Below you will find the latest updates to both this website and the progress of the restoration of the aircraft. If you wish to keep more up-to-date with the restoration, then please follow us on Facebook.
With the aircraft now uncovered, several checks have been made to see how she has held-up over the winter. The results are very good with only a couple of leaks found. These will be addressed over the coming months.
In the meantime, work has started again on the cockpit phase of the restoration. The inner screen frame has been treated and re-painted, along with several items removed for individual work. The frame is the only thing in the cockpit that we intend to paint. Everything else where possible will be left in its 'used' condition so as not to lose either the feeling or smell. We will soon be turning our attention to the cockpit as a whole and giving everything a good clean and grease.
While things may appear quiet with '456, it couldn’t be further from the truth. We have made a number of visits to '456 over the winter to check on her condition following very high winds on a number of occasions. We are pleased to say that thankfully the she has suffered no damage and is top in good condition.
Our work plan for the year has been finalised and weather permitting it should be a very interesting year. We have also started on restoring the cockpit fairings that we removed last year. These should be ready to install back in '456 when we remove her winter cover in April. This will also coincide with the inside of the screen being repaired and painted. So, we are starting to gear up for what will hopefully be another very productive year.
With Christmas here again and the year drawing to an end, we would like to say a big 'thank you' to everyone that has helped and supported us during the year. We look forward to seeing you all again in 2018.
May you all have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Now the weather has finally turned, '456 has now been covered up for the winter. But not before a number of items were removed for us to work on during the winter months. As you can see from the image all the fairings have been removed along with a number of instruments. All of which will be receiving some TLC over the coming weeks.
But we will not be resting there. We have already started drawing up plans for next year's jobs. These mainly include internal work on the airframe, but if we have another year like this year weather wise, then we may have time to look at the electrics and hydraulics. Overall, we think we are about 8-10 months in front of our planned schedule, but we also know this can change very quickly. So, while our luck holds we'll keep pushing the project forward.
With the run of good luck weather wise that we've had, the cockpit restoration has gone better than planned. This has resulted in a number jobs that we had planned for next year have been completed early. The control columns, rudder pedals and throttle boxes have all been freed up and working in sync. The major thing to tackle in the cockpit in freeing up the Ram Air Valve.
While waiting for the valve to free up, we've started work on stripping out the instruments for cleaning/repairing. This will also allow us to check the condition of not only the wiring but also the main create itself. We will also be able have better access to the inside of the screen for painting. So, all in all the restoration is still going well and no major problems have been found to date.
The weather has been very kind of late allowing us to get a fair amount of work done. Along with the normal general maintenance, we have managed to free the control columns and get them working in sync with each other. To add to this the rudder pedals have also been freed off and are also running in sync with each other. This puts us ahead of our planned schedule, so with fingers crossed we can start on some extra jobs.
Away from the restoration of the XS456, she has received some very exotic visitors over the past few months. The first visitor was a very nice Focke Wulf P-149 'Screaming Eagle'. This was followed by the very recognisable and seen CA-18 Mustang 22 'Big Beautiful Doll'. We look forward to seeing what else may appear on the airfield over the coming months.
Work is slowly gathering pace with the weather now starting to pick up. The covers have now been removed for the summer and the final few decals have also now been applied. As mentioned before, most the work this year will be taking place internally, but we will not be neglecting the general maintenance of the exterior.
On a different note, we have received an extremely generous donation from WO Damien O'reilly (retd) in the form of 2 complete control columns. These were items we were not expecting to find, so we would like to say a very big "thank you" and it's very much appreciated. Both columns along with the missing gauges will be fitted once work starts on the cockpit phase of the project.
A short update on what's currently happening with 456. She has survived the recent high winds here on the East Coast without any damage thankfully. General maintenance has continued throughout the winter months.
We are well under way with preperations for the next phase of the restoration. This involves cleaning/treating and repairing the inside of the airframe. So even though it may appear from the outside that nothing is being done, please rest assured we are still very busy at it behind the scenes.
Visitors are still more than welcome to come and view 456 during the year. But please contact us first so we can make sure there is someone there to show you around the aircraft.