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Messages - Sad Sam

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Ways To Raise Funding / Re: Comments on the new hangar plans!
« on: January 18, 2018, 09:23:55 PM »
 ;D ;D ;D

Ways To Raise Funding / Re: Comments on the new hangar plans!
« on: January 13, 2018, 08:28:26 PM »
Interesting article...

So we finally know the names of the "Specialist Consultants" who have carried out the work for the trust (which we were initially told was carried out last year)  Not being picky but looking at the websites of those companies there is no mention of any aviation related projects.  I know there is not a lot of development going on in the industry at the moment but surely the trust could have tied in with someone with experience in this field.  Still they have built lots of shops and student accommodation so that should be ok.

Nice to see that Dave Dixon of the RG group appreciates the appeal 558 had across the country - wonder if the trust will try and re-engage with that level of support (now they need to raise £3m)...

On the subject of £3million - where did the extra £200k come from as I'm sure in the summer the cost was £280k (I guess that will be the wage bill for the next year)

Nice to know the well tested business plan will enable the new building to open in the spring of 2019 (as opposed to spring 2018 as promised in February 2017)  There may well be over 6 million people living within one hour of driving but how many of them will want to go to a party in a sewage farm?

I think the trusts best bet is if one of their long term supporters decides they have put so much in so far they may as well pay for a permanent home for 558.  They may get lucky and get a few big legacies come in - that should help with the wage bill at least.

Once the hangar is built they can get on with the plan to get 163 back in the air (but from experience they are more likely to start planning a series of parties and benefit concerts) probably won't bother though as there is no mention of 163 apart from a vague mention of utilizing examples of Britain’s valuable aeronautical and engineering achievements.

I know it's only an artists impression (which I first saw on a laptop in hangar 3 a year ago - have they no more up to date stuff?) but where do they intend to park 163 and the Swift?  Still no sign of the stores or workshops.

Yes I'm bitter.  It seems to me that nothing had been done until we were all laid off - and what has been done has occurred at a snails pace.  The supporters have been kept in the dark and only now is there any information coming to light.  I guess the next thing will be the appeal for funds (bet there will be no threat to lay off the remaining staff unless they can raise the funds)  Think I need to contact the bank to increase my monthly standing order...

Aviation Waffle / Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
« 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.

Aviation Waffle / Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
« on: December 25, 2017, 10:31:21 PM »
Merry Christmas Everybody.

Our website is now up and running  ;D

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.

Engineering / Re: How would you feel?
« on: December 15, 2017, 10:29:55 PM »
Sorry Bill, I'm on the wrong side of the country now.

I've been staying away as it seems some of my comments have not been well received by some people I have great respect for.

Engineering / Re: So that's it then?
« on: December 15, 2017, 10:27:12 PM »
So they will let us know result of the application.

How long before the begging bowl comes out as I understand they have no interest whatsoever from any backers.

Reading between the lines of the link that Taff posted I think that the local authorities and education establishments like the idea of the "ETNA" project - but I think they just don't want the trust involved.

Reading the founding guardians magazine the impression I get is that is there is no plan to carry out the restoration of 163.  The new hangar has space for parties, events, meetings and a shop - but no space for workshops or any engineering.  The articles talk about volunteers carrying out the work - well good luck to them and well done but I wonder where this new group of engineering type volunteers is going to come from.

The only hope I see for 558 finding a roof over her head is for a single benefactor paying for it.  The airport will be happy for the hangar to be built but if the trust are not careful they will end up out on their ear again as soon as someone with money offers to take the space on.

Engineering / Re: So that's it then?
« on: December 13, 2017, 10:26:04 PM »
especially after the Trust blanking the Club Committee with regards to the final flight

Getting really tired of you perpetuating that lie Mike, and surprised no-one from committee has seen fit to correct it (which itself speaks volumes). For the record, EVERY member of committee was told by the Trust, in advance, of final flight date. At least one member was in hangar 3 before and after flight, as I've seen their photos. Far from blanked, committee were in an extremely select group to be aware of flight date, even some aircrew didn't know!
Only repeating what some members of the committee have told me,as you say no one has seen fit to correct  my and others comments !


The committee may well have been aware of the date of the flight but they were certainly not welcome.

After we had put 558 away I got a phone call from Jane Thomas.  She had come to the hangar to say goodbye to 558 - The trust management would not even let her into the hangar and she was upstairs looking at 558 from the corridor overlooking the hangar floor....

