Vulcan To The Sky - Forums

Anything Else => Aviation Waffle => Topic started by: Sad Sam on March 12, 2017, 05:03:00 PM

Title: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
Post by: Sad Sam on March 12, 2017, 05:03:00 PM
There used to be two and now there is only one.

She's a game old bird, a genuine WW2 veteran and participant in the Berlin airlift.

She is up for sale on this web site.  https://www.historicandclassicaircraftsales.com/skymaster

They have a facebook page running and I noticed some one with vulcan to the sky club as their user name had liked some comments.

https://www.facebook.com/savetheskymaster/

Some nice pics on there of the aircraft over her long and varied carrer.  It would be nice if her long life did not end up as baked bean tins in an Eping supermarket.

And yes this is another Bee in my Bonnet (to go along with the Mosquito, the Shackleton, the Canberra, the Gannett, the Walrus, the Blenheim, the Hunters and Just Jane) perhaps if they all come off I'll have my own airshow!

Watch this space.
Title: Re: Douglas DC4 at North Weald
Post by: steve w on March 12, 2017, 05:53:53 PM
Hi Sam, please can I add the Bristol Beaufighter at Duxford to your virtual reality airshow?
Title: Re: Douglas DC4 at North Weald
Post by: Sad Sam on March 12, 2017, 08:06:58 PM
You could, but that is not a project I have any involvement with.

I think there is a problem with engines for that project.

Duxford for some reason do not seem to want to talk to me.
Title: Re: Douglas DC4 at North Weald
Post by: eddief on March 17, 2017, 10:15:49 PM
Just makes me wish I was fifteen years younger and an AWFUL lot richer.  Such an opportunity for somebody with cash and a passion for gorgeous aircraft...
Title: Re: Douglas DC4 at North Weald
Post by: Sad Sam on March 30, 2017, 11:57:43 AM
Report for the DC4 is now submitted just got to sit back and wait now.

I talked to the fella sorting the sale yesterday and he has a plan b which sounds just as interesting.

Back to the day job...
Title: Re: Douglas DC4 at North Weald
Post by: Sad Sam on April 01, 2017, 01:43:42 PM
Bugger...

Plan A has failed.

Onto plan B.

Standby as plan E or F is crowd funding the restoration, doing a couple of seasons then selling to the highest bidder...
Title: Re: Douglas DC4 at North Weald
Post by: Sad Sam on April 16, 2017, 10:46:24 PM
I feel right at home now.

The aviation enthusiasts/experts on UKARSE have now spotted the facebook page and have now honoured us with our very own thread.

The resident mouth on a stick (Dan O Hating) has given his expert opinion that 914 is so rotten that £30K would not even get her back to ground running - just as well he's a commentator not an engineer.

The thread has now degenerated into a slagging match for any one who dares to try and return an aircraft to flight. I must look up the definition of "aviation enthusiast" because the guys who post on there don't seem very enthusiastic about anything aviation related...
Title: Re: Douglas DC4 at North Weald
Post by: dee on April 17, 2017, 07:30:59 AM
Dan o hatefilled is an A***!!
Title: Re: Douglas DC4 at North Weald
Post by: JACKB on April 17, 2017, 03:02:19 PM
I think that it would be nice to see the Skymaster flying again would be a great edition to any airshow just sad that when something good is mentioned on UKAR they always play it down and as Sam said they turn it into a slagging match.
Title: Re: Douglas DC4 at North Weald
Post by: sickbag_andy on April 19, 2017, 01:54:23 PM
good luck with the project Sam, here are a couple of pics of it that I took last June at the Air Britain fly in:

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7451/27724765961_af2a3ff9c0_o.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/JeWF1e)N44914 (56498 'Atlantic Diviusion') C.54, North Weald 18-6-2016 6280 (https://flic.kr/p/JeWF1e) by Andrew Goldsmith (https://www.flickr.com/photos/125470545@N07/), on Flickr

