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MARCH UPDATE: Finally some light appears as we approach (hopefully) the end of the lockdown tunnel. Here in the UK most of March has been spent in the tail end of our strict stay home lockdown but this has now started to ease and just before the end of the month we were allowed to start moving around with less restrictions.

So whilst the majority of the news this month still comes in the form of further sub-assembly tasks, we were able to get some jobs actually done on the aircraft at the tail end of March.:

The inflight refuelling installation had been previously been completely removed so sourcing replacements components has been high on the job list for a while. This hydraulic actuator, removed from another airframe, needed a cosmetic tidy up before it gets reinstalled in XX764. The next job will be to find a refuelling pipe!

The cockpit side consoles panels have all received a fresh coat of paint and missing Dzus fasteners replaced where required. When I’m happy that I’m done in terms of cleaning up the cockpit these will get refitted.

I’ve also finally got back on to the chopped spine harness. In order to get the aircraft electrically safe when we re-apply power I need to get all the cut harnesses terminated and the wiring that runs along the spine of the aircraft terminated to reattach the wings and tail electrically. It’s definitely time-consuming task as I need to record all the wire ID’s as I fit the connectors so that the cables on the aircraft side all match up. There are around 15 cut points like this to terminate on the loom with the same still needing to be done on the aircraft side.

Even whilst we were under lockdown the hunt for missing parts and spares continued. March’s new arrivals were these:

One rather exciting this month find was the (almost) final missing unit to complete the cockpit fit. The Fusing Unit had eluded me up until now so it’s been good to finally track one down. It was cleaned up on the bench prior to taking over to Enstone.

So finally as the month drew to a close the restrictions lifted to the extent that we were able to return to Enstone and start making some in-roads into the job list. The first task was to check that there hadn’t been any major water ingress into the cockpit over the winter. The canopy and windscreen had been double covered with covers and then a tarpaulin but it was still relief to find the cockpit dry. I then set about refitting a few of the parts that had been on the bench over the winter including the refurbed Engine Start Panel, the standby compass and the newly acquired Fusing Panel.

I still have a few things to do in the cockpit in terms of cleaning etc and would like to source a HUD camera but this is the cockpit as it now sits today:

And in terms of the nose avionics bays it’s nice to see some real progress filling the holes we inherited when we bought the aircraft:

The end of lockdown and the road map for the lifting of restrictions still gives us cause for optimism in terms of being able to hold some form of Open House at some point during the summer, if there is sufficient interest. When I can finalise a date it will be communicated through our social media channels as well as here on the website.

Thanks, as always, to everyone that continues to support us with ongoing purchases from our merchandise range which all directly assist with the sourcing of further parts. This month’s new additions have been directly assisted by sales of merchandise as well as some of the surplus parts that we continue to sell through out ebay seller profile ‘jaguarXX764’.

This month we have also added to our small range of face coverings available through the Red Bubble website. Have a look here for more information: https://www.redbubble.com/people/NeilAtterbury/shop?asc=u

And finally, as usual, many thanks for sticking with us and the ongoing support and interest.

Neil