Archive News

AUGUST 2021 UPDATE: Slightly more on time this month!

Although I’ve lost a couple of weeks this month due to work commitments in France, there are still a couple of areas that we’ve made some progress in and of course early in the month we held our Open House day.

A few panels opened up on our Open House Day. Photo courtesy of Neil Hutchinson Photography.

We finally were able to welcome a few visitors to Enstone for our 2021 Open House. Many thanks to those that took the time to pre-register and then brave a fairly poor weather forecast for what turned out to be a fairly average British Summer Day.

Hopefully everyone that came found it interesting and huge thanks to those that made donations and bought some of our merchandise.

If you came and I didn’t get a chance to have a chat over the course of the day, apologies.

A nice cockpit study from the Open Day by Dave Griffiths Images.

Subsequent to the Open Day a few more tasks on the aircraft have been ticked off the ‘to do’ lists. The throttle rods have been reconnected in the left hand console (after the seized throttles were removed to free them off) and the repainted side panels have been refitted.

In the fin the missing ILS aerial baluns have been sourced and fitted.

And in the cockpit the damaged glare shield on the PWR Repeater panel has been removed and a new one has been fabricated.

On the starboard side the missing Refuel Panel has been refitted having been tested prior on the bench to make sure all the annunciators illuminate (not that I anticipate actually really using it).

And finally, our tall set of steps have received some love – and an additional coat of paint.

Thanks, as always, for the ongoing interest and support.

Neil

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JULY 2021 UPDATE: Hmmm, well having been a bit tardy in getting the site updated for June going into July, I’m in exactly the same boat for July into August. Apologies for that.

In terms of progress on the aircraft this month most of the focus has been in catching up with fitting a few items ahead of the Open House day (last weekend – a full update on that in August’s end of month round up).

I’ve finally got round to completing the nosing refurb (the first image gives an idea of the starting point). The clips securing the wiring on the starboard side and pipework on the port were fitted after the photos were taken. The new paintwork still looks a bit fresh but I’m sure it will tone down with a bit of weathering. It’s been a bit of a long slog but it’s nice to get this now looking fairly tidy. There is still plenty to do in the nosewheel bay but getting the leg finished and the door refitted is a decent start.



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Starboard side console panels fitted.

Having sourced the final missing unit for the starboard console in the cockpit it was just a case of giving it all a final eyeball over and hoover out before fitting the repainted side panels.



Arrestor hook installed

Having worked my way around (and spending a small fortune) replacing the heat shield bolts I turned my attention to getting the arrestor hook refitted. There was the not-so-small task of overcoming the powerful extension spring which, with the hook removed, was locked at 90 degrees to the airframe. A copious amount of swearing as well as a decent level of brute force seemed to do the trick but to err on the safe side the hook is not under it’s in-service spring tension. I do have the proper ground lock pin somewhere but can’t put my hand on it immediately so a temporary bolt was initially fitted to hold the hook in place. The access hatches to the lower bolts for the tailplane PFCU’s are removed as the tail area is still on the to-do list.



LRMTS head fitted

And finally this month I refitted the Laser Ranger and Marked Target Seeker (LRMTS) head unit in the nose chisel. I’d sourced this unit a fair while ago now but wanted to get the air conditioning system around the laser installed as well, the cooling fans and door actuators had all long since gone but this area is all complete now.

As mentioned earlier last weekend (7th Aug) saw our 2021 Open House. I’ll do a proper write-up on this for the end of August update.

Thanks, as always, for the ongoing interest and support.

Neil



JUNE 2021 UPDATE: Well, firstly apologies that this update comes a few days late as we are now well into July, I’ll try and be more prompt going forwards.

June has seen progress in several areas, some of which I am focussing on ahead of our Open House which is still on course for August the 7th. More details on that further down the page.

One avionics unit I don’t really anticipate being able to locate is the Laser Electronics Unit that would have lived in the lower access panel under the main avionics bays, so when this original dummy ballast unit became available it was the perfect opportunity to fill the aperture with the next best alternative.

Hidden message!

It’s always nice to stumble on some hidden treasure and these messages written on the inner face of the Ajax cover panel were a bonus find when cleaning the panel. If you can’t quite make it out it reads “From Abingdon with all our love – Back to you with laughter”

I’m continuing to make progress revealing the painted-over 226OCU squadron emblems on the intakes, this is the port side.

And the stbd tail number is also starting to reappear.

I’ve been able to source original spec bolts to replace the heavily corroded fasteners on the rear heatshields. Not cheap but they look infinitely better than the bolts coming out (some of which needed some heavy persuasion!)

Having accumulated all the parts required to rebuild the missing in-flight refuelling probe and arm installation it was time to refit the arm assembly. I still need to install the electric linear motor that opens the lower door but it’s 95% done now and looks the part. Eventually (!!) I’d really like to be able to extend this using the hydraulics – we’ll see if that’s a realistic aim at a later date!

And finally for this month, I have managed to locate a tail unit to be able to kit one of our 1000lb bombs. This Mk117 retarded tail has petals which open with a stowed parachute inside (photo of a deployed tail from the Newark Air Museum for reference).

