Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Fuel Gauging Amplifiers

The fuel gauging on the Victor works on a capacitance fuel reading system, meaning there are no fuel level floats in any of the fuel tanks. The fuel is measured by a capacitance positive and a capacitance negative column. These are tubes with no moving parts extending from top to bottom in the tank and work on a 'Wheatstone Bridge Principle' by reading level changes by a change in capacitance in the fuel itself.  The reading is transmitted to the fuel gauges by co-axial cabling via an amplifier that drives the fuel gauges at 115volts AC/400Hz. The system is very sensitive and requires absolutely reliable parts in order to be accurate.

The amplifier units are full of valves, capacitors and resistors and with old age become unreliable. Effectively these items are still being expected to work 20 years after the expected end of useage!

Original Spec capacitors
Replacement capacitors

All of the spare amplifiers that we recovered from scrap aircraft have now being used up and the ones in the aeroplane were starting to weaken with low and stagnant indications. Therefore it called for drastic action and 'The Brains Trust' got to work (namely Ken 'Radio' Sanderson) who came up with the up to date replacement specs for the capacitors. Some are no longer available down to the absolute identical spec but, we've found every type to replace them. There are 9 in each amplifier and much 'soldering & burnt fingers' has resulted in a batch of 6 out of 7 repaired ones now working, There are more to do now the formula has been set!  The next job is to fine-tune them with the fuel gauge test set before they are fitted back into XL231.

Original spec capacitors
Replacement capacitors

Monday, 24 November 2014

Green Satin

The Green Satin Doppler navigation system had been playing up for a while and as there were no spares we couldn't do much about it.

However recent spares acquisitions brought 2 control units and one was removed from XL231 in May 1993 for probably bay servicing. The Form 731 was signed by Andy Price, the same Andy price that painted 'Lusty Lindy' on XL231 and who also painted the other Gulf War Victor 'Nose Art'.

The original unit was removed and within seconds of switching on the replacement it was obvious it was working in some capacity, the speed ran down to zero and the memory lamp went out after a while (it was stuck in memory on the old unit). Drift began to indicate and the neon row of lamps started to work. 100% better than the old unit. I then switched off because the cooling fans need to be checked on the Computer and Transmitter/Receiver trays  before we go any further. These are located in the rear freight bay. However, all signs seem good!

Removed control unit

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Spare parts donations

A colleague on the Victor Team (Corporal Andy King) obtained these from a fellow armourer who had removed them from Gulf War veteran XL164 'Saucy Sal' after she had been retired for crash rescue duties to RAF Brize Norton and they have now been donated to XL231 by him.

Top; Mk17F Oxygen regulator, Below Main Voltage Frequency Meters (400Hz), MV Voltmeter (200v AC) and Jet Pipe Temperature for the Rolls Royce Jet Engine (APU) Auxiliary Power Unit.
Spare parts are vital for the long term well being of XL231 as she is far from being a 'dusty museum exhibit'.

XL164 survives as a cockpit section only which is a great shame as she was the lowest houred Victor K2 on 55 Squadron.

Spares acquisitions and donations

Much needed spare parts continue to be donated and acquired for XL231's continual survival as a working 'live' aircraft.

Some parts are generic and some are totally type specific for the Victor K2, it is the latter that we are always keen to obtain. The below have been kindly donated by The Vulcan Restoration Trust (VRT) at Southend and were removed from Victor K2 XH671 'Sweet Sue'. She saw heavy action during the Gulf War of 1991 and sadly was written off at RAF Marham in 1993 after the crew door blew off during a routine cabin pressure test. She was however displayed statically for HM The Queen's Review at RAF Marham with the door 'lashed' back on for the parade because she had been cosmetically prepared ready for the event beforehand. She was scrapped soon afterwards.