Aviation Waffle / Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
« 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!

Aviation Waffle / Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
« 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!

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.

Aviation Waffle / Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
« 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

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:-

We have been invited to attend an event in Berlin in June 2019!  The target is to fly next year and it will be great to be part of this great commemoration.

Engineering / Re: How would you feel?
« on: September 11, 2017, 08:44:34 PM »
I think We upset him by ridiculing his latest scheme to cover 558 in stickers in order to keep 10 people in a job!

Engineering / Re: So that's it then?
« on: September 07, 2017, 05:51:34 PM »
The return makes interesting reading (or at least the bits that have been quoted do)

The answer to the question about the engineers is that theoretically they still hold the approvals for maintenance and continuing airworthiness management.  What they do not have is anyone who can carry out that work.  Taff has all the ticks in the boxes having done all of the courses but now has a full time job at Waddington.  Rick has the approvals for the airworthiness management but has a full time job at Syerston.  Myself and Ray hold the approvals for the airframe and engine maintenance but we have full time jobs at Waddington and wherever-I-canfindit.  Maybe if the trust asks nicely we will all come running back - but in at least two cases that will result in a divorce court appearance as families have reached the end of their tether.

I suppose the deficit of £214,000 answers the question about what happened to the £200k raised in the spring (though I see that there was a later statement for £100k to cover the redundancies (shame I didn't get a share of that)

Purchases Canberra for £52,000?  I thought it cost £10k (originally it was going to be a freebie as part of the deal to buy the Coventry fleet) It was then going to cost £30k to get GJD to move it to Doncaster.  So either some one can't add up, the goal post were moved or there has been some creative accounting going on.

There is other stuff in there I could comment on but I think I'll just keep it to myself...

Engineering / Re: How would you feel?
« on: September 06, 2017, 01:20:16 AM »
Time to talk to America I think...

Engineering / Re: So that's it then?
« on: September 06, 2017, 12:56:50 AM »
Welcome Steve,

A couple of thoughts....

Looking at the latest pictures posted by Michelle Middelton (I guess the trust won't want anything more from her now for the next calendar...)  The ground equipment is stored under the wings.  Now Vulcans make great umbrellas but... 558 is now so light that the jacks fit quite comfortably under the wings - a couple of things when the bags are empty the rubber drys out shrinks (it also tends to crack) so if they ever try and refill the tanks there is going to be a few leaks.  From the nose down attitude it looks like what little fuel remains has been put in number one and two tanks.  When it snows (she is parked out side in Doncaster) which of Taffs team of volunteers is going to go up to the airfield and sweep the snow off the wings?  The weight of the snow behind the centre of gravity will very quickly exceed the weight of the fuel in the forward tanks.  There will be four very expensive skin repairs to do when 558 sits on her arse!  Maybe they have used the tie down point on the nose leg???

On the subject of the "Fire sale" in the web store.  Selling stock reduced by 90% is extracting the michael! The stuff was obviously extremely overpriced when we were buying it before - ok it supposedly kept 558 in the air and then under cover.  Selling it off now is just wiping out the profits made in the past (and undermining the efforts of the volunteers who put in hours of work at shows up and down the country)  This looks to me as if the trust know they will be gone soon and are just trying to shift as much stock as they can before the administrators move in (probably why Bob has been in such a rush to sell all the spares from Stratford as well)

The idea of the stickers has really not been thought through.  The polythene will not breath like the paint does.  Any corrosion that is under the paint now will just explode and with a few years there will be a whole new load of work to do to get 558 looking anything like as good as she did when we left.  Now she is outside all of the cavities will be filling with condensation which now she never moves will never dry out again (the condensation will pool on the bottom of the cavities - when it warms up it will evaporate and form droplets on the top surface - then it cools down and condenses, drawing in more moisture) moisture and aluminium alloy are not good bed fellows.

Really sad about how this has ended up.  We had something great which I really believed in and now it is being dismantled quicker than the Berlin wall (probably be tiny blocks of 558 for sale on e-bay soon.)  The trust are behaving as if they can't wait for the whole thing to go away.  If they wanted to drive us out they could not have done a better job if they had hired a fleet of busses.

Aviation Waffle / Re: Spotted
« on: August 29, 2017, 10:25:23 PM »
C 17 Heading North, somewhere around Taunton.

No I can't be more precise as I have idea where I was anyway!

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