Work remains focused on the T86 as refurbishing the rear of the cabin, the Ward Leonards (WL’s) and their supporting shelf has become a bigger job than expected. It was found that a cross member was completely corroded though at one end so had to be cut out and a new member fabricated. The accompanying series of photos show the corroded cross member in situ, Neil removing it and a close up showing the extent of some of the corrosion.
The four anti vibration mounts on each WL also have to be replaced, the accompanying photo illustrates why, the rubber has perished and the steel in the mount is badly corroded. New mounts will be fabricated but they will not be ‘anti-vibration’ as unfortunately the WL’s will not run again.
The WL’s will be getting a refurbish, removing corrosion and a repaint. It needs to be done as shown in this photo.
Other jobs continue and fronts of the T86 drawer set and their case received their first top coat. The colour of paint used on the T86 internals is Dark Admiralty Grey!
We now have the answer to one problem using the latest technology, a 3D printer. The original rubber mounts for the reflectors on the T86 and LCP have perished. Replacements are hard to come by and even if found quantities are limited. The photo shows an original reflector mount in the centre with two that have been 3D printed; one has an original reflector in situ. The reflectors also need replacing.
There will now be a break in activities due to our lead team member taking a well-earned rest and the predicted cold conditions in the hanger.
A week ago we have had evidence of vermin (rats) present in the hangar who munched through sections of a polythene dust cover for their lunch. To see how bad the rat problem is a tasty morsel of dust cover was left under the T86 for a week to see what happened to it. The answer – nothing. Obviously there are better lunches to be had elsewhere! Obviously mice and rats are a concern as they could munch through cabling in the T86 and LCP, the T86 is safe elevated on its jacks, the LCP less so as it has open air conditioning vents in a side wall of the cabin. See the accompanying photos showing a cleaned out vent and then the vents covered with ‘anti vermin’ steel mesh.
The main task of the day was completed by Pete J with the removal of the second Ward Leonard, no easy feat especially lowering it off the shelf. Where’s the Side Loader when you want one?
The reason for removing the Ward Leonards is to treat corrosion in the fabricated steel shelf that supports them. One of the common problems visible on other remaining T86’s is corrosion of the Ward Leonard shelf with several sections now corroded through. Obviously this needs sorting for the long term preservation of our T86. The accompanying series of photos show the unbolting of the Ward Leonard, (above) the now vacant shelf on the T86 cabin and the two Ward Leonard sets safely on a pallet. The Ward Leonards are to be cosmetically restored.
A belated Happy New Year to all. 2019 will be an important year for the BMPG as we look to finding a permanent home for our LCP and T86 radar.
Last Saturday saw work focused on completing the preparation of the T86 equipment drawers for re painting as in the accompanying photo. The first job will be to treat any corrosion on the casing as it’s steel; the drawers themselves are alloy.
To properly restore the rear wall of the T86 cabin both Ward Leonard DC generators have to be removed and last Saturday saw the first set removed.
The accompanying photos show the removal of the Ward Leonard and the work now needed to restore it externally as well as its mounting frame and shelf. Note the condition of anti-vibration mounts!
It is with sadness that we report the loss of an ex-Bloodhound friend and colleague, Mr Eric Readman. He passed away last Christmas Eve whilst singing in his Church choir.
This came from one of Eric’s ex-Bristol Aircraft Corporation colleagues, David Hall via our friend Brian Blestowe:
“Eric joined Bristol on his retirement from the RAF, where he had been heavily involved with Bloodhound 2. His activities in the RAF on Bloodhound were instructing on the Launcher Control Post ( LCP ) Argos computer at RAF Newton in the early ’60s and later as Technical Officer on 112 Sqdn. initially at Woodhall Spa and deployment of the system to Cyprus about 69/70/71. When he joined the Company at Bristol, he worked for Arthur Player and the Bristol 1988 telephone directory shows his position as Project Manager, Configuration and Change Control in Dept. 838. At some time after working at Bristol (probably when the Engineering activities were terminated in 1991 ) he transferred to Stevenage and lived in Biggleswade.”
David is not aware of his detailed activities at Stevenage and on his retirement from the Company around the early 2000’s, he took up residence in Malvern in 2006.