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Messages - Sad Sam

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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!

Aviation Waffle / Re: Douglas C54 Skymaster at North Weald
« 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  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!  The target is to fly next year and it will be great to be part of this great commemoration.

Engineering / Re: So that's it then?
« on: August 24, 2017, 11:44:30 PM »
Well, you had a partial answer to one of your questions in Sam's post #143 on the previous page.
In the podcast Dr.P. did with DanO' on UKAR, it was said that VTST employed 22 people.
Those 22 consisted of : 4 Directors; 5 engineering staff; 5 people running Hangar 3 ; 3 merchandising staff; 3 'customer facing' staff ( which makes 20, so Dr.P. missed 2 out )
Of those, 14 were made redundant, which leaves 8 staff.
Of the 5 engineering staff ( which doesn't include Edmondson ) 2 were kept on, both of whom ( Taff & Rick Lee(?) ) were said to be on 'zero-hour' retainer contracts.

Taff and Rick Lee have both now left for pastures new.  Taff goes in for the ground runs once a month.  Which leaves Andrew as the sole "Engineer" employed by this organisation which is going to "Inspire the next generation of engineers"

One of the 14 made redundant was re-instated as the web store could not operate with only one person.

I knew it was a mistake not putting the word "manager" into my job title.

Aviation Waffle / Re: Spotted
« on: August 24, 2017, 05:01:35 PM »
Couple of late ones from the last week.

On my way back from Cambridge (Tuesday I think) a Puma heading in the general direction of Odiham.

On my way back from Reading this Monday 5 Challenger tanks on the A303 heading towards Salisbury.

On my way off to Wales (Tuesday) a Chinook over Southampton heading towards Poole.

Engineering / Re: So that's it then?
« on: August 24, 2017, 11:15:41 AM »
Feedback from some one who has seen the first batch of names is not to good.

The names are so small they are unreadable, the sticker has been poorly applied so there are loads of bubbles and creases.

So you can't read your name - but you (and everyone else) knows the graffiti has been applied.

They might as well let the youth from Doncaster get stuck in with the spray cans and start "tagging" her now.... >:(

I have heard the "facilities manager" is now back from maternity leave so that is another mouth to feed.

I have heard that I am just a disgruntled ex-employee.  It's actually worse than that.  I am a long term supporter - I still have a standing which is paid every month so this is my money they are wasting!

Vulcan Village / Re: Vulcan enclosure
« on: August 23, 2017, 12:33:38 PM »
The enclosure is free entry for Founding Guardians. The Founding Guardians email news letter requested that you where either an item of unique clothing or the FG Badge. There will probably be a list of Guardians as well as a method of last resort.

So if you don't receive the e-mail (mine still does arrive) you don't get to know.

I assume you mean wear an item of unique founding guardian branded clothing  rather than be a unique  item of clothing?

Engineering / Re: How would you feel?
« on: August 19, 2017, 09:49:00 PM »
Well the quiet Monday came and went.

Still no replies from the grown ups.

Guess they have reverted to type and are now just ignoring us and hope that we will all get bored and go away....

Engineering / Re: So that's it then?
« on: August 19, 2017, 09:46:48 PM »
So  nice to see the marketing masterminds have been hard at work.

I did a little bit of (admittedly theoretical) maths.

If EB umbrella are donating £20 to the Benevolent Fund for every fleece sold that is probably 50% of the profit (very generous of them too)

Assuming the trust has got the same deal from EB umbrella.  The profit margin on each fleece will be about £45.

50% of the profit will earn them £22.50 or £12,555.00 once they have sold all 558.

That should keep the webstore manager, his assistant, the admin manager, her assistant, the remote stock sales manager, his assistant, the admin manager at Doncaster, his assistant and the Engineering director plus the crop of consultants and contractors that are still klinging on in tea and biscuits for a few weeks.

It's starting to get cool now so I would think that they can all huddle around the heating system they had installed into the warehouse at Doncaster (to keep the pallets of unsold books warm) and discuss their next marketing masterplan.

The heating system is automatic and set to 20 degrees.  We used to go in and switch it off as the warehouse was like a sauna and the thing was making a greater contribution to global warming than 558 on an engine run.  Wonder who is keeping an eye on it now?

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