                                                             XH671 'Sweet Sue'

Type specific parts include these; They are the automatic control boxes for 2 Victor Conway engines and left to right are; Start in Progress light and Turbine Overspeed control, Engine Air Bleed Valve control and the large lower unit; Jet Pipe Temperature (JPT) Control Amplifier. The first unit is basically to provide a rotation light for the pilot during the initial stage of engine start, it doubles up to warn the pilot of a turbine overspeed of the engine at high power and he would immediately reduce the power setting in order to protect the engine. The second unit closes an air bleed from the engine at a power setting of 88% and above ( the power setting is used to determine if the engines are 'serviceable' for takeoff). Air bleeds are used for cabin pressurisation, bombay heating and anti-icing etc. But need to be closed during takeoff as any air being bled off reduces the engine power output. The valves re-open once the power is reduced after takeoff etc. The JPT amplifier automatically controls the temperature of the exhaust gases to keep the temperatures within limits at all power settings. However this can be manually over-ridden by the Captain if required.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Now for something completely different!!

Douglas DC-3 Dakota G-AMYJ (KN 353) was retired from flying in 1999 by Air Atlantique at Coventry and used as a spares source for the remainder of the fleet. She was acquired by YAM in 2001 as an engine-less shell with the Stb'd outer wing missing.
She arrived on low-loaders and was pieced back together by a small team led by ex-RAF Senior Engineering Warrant Officer George Astley MBE.

G-AMYJ on the dump
The restoration initially was for static display and she was fitted with incorrect ex-Catalina engines and props. The interior was fitted out for 'paratrooping' and the cockpit pieced back together for static display.

As time went on it became clear that it was possible to bring her back to 'life' and two correct Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp engines were acquired via Air Atlantique as well as flight-worthy propellors. These were installed late in 2009 and a restoration programme was started including a complete rubdown and repaint carried out by myself and Peter Kondras in 2011 into correct RAF Olive Drab colours.

The task to resurrect her was vast, The electrics were in a mess and a number of hydraulic, pneumatic and engine components were missing or U/S.
The team came together for the task and included; George Astley, Graham Sharp, Grant Sparks, Brian Watmough, Bob Emmett, Peter Kondras, Marie Taylor, Ray MacElwain, Ken (radio Ken) Sanderson & Myself. Help came from many outside specialists including; Air Atlantique, CFS Engineering Coventry, Yorkshire Hydraulics, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight & Mark Edwards - DC3 Licensed engineer and pilot on type & 'Paddy' Green - owner of airworthy Dakota N5831B, currently based at East Kirkby in Lincolnshire.

The task was long but the first engine runs were carried out by myself and George in early 2013 and all was progressing well until George's unexpected death in the Summer. This knocked the morale of the team heavily, but we ran the engines for his daughter, and his funeral service (fittingly) was held at the Museum on the same day. We also asked his daughter to unveil the aircraft's new name 'Warrant Officer, George Astley MBE' on the port side of the cockpit just before the funeral service.
One of the first engine runs

Engine runs and restoration continued and finally the decision to taxy her was taken after Bob Emmett had worked his skills on the braking and hydraulic systems.

The day Sunday 12th October was chosen and proved to be very calm, but with heavy fog. However, this gradually lifted and after the Museum's DH Devon had been put through its paces by Steve Pepper and the Devon team it was time for the 'Grand old lady' to steal the show.

As I had carried out all engine runs from the right hand seat, I decided, as I was to taxy her, then I would taxy her from that seat. Graham Sharp was in the left seat with Steve Pepper acting as 'observer' and Bob Emmett monitoring the hydraulics for any leaks or pressure problems.
The crew L to R - Graham, me and Bob