As mentioned earlier we are still ‘All Systems Go’ for our Open House on Saturday August 7th. There is now a dedicated page here on the website (Open House 2021 tab in the main menus) and it would be greatly appreciated if you could take the time to register on the Eventbrite link. Although we should be clear of the current Covid restrictions by early August (I say that hopefully!!) registering will give us much better visibility on the numbers to anticipate welcoming and will help with the catering arrangements etc.

Thanks, as always, for the ongoing interest and support and I hope to be able to meet a few of you personally at Enstone on August the 7th.

Neil

MAY 2021 UPDATE: Well the promise of April soon gave way to a particularly wet May here in the UK with many of our visits to Enstone greeted with heavy skies and a lot of rain.

That said, I’ve still been able to make progress in a few areas not least of which was the sourcing of further previously missing parts and some additional spares for parts we already have on the shelf. With the aspiration still to return electrical power (at a minimum) to the aircraft and the serviceability of most of our parts being unknown it never hurts to have a few items in the back pocket just in case.

Flap control units and cockpit lighting tubes.
Various ‘new’ avionics units.

I’ve also found a new Electrical Bay cover which will hugely help keeping the Avionics bays dry(er).

There has been further progress in terms of restoring the completeness of the forward avionics bay with the sourcing of the last missing valve in the avionics cooling installation and the parts to complete the Rad Alt transceiver and Mode Selector switch junction box installation.

Laser bay ejector valve installed.

Rad Alt and Mode Switch installation.
‘Special Weapons’ Junction Box.

Meanwhile, on the bench, our ‘new’ Primary Heat Exchanger has been built up ready for it’s eventual installation back on the spine of the aircraft.

Primary Heat Exchanger Assembly.

Looking slightly further ahead to the summer, I’m pleased to be able to announce that we have set a date for an ‘Open House’ day at Enstone for Saturday, August the 7th.

This will be an opportunity to come and visit the aircraft and hopefully see some of the progress we’ve made since our last open day in 2019.

Obviously this will be hugely dependant on the relevant Covid restrictions and protocols that may be in place at the time but hopefully we’ll be able to hold this as a relatively normal event.

I’ll keep the website and our various social media channels up to date as regards plans.

There is an ‘event’ set-up on our Facebook page to be able to register and interest and I’ll see if it’s possible to create something similar on here as we’ll need to have a reasonable idea of numbers as regards catering etc.

I had thought that at sometime during the course of the day we’ll remove a few of the external panels from the aircraft (if it’s of interest) for the keener modellers to be able to see a few of the internal parts and units. If there are any other requests or ideas that anyone would like for the day please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll see what we can accommodate.

Obviously we’ll have most of our merchandise range also available as well as probably a few surplus Jaguar parts and collectables. Catering will be available on the day from the Flying Club.

And finally – don’t forget June the 20th is Fathers Day! There is still time to order Dad something Jaguar related so have a look at the merchandise page as there is something for every budget.

Thanks, as always, for the ongoing interest and support and I hope to be able to meet a few of you personally at Enstone on August the 7th.

Neil

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APRIL 2021 UPDATE: Thankfully the gradual releasing of the COVID restrictions have meant we can really start to get back into the various joblists that have been on the back burner for most of the winter. April has seen progress on a number of fronts and it’s good to be back at Enstone on a regular basis (work commitments allowing) to move things forwards.

One of the first major tasks this month was to rebuild the cockpit air conditioning system that was completely missing when we bought the aircraft. Over time I have been rebuilding a kit of parts to refit the installation. It’s all now back in and the aft section of the nosewheel bay is pretty much complete. There’s a fair amount of wire locking to work around but I’ll hit that all in one go at a later date.



The refurbed Inflight Refuelling probe actuator has been refitted (more wire locking on the to-do list





We have also finally managed to track down an IFR pipe. It has a coupling adaptor and light pipe fitted but I have both in better condition in our parts stash so these will be swapped over before the pipe is fitted.



A major area of focus this month has been the noseleg. It was really starting to suffer from surface corrosion (I think it’s a cast magnesium alloy) so it has been thoroughly cleaned back to stabilise the condition and then filled and primed prior to repainting. It’s work in progress but is starting to look a lot better.



In the cockpit the aft bulkhead has been re-blacked where the original paint had badly faded. I’ve also sourced a cockpit altitude switch which has been cleaned up and fitted.



I’ve also had a play around and double-checked the fit of our ERU’s on one of the practice bombs.



And finally for this month we have been trialling some paint restoration. I’d thought that the paint was beyond help (in some areas it definitely is) but a complete repaint at the moment is a big financial step. In the meantime we can definitely give the exterior a freshen up and I have a few ideas on getting some life back into the grey next.


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This month’s big merchandise news was the launch of our bespoke T-Shirt range, produced in association with our friends over at Flyingraphics (www.flyingraphics.com). Available both through the merchandise page here on the site (to UK buyers) and internationally through our eBay seller account (search for ‘jaguarXX764’) the shirts are available in four colours and a full range of sizes. Many thanks to everyone who has already purchased shirts (some of the benefits are already being seen in the tasks detailed above). As always with all our merchandise sales, the proceeds roll directly back to benefit the aircraft.





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

Neil

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MARCH 2021 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