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7116/27765412716_5541c631e3_o.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/JiwZSm)N44914 (56498 'Atlantic Diviusion') C.54, North Weald 18-6-2016 6296 (https://flic.kr/p/JiwZSm) by Andrew Goldsmith (https://www.flickr.com/photos/125470545@N07/), on Flickr

all the best

Andy
Title: Re: Douglas DC4 at North Weald
Post by: CLIFFORD on April 19, 2017, 04:10:32 PM
good luck Sam ;)
Title: Re: Douglas DC4 at North Weald
Post by: Sad Sam on April 19, 2017, 11:51:47 PM
Thanks for the pics Andy,

The last time I went down there (a couple of weeks ago) most of the cars had been moved from underneath the wings.

I have finally succumbed to a farcebook account in order to post updates on there.

https://www.facebook.com/savetheskymaster/?pnref=story

It's an open page so anyone can read what is going on.

The crowd funding idea is looking more likely now though we are still pursuing other options.

The more I think about it I quite like the idea as it means we will keep the aircraft here which will put a little bit of variety into the airshow scene.

If we follow the crowd funding plan there will be a new web site if you don't want to follow the project on facebook.
Title: Re: Douglas DC4 at North Weald
Post by: dee on April 20, 2017, 07:45:11 AM
Well to say i dont like Prop jobs, i actually like this one!!

Could the 'club; do some fund raising ??!!
Title: Re: Douglas DC4 at North Weald
Post by: Sad Sam on April 20, 2017, 08:42:45 PM
The club would be more than welcome to get involved.

I think there are quite a few familiar names following the facebook page.

This will be a big project, not as much of a money pit as 558 but with a great story to tell.

The cold war is now part of the curriculum so there will be interest from schools as she really is a bit of living history.

We plan to have access to the aircraft for the supporters with organised visits, events, the chance to help out getting your hands dirty and we hope flights as well.

It's all a dream at the moment but one we need to act on soon if we want to save her from the breakers and be ready for next year.

Lots of interest in my post yesterday (ok yes so I see the point of farcebook - it will be nice if we can turn those "likes" in into Pounds Sterling)

https://www.facebook.com/savetheskymaster/?pnref=story
Title: Re: Douglas DC4 at North Weald
Post by: sickbag_andy on April 24, 2017, 01:58:04 PM
I think that it would be nice to see the Skymaster flying again would be a great edition to any airshow just sad that when something good is mentioned on UKAR they always play it down and as Sam said they turn it into a slagging match.

there are people on UKAR who appear to want every restoration projetc to fail which is a bit odd as they are often moaning that there is nothing new on the airshow circuit ::).
However on the positive side a couple of the mods on UKAR are regular visitors to north Weald so maybe once they see things happening they may post comments in a more favourable light to counter the normal doom-mongers that they attract on UKAR.
Title: Re: Douglas DC4 at North Weald
Post by: Sad Sam on April 24, 2017, 11:30:20 PM
Evening all.

We have now launched a "just giving page" to save the Skymaster.

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/save-the-skymaster?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Yimbyprojectpage&utm_campaign=projectpage-share-owner&utm_term=XNYE5gVJ8

The target is £65,000 which will allow us to buy the aircraft from the current owners.  There will then be further appeals to raise the funds to restore her to flight.  If you donate and we don't raise the target funds there is a facility to refund and money donated.

Have a look at Facebook page to see some of the history (also a chance to see some of the work that will be involved)  I posted some pictures of the corrosion on the spar caps and within hours I have three guys telling me the work could not be done...

https://www.facebook.com/savetheskymaster/?pnref=story

All good fun.
Title: Re: Douglas DC4 at North Weald
Post by: dee on April 25, 2017, 08:19:19 AM
Donated, Good luck!!
Title: Re: Douglas DC4 at North Weald
Post by: Sad Sam on April 25, 2017, 08:02:26 PM
Thank you Dee.

Some other familiar names on there now.

We have raised £160 so far, long way to go yet but from little acorns...