I signaled for chocks away and released the brakes and she immediately rolled forward for a brake check. It was then that I realised I had just moved a WW2 veteran aeroplane under its own power for the first time! I was wearing my Grandfather's RAF Identity Discs 'dogtags' on my flying suit, the last time they were worn in an aircraft was in a Dakota which crashed at Down Ampney at the end of WW2. My Grandfather was one of the lucky ones that escaped the crash, the pilot's sadly did not...
On the runway
After a short roll of about 200 yards I drifted her to the left and with a quick stab of the right hand brake and advancing the left throttle she turned smoothly around on the runway. I taxyed back towards the team and turned her again for a longer run down the runway. We carried out a power-up to 1800 RPM and she wanted to go! I brought the RPM back to a fast idle of 1200 before releasing the brakes. A run of about 1/2 mile followed and it surprised me as increasing either engine RPM by as little as 100 RPM caused 'drift' in either direction. I turned her around and powered the engines up for the watching Fire Team before a brisk taxy back and a final power-up to clean the spark plugs of any oil before shutting her down.

Just after shut down - thumbs up! 
We were all very happy with the results of the day and at no time did I feel frightened of the aircraft, It took a bit of practice to get the feel of her and it'll take quite a bit more to get anything like comfortable with her. She showed that she needs care and demands respect. I have nothing but admiration for the guys who operated them in WW2 and beyond.

Find out more about the DC-3 at http://www.douglasdc3.com

Friday, 3 October 2014

Vertical Gyro's

As time goes on components need servicing if they are to remain in a serviceable condition.

Such items include the flight instruments. Not particularly necessary for ground operations but, as XL231 is a rare and almost unique piece of 'history' and maintained to as near flight-worthy as we can get, then these items have to work.

Two such items are the Vertical Gyro's. There are two fitted in the aircraft and these control the artificial horizons of the Smiths Military Flight System (MFS) in front of each pilot. This is intergrated to a twin compass system that is also linked to the Autopilot and Nav Bombing System (NBS). Certain faults in this system can cause annoying and hard to find faults elsewhere.
Gyro with casing fitted

Because XL231 is no longer flying the Gyro's when running tend to run in one spot, the only exercise they get is when they power up to their operating speed of 35,000 RPM, or when they are subject to motion during a taxy run on the runway. This causes the horizon system to 'seize up' over time and cause odd indications on the instrument. Usually displacement of the horizon bar from level to wing low/wing high or cause Horizon bar drift. The main causes are dryness of lubrication from standing still for a long period of time (ie storage) dirt, or possible corrosion on the main gimbal/rotor assembly.
Gyro with casing removed

The original gyro's from XL231 were replaced with out of store items some time ago and these are now starting to stick as well as the original items. So, I decided to take the plunge and read the books for a solution. There is next to nobody out there who can or will advise and there are no newly-serviced items anywhere. I do know the manufacturer quoted around £30,000 to service one gyro for Vulcan XH558's return to flight and that is why the MFS system was upgraded to a modern 'Bendix King' Horizon and Compass system. totally necessary in order to fly the aircraft with manufacturers product support and satisfy the CAA.

I deduced the only solution was to dismantle the casing off of one as an experiment and read the manual. The overhaul process by the RAF involved a hermetically sealed casing for the unit. However, we have no such luxuries and have to do the best we can and keep the item as sterile and as clean as possible. I removed the casing at the join line and the internals were exposed. The fault seemed obvious, there was dryed out lube on the main gimbal and it didn't spin too smoothly. This should be totally clean and free of any restriction. this was washed off with spirit and fresh lube applied and the unit now spins freely. The casing was then re-fitted and sealed with a ring of Araldite. Originally solder but, I didn't fancy the risk of applying heat to the unit and possibly damaging it and I decided to use Araldite instead. If the experiment is successful then another unit will be similarly serviced.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Fast Taxy

Huge thanks to Kestrel Cam for capturing the run and providing some never before seen shots.


Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Fast Taxy - view from the cockpit

Victor XL231 'Lusty Lindy' during a fast (and wet) runway demonstration. Hence the very noisy windscreen wipers!  They are hydraulically driven individually by their own pumps and motors.

Flt Lt Ollie Suckling was in the Left hand seat and Andre Tempest in the Right.  The AEO was of course Sqn Ldr Alan Stephenson.

