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Jessie The Jeep

My Flying Control Jeep

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Northallerton 1940's Day - June 9th

Back on the raod again today, this time to Northallerton, where like last year, it turned out nice again. This was the only the second year for the event but it was supported well by both vehicles and public. It was an 80 minute drive to cover the 47 miles there, heading straight down the A167 and A68 to Northallerton. Most of my pictures were taken soon after arriving, before the public started getting in the way. The highstreet had a constant stream of people walking up and down all day and several shops and cafes had also opened to make the most of the crowds.

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In addition to the military vehicles, there was a good selection of vintage cars and three traction engines. There was also a big piece of farm machinery, possibly a threshing machine, but more accurately described as the chomping, clanking, whirring, spinning, jiggling machine - see here....

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We probably could have had a few more military vehicles there, but several local owners are still on their way back from the Normandy commemorations. The organisers seemed very pleased with the way the day went and with the turnout so no doubt it will be back for a third year in 2020. 

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You are correct Steve, it is a threshing machine driven by an old Fordson Major. Pity they weren't actually demonstrating threshing, always guaranteed to draw a crowd.

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47 minutes ago, Degsy said:

You are correct Steve, it is a threshing machine driven by an old Fordson Major. Pity they weren't actually demonstrating threshing, always guaranteed to draw a crowd.

Wrong time of year, I guess 😉

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On 6/8/2019 at 8:20 PM, 10FM68 said:

     I have just finished reading "Big Week" by James Holland.  

A Wing And A Prayer (The "Bloody 100th" Bomb Group of the U.S. Eighth Air Force in Action over Europe in World War II) by Harry H. Crosby is another book worth reading. 

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Both Jeeps were out at Tanfield Railway on Sunday 16th for the annual steam gala. There are usually classic vehicles on display from the Sunderland & District Classic Vehicle Society on show at one of the stations. Four of the resident steam locos were running along with two guest locos. It was the first event for the Ford this year, having only been out in the snow in February.

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Bowes Railway/Springwell Village 1940's Weekend - June 28~30th

I took all three of my vehicles to Bowes Railway since it was only a few miles from my house. Rather than repeat the report in each of my vehicle threads, a full report is made in my Dodge thread, which I took along on Friday 28th for the school visits day. See here - 

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Aln Valley Railway 1940's Weekend - July 6/7th

The Aln Valley Railway weekend was a small event from a railway with big ambitions! The original Aln Valley railway ran from Alnwick to Alnmouth, but was closed in the late 1960's. The track was removed, the station in Alnwick became a book shop, and the A1 dual carriageway cut across the old trackbed.

Thoughts of re-opening the branch line started in 1995 with the plan formerly launched in 1997. Due to the expense of bridge construction to span the A1, a new site was chosen for a station on the South East side of the road. The railway, station and all infrastructure would be built from scratch, in a completely empty field.

The station would run parallel to the A1 road, before curving to the South East, joining the original overgrown track bed. Construction began in 2012 and seven years later, the railway has a station, goods yard, loco shed, workshops, signal box and extends a little over half way to Alnmouth. They also have two steam locos in operating condition, some diesels and a variety of other rolling stock.

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This weekend was also our first attempt at full canvas camping, in order to have the ability to do period camping at events where modern plastic tents weren't appropriate. I've been using my 10 feet ridge tent for several years, but for three people and all the stuff Lynne requires to go camping, my one tent wasn't big enough to live and cook in.

We got a bright green, 12 feet ridge, scout tent some time ago, which I painted with shed paint to tone it down to an olive drab. By positioning the two tents end to end and spanning the gap with a fly sheet, we got a central cooking and living area. Next time, we'll probably overlap the joints more to create a better weather seal and may add a skirt at the back, to keep the wind from blowing through.

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There were only a hand full of vehicles at the show, a number of re-enactors, some displays and the "Seatones" trio providing the live 1940's music. On day one, in addition to my Jeep, there was one other Jeep, belonging to a friend, a Dodge WC51 owned for only a couple of weeks by its new owner, an MG sports car and a couple of vintage bikes.

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The loco operating during the weekend, was the 1948 built Hunslet Austerity 0-6-0 Saddle Tank. It was modified with a lower cab and coal bunker to operate from the Lambton coal drops at Sunderland. The coaches in use were British Rail Mk1 types, in "Blood & Custard" livery. They were built during the 1950's, the main era the railway is focusing on. The vehicles were all parked beside platform 1 while the loco shed had been partially cleared to allow a stage and dance floor to be built.

The Seatones entertaining in the loco shed.

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There's lots of other rolling stock and locos on side, some of which are operational, some under restoration or awaiting their turn. Several items are privately owned and kept on the railway.

This is the railway's other operational steam loco, a Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T, which was built in 1917 for the Port of London Authority.

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The Home Guard/LDV group had a small display, but frequently paraded around the site making demonstrations.

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On Saturday evening, I went for a wander around the site to have a look at what other rolling stock was there, but out of clear view of the normal public areas.

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On Sunday, the MG didn't turn up but was replaced by another classic. There was also an early Land Rover showed up, along with a friend who brought his Dodge Weapon Carrier. The small trailer fire tender that had been at Bowes the week before also showed up on Sunday.

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A group from Blyth