Jump to content

Airfix 1/72 Meteor F.8


Andrew Patmore
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi,

When I noticed that Airfix were releasing a new Meteor in the smaller scale, I sent off an email to Airfix. My Dad had done his national service with 74 squadron and had worked as an electrician on the Mk8 and later Hunters. I told them this and they added a 74 squadron colour scheme to the kit bless their cotton socks.

 

I was speaking with Dad (in his 80s) about details and colours that I wanted to put on the kit and I asked about wheel-wells. He told me that there were batteries positioned in the nose which often leaked acid everywhere. To try and protect the metal they painted a “mucky yellow acid resistant paint” in the front wheel-well. Would this be that greeny yellow chromium paint that the USAF used for the same sort of areas? What Humbrol would match it?

 

The other thing he mentioned was that these Meteors were “5th hand” and near the end of their lives, so corrosion was a feature. I see from some photos that rivets tend to rust, so a bit weathering is on the cards.

 

He cannot remember seeing the tiger stipes and head on the engine nacelles, so the attached picture (the kit subject) may have been a one off.

spacer.png

(Soyrce https://www.flying-tigers.co.uk/2017/no-74-squadron-raf-latest-model-arrivals-and-updated-photo-gallery/n74-74-squadron-gloster-meteor-f-8-in-1955-wearing-tiger-stripes/)

 

He also mentioned that the station commander had an old Meteor mk6 as ‘his’ plane, which stayed even after the Hunters arrived. I wonder if that survived?

 

As an after comment, when 74 squadron received their Hunters, they too were hand me downs from another squadron. Had someone at 74 upset the Group Captain at some point?

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did your dad perhaps mean a Meteor T.7 or F.4? The F.6 Meteor was a swept-wing design mooted, but never produced.

 

I think the RAF was just struggling to equip all of its squadrons; 74's Hunters were older F.4s from 54 Squadron, which had just received newer F.6s. 

 

As it happened, 74 was one of the first squadrons to get the F.8 Meteors, after 245, in mid-1950. When was your dad with them? 74 flew them for quite a while, so they might have been pretty clapped-out while he was there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, F.6 sounds very wrong! Not sure what mark it was but it was old even then.
Just rang him – had two seats, so a T.7?
He cant remember exact dates. Based at Horsham St Faith, he started with the Meteors but most of his tour was with the Hunters. So mid to late 50s?
I have a very few snaps of Hunters, so will post them on a new thread.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Andrew Patmore said:

Just rang him – had two seats, so a T.7?
 

Definitely. When I'm not pretending to work, I may be able to find out more from Cold War Shield Volume 1.

 

3 minutes ago, Andrew Patmore said:

Based at Horsham St Faith, he started with the Meteors but most of his tour was with the Hunters. So mid to late 50s?

 

That would make sense. The Meteors would have been through a lot of flying by that time, so should have looked pretty weary indeed!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My father was a Meteor pilot on Meteor F.8 from 1950-52 era on 74 Squadron at Horsham St Faith. also flew the Tiger Moths and Oxford of the Station Flight.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some  interesting points  there @Andrew Patmore . It just goes to  show  that even when a squadron is equipped with  'new' aeroplanes. It doesn't  mean  they're pristine or new. 

 

The 'mucky yellow' paint  you  mention is probably very  similar to the yellow zinc chromate anti corrosion primer used by the US  It's  easy  enough to  mix up. It being just  a dull yellow. Add a bit of black or green to almost any  yellow and that's it. 

 

You  also  mention rusty rivets. Well aluminium  rivets don't  rust  obviously.  I imagine you're  referring to the  black rings around rivet heads.

It's  called  fretting  as was explained to me by an Aircraft Engineer when I asked about them on a very old and tired aeroplane. Essentially the very slight movement of the rivet in the hole over the years produces a black oxide powder. Definitely visible on your Dad's 5th hand Meteors.

 

Add to that the general build up of carbon from flying around the  polluted air of 50s industrial England and you'd  soon  have a very scruffy jet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, noelh said:

Some  interesting points  there @Andrew Patmore . It just goes to  show  that even when a squadron is equipped with  'new' aeroplanes. It doesn't  mean  they're pristine or new. 

 

The 'mucky yellow' paint  you  mention is probably very  similar to the yellow zinc chromate anti corrosion primer used by the US  It's  easy  enough to  mix up. It being just  a dull yellow. Add a bit of black or green to almost any  yellow and that's it. 

 

You  also  mention rusty rivets. Well aluminium  rivets don't  rust  obviously.  I imagine you're  referring to the  black rings around rivet heads.