6th seat and filming was Kay 'red' Bennett, Nav plotter seat was Belgian Avionics student Katleen Verhoeven and the Nav Radar seat was 'gleefully' occupied by new team member Tom Winter ex-55 Sqn INSTIE tech on Victor K2's specialising in the Autopilot, MFS (Flight Instruments) and the rear viewing periscope.

All engines were run at the JPT setting of 'Takeoff' for the high speed run. Due to weather constraints the tail braking parachute was not deployed and the display safety speed was agreed at 80 knots beforehand.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Pre-Taxy Prep for Aug 25th

XL231 is now prepared for the intended run on the 25th. However it was not without its 'trauma'. This morning during inspection and cleaning of the Stb'd bogie it was discovered that the Stb'd front outer wheel had a 13mm large head diameter bolt embedded in it sideways!
Bolt embedded in tyre
This naturally wasn't good news as spare tyre availability is now becoming critical anyway, especially on an aircraft with 16 mainwheel tyres! I suggested we deflate the tyre and inspect the damage for depth. This proved to be too deep to be acceptable as at least half of the 17ply layers were seemingly cut. We considered the tyre a 'write-off'. If the tyre had blown it would likely have taken its neighbour with it and damaged the brake piping and equipment in the wheel bay  That means following the last taxy run we have lost 2 tyres to damage and a 3rd written off to a deep cut apparently during towing out on the degrading perimeter track between the museum and the runway.

Therefore we have had to dismantle and rebuild a spare wheel with 2 replacement tyres in record time today in order to be ready for next week.
Engine run

Re-oiling engines with OX38 turbine oil

That aside, a full engine run and systems tests were carried out a week last Sunday and all went very well.
Subject to weather & serviceability we will be running after the Spitfire flypast at 14.30PM on Monday 25th August. Prior to this the Buccaneer and Nimrod will all be carrying out high speed taxy Demo's on the runway. Normal admission prices apply for the Museum but, for a further £10 there is access to a special close up area on Elvington Airfield. Revenue raised from this goes into fuel costs for the operating jets.

Monday, 11 August 2014

August 25th, Next taxy Demo

Subject to serviceability, weather and no natural disasters, XL231 will be carrying out a high speed taxy demo on Elvington's runway, courtesy of Elvington Event's limited, the owners of the Airfield.

Flt Lt Ollie Suckling will be in the Left hand seat, Myself in the right and the AEO will be dependable stalwart Sqn Ldr Alan Stephenson. Crew Chief will be Grant Sparks (former Chief Tech).

A dedicated viewing area will be available, for details please check out the Yorkshire Air Museum website. In addition, it is intended to taxy the Museum's Nimrod XV250 and earlier in the day Ollie Suckling and myself will taxy (subject to serviceability) Douglas DC3 Dakota KN353 (G-AMYJ) for the first time since restoration. Also running will be the De Havilland Devon.

When Victor met Lancaster

The current 'tour' of the UK by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Lancaster  Bomber FM213, restored as  KB726, in honour of Flt Lt Andy Mynarski VC RCAF prompted a memory from 1988 when this historic aircraft first flew again in the capable hands of Sqn Ldr Tony Banfield. Ex-Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Commanding Officer.

Tony Banfield has a Victor connection, he flew Mk1 Victor Tankers with No 214 Sqn at RAF Marham in Norfolk and later flew Lancaster PA474 the BBMF as well as an illustrious career with the AAEE at RAF Boscombe Down.

At the time of the first post-restoration flight of FM213, Tony was the only current pilot to have 2 Lancasters in his logbook.

Tony is perhaps more famous for advertising flying jackets for Aviation Leathercraft and this advert has been seen in magazines for many years.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Meet 'Fred' the Kiwi

I'm delighted to introduce the newest member of the team Fred. 

Fred travelled to the UK with a group of fellow kiwi's from New Zealand last week, for a tour of Bomber County. This was the second visit to Lindy by the group in two years, Fred enjoyed his visit so much he has decided to stay on! 

