Please find below a summary of our progress on the restoration, preservation, and conservation of XS456. Should you wish to keep up to date in real time, then please follow us on one of our social media platforms. Or should you have any questions then please use the link above to contact us.
Our last update of the year to tell you of our winter plans, well in truth not too much in a physical sense. While we will keep on top of the general maintenance of the aircraft, we plan to have a little bit of a breather and concentrate on making sure we have everything in place for next years task list. This we hope will allow us to catch-up a little on what we have lost over the past two summers due to Covid . . . So, enjoy whatever you have planned over the festive season, and we look forward to seeing you all next year.
The winter covers are now back on signalling to end of another season.
After another restricted season due to the ongoing Covid virus, we have not managed to get everything done we would have liked. But it has given us time to finish lots of little jobs. One of those being to strip and fix the ERU in preparation for the replica missile.
With the weather playing ball for the last few months, it has allowed us to catch up on number of small but significant jobs.
The aircraft received her first pair of 'Bee sting' aerials since leaving Binbrook, leaving just one more aerial to install under the cockpit. We also managed to cure a knocking noise coming from the control column. This issue meant we temporarily had to install both stick tops, which is a rare sight.
The first of the planned summer external jobs has now been completed. The starboard D door has now been fully opened for the first time in over 10 years.
Along with the D door, '456 has had her first wash and wax of the year. This should help protect the paintwork for another year, but we plan to give her another one before the winter sets in. A number of other minor jobs will also be completed over the coming few months.
Work has finally started again on the aircraft. First job was to replace the winter cover with the canopy cover. Followed by mounting the new intake blank for the first time.
General maintenance has also taken place checking mainly for water internally and any other signs of damage, and thankfully there is nothing to report. So, long overdue work has started on cleaning up the self-centring unit.
With the general maintenance now in full swing, we have started on the major project for the winter months. While we are not able to obtain the real item, we have started work on a replica Firestreak missile. Once complete it will be installed on the weapons pack.
As for the aircraft herself, the normal winter checks are taking place regularly, checking for water leaks and general wear and tear. To date, we are pleased to say, she is holding well against the weather.
With the summer cut short due to the Covid-19 virus, we took the decision to have an extended winter maintenance period to catch up on a few odd jobs.
The first of those jobs to be completed was to make a new intake blank to replace the temporary metal one that was in place. Next up was starting on the anti-corrosion treatment of the internal airframe. This will be an ongoing task over her life span to reduce/stop any corrosion due to the salt air.