Sunday 16 October 2016

Photo 'Nightshoot'

Timeline Events (TLE) were contracted by the Museum to run a photography and enthusiasts 'Nightshoot' on Friday the 14th October. Similar events are becoming very popular with classic aircraft, historic railways and historic transport in general.

XL231 was in the line-up for the photo shoot as well as the Museum's Nimrod (XV250) and Blackburn Buccaneer (XX901). Re-enactors were also used to bring some of the photographs to life.

Various different types of coloured lighting were used, along with smoke generators and the effects were impressive.

Wednesday 5 October 2016

Instrument Servicing

I noticed a while back that the Captain's Artificial Horizon was sticking during power-up and the horizon bar was not oscillating as it should do. This is part of the Smiths 'Military Flight System' or Mystery Flight System by its RAF  nickname! It comprises of two artificial horizons, 2 vertical gyro's, 2 beam compasses, 2 azimuth gyro's and 2 compass amplifier units. 2 linked separate systems for the Captain and Co-pilot and this is also integrated with the Navigation Bombing System (NBS) and also the Instrument Landing System (ILS).

We changed and swapped the vertical gyro's and other spare components around that control the horizon's and the effect was the same. So, I concluded it was the instrument that was at fault. Because roll and pitch only happens in flight it became clear that the flight instruments, particularly the artificial horizon's would slowly seize up with ground use only.

I removed the instrument from the panel and dismantled the casing to find the mechanism's to be very stiff. With a good clean they freed up nicely and the instrument is ready to be refitted.

As far as I know this is the ONLY totally working MFS system fitted in any of the surviving working V Bombers so, it is historically important to keep it working. Luckily we have a number of spare components. But, we are always on the look out for further spare parts.We are fortunate to have the correct MFS test set that plugs into the aircraft and we have run the correct checks a number of times.

Wednesday 14 September 2016

XL231 Nose undercarriage change 1991

Every now and again something happens to fill some blanks in the history of XL231 'Lusty Lindy'

In 1991 Joe Ford was lucky to take a trip in a Victor, it was XL164 'Saucy Sal'. Another post will cover the full story later . But, it was only by a chance visit to Elvington and later conversation that the below became apparent.

Joe took a picture of XL231 on the pan at RAF Marham on the day of his Victor sortie, July 19th 1991. She was clearly undergoing maintenance at the time, It looked to me like the nose leg was removed as she was clearly on main and tail jacks.

I pulled the history of XL231 out of my archive and found the Maintenance Work Order and also the Log card for the leg itself. overhauled in 1988 at RAF St Athan after removal from XL158. Uninteresting to some but, a story to a snap shot of XL231 in RAF service with 55 Squadron just after Operation Granby, The Gulf War. In fact XL231 was to return to Bahrain to continue service in the Gulf  and UK with the remaining Victor fleet until September of 1993 when the Victor's returned to participate in the UK NATO Exercise 'Elder Joust'.  The Squadron disbanded on the 15th October.

                                                     Thanks for the below picture Joe.

Sunday 11 September 2016

Marie Curie Morris Minor's & XL231

This week saw the Morris Minor's Marie Curie Car Marathon stop off at the Museum, as part of their cancer charity fund raising road run. They chose the Victor as the backdrop for their on-site pictures.

Tuesday 9 August 2016

Fuel Flowmeters

A very satisfying result from quite a bit of perseverance resulted in a totally serviceable fuel flowmeter in XL231. The original proved unreliable, sometimes showing odd flow rates. The rate is calculated via 'windmill' transmitters in the fuel line of each engine supply circuit and then calculated and totaled.

Ken Sanderson; aka 'Radio Ken' and his colleague Terry took 3 Fuel Flowmeter computers including XL231's original and made one good one out of the 3. They tested each radio valve and ensured only the good one's were installed in the best unit. Their time and effort has paid off as each one showed the fuel flow rate at engine idle on last Sunday's 'Thunder Day' at the Museum and the totaled amount is also correct on the totaliser gauge next to the flowmeter controller. This was also recently replaced. None of this is required for what we do with XL231 but, we like to keep her as correctly working as she was in RAF service and for historical purposes.

Engines 1,2,3,4 all individually pictured.

Well done Ken and Terry!

Tuesday 2 August 2016

Servicing August 2016

Servicing work on XL231 continues. Sticking gauges, caused by a lack of use are a bit of an irritation and occasionally some of them have to be removed for servicing. The recent one's are the engine oil pressure gauges for No's 1 and No's 2 engines. These are sticking above zero in an un-powered condition and should fall below zero without power so, they have been removed for the internal mechanisms cleaning. A simple enough job to do but one that has to be done carefully. In addition the No2 engine  Kilowatt power meter from the AEO's main panel has been removed due to the glass being loose and jamming the needle. All three gauges have been replaced with serviceable spare units in the meantime.

Thursday 28 July 2016

New Bungs for Lindy!

As time goes on, age and the weather take their toll, especially on the softer items such as weather protection.

One such item we have run out of are some of the 'bungs and blanks', all very necessary to keep the weather, insects and birds out. The bungs simply rot away over time and in some 20+ years the stock of them has been gradually used up.

It was decided that some new one's had to be made as prototypes so, after a sheet of the correct material was kindly donated by Gary Hancock, YAM employee and former Bae Apprentice it was decided that Danielle would have a go at making some.

The end result is pretty good for a first attempt and these are for the Powered Flying Control Air Intakes in the leading edges of the wings.

Any bungs or blanks from any aircraft type can be modified to fit so, anyone with such items lying around please let me know!