I had a long chat with Allan Vogel this afternoon and he has had some more good news with regard to the avionics which he will be telling the world about soon  ;D
Title: Re: Douglas DC4 at North Weald
Post by: PhillyJ on April 26, 2017, 10:14:12 AM
Hey Sam, is there any other way to donate as I'm starting to get a bit peeved about how much JustGiving have made from my donations over the many years that I've given to various charidees.
Title: Re: Douglas DC4 at North Weald
Post by: Sad Sam on April 26, 2017, 11:52:04 AM
I shall ask the question.

You could contact Allan Vogel directly, his contact e-mail is on the "save the skymaster" facebook page.

I think from the fundraisers point of view the "Just giving" site is very easy to set up - I know it took only a few hours for it to go live after I was told it was happening.

I have never given a thought to "Just Giving" making money from donations but I guess they must do as I'm sure they are not a charity.

You could always send it to me directly - my bank account account details are .....  ;)
Title: Re: Douglas DC4 at North Weald
Post by: PhillyJ on April 26, 2017, 02:36:26 PM
You could always send it to me directly - my bank account account details are .....  ;)
Cheers Sam, Just Giving do make money out of fundraising which I'd never given a thought to until I heard it mentioned from a pledge that made a ridiculous amount of money and someone queried how much of that would go to them...from their website -

"JustGiving takes a 5% fee from each donation made through the site (which we take from the Gift Aid we reclaim). In return we help people raise more money, more efficiently. By leaving the costly and time-consuming stuff to us, charities can spend more time, energy and money on doing good."

So not a great deal, but it all adds up I guess.

I will send money direct to you once Kofi Annan has finished depositing the $3.5 million dollars to my account that he promised towards the end of next year, I'm sure it should have arrived by now...  :P
Title: Re: Douglas DC4 at North Weald
Post by: Sad Sam on April 26, 2017, 06:01:37 PM
No worries, I will await your deposit with interest (which I will then charge back to Koffi  ;))

I have spoken to Allan today and he will be setting up a ring fenced account so that funds can be directly deposited to support the restoration.

If the project does not happen we will be able to return the funds to the originator.
Title: Re: Douglas DC4 at North Weald
Post by: leslie on April 26, 2017, 06:59:37 PM
The BT fundraising page doesn't make any charges I believe. They are a business they have to keep going some how
Title: Re: Douglas DC4 at North Weald
Post by: sickbag_andy on April 30, 2017, 01:03:55 PM
Justgiving do charge quite heavily but on the plus side if it's a charity then they can accept gift aid easily without much hassle for the page owner. Agree that otherwise it is better to avoid their charges.
Title: Re: Douglas Skymaster at North Weald
Post by: Sad Sam on May 13, 2017, 12:07:13 AM
Some big news coming along soon with the Skymaster so worth keeping an eye on the facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/savetheskymaster/?pnref=story

We have heard back from the Smithsonian who have sent a copy of the aircraft's allocation records.  While it is disappointing that she is not a veteran of the airlift she does have a connection as she was part of Navy Squadron VR6 in 1946.  She has certainly made a contribution to Americas War efforts in the 20th century being involved in WW2, Korea and Vietnam!

Some great pictures being posted on the facebook page which make you realise what the guys went through back in the day.
Title: Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
Post by: Sad Sam on May 15, 2017, 11:13:17 PM
The news has been announced today that the owner of Douglas C54Q Skymaster registration N44914 (United States Bua No.56498) has gifted the aircraft to the group that intends to return the aircraft to the air. 

The week after Vulcan to the Sky trust told me my services were no longer required I took a phone call asking me to go to North Weald to look at the DC4 which was parked there.  After a brief bit of research on the net I went down to London to have a look at the aircraft and meet the potential new owners.

Despite a lot of gloom and doom which had been written on various internet forums (including the inevitable experts on UKARSE) I found the aircraft to be in quite reasonable condition and well within a repairable standard.

