenty to do on 963 though to get her even better and keep her in good condition for the coming season. Vic and Rich Marriott are making immense progress on the interior, I couldn't get photo's due to getting in their way. When I left Coventry at 4.30pm they were still hard at work, somewhere near the galley. Repairs to floor matting and the bunk area were happening last time I looked.

Pirtek when phoned arrived at the airport within the hour (the guy on the phone asking "Is it the old Shackleton again? No problem!") and when we gave them the old pipe we had a nice shiny new one produced inside 10 minutes. The old spec of the pipe isn't available any more so an equivalent was used. Thinking about it; there's now enough non original parts on this aircraft to give the CAA and anyone else a field day if it had to be audited for flight. But as it's probably not going to happen we can use slightly better materials without getting it approved. Hopefully the work we're doing will keep the Shackleton 'live' for a good many years. With the new priming line fitted, it was then just a case of switching the internal power on, selecting fuel tanks and master cocks for that side, and turning the priming switch to No 3. The pump hummed away with no nasty noises and no leaks... so 963 is good to run again.

Feeling happy with our success we moved on to what would have been last weeks task - the refitting of the air bottles in the pneumatics crate. Myself and Pete Curran took this job on, and braving spiky little bits of safety wire and stiff air hoses, we had the bottles in fairly quickly.

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There was a little bit of head scratching to figure out where all the joints ran to avoid chafing and rubbing.

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We than fed the bypass pipes fitted to the oxygen cylinders (as they have been used in the past for extra capacity) back into the crate and gently opened the taps.

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Hissing noises were heard and then port and starboard pressure gauges started to climb! There is a small leak off the bottom pair of cylinders, and what little pressure we had bled away fairly quickly, so we'll test the whole system from top to bottom next week. Volunteers were called for and with one man standing next to each wheel, one down in the nose near the crate, and one in the pilots seat; the brakes were pressed. Port brakes took up and then vented nicely, starboard took a little more persuasion, finally coming on with a drawn out creak and then a puff of years old brake dust out the sides! There didn't seem to be any sudden great loss of air, so it appears the brake bags are still intact.

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So... 963 now has her brakes back. We need one more propeller and then a mainwheel tyre change, then maybe we can show her the runway again...

The propeller - this is a long standing bugbear, however it is now in the workshop being built up. It appears we're missing an intershaft bearing and seal, so it might take a little while to find those. Other than that everything seems to be okay on that score.

Next we decided to have a crack at removing some of the stiffness from the throttle linkages. Well, that was the excuse. In reality all of us have been itching to get those front doors open and see what state she is in, in one of the places we haven't been for a while. Well we weren't disappointed.. in there we found graffiti from the radar fit, original 50's paint, a couple of birds nests and a lot of work!

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You never realise just how big that bomb bay is until all the doors are open, the AEW uses roughly two thirds of it and it seems cavernous at that. We're still planning around the possibility of re-instating the full length doors. There is MUCH more left over from the MR2 than anybody would think, and the position of where the doors were cut makes it look to be a job that can be done over Autumn/Winter. We've promised Airbase that we won't start taking big chunks of Shackleton apart until after show season!

Regards,

Rich
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Dan4th » Sun May 15, 2011 1:56 pm

Thank You, Rich!

It's a privilege for us to get to see the pics
and hear about your progress!

It's always something, though, isn't it?

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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Xplumberlives » Sun May 15, 2011 2:35 pm

Nice report Rich, looking good, keep up the good work! :ymapplause:
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Sooty655 » Sun May 15, 2011 2:35 pm

Thanks for the update, Rich. :ymapplause:

Keep them coming.
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Richw_82 » Sun May 15, 2011 10:42 pm

Cheers guys!

WR963 was unserviceable for six days. We had been asked if we were okay to run today (15th) if called on, so the pressure was on.

As it happens we weren't needed, but its still a matter of pride for us that the last running Shackleton isn't silent for longer than necessary!

