All work on Saturday was focused on the T86. The LCP did get a vacuum out though which smartened up the rubber mats.
T86 Cabin Rear Wall
Pete J set to with a drift screw remover to remove the rusted screws securing the clamps for the running lights cables on the rear of the cabin. The metal mesh sleaving that covers the cables for the running lights being completely corroded away as can be seen in the accompanying photo. Replacing the running lights and cables is down the priority list but their removal is not only necessary do to their condition it will also help when repainting the cabin.
Pete J also had the task of hunting down any corrosion on the rear of the cabin. Most of the cabin is made from an aluminium alloy but steel shelving for the Ward Leonards is the place to look for rust and wasted metal. A good rub down needed to the shelves before corrosion treatment can be followed by filling and painting. The corrosion on the shelf frame can be seen in the this photo.
T86 Underneath the Trailer
The worst job on the T86 trailer is prepping the underside so in the afternoon Pete J made a start at the rear of the cabin. He removed lose paint, corrosion and various bits of grass etc. See accompanying photo showing the under trailer condition after Pete’s efforts.
A very busy day for Pete J as his final job was tidying the storage shed!
T86 Pedestal Covers
A start was made on the refurbishment of the pedestal covers which require new seals and the re riveting of several catches.
One cover does require the replacement of wasted metal. New seals are available and the covers are now cleaned ready for refurbishing work to commence.
T86 Aerial System
The appearance of the T86 aerial system looks to be quite poor but in reality it is mainly down to the loss of paint; see below. The main transmitting aerial is particularly affected, possibly due to the type of paint originally used or the lack of a good fibreglass primer. The focus here is on the aerials and the larger parts of the aerial assembly and getting them prepared and painted before any work is carried out on waveguide runs and smaller components.
If you haven’t seen our videos on YouTube yet we have:
I have uploaded a group photograph (from Martin Gorner) of 257 Squadron personnel taken at RAF Warboys in 1963 where Martin was stationed. A Mk1 Bloodhound missile is in the background. Here.
257 Squadron stood up on 1 July 1960 at RAF Warboys as an air defence unit using Bloodhound Mk1 missile. The squadron stood down here on 1 December 1963. (see the 257 Squadron Royal Air Force page. Apparently no accommodation was available Warboys so and the squadron personnel were parented by RAF Upwood (see the ruins).
Warboys is yet another derelict site.
I have added more photographs related to the 112 Squadron Disbandment parade. These were kindly donated by Nigel Westmancott and can be found on his photo gallery here: http://www.bmpg.org.uk/Donated_Photos.html
I have added four photographs from Martin Gorner taken of Bloodhound Mk1 at 14 Fire Unit, A Flight, 257 Squadron, RAF Warboys in 1963. The resolution is lower than I would have liked but this is what Martin has available at this time.
Nigel Westmancott kindly donated some photographs of 112 Squadron in 1974 and when withdrawing from Cyrus in 1975.
Scroll to the end of the page.
The work carried out on Saturday was all about further preparation for repainting the T86 and Pete J did sterling work on the door side and rear of the cabin. Unlike the LCP the condition of the existing paint on the T86 cabin is good. Perhaps one reason for this is that all joints on the T86 cabin were covered with a glass fibre tape which prevented water incursion in to the joints and hence prevented the lifting of paint as was the case with the LCP which has no taped joints on its cabin.
A lot of this tape has come away so needs replacing but does anyone know exactly what it is? This photograph shows the construction of the tape, it is glass fibre with a glass/resin coating or fixing. I suspect the resin was applied to the tape on fixing as the tape was flexible when applied. The tape is thin 0.5mm, 1mm max, It’s 50mm wide.
Photos below show the side and rear of the T86 cabin prepared for a repaint. Note the poor condition of the transmitter reflector on which not much paint remains, I suspect mainly due to no good fibre glass primer being available in the 1960’s!
The photo of the rear of the cabin shows the Ward Leonards covered in plastic sheet to protect them from dust and paint. No attempt is being made to remove them for now.
As we get down to preparing the T86 cabin it will identify any areas of corrosion that will need treating. Often corrosion is hidden away as can be seen on the photo of a close up of the cable outlet on the rear of the cabin.
Back next week ….
Peter Jones, ex T87/86 radar engineer, joined the team at Cosford and his contribution will be invaluable as we strive to complete the T86 cabin restoration by this coming summer. To start the year the team undertook a general clean up and sort out, part of this activity was to move the T86 aerial transportation cage to give access to the rear of the T86 cabin for the first time.
Pete J received his first introduction to running the simulator in the LCP and he, along with Pete M, tested some ‘suspect’ Argus cards to confirm their condition, serviceable or unserviceable. A mixed result from the card testing and unfortunately our spare memory cards were all found to be unserviceable. Some further work was carried out on the engagement controller’s door in preparation for a repaint. The simulator continues to be serviceable and here’s a photo of the display console taken on Saturday.
I need to carry out a complete audit of all our A700 cards so we know what we have, both ‘S’ and ‘U/S’.
The replacement of the radar floor continues with work being carried out fettling the many small pieces of plywood that fit around racks and wheel arches. Everyone admires the woodworking skills of the team involved, Dave, Neil and Ian who is our expert fettler with the smaller pieces. Once all the floor pieces fit together they will form a massive jigsaw. Before the new floor can be finished the plywood will be lifted so that the metal base of the cabin can be repainted, the plywood also treated and finally a new vinyl covering fitted. The photo below shows the completed plywood floor in the main cabin area.
The covers of the Ward Leonards were removed and we found that their physical condition was good, they received a good brush and vac to remove long dead insect life, twigs and general cobwebs. Dirt being removed with a clean with white spirit. The pedestal covers were removed along with fittings from the rear of the cabin for refurbishment.