I wrote a report for the potential client but sadly they were unable to go ahead with the project.  There were a few other people interested in the aircraft but I had a think about and came to the conclusion that it would be quite nice t have a flying class room in the UK and Europe which would give people an insight into what the airlift actually involved, we are quite used now to disaster relief operations with planes flying hundreds of tons of supplies in at short notice.  Berlin was the start of all that but carried out with very inferior equipment.

Although 498 was not part of the airlift she does have a connection being on the strength of one of the Squadrons a few months before the siege started.  She does however have a great story to tell outside of the airlift due to her participation in not just one but three major conflicts during the later part of the 20th century.

As I no longer get to play with the Vulcan I can now concentrate my efforts on getting this old warbird back in the air.  I would like to think that people who liked and followed the Vulcan would also be interested in the Skymaster.  I hope to be able to deliver on some of the things that were promised and never happend.  There will be access to the aircraft, there will be a chance to get involved, including getting your hands dirty if you desire.  There may well also be the opportunity to fly in the aircraft.

As I say I have written a plan on how I propose to get 498 back in the air.  My next task is raising some money so that I can get to playing with something old and noisy!

Look in on the facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/savetheskymaster/?pnref=story  It's an open page so anyone can look and so far we have avoided any nastiness...
Title: Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
Post by: brains_mt on May 18, 2017, 12:15:41 PM
Malcolm and I have had a really good meeting yesterday with Allan Vogel, and Henry Hyde (owner) and his wife. We have talked about shows and merchandise and how to move the fundraising forward. We have discussed a name for the group and all sorts of things. However what we need now us as much support as possible and that includes money. You know what we've always asked for is small amounts from lots of people so please if you can, make a donation however small (or large!!) And we can get this aircraft back in the air. The cost is nowhere near that needed for more complex aircraft. The plans are so exciting and include taking her around the world to all the places she used to go to. But she will live here!
Please help this fledgling project. Share the love guys  :-)

Meanwhile please also keep helping 558. She will need our support to carry her into the next phase but there are some really good and exciting projects out there too so we need to spread it about a bit too  ;) :)
Title: Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
Post by: StAthan lecky on May 18, 2017, 07:02:50 PM
How about diverting the residual Club funds to either this project or the "Just Jane" project ? far more credible than further donations to the VTTS Trust money pit !!
Title: Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
Post by: sickbag_andy on May 18, 2017, 08:57:33 PM
How about diverting the residual Club funds to either this project or the "Just Jane" project ? far more credible than further donations to the VTTS Trust money pit !!

that is a nice idea but I very much doubt it could be done legally. I believe part of the agreement to wind up the club and integrate was that the funds would be handed over to the Trust. I think it would be a case of forming a new supporters group for the Skymaster and starting from scratch albeit with a bit of accrued experience in fundraising.
Title: Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
Post by: Sad Sam on May 19, 2017, 12:24:35 PM
As the aircraft has now been donated to the group the target for the first phase has been reduced to £50,000 and the deadline has been moved out to 95 days  ;D which will pay for the aircraft parking fee for a year (around £4,000) and start to pay for things like the fabric covering of the flying controls (around £17,000), manpower for the structural repairs (about £70,000) and the cost of the prop overhaul (about £16,000).

The intention will be to keep a rolling fund raising campaign going on just giving along with conventional fund raising such as mail shots, magazine articles and airshow stands selling merchandise.

There will be a conventional bank account set up for those that do not want to give via just giving or text so you will be able to set up a standing order to donate monthly (that will be another one for me to donate to!)

Large numbers of people donating small amounts is the way to go with this.

With the donations over the last few days (thank you all very much) we are now up to 1% of the total...
Title: Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
Post by: brains_mt on May 30, 2017, 05:44:24 PM
They don't want me on UKAR!!! :( I've tried to log in to no avail and I've tried several ways to contact the admin and had no response.

I'm not THAT bad am I ???? ;) ;) ;D ;D
Title: Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
Post by: Sad Sam on June 28, 2017, 12:05:44 AM
Time to bump this thread as it's dropped off the radar in the last couple of months.