Some of the group remembered the Vulcan accident at Ohaka, when the visiting Vulcan B1, clipped the edge of the runway threshold, damaging the undercarriage leg, resulting in a long stay for repairs. Worse still, the crew blew off the canopy, so more headaches for the riggers and armourers! 

A special thank you needs to go to the group who's support has provided a quantity of ACF50 for Lindy's continued conservation. 

Thanks guys, we look forward to seeing you next time. 

Thursday, 26 June 2014

June's Maintenance run

As part of the pre-season work up. XL231 had her monthly anti-det (anti deterioration) run on Sunday.  This was delayed by 2 weeks due to a snag with the APU Artouste engine that caused a bit of concern. Happily this turned out to be a partially sticking ADV (air delivery valve) that was soon cleared and the APU fuel control main solenoid valve was also removed and lubricated, as I was not happy with it.
APU slight wet start!
As a partial ant-det run the week previous and to thoroughly test the APU, I briefed Rich on how to 'dry run' the main engines and he carried out his first engine turns successfully, with myself on the the external intercom and John inside controlling the APU and other systems from the AEO position.

The main anti-det runs were carried out with Ollie on the external comms, John in the back and myself in the Left hand seat. Young Sam was sitting in the co-pilots seat and I wet-ran the engines. Basically, putting fuel through the burners and out of the back as vapour without actually igniting it. This ensures the fuel system is never allowed to dry out and that the engine has been turned to ensure oil pressure and lubrication. John also checked all 4 main engine alternators were generating AC power. I then let Sam dry turn the engines and he did this very nicely for his first time. A dry-turn is a full spin, but without fuel being introduced and it helps to dry the fuel vapour in the jet pipes.

We then carried out full hydraulic functionals, exercising the flaps to all 3 positions, air brakes to the full range of full out & full in and the Ram Air Turbine scoops (RATs) on top of the rear fuselage. The nosewheel steering was also tested and the Flight Refuelling Hose Drum unit (HDU) lowered and raised several times.  The flying controls which are fully powered and self contained were then all tested. No snags were noted, apart from the Starboard RAT sticking in the open position occasionally.
HDU lowered
Anti-det run
XL231 is now waiting eagerly for her next outing.

Mainwheel Tyre change

After the last taxy run we noticed that one of the mainwheel tyres on the port side had lost part of its tread and was showing signs of de-laminating further.

As the taxy run was the last one of 2013 we decided to leave the tyre until into the following season, the tyre was holding pressure and was fine for standing the aircraft on and it did not interfere with engine runs and other winter/spring maintenance.

Now the season is here and pending taxy runs are on us, we decided to tackle that particular wheel this last weekend. As far as taxy runs go this has been a late start due to events around the site and the Tour De France coming through the area 5th/6th July.

The Victor and identical Vulcan mainwheels are a single wheel with twin tyres and are of a split rim construction. The first job is to ensure the tyres are deflated and the valves removed. The outer locking ring is removed and the outer tyre with its two sliding removable beads is taken off first. Usually this involves a lot of cursing and sweating, with large rubber mallets and pry bars. If the outer tyre is the culprit (as in this case) then the inner wheel can be left alone. However, an inner tyre means a full wheel strip down and it is hard work. Under the sliding beads and between the main rim and bead are large sealing O rings, these can get stuck to the sliding bead and are difficult to sometimes free up. Especially if the wheel has been built up for a considerable time. Fitting new tyres usually means changing the O rings as well (if they are available). If the O ring is flattened then its unlikely to be re-useable. We have found silicone grease is the best product to smear the O rings with in order to help seal and protect them.
Outer tyre removed

Ollie returning the wheel to Lindy 'wheelie good!'
Once the wheel is rebuilt it is then test inflated to check for leaks. Because there are so many seals the tendency for leaks is very real and likely. 100% leak free wheels are a rarity when you don't have access to most parts in a new condition.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Negative Phase Sequencing Unit

Last week XL231 decided that she didn't want to accept 200 Volt ground power, this caused a bit of head scratching, and John to get his electrical brain cells into action. At first we assumed that the GPU (ground power unit) to be at fault, however, after carrying out checks we decided that the GPU wasn't the culprit.

