AUGUST UPDATE: Here we are again at the end of another month, and virtually the end of summer. Progress at Enstone steadily continues in a various areas and this month we have some great news on the progress with regard to the restoration of electrical power to the aircraft.
Back in late May we were contacted by a company called Allaero, an independent parts stockists and MRO primarily operating in the corporate aviation sector. They had seen our progress with the aircraft and were keen to assist. One of their fields of expertise is the maintenance of aircraft batteries and they subsequently were able to track down a SAFT (a French battery manufacturer) battery that was the original type fitted to the Jaguar (and also the Gazelle helicopter). The battery was imported from France and Allaero got it into their workshop for an initial inspection, strip and service.
The connector had to be reoriented to the Jaguar’s somewhat unique vertical configuration from its supplied horizontal fit. The cells were removed and deep cycled and then rebuilt and gradually charged and eventually capacity checked.
The battery is now at Enstone and I have built it up into original Jaguar bracketry ready for it’s eventual installation. I still have quite a bit of work to do on the aircraft to get it electrically safe before I apply power (there are a lot of cables in various areas that have been chopped in the past).
Once these cut cables are sorted I should be in a position to fit the battery and slowly start the process of powering up various systems, essential DC circuits initially, then AC through the onboard static inverter and eventually hopefully external 3 phase AC from our Ground Power Unit.
Huge thanks go out to Allaero for their time, patience and generosity for sourcing and then servicing this battery. For further information on their capabilities check their website: http://www.Allaero.com
This month we have been able to source some additional original Jaguar blanks for some of the various external cooling ducts and ports. Important for keeping the potential rain ingress to a minimum, the acquisition of these parts has, in part, been made possible by some of the hugely generous donations that have been made recently and the sale of some of our merchandise items.
Another task box ticked this month was the refurbishment of the formation lamps installed on the upper wing surfaces. These lamps had been partially stripped previously and were missing their lenses and lens clamp rings. I did get a quote on replacement assemblies but at nearly €6000 per side and a 36 week lead-time, sourcing new parts was always going to be a non-starter. I removed the remaining parts, cleaned up the lamp holder assemblies and then fabricated new lenses as well as fitting new clamp rings and bulbs.
This month we were thrilled to welcome former Jaguar Solo Display pilot Andy Cubin to Enstone who was attending a fly-in event at the Flying Club. I think Andy was pretty surprised to find a Jaguar at Enstone and it turns out that he actually had flown XX764 during his time with 226OCU at Lossiemouth. In fact Andy flew the third to last active sortie prior to the aircraft’s transit into storage at Shawbury in the autumn of 1984.
Here’s some video of Andy ‘at work’ back in the day..
Finally, some merchandise news. Our first batch of the ‘Remove Before Flight’ keyrings are now all but sold out. A further batch has been ordered and should be back available shortly as well as a version 2 with a slightly different design, hopefully these will prove just as popular. All our other bits and pieces are still available either here on the website under the ‘Merchandise’ banner or through our eBay seller account ‘jaguarXX764’.
This month’s banner photo shows XX764 on the flight line at the International Air Tattoo at Greenham Common in 1979 (c) Ian Cole/Flickr.
Whilst the Covid restrictions have obviously relaxed significantly since the end of lockdown if anyone does intend, or would like to visit at any point please get in touch in advance. Small numbers or individuals are easier to accommodate but we do ideally need prior warning rather than ad hoc visits currently.
Finally, as usual, thanks for the ongoing support and interest.