Our friends at spotter magazine have published an article about the Skymaster.

https://issuu.com/spottermagazine/docs/spotter_issue_13

As you may have seen we have had our first event at North Weald which was an encouraging start with over 150 people visiting the aircraft and buying some stuff from the stand we had set up.

We have a stand booked at RIAT and will have the first of our T shirts on sale along with some stickers and pens.  Come along and say hello (you'll probably meet some familiar faces) we will be in the Red Zone.

The face book page is still going well with over 1100 people following the page now.

https://www.facebook.com/savetheskymaster/?pnref=story

Just giving is a bit slow with just over £700 raised, thank you to everyone who has contributed.

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/save-the-skymaster?utm_id=107&utm_term=7dVA6gqmZ

Really enjoying working on this and looking forward to returning this old warbird back to her rightful place in the sky - she will be the only flying Skymaster in the Northern hemisphere and possibly the only one in the world.

Title: Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
Post by: dee on June 28, 2017, 08:06:11 AM
Just popped a donation in..
Title: Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
Post by: brains_mt on June 28, 2017, 10:01:05 AM
You star!!
 ;D
Title: Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
Post by: Sad Sam on June 28, 2017, 11:01:57 PM
Thanks for your support we are up to £750 now  ;D
Title: Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
Post by: StAthan lecky on June 29, 2017, 09:46:17 AM
Made a donation,this needs a boost of some sort to get it moving quicker

Mike
Title: Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
Post by: Sad Sam on June 29, 2017, 11:34:43 PM
We should have our own web site up and running by the time we get to Fairford.

RIAT is the big launch where we are going to show people we mean business.

This time next year we will be getting ready to put 498 in the static park at RIAT 2018 to comemorate 70 years since the start of the Berlin Airlift.

Thank you for your donation Mike, it's appreciated.

Title: Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
Post by: Sad Sam on August 25, 2017, 11:24:01 PM
Well sorry to say the Website is still not up and running which is a shame.  I have seen the prototype (or whatever the IT people call the thing before it's released) and it looks very good.

We had a fairly good show at Fairford though a booth in the Red sheds was perhaps not the right choice as it was very difficult to get peoples attention.  If you happened to wander past with a Vulcan shirt on I apologize but it was a good way of getting your attention.  There was a lot of interest in the project which was very encouraging.  We covered our costs and started on our journey to educate people on the role of the Skymaster in the Airlift and the cold war.

Our Just giving page has run its course and raised just over £1000,  Not quite the amount we hoped to achieve but it's a start.  This money will go towards the stock which we have purchased to sell at the shows, which then goes into the pot to pay for me to fix the aircraft.  We will be launching some more smaller appeals on just giving, hope fully if the amount is smaller it will seem to more achievable and people will be more willing to donate.  The idea is to have specific things we are raising funds for.  The first will probably be to pay for the wheels and tyres to be replaced which will probably cost about £2000 by the time we have got all the kit in one place and I've spent a week on the airfield.  After that we will be looking for some funds to hire a crane to get the props and flying controls removed.

I have been spending a lot of time reading the maintenance manuals and working out what work will be relevant to our return to flight maintenance program.  I have a meeting later this month with the FAA to discuss the work we will be carrying out which is all very exciting and interesting.

Plans are moving on quite quickly now as the project gains momentum and a life of it's own.  We have had a small feature in the news section of "Flypast" and "Spotter" magazine was kind enough to do a three page feature for us  https://issuu.com/spottermagazine/docs/spotter_issue_13.  There should be an article in the German classic aircraft  magazine "Flugzeug Classic" next month.  There is understandably a lot of interest in the aircraft in Germany.