It's  called  fretting  as was explained to me by an Aircraft Engineer when I asked about them on a very old and tired aeroplane. Essentially the very slight movement of the rivet in the hole over the years produces a black oxide powder. Definitely visible on your Dad's 5th hand Meteors.

 

Add to that the general build up of carbon from flying around the  polluted air of 50s industrial England and you'd  soon  have a very scruffy jet.

 

Some rivets are steel and although they shouldn't rust they can although it would be very bad form to let them do so.  Likewise fretting rivets (although it does happen, they would normally get dealt with pretty quickly lest they cause greater structural issues).  Us aircraft engineers don't like loose skin panels.  Sometimes the countersink may be slightly larger than the rivet head but that's usual, most of the metal bashers I worked with aimed for a perfectly flush finish even though they were allowed up to 0.010".  Dirt will accumulate around raised rivets and those that aren't perfectly flush.

 

Andrew,

 

At the time your dad was in the mob, they were flush with manpower (National Service), so keeping aircraft clean was easier than when there weren't a large number of airmen to keep occupied (in order to stop them getting bored), also the gloss finish would help (although that would weather with age).  It does look a bit worn on that jet.

 

That's the first time I've seen a 74 Sqn jet with the markings on the nacelle, thanks for sharing that.  What's the serial number?

 

Any battery acid resistant paint would be gloss, fairly thick and should fill any of the gaps in the bay.  Matt paint could potentially absorb the acid and you don't want it getting in the gaps.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Wez said:

That's the first time I've seen a 74 Sqn jet with the markings on the nacelle, thanks for sharing that.  What's the serial number?

 

That should be WL164/X, received on 11 March 1954, and sent on to 5 MU on 7 February 1961.

 

W/R/T T.7s, 74 Squadron had three during its time at Horsham St. Faith: VW430/4D-X, from 26 July 1949 to 10 October 1952; WF787 from 27 August 1959 to 1 August 1963; and WL380, from 17 June 1952 to 2 September 1959. Interestingly, Horsham St. Faith DID have an F.8 as the station commander (New Zealand-born Battle of Britain veteran WngCdr R D Yule)'s aircraft from 1952 to 1953, when he was sadly killed in the crash of another Meteor.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the comments, Gents,
This is the picture that made me mention rusty rivets.

spacer.png

Looking at it more closely, those are probably bolts and not rivets secuing that panel. Plenty of oily stains though.

 

I have scanned those photos, so will post them in the Aviation Photography area.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Andrew Patmore said:

Thank you for the comments, Gents,
This is the picture that made me mention rusty rivets.

spacer.png

Looking at it more closely, those are probably bolts and not rivets secuing that panel. Plenty of oily stains though.

 

I have scanned those photos, so will post them in the Aviation Photography area.

That pictures not showing up. I certainly have found no steel rivets on the Meteor. Most access plates are secured by some form of screws and these are steel.

 

Julien

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, noelh said:

The photo of the wheel well does show rusty bolts. However I  suspect the  photo is of a preserved  Meteor. I  can't  see that being allowed to happen in service. 

Oh it does happen, although they will get replaced when the opportunity arises.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

36 minutes ago, John R said:

Regarding dates, does your Dad not have his logbook? Received wisdom says pilots never throw them away

As he stated, his dad was an electrician so he wouldn't have a logbook.

 

Selwyn

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When all else fails read the instructions, or in this case the text!  It's so often the case when somebody writes about their Dad and his aircraft that he was a pilot.

Thanks

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, John R said:

When all else fails read the instructions, or in this case the text!  It's so often the case when somebody writes about their Dad and his aircraft that he was a pilot.

Thanks

John

John,

Nobody is perfect, I'm certainly not!

 

Selwyn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That’s not to say that he didn't want to be a pilot!

spacer.png

 

I did try and post two or three scans of 74 squadron Hunters on this forum, but had trouble. Files too big I think, even the thumbnails. If you have the luxury of an analogue photo, you need to up the ppi of the scan to capture as much detail as possible. To get around the problem I have plonked them all on a website, which I was thinking of doing in any case. You can find it at: https://sites.google.com/view/historicalmodelling/home
There are links in the website so that you can download the larger files if you want.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

@Andrew Patmore

Groundcrew used to have a sort of log card which recorded which units they were posted to, the dates of those postings and what qualifications they had, it was called an F4820 (usually just referred to as a 4820), I still have mine, maybe your dad has his?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dad was an aircraft finisher from 1946 to 1954 and kept a pilots log book. I have it now and of course am not at all envious when reading Meteor T7, Vampire TII and B26 Invader, Halifax etc... I feel I missed out.

 

Keith 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...