The aircraft then suddenly accepted ground power and we were relieved. Unfortunately this was short lived and power soon tripped again, it then re-set for a similar short time before tripping yet again.

We checked the aircraft to ensure no heavy loads were on and tried again, all seemed okay but only for a short time before it re-tripped!

It was then that I noticed an orange warning lamp illuminated on the AEO's panel. The port side NPSU (Negative Phase Sequencing Unit) had tripped.  "No problem I'll reset it" I thought and did so using the push reset button. The Ground power came back on and then re-tripped yet again!

It was then we realised that we had a problem, so out came the books over a coffee in the NAAFI and John decided the NPSU for the port busbars had failed.

The 2 NPSU's were fitted basically as a protection unit during the Tanker conversion programme to protect the aircraft's AC ground and APU electrical systems in case of failure of the powerful AC motor on the Air to Air Refuelling Hose Drum Unit (HDU).  It was deduced that the motor in a fault condition could in a worse case scenario seriously damage the aircraft's electrical system.
Fibre glass distribution board
Luckily, we had spares-recovered spare NPSU's from Victor K2 XL164 'Saucy Sal' back in 1994 and I was able to remove one of them from the complete distribution board that we had taken out of the aircraft all those years ago.

It was a bit of a task to change it in the aircraft but once fitted proved to be serviceable. Rick will check the removed unit out for repair.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Codename: Operation Mugshot

Fancy drinking your mug of tea with Lindy looking back at you?

In an exclusive #twitterVforce competition we are looking for a photo of Lindy to feature on our 2014 mugs. 

Our outgoing mugshot!

To be in with a chance of your photo featuring on our mugs visit http://twittervforce.com/blog/?p=674

Mugs featuring the chosen image will be available to purchase from early May with all proceeds going to the ongoing upkeep of Lindy. 

Friday, 7 March 2014

Co-Pilot's Fuel Panels fitted back

I have completed restoration of the co-pilots fuel panels and the panels re-fitted.  Making sure that all of the switches and wiring went back exactly where they should, was a bit of a headache and Rick Gill 'ably assisted' here.

Replacement parts included; the fuel flow meter 4 engine selector unit, manual density corrector and the magnetic indicator for the fuel de-fuel cock. The latter caused a bit of a snag as the original switch was left untouched and the indicator replaced, however when selected closed it indicated open and vice versa! The panel was removed and the wiring double checked. The wiring proved correct so we deduced the indicator was terminated incorrectly and altered it to make it indicate correctly.

The final job to do is for Ian Finch to install the switch captions which he is manufacturing, these are quite complex so are taking some effort.

Morse Key acquired!

 XL231  has finally been 're-acquainted' with the correct type of Morse Key.
The RAF removed the original key as part of the de-commissioning process in 1993 and it has taken over 20 years to locate the correct one.  It was spotted by chance on ebay only last week and swiftly obtained!

I knew it matched original photographs but until I actually dropped it into place and all 4 mounting bolt holes lined up then I wasn't 100% convinced. However, it is now in and hard-wired and Al Stephenson the AEO has been asked to brush up on his Morse code. His answer when I told him was "Morse is like riding a bike, never forgotten!"

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Beer Anyone?

Here is a pic of a original Victor K2 beer mat - would be great if we could persuade a brewery to do special ale as a tribute to the Victor fleet.

Any brewery up for the challenge?

Friday, 7 February 2014

Signal Flare Rack

XL231's signal flare rack, mounted in the cabin roof, removed for over overhaul and repainting.

The RAF had carried out a crude repair to reinforce the rack as the stowage socket for the Navigators oxygen and comms lead 'umblical' had at some point been been torn out. I decided to leave the repair as it would have been a major task to totally rebuild the panel

The old paint was removed before the panel was bead blasted clean, the clips for the flares are steel and were slightly rusted, so blasting was the only option. Once repainted used flares were put back in the rack as we can't have live ones!