We have been invited to attend an event in Berlin in June 2019!  https://www.facebook.com/BerlinAirlift70/  The target is to fly next year and it will be great to be part of this great commemoration.
Title: Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
Post by: dee on August 26, 2017, 07:52:38 AM
Thanks for the update Sam, onwards and upwards!!
Title: Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
Post by: Sad Sam on November 27, 2017, 05:56:19 PM
Sorry to repeat myself but the Website is still not up and running which is a shame.  Our main presence for the moment is still the Farcebook page  https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=save%20the%20skymaster

We had another good show at Scampton, once again we covered our costs and met lots more people who were interested in what we were about.  The pitch was a bit better though still a bit out of the way.  Lots of Vulcan people came by and we were helped out by Sean and Jack - much appreciated.  We have also had a couple of open days over at North Weald which have been very successful.  We will be having another one at North Weald next weekend.

We have launched another just giving page, this time for £10,000 which will pay for ground equipment to replace the main and nosewheel, a container to hold the merchandising stock, ground equipment and spares from Canada and a partial inspection of the engines by Weald Aviation - who we hope will be overhauling all six of our engines.  Read more on the just giving page here:- https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/c-54skymaster

We have been invited to attend an event in Berlin in June 2019!  https://www.facebook.com/BerlinAirlift70/  The target is to fly next year and it will be great to be part of this great commemoration.
Title: Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
Post by: planenut on November 27, 2017, 06:24:59 PM
We have been invited to attend an event in Berlin in June 2019!  https://www.facebook.com/BerlinAirlift70/  The target is to fly next year and it will be great to be part of this great commemoration.

That would be wonderful considering the work done by this type of aircraft.

Thanks Sam
Title: Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
Post by: Sad Sam on November 28, 2017, 11:16:04 AM
We could do with a few people donating and sharing the links to get the ball rolling or 498 will end up just sitting there thinking about what might have been!

 https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/c-54skymaster

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=save%20the%20skymaster

https://www.facebook.com/BerlinAirlift70/

I have spoken to my partner in crime today and the Skymaster registration should be transferred to the society this week.

We hope the website will be up and running this weekend as well.

A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes - now there should be some visible progress.
Title: Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
Post by: dee on November 28, 2017, 12:41:20 PM
Popped a small donation in.
Title: Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
Post by: Sad Sam on November 28, 2017, 11:29:28 PM
Thank you Dee, your support is much appreciated.

We are up and running - Berlin here we come!
Title: Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
Post by: Sad Sam on December 25, 2017, 10:31:21 PM
Merry Christmas Everybody.

Our website is now up and running  ;D

https://www.savetheskymaster.org/

Fairly basic at the moment with an overview of the project, a few pictures, our very nice promotional video and a membership form.

Very soon (once we get payment methods sorted out) we will get a webstore sorted - it's quite frustrating to be sitting on over £10k of stock and not having a way to sell it!

There will also be some history pages detailing the aircraft's life in the U.S. Navy and Marines.

We've been busy over the last month.  We now have a container at North Weald so we have somewhere to store the stock and ground equipment.  We moved all the stock from Milton Keynes and Swansea.

In the last week we have managed to complete the paperwork to transfer the registration to the society.

Our current fundraising campaign has now reached £160 with a bit of luck it will gain a bit more momentum after Christmas.

In the New Year the plan is to get the "Spare" engine out of the cabin and get it into Weald Aviations workshop, they will strip it and assess weather it can be returned to service.  We now have a quote from them for the rebuild of our six engines so we need to start raising some funds to pay for that work - the assessment of the "Spare" along with an external survey of the four fitted engines will cost us £1,900.

There is an open air market held at North Weald on Saturday and Bank Holiday Mondays and we plan to run a stall there as an outlet for our stock and to help raise awareness of the project.

There should be another news letter out at the end of January.
Title: Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
Post by: dee on December 26, 2017, 08:59:32 AM
Thanks for the update Sam, things look like they are really getting into gear now?
Will pop another donation in soon,every bit helps!
Title: Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
Post by: Sad Sam on December 26, 2017, 03:33:51 PM
Thanks Dee, Yes now we have the registration sorted and we have an FAA licence engineer on-board we can make a start on the engineering (FAA regs stipulate we need an authorized mechanic to work on a FAA registered airframe)

As you said every little helps.

Happy New year.