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richw_82

Avro Shackleton WR963

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As for the mainwheel change, best of luck with the search, it's not the sort of thing you can pick up off e-bay!!

Though you could always ring BBMF, their Lanc has Shackleton undercarriage and wheels..................

Paul

Hi Paul,

No luck needed.... but thanks!

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Regards,

Rich

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Hi Paul,

No luck needed.... but thanks!

DSCF1020-2.jpg

Regards,

Rich

Blimey :gobsmacked: and here was me thinking my garage was bad!

Mind you, you can still walk INTO your stores................ :wicked:

All the best,

Paul

P.S. So it'll be BBMF ringing YOU!!

Edited by PhoenixII

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10 Mar

Well, the hangar time is drawing ever closer so the work to get a mainwheel pair together has been stepped up. We've spoken to people about the loan of suitably rated jacks, and we've secured the help of an ex Fleet Air Arm (so he reckons 963 won't bite him) engineer to supervise the jacking.

The main effort of the day was to get some mainwheels to the front of the store. The original plan was to pick the two best looking units - but it was quickly evident that even the best pair would need stripping after 20 years in storage. They were also too heavy at over 800lbs each to move by hand around the delicate obstacle course that is the store.

A new plan was arrived at. We'll build up two units from new old stock components.

Two new Dunlop mainwheel tyres were picked off the banded pile, the newest ones we have. Two brand new Dunlop inner tubes. Two brand new axles were located, still in the boxes. The crate of brake units has been raided and the best of the components selected.

That left us looking for the all important hubs. Walking around the store, we noticed a pallet on which sat a large hub sized, bundle wrapped in polythene marked "Shack". We carefully unwrapped it and our suspicions were confirmed, we had found 1 x brand new Shackleton wheel hub, without a hint of corrosion on it. Our search intensified. A packing box was located with the all important numbers on the side.. another new hub!

Back on WR963, progress is still being made on fitting the new spark plugs. The inlet plugs are always more difficult being underneath the inlet manifolds, and this has slowed us down somewhat. We've also got a couple of niggles to fix on No 4 engine - the crankcase pressure warning switch failed on the last run, and a nasty bit of corrosion has been spotted on the base of the coolant tank which needs immediate attention.

We've also had the delivery of two new wingtip navigation lights, so we can repair the broken starboard lamp. This means persuading yet another stubborn access panel open, but it will be one more item off the list, and one more of the 600 odd access panels unseized and fitted with new screws.

More of the same next week...

Kind regards,

Rich

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Keep up the great work, Rich! Nice to see the work being done to maintain this Shack.

Regards,

Jason

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Hi Rich,

Followed your link to here from your post on Tom's Sanger build thread, & I'm glad I did. What a great thread, I've really enjoyed reading it all the way through! 963 looks absolutely magnificent & is a credit to all the work & dedication you volunteers are lavishing on her - an absolutely beautiful machine!

I look forward to reading the progress reports to come!

Best

Keef

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24 Mar

Well, today was all about manual labour. We had found out the mainwheels we required a couple of weeks ago, but that was only part of the story. Getting them from the depths of storage, then from store to the airport, and then into the hangar took all morning.

Hard work and strength in numbers paid off, and by 1300hrs, we were back on site and unloading!

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One hub is brand new in the box, and one was just wrapped on a pallet. We have found another brand new boxed one, which is now marked for easy identification should ever we need it. A lot of stuff has the original movement labels on, but a lot of boxes are unmarked - like the one which had god knows how many exhaust pipes in it. Or the one containing the axles!

Next week should see us start to build this pair up. We have been told Easter weekend is when our old Shack is going in the hangar again, so we'll be changing mainwheels in between scoffing chocolate eggs...

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Over on WR963 herself, one of our team was attacking the screws for the cover panels over the jacking points. One panel came off okay, the other is putting up a bit more of a fight. It may need a couple of the screws drilling out.

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Inside there are five large studs protruding from the lower boom. The jacking pad itself bolts on to these, and it can just about be seen in this picture -

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Last but not least a new coolant tank was brought up to site by John Cubberley, so we can replace the one showing corrosion on No 4 engine. This will need to be done before the next run, and we'll be examining the same areas on the other three engines tanks just in case. WR963 has sat idle during February and March, but we figure a rest won't hurt while we get quite a bit of work done.

