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.
22nd October 2017
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.
6th August 2017
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.
10th June 2017
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.
9th April 2017
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.
19th February 2017
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.
23rd December 2016
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 in 2017.
May you all have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
4th November 2016
Now that the weather has finally started to turn we've started wrapping up our main work on her. We have very nearly completed all the external markings with only a few left to apply. These will be done as soon as there's a break in the weather.
As you can see from the image, she now has her new winter cover on. This will stay on until the weather picks up next year. Coupled with the new coat of paint, this should keep out the worst of the weather and protect what we have achieved throughout the year.
Only general maintenance will take place now over the winter months. But this does not mean that we will be idle. We have already started drawing up what we want to achieve next year and wheels will be set in motion to help us achieve this.
5th October 2016
With the painting now complete, our attention has turned to applying all the original external markings. As some people will already know, there are lots of markings both big and small to be applied. But after just two sessions the difference is noticeable.
In addition to the external markings, XS456 will also wear the names of two former pilots in recognition of her service life. One of these will be the pilot with the most flying hours in her. Both names will be revealed at a later date, so watch this space. Or if you have Facebook please watch our page for the announcement. Eight former ground crew names will also be placed on the nose wheel doors.
Once all the external markings have been applied our attention will switch to attaching her new covers and basic maintenance to see her through the winter.
28th August 2016
Work has now finished on repainting XS456. All that is left to do is apply the external safety markings etc and a little bit of touching up. Along with her new paint, she is now also adorning a pitot tube for the first time in many years. This will not be left in place, but will be attached for photography and shows.
With the summer slowly coming to an end, work will alter soon to mainly routine maintenance in the coming weeks. But the work will continue behind the scenes planning next year’s jobs.
31st July 2016
We are pleased to announce that work has now started on repainting XS456. It is expected that it will take around 4-8 weeks to complete, then a further 2-4 weeks for all the external graphics to be applied. It is hoped that the full repaint and graphics will be complete by mid-September weather permitting.
More up to date information can be found on our Facebook page on not only the repaint, but all other aspects of the restoration.