DECEMBER UPDATE: Well – the end of November came and we emerged from Lockdown….only to get to just before Christmas and the country basically descended into a repeat scenario. With the weather also against us its been another month basically lost to advancing on-aircraft tasks.
There have been a couple of areas of progress and the most obvious is the appearance of a pair of 1000lb practice bombs at Enstone.
The Tornado specific MACE suspension lugs have now been removed and I need to now find two tails and suspension lugs to suit, but these will, when hung on the outboard pylons, give a load-out similar to this image that has come from the web:
Away from the aircraft there are still plenty of sub-assembly tasks to work through. This Supplies Junction Box came to me as a swap for a unit I had. All the switches have been tested and found to be fine but the panel illumination filaments had all blown – in the aircraft this box sits directly under the stbd canopy rim and can be susceptible to water ingress. The unit was stripped back, the filaments replaced and the circuit board resealed with a conformal coating.
We’ve also had an opportunity to have a sort out at our secondary storage container. These Adour after-burner sections will eventually be fitted to give the impression of ‘real’ engine back ends and will improve the aesthetics at the back of the aircraft.
Also this month we were sent some images of XX764 at her previous owners parts reclamation workshop. It’s always great to see pictures like this to see how the aircraft ‘completeness’ dwindled over time. Thanks to Gina Hallett for sending these through.
So with 2020 fading fast (and not quickly enough for most of us!) thoughts move to making tentative plans for the aims for 2021. Repairing the spine harness and making good the chopped wiring issues should see some progress in terms of reestablishing power on the aircraft. Internal DC from the battery initially, then AC from the (hopefully serviceable) static inverter and then finally, external 3 phase AC. This will also mean that we get the external power generator working again!
On the aircraft itself work will continue in terms of cleaning and re-sourcing missing parts.
I’m not sure that I can aim to get to paint in 2021. It’s going to be a costly exercise and one that will take a fair amount of planning especially with the aircraft being outside full time. At the moment I have more pressing tasks to attend to.
And – hopefully in 2021, we’ll be able to welcome visitors back on a more ‘normal’ basis.
So, to finish, I hope all have had as good a Christmas as circumstances have allowed and here’s to a better New Year, I know it’s been a tough year for many.
Finally, as always, thanks for the ongoing support and interest.