All being well this should be a busy year.

Regards,

Rich

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1 Apr

Coolant tank chaos...

The object of today was to replace the coolant header tank on No 4 engine, due to the corrosion found on its base. It looked a fairly simple job and should have been, but some things just like to fight.

Once the coolant was drained, the first problem was the pipe off the bottom. A vintage 1971 rubber hose, it soon was off after being cut along its length. The cork anti chafing strips had stuck to the tank, and the retaining straps, taking a hell of an effort to separate them!

Once we had the tank off, the new tank was unwrapped and it was discovered that it was basically a bare tank, so the fittings have to be swapped over. Thats when the real fun started...

The corrosion inside the tank meant that the fittings were extremely reluctant to come off. So reluctant that the tank is now off site with an engineering company to get them separated without damage, and make sure that they are good for re-use.

The only thing that did come off was the header tank relief valve... and it uncovered a real horror. Crystalised coolant, and sealant all gumming up the valve, to the point it didn't seem to seat or operate properly. This is probably the reasons for the small amount of venting often seen from this particular engine.

While we have done coolant changes, the relief valve doesn't really have any flow through it, as it is fed from an internal stack pipe above the coolant level... so we're going to have to pull the others off one at a time and make sure that they are not gummed up the same.

A small amount of other work was done around the aircraft which saw the plug change finished, and some prep work for the mainwheels, but the coolant tank pretty much killed the days effort off.

However -

WR963 will be ready to run on:

14th April - Friends of WR963 meeting

21st April - 206 Sqn reunion

Big thanks to the gent from the Vampire WZ507 team that rolled up his sleeves and pitched in to help with the Shackleton even though just visiting Airbase!

Regards,

Rich

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I'm gutted about the running dates, I'm starting a new job on the 10th and will be working Saturdays.. To soon to be taking time off. :(

Hope all goes well with the wheel change Rich.

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Don't worry, there'll be more runs later in the year! Not all of them are Saturdays, it depends on what groups have booked, and how it suits our servicing. These two were fixed dates as the "Friends" are WR963's support group so we always run for them, and 206 Sqn operated Shackletons.

Regards,

Rich

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Bet you thought we'd forgotten about this thread eh? Not so.

The weather over the past few weeks put a severe handicap on activities, what with places on site at Coventry being several inches deep in water. However, it did start to clear last weekend, and this one has been great.

Last week saw a visit by a couple of the Elvington team (Graham and Ali), and they quickly donned overalls and got stuck in helping with a check of the spark plugs on No 3 engine. Several of them were found to have gaps that were in error, or not there at all, all of which contributes to poor running. I have to put my hand up here... there were several of us doing the task and I should have made sure the guys were sure of the gaps before they were put in.

Today (13th May) would be the test of the work... WR963 was due to run for the benefit of the MGC Register, who were holding an event at Airbase, Coventry. One visitor who came aboard was identified as Sqn Ldr Mike Rankin - a former Coastal Command Shackleton pilot. We couldn't pass on the opportunity so asked him to join in, and during the run he was asked to get back into the pilots seat.

The engines all performed well. No overheating issues, and no misfires, and coolant temperatures staying at a nice cool 90 - 100 on the gauges. Maybe the regular running is starting to pay off. So much regular is the running that we've just had to request more fuel.... since this time last year, WR963 has used around 450 gallons.

In other news -

Purchase of the Boulton Paul front turret has been approved, now we just have to get it transported! WR963 will be getting rid of her false front armament and getting some proper equipment in there instead.

Parts search is ongoing for the various scanner parts, as we need the middle section and jacks.

The mainwheel build is progressing nicely, with Graham's help last week the first one was assembled, and is awaiting inflation and brake packs.

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The archive -

We're still intent on having a lot of this digitised, but as we will be moving it from its current room before long, we hope to catalogue it during the move. Working through more Shackleton stuff today turned up some old training boards.

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More of the same next week, as the IPMS are coming to Airbase on 19 May and have requested a Shackleton ground run.

Kind regards,

Rich

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Thank you for the update, Rich! Nice to see those schematics. This all reminds me that some day I need to get back to my early MR.2 conversion (from a Frog MR.3).

Regards,

Jason

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Well I've been quiet on here for a bit; but work still goes on with WR963.