Dan;

It always blows my mind walking up to the aircraft to work on her. Every time! 20 years ago as a kid watching Shack's at airshows in the twilight of their service career, I never thoughtthat I'd be looking after one.

Regards,

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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Xplumberlives » Sun May 15, 2011 10:47 pm

Looking forward to her return to the runway! ;)
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Dan4th » Sun May 15, 2011 10:51 pm

Well, now you're either Stuck or Blessed,
but it all comes out good, I guess........

I just like seeing the pics and hearing the
progress.

She is something special that needs you and
your mates to keep alive!

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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Richw_82 » Mon May 16, 2011 8:50 am

Xplumberlives wrote:Looking forward to her return to the runway! ;)


She'll be getting a stern talking to before it happens, and reminded that despite being allowed to play out, she has to stay on the ground. [-x

Rumour has it that last time it was done (back in Nov 2008) there may have been air under the mainwheels.
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Xplumberlives » Mon May 16, 2011 10:31 am

Richw_82 wrote:
Xplumberlives wrote:Looking forward to her return to the runway! ;)


She'll be getting a stern talking to before it happens, and reminded that despite being allowed to play out, she has to stay on the ground. [-x

Rumour has it that last time it was done (back in Nov 2008) there may have been air under the mainwheels.



Please give us plenty of notice, I would hate to miss such an auspicious occasion! ;)
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Jigsaw » Mon May 16, 2011 5:59 pm

Yet again a superb and extremely informative report. Thank you for taking the time to share all the info with us Rich :ymapplause:
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Gully » Thu May 19, 2011 1:32 pm

Great reports - really heartening! :ymapplause:

Thanks,

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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Richw_82 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:01 pm

Update time.

You'll notice we made it into this issue of Flypast in the news section, and we were pleasantly surprised to see the "Q Call" article on the Shackleton.

4th June

Work has slowed a little on WR963, but never does it stop. The next big work day is after the next engine run when all the engines need their filters, plugs, cam clearances and many other things checking. There will be lots of photos of oily Griffon bits for those that like that sort of thing!

As to those of you wondering when the next engine run is, we intend to run on Saturday 9th July. There is a significance to this date, as it is 20 years to the day since WR963 and WL790 arrived at Coventry, and 20 years since her last flight.*

You may remember me talking about the air system a couple of weeks back, and the installation of the pneumatics crate. We had a leak on the bottom pair of bottles, but it was soon rectified. We won't know just how well the compressors are doing on the engines are doing until our next run, but the bottles and system are doing well having held what little pressure we had in the system for a fortnight.

The interior has been cleaned and partly repainted and I will post pictures of that in the next couple of weeks. I couldn't get any at the moment as I really don't want to get in the way of Vic and Rich Marriott, the members of our team that are doing the task. There's no room to really get past the hoover, and all the bottles of cleaning products for floors and chairs, but I can say that 963 is looking very much healthier inside.

Our prop is currently at the workshop of one of our team being built up off site. We are in desperate need of an intershaft bearing, it is classed as an engine part not a prop part and as such the kits we have don't contain it. We also have none on our spare units, they have all been used in the past - probably on WL790.

One thing that has been spoiling 963 for a while was the smashed nav light lens on the starboard wing. Vic Marriott took the smashed remains of the old one, and set to manufacturing another. Vic being the perfectionist he is, by the time we arrived this Saturday it was fitted, with the seconite sealing and repainted too! He still wasn't satisfied, research having revealed a telltale piece that you can see from the cockpit, so he made and fitted that too. I envy people's skills sometimes but it does look the part:

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There is no stopping him! He is scouring our spares holding for cockpit windows and any other glazing he can find, and has started muttering about replacing the clouded windscreen eyebrow pieces.

We've had some other cleaning work going on, and some more niggling maintenance tasks. The priming line we replaced was checked again and while we were in the undercarraige bays the landing gear hydraulic rams were cleaned and greased.

