Wednesday, 31 October 2012

"Never Again" part 6

Winter has decided that it is going to arrive early this year; snow in October, dark nights and generally cold, wet misserable weather are some of the things that we are now having to contend with on the final stretch of the repaint.

With both wings and the tail finished progress turned to the fuselage but when the temperature doesn't rise enough to dry up the condensation on the airframe until 11am and its starting to go dark just after 5pm we are having to squeeze a lot of work into a short time.

I am now VERY pleased to announce that we have now completed all the sanding!
Lots of dust!
I really cannot underestimate the amount of sandng that is required in order to get a good quality finish and ensure future preservation. But with lots of sanding comes lots of dust....... we use a number of different methods to remove the dust; dustpan and brush, vacuum and jet wash.

Note the team hiding from the rain
as I wash the old gal!
Along with the jet wash the bad weather has given us a helping hand on occassion, to wash the dust away but in hind sight we probably did choose the worst summer in history to repaint a V-Vomber! 

But with the end in sight the hard work really has been worth it - XL231 'Lusty Lindy' is starting to look better than ever - I hope you all agree.
Port air brake painted

RAT Scoops painted

Adding the finishing touches
XL231 back to former glory

Fitting a repair patch
During the repaint we took the opportunity to fit a repair patch to the starboard trim tab. Pete did a fantastic job making and fitting the patch, with over 50 rivets it kept him out of mischief for a while. Once painted it looked like the patch had been there since her RAF days.

XL231 fuselage painted - just the nose left
So with the fuselage finished we are just left with the nose and 'Lusty Lindy' to paint. With the huge radome sanded and filled, the glazing frames preped and Lusty Lindy traced it is all hands on deck to get the paint on before the weather gets too cold. Whilst the temperature is still around 10 degrees we have a chance but if it drops unfortunately we will have to call it a day for 2012.  

Hopefully the next time you see 'Lusty Lindy' she will be in all her glory

Friday, 26 October 2012

Cockpit Tour

Last weekend we were delighted to receive a visit by Tony Elms. Tony is an incredible 3D Artist with a passion for aviation - see his amazing work HERE

During his visit Tony produced a 360 degree view of XL231's cockpit - CLICK on the photo below to 'visit' 'Lusty Lindy's' cockpit.

We would like to thank Tony for has amazing work and support of XL231

Monday, 8 October 2012

"Never Again" part 5

Starboard wing progressing well
The end is in sight!
After a lot of hard work the starboard wing is now finished - 'hurrah' I'm sure half of Yorkshire heard the cheer as the last roller of paint was applied! 

XL231's repainted starboard wing
I am also proud to announce that the tail is also finished. It now feels like we are on the home stretch with 'just' the fuselage and finishing touches to apply.
But with approximately another 50 litres of hemp paint to apply and a fuselage 115ft long the repaint isn't over just yet!

Rich starting the fuselage sanding
Over the past few weeks and months we have received a lot of very positive feedback which has really kept us going. We have also received a number of visitors and it is their reaction to seeing and visiting XL231 that really makes everything we do worthwhile.

Sanding continues for Graham
Two such visitors have been ex-Victor B2 armourer Mike Prime, with his dulcet south Yorkshire accent and amusing anecdotes his visits always bring a smile. Ex-Victor Crew Chief Bob Pope made his first visit to see XL231, since she came out of service, only last week. Bob Pope has the title of being the LAST RAF Victor crew chief. This was the first time Bob has been with a Victor since his time in service and it certainly brought a lump to his throat after sitting in 'his' seat once again. Bob spent many happy hours on XL231 and we hope he will be a regular visitor.
With colder weather and darker evenings drawing in we will be focusing our time sanding and getting it fully preped just leaving the hemp paint to apply. There will still be plenty of finishing touches to do; roundels, serial numbers, petrol pumps etc and of course the famous lady herself 'Lusty Lindy', so keep your fingers crossed that Autumn will be kind to us.
Wings & tail complete just the fuselage to paint!


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

'Tree Top Flying' Original News Reel Footage

Original news reel footage of Victors flying at 'Tree Top' levels and the Blue Steel Missile