Work Day May 28

First task was to get the LCP/Simulator serviceable again. On refitting the two ME153’s from the test rig in the workshopg both indicated as U/S when booting up. The  two ME153’s, that were U/S unit from last week now worked again ….. everything burst in to life. Ran the LCP for a while, no problems. Also ran the Sim at the end of the day and it fired up OK and was left in a ‘S’ state. Not sure what was going on, dirty backplane connector – perhaps.

Back to the paint scraping for Neil who was full of admiration for the new hot air guns that worked a treat. He did take care not to melt holes in the side of the LCP but he did manage to burn a hole in his hand instead. I fussed around paint scraping the covers for the door vents, easy peasy with the new heat guns, they also needed a bit of metal bashing to get them back in to their correct shape; door vents and covers now temporarily refitted. I also rubbed down the large cable duct cover ready for a repaint.

We have an ME168 Hand-Held Monitor … but there is an operator problem, I have no idea how to use it to test an ME153. Perhaps there is an ex-Ferranti out there who could advise us.

Finally, discussed with Neil that we should treat, prime, paint and then refit the roof catches ASAP so time to buy some paint. We also discussed what not to paint so features on the cabin stand out. No, I’m not suggesting picking out features in red. Thoughts on this is welcome. I know the LCP cabin was just sprayed all over with little thought for detail but I think we can do a better job than just spraying everything.

U/S ME147 (1Mb memory card) now at the workshop; Pete M removed this faulty card a few months back re parity errors. I’ll investigate how to repair.

I had two extra T86 door keys cut last week and they were checked yesterday. All three T86 door keys now work so Neil and I have one plus the spare (original) is labelled and in the drawer of the LCP tool cupboard. The padlock has now been removed from the T86 door which is securely locked by the door handle. All down to great work on the door mechanism.

Work Day May 21

The dirty bit first as work continued on removing loose paint from under the T86 cabin and the cable ducts on the right hand side of the LCP cabin. The ducts now need a good clean before repainting, they are engrained with dirt. Neil was the dirtiest after his work on the underside of the T86 cabin; he also discovered that a box section that runs under the door frame was completely rotten on the underside, a job for the future though. The original plan was to finish the paint scrapping on the rear wall of the cabin but unfortunately one hot air gun was totally dead with a blown filament and the second gun only produced enough warm air enough to dry my hair [he doesn’t have any Ed.] but totally useless at removing paint. I’ll sort out a couple of hot air guns this week, one being a replacement for Pete M’s gun.

Some bad news in that the simulator has gone U/S. one of the ME153 GL processors has failed. I’ll bring along the two spare ME153’s we have next Saturday and get the simulator running again. We now have at least three U/S ME153’s so I’ll be looking at how these can be repaired as a priority.

As Neil said when we left, ‘we broke more that we fixed today’.

Work Day May 14

Neil and I (Pete H.) spent a considerable amount of time under the T86. It was a case of ‘let’s see how bad it is’ and once you start you tend to carry on. In fact the condition of the underside of the T86 was better than expected with a few corrosion patches but mostly flaking paintwork and dirt. We did find a rusted box section under the radar door. It looks very much that the repainting of the underside had been a cursory affair with a spray over what could be seen by not actually going under the cabin. I suspect nothing was cleaned prior to a respray, hence all the loose paint. Neil and I probably cleaned about 25% of the underside, Neil also removed rusty bolts that previously secured the flooring.

The new T86 door key was used to lock and unlock the cabin door. Thanks go to Dave for his work on the door mechanism and lock. We now have a complete set of LCP and T86 keys and door locks that work – yippee. Thanks to Nils in Sweden for sending us a copy of the Swedish radar door key, apparently the only thing he kept from his days with the radar.

I turned my attention back to the LCP cabin. One job to do was remove the remains of the keyring and lanyard attachment from all the plugs and sockets one the left hand side of the LCP cabin. This done it was a wire brush job to clean off the rusty screw heads before treating them with Kurust. The keyrings and lanyards that secure the rubber plug and socket covers will be replaced once repainting is completed.The refurbished fittings for the LCP roof catches were returned; these are zinc coated steel castings, nuts and bolts are stainless. Unfortunately coated steel spring washers were used on the main (long) securing bolts which have corroded over time and in many cases caused corrosion to eat away at the zinc coating on the catches. Before being primed the corrosion on the catches was treated with Kurust.

The LCP door vents had also been cleaned, rust treated and primed before being returned.

In working under the T86 cabin it was noticed that the trailer steering linkage had been disassembled at some time and not fully reinstalled. The main securing bolt had its nut on by only a few threads; how long had it been like that? The wiring for the trailer lights has braided wire sheath which in many places is completely corroded through. We are looking at completely removing the wiring and its sheathing to allow for a cabin repaint. All can be replaced after a repaint as the braided wire sheath can still be obtained.…and finally.

The simulator was run up and checked. No problems and it remains serviceable.

Work Day May 7

Dave has done a tremendous job on fixing the T86 door lock and mechanism which was completely seized after years left exposed to the elements when in storage as the door was left open! The T86 door can now be closed and locked … if we could find the key which highlighted a problem. That is we keep losing things and I include myself in this.

After a bit of initial paint scraping by yours truly Pete M arrived and after the usual cup of tea we discussed how to repair the damage to the skin of the LCP cabin. Options discussed mainly revolved around how best to pull the panels out and flat etc. and what was practical and/or possible. Where the skin of the cabin has been bent, creased or distorted and in one place holed is mainly due to the ‘U’ channel framing on to which the panels are riveted being bent. After some discussion re options we decided that we had to remove one section of creased skin to see what we were up against as ‘pulling it out’ would not restore the original flatness or shape of the U channel frame or panel . Thanks to Dave having his multi cutter Pete M removed a damaged section of skin, an area that had been holed as it would need patching anyway, so we could better asses what we were up against. The attached photos show this process. First conclusion: To restore the shape of a bent U channel frame section (forget the skin for now) would require removing the skin in the area of the damage and then involve a good deal of force to pull out the bent section of frame. You will see in photo 3 how the section of U channel frame has not only been bent inwards but the bottom of the channel rolled over on itself. Pete M designed a pulling system for the channel from materials we found in the hangar, the pulling force being provided by a car jack. This system worked well in pulling out the bent section of the frame but the ‘rolled over’ damage to the frame is another matter for consideration. My thinking on repairing the skin is to fit flush ‘invisible’ patches riveted to supporting sections under the skin. Any thoughts or input on these repairs is welcome.