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We also found that the external locks were seized (the red struts in the photo) so we set to and persuaded them out. We managed to revive the spring action on three of them, but one of them was too bad to repair. Thankfully we had a spare, so we gave it some lubrication and fitted it.

For those that wonder about other locks.. the Shackleton control locks are all internal. There is one mounted in the tail (elevators), one in the trailing spar (ailerons), and a big red handle over the throttles on the pilot's side (rudders). They are all connected, meaning the rudder cannot be released until elevators and ailerons have been unlocked.

This is the elevator one on the end of the little red tag:

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And here's how it normally appears, when I go down there to take it out:

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Not my favourite job, but a regular place I end up; as you can guarantee an unsupervised visitor will try to use force to move the rudder lock so they can play with the throttles. This bends things. X( [-x

I took these shots of the bomb bay as they're better than the ones I posted before.

Looking aft:

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Looking forward:

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In these shots, the flat portion is the centre section. The middle carrier position is rated at 12,000lbs, a legacy from the Lancaster. The small row of bolts you can see before the 'egg crate' style construction starts again is the transport joint. The unsightly brown tubes either side are remnants of the heater system - this being one of the few areas of 963 that has succumbed to being outdoors.

After a cup of tea or two, a few of us boarded and attempted to see if we can get 963's radio behaving. She had many parts robbed, changed and chopped around in the past and its never really worked properly since. Unfortunately the best we managed to get out of her was we could hear the tower but no-one can hear us! If anybody out there is a radio man, we could do with your services for a while.

It's a shame it doesn't work, as there's much on the old Shackleton that still does. The Orange Harvest for example still lets you see what radar is looking at you and where from.. so while 963's hearing's gone, her eyesight is still pretty good even with the radar scanner long since removed.

WR963 will be open to all during the upcoming Jaguar Enthusiasts Club day on the 12th June, but the update next weekend will be from another member as I'm away (again.)

Kind Regards,

Rich

Image




*We aren't counting the 8 seconds or so Dave Hencken managed to sneak in a couple of years ago ;)
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Gaz » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:35 pm

Sterling work there chaps!

She's looking really good!
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Xplumberlives » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:23 pm

Thanks Rich, will all FOUR engines be running on the 9th of July? ;)
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Richw_82 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:19 pm

We would love to have all four running and the propeller is in the worshop getting built as we speak. However, as mentioned earlier we are missing a couple of parts and without these the props can't get hung on the engine even when assembled.

We are desperately looking for:

Intershaft Bearing Part no: GN24866
Outer race Part No: GN 25170
Washer for roller bearing nut Part No: GN 21096

These are classed as Griffon engine parts, not prop parts.

If any of you know where to find these, or where we can acquire some, please get in touch. We're asking anybody and everybody as they are very hard to find.

As an incentive, if anybody on here finds the vital bits I'll see that they get a seat in 963 on one of her next engine runs!

Regards

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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Sploosher » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:34 pm

any chance of getting these from Newark............................. :D
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Richw_82 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:53 pm

Not really, as that leaves them unable to hang a prop back on once we have the missing bits! As a result we can't negotiate U/S components for good ones as we have done in the past with Newark and other places.

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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Gaz » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:00 pm

Can they be fabbed?

Some of the guys at Bruntingthorpe are awesome at machining metal!
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Sploosher » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:22 pm

Richw_82 wrote:Not really, as that leaves them unable to hang a prop back on once we have the missing bits! As a result we can't negotiate U/S components for good ones as we have done in the past with Newark and other places.

Regards,

Rich


If the engines at Newark are not workjing, cant they just fabricate some steel bar to hold the prop in place......... ;)

after all, whos to know.................. :D
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Mayfly » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:47 pm

Excellent report thanks for sharing - good luck with finding the parts. I personally cam't help but can spread the word.
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Re: Shackleton WR963

Postby Xplumberlives » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:04 pm

Richw_82 wrote: These are classed as Griffon engine parts, not prop parts.

Regards

Rich



Silly question time, have you tried asking the B.B.M.F. Engineers? ;)
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