Fuel Tank Switch Panel

Following overhaul of the co-pilot's fuel flow panel it was necessary to loosen the fuel tank switch panel. This panel controls which tanks are refueled and which are not, flicking the switch forward puts the tanks refuel solenoid valve to 'IN USE'. 

Some of the switches were intermittent in their operation, not many were matching and all were original to XL231 and the panel was also cosmetically looking its age. Therefore I decided to bite the bullet and remove it, not an easy task while making sure the aircraft is still capable of being live during the task in hand. 

However, it was removed successfully and then stripped and repainted the correct light aircraft grey colour and new switches trial fitted, as well as a replacement magnetic indicator for the fuel probe nitrogen purge system. The adhesive captions for the switches are being replicated by team member Ian Finch .

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Fuel Flow Indications

On the second to last last taxy run I noted that the fuel flow meter indications were not quite correct and that 3 out of the 4 engines were showing incorrect values. For the last taxy run in November I changed the main amplifier unit which is located in the main electrical compartment, known as the 'plenum chamber'. Changing the amplifier made no difference to the fault conditions and we deduced the problem to be in the cockpit area instead. Each engine has its own 'windmill' type flow-rate transmitter and we deduced that it was highly unlikely that 3 out of 4 engines had faulty transmitters!

As we have now sourced a fuel flow meter and a fuel density manual corrector I decide to remove the offending panel for overhaul and to replace the two suspect items on the left of the picture.  This was easier said than done as I reckon it was last disturbed during the K2 tanker programme back in the mid-1970's. The 4 selector flow-meter is probably okay and this will have its components checked out to become a spare unit as there was no sign of damp ingress, the density corrector however is not sealed and I found it has corrosion inside, so its probably that which is causing the problems.

Much cursing and a couple of hours passed before the panel was out but it was worth the effort as the ravages of time had lifted quite a bit of the grey paint and the original B2 'Bomber Black' was showing through quite a lot. I had been waiting for the reason to remove this panel for a while and last weekend was the day!

Anyway the refurbished panel is her to see, less the two replacement parts. The fuel meter that is now fitted back checks out fine as does the magnetic indicator, both of these items are original to the panel. 

All things being equal it should be back in this coming weekend.

Best Restoration Project – Aerospace X Awards

Hello everyone, it’s been a while!

First of all, Happy New Year! I’m rather excited that my first guest blog for 2014 is for XL231! I’m even more excited to be part of the team awarding XL231 with the Best Restoration Project of 2013 Aerospace X Award!

In December of last year, I guest presented on the Aviation Xtended Podcast, and we all chose a few different things for the Xtended 12 Days of Avgeek Christmas, but later decided to actually award our chosen days out, products, projects, airfields and more!

I chose Handley Page Victor XL231 as the winner for Best Restoration Project 2013. I chose Team Victor because not only do I think they have done an absolutely outstanding job on restoring Lindy and keeping her in a working, taxi-able, order; I have worked alongside them and they have offered me amazing opportunities.

The team deserve this award and so much more!

If in any way you can offer support, donations, a helping hand, I know the team appreciate it very much, and again, they deserve it!

Throughout 2013, Team Victor achieved so, so much! 3 taxy runs, Lindy’s 20th birthday, featured on ITV’s Calendar, and BBC’s Look North East and Cumbria, engine runs, Thunder Days, bloody mint birthday day out for someone (cough, me, cough), a night shoot, lots of triumphs engineering and restoration wise, and of course, winning an Aviation Xtended Aerospace X Award!

I am very proud to have supported the team throughout 2013, and I know other supporters of Lindy have been very proud too, and that pride and support will continue through 2014!

I am really looking forward to see what 2014 has in store for the team!

Finally, congratulations to Team Victor on your award, you most certainly deserve it!