For those that remember Tom Probert's excellent Sanger 1/48 build...

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.p...topic=234913045

There was a little bit in there regarding Shackleton tailwheels. We mentioned that they are more or less a Canberra leg, and that subsituting one in kit form would result in an accurate model. In a funny twist of fate, life is now imitating art. WR963 has a cracked tailwheel leg.

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The replacement leg is this (now stripped, cleaned and reassembled)

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Which is a nose leg from Canberra T22 WT525. Donated by a chap in Newquay, collected by two of our team - one of whom is another member of this forum.

In other news, to attempt to get WR963 somewhere near a runway before Airbase Coventry closes at the end of September meant fetching something we have been missing for a while. A top notch company called Flight Engineering pulled out the stops, giving us all plenty to do this coming Saturday!

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Those are the long awaited propellers for the No 2 engine, in order to get WR963 singing on all four again..

Regards

Rich

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That's great work you're doing on a beautiful aeroplane, Rich! I love all the Shackletons, but I have to say that the early-model MR.2's are my favourite. I have the old conversion I've now retrieved from storage, and I've started work on it again. One thing I need is a Canberra nose wheel for the tailwheel. I need to look at the pictures of your real MR.2 to get more motivated so I can finally finish mine.

Best Regards,

Jason

Edited by Learstang

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Rich, do I read that as you want to get her on the runway before the end of Sept? Or did you need the prop, before it closes in Sept? Hope I can make it for a runway run when ever it happens, but i've got a Flyin I've organised in Sept and I work flat out, Mon-Sat! :/

Nice update too, lovely people helping! :)

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We are trying to get WR963 ready to taxy before Airbase Coventry closes at the end of September. To do this we needed the prop built, as its long been the hold up.

Once the prop is on and the engine is running, we have the new tailwheel leg to put in, a few systems to check (port side pneumatic system for the brakes, VHF radios etc) then we'll be looking at seeing if the old girl still knows what a runway is for.

The exact date will be posted soon..

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Great threat about a great aircraft. Learned a lot just reading.

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We are trying to get WR963 ready to taxy before Airbase Coventry closes at the end of September. To do this we needed the prop built, as its long been the hold up.

Once the prop is on and the engine is running, we have the new tailwheel leg to put in, a few systems to check (port side pneumatic system for the brakes, VHF radios etc) then we'll be looking at seeing if the old girl still knows what a runway is for.

The exact date will be posted soon..

Great news Rich, just hope I can make it and everything goes OK! Once Coventry shuts, I assume no more runs would be allowed later on.... Or?

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I don't think there'll be a problem, its just that there'll not really be any way the public can come see it happen.

Edited by richw_82

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Just a quick photo from today. I'll write a bit more about it later.

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Regards,

Rich

keep up the good work, used to work on the A/Cwhen it was with 38 sqdn in madagascar

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Thanks! I hope she was as co-operative with you on 38 Sqn then as she is for us now.

If you can provide any info as to what she did out there and when I would be interested, as we are trying to trace some of WR963's travels over the years. Drop me a pm if/when you want to get reacquainted with the aircraft.

Kind Regards,

Rich

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11 Aug

Work continues on the cockpit windows with just one more large side window to be replaced. The engineers window has been done, and the difference is staggering - I thought you could see out okay before, it appears I was mistaken!

Over on the engine side of things, No 2 engine has just had a new set of exhaust spark plugs fitted, and a belly full of fresh oil. Stalled by some missing pieces for the No 2 front propeller (though we are making progress on finding the parts), our team turned their attention to the other large job - the tailwheel leg change.

WR963 was carefully chocked and jacked, using a new jacking adapter we had specially made for the task.

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Then, with a little bit of a fight we had the old cracked leg removed...

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You know those little Segway things? They're for girls. This is the new leg with the wheels back on it ready to be fitted.

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And here's the replacement fitted in its place.

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Total time from start to finish - 2.5 hours, and done in situ where she stands on the field.. Top work by our team! We are now at the point where we only have the No 2 front propeller to fit then we'll be ready to test the engine. When this is done we'll be posting up a very special date for your diary - the date for WR963's first taxy run in several years...

Regards,

Rich

(photos from this weekend's work courtesy of fatbaldbloke)

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