Work Day 17th June 2017

It was a return to normal at the site yesterday following an absence of a couple of weeks due to family commitments and a short period when access was not available. The day started with a general clear up and sort out but it was soon back to work on the day’s tasks which was to carry on painting with Neil painting the rear and top of the roof. Painting is done by hand with a 4” roller; as per the technique used by military vehicle restorers.

Painting the rear of the LCP Cabin wm.jpg


I busied myself (Pete H) with re fitting the covers on the LCP cabin door vents.

LCP Door - Vent Cover Refitted wm.jpg

and then trial fitted the refurbished mains duct cover on the LCP cabin.

LCP Cabin - Mains cable Duct Cover wm.jpg

The objective of the trial being to see if the cover fitted fitted and to work out the positioning of the locking brackets. Why a trial? When our LCP was recovered the bottom section of the mains cover was missing and a replacement was salvaged from a derelict LCP. In theory it should fit but we have seen evidence that there had been a degree of ‘hand crafting’ during LCP construction [what happened to interchangeability – Ed]. Anyway, the only problem was the latch that secures the lower half of the cover needs a bush to raise it a couple of millimetres so that the bottom half of the cover can be safely secured when folded back.

Work on site may have been limited but a lot of work has continued off site to complete the refurbishment of all the cable duct covers and other fittings; work which is almost complete.

Here are a number of cabin fittings getting a good dose of drying weather,

LCP Cabin Fittings Refurbished wm.jpg

Here we show a before and after of a firing line cover.

LCP Firing Line Duct Covers - Before and After wm.jpg

The budget locks illustrated are beyond restoration but do illustrate what the general condition of steel components is.

Budget Locks - Past Refurbishing wm.jpg

Restoration of the fittings on the LCP cabin involved a complete strip down and rebuild from bare metal, the LCP cabin is not a quick rub down and repaint!

Work Day 27th May 2017

Another Saturday and another step forward in reassembling the LCP. Neil was busy with the paint brush again as we continue with the painting of the LCP roof panels prior to fitting the awning rails. I cleaned and prepared some fittings but the main task was to start refitting the door vents – photos below show the kit of parts and one of the renovated vents fitted.

LCP Cabin Door Vent Kit of Parts wm.jpg


LCP Cabin Door Vent 2 wm.jpg

Door vents now fitted and the weather proofing cover will be fitted on the next work day.

Offsite work continues with  refurbishing the cable duct covers; this photo shows the typical original condition.

LCP Duct Covers Original Condition wm.jpg

A cover for the firing lines was test fitted yesterday as seen here.

LCP Duct Cover Firing Lines wm.jpg

Test fitting checks the seals (do they seal?) and locking down the cover with its budget locks. The firing lines cover sealed and fitted OK but only locks down in one position, obviously some hand crafting during the original manufacture of the LCP!

Work Day 20th May 2017

Work continues on refurbishment of the LCP Cabin with Pete M completing the fitting of the 58 securing plates for the roof joins. It was a case of saving the worst till last as all the plates were originally hand fitted to rough measurements, semmingly no part drawing used here! Neil busied himself on some touch up priming of new rivet heads on the roof before a second top coat is applied. Neil was also in charge of a general sort out of our tool and consumables store. One objective was to find all the LCP cabin parts that had been put somewhere safe ‘never to be seen again’. Fortunately everything previously placed in a safe place has been found. The decision was also made to focus on completing the cabin roof section as soon as possible so that all the awning rails can be refitted.

Refurbishing the cable duct covers continued off site and are are having all the components refurbished or replaced including refurbished budget locks, new rubber bumpers, refurbished chrome covers for the budget lock key holes and new seals.

LCP Cabin Cable Duct Cover Refurb 1 (Medium).JPG    LCP Cabin Cable Duct Cover Refurb 2 (Medium).JPG

The first completed cover was refitted on Saturday., all clearly shown in this  photo below. The refitting of the cover was to check the new seals on the cover were sized correctly and then sealed the cable duct when locked down.  Everything on the cabin is being refurbished ‘as new’ from the factory. The cabin is not going to be sprayed all over as it was by the RAF the highlights like chrome covers will be left as highlights.

LCP Cabin Cable Duct Cover Refurb Fitted 1 (Medium).JPG

It may be or interest that our LCP, Serial No. 1022, is being refurbished with some parts from derelict LCP’s 1006 and 1019, these parts replacing any that were missing or broken on 1022.

Work Day 13th May 2017

Neil was back in action yesterday after organising the Iron Bridge Walking Festival and he immediately volunteered to continue fitting the securing plates for the canvas roof section covers the Pete M had started.

LCP Fitting Canvas Securing Plates wm.jpg

A time consuming and frustrating job of fitting and riveting 58 plates when no two plates are the same. The plates were obviously hand crafted when the LCP cabin was originally manufactured!

LCP Canvas Cover Securing Plate wm.jpg

The twenty LCP awning frames where finally completed after they were stripped, primed and received two top coats, a job which seemed to take forever.

LCP Awning Frames - Finished wm.jpg

As the LCP is being reassembled thoughts turn to the T86. The cabin of the T86 is in much better condition that the LCP cabin so the main tasks will be refurbishing the aerial assemble and the trailer chassis for the T86 seen here.

T86 Underside of Chassis wm.jpg

Away from the coalface work continues with the various LCP cabin fittings. Yesterday the two LCP door vents were returned to Cosford after refurbishment which included new fly screens seen below sporting new silicone rubber seals that were generously donated and fibreglass screen material so corrosion shouldn’t be a problem in future! The original metal fly screens had disintegrated due to corrosion.

Door Vent Fly Screen 1 wm.jpg

Work Day 6th May 2017

Saturday was all about painting and Dave had the best job, though he may not have thought so, painting the front wall of the cabin. The LCP is starting to look like an LCP again as seen here.
LCP Cabin End Repaint 2 wm.jpg
Any patches noticeable on the LCP cabin photo is where the paint is still wet. I busied myself giving the awning frames a second coat, a laborious and time consuming task. Painting is also taking place away from Cosford on the LCP cabin fittings and more information will be provided in the next couple of weeks on the refurbished cable duct covers etc. The LCP is being painted in matt NATO Green, not the IRR version of NATO Green which fades dramatically in a matter of a couple of years. NATO Green was the final in service colour of the LCP and T86.

LCP Cabin End Repaint 1 wm.jpg

Technical Bit
One of the first tasks in restoring the Bloodhound simulator was to refurbish ALL the Farnell G Series power supplies in the MK2A LCP, a total of fifteen. All the RIFA  (metallized paper X2) capacitors used as filters/interference suppressors have to be replaced.

RIFA Capacitor 1 wm.jpgThe original RIFA capacitors, being at least thirty years old, have split plastic encasing and a deterioration of the dielectric Applying power to a power supply with the original RIFA capacitors fitted will cause the capacitors to ‘boil’ and create a large amount of smoke.  All RIFA capacitors need replacing before power can be applied to a Farnell G Series power supply. The restoration of the simulator is complete but now and then a Farnell power supply from our spares stock is refurbished as one was last week. See the accompanying photo which illustrates the problem with the original RIFA metallized paper capacitors.