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 year. This should help protect the paintwork for another year, but we plan to give her another before the winter sets in.
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.
While work has once again started on the aircraft, we are also playing catch-up at the same time. So, with this we have had to prioritise the workload and only concentrate on any major concerns.
First up was an overdue wash and wax which we hope to do again before winter sets in. We have also stated work on some external corrosion which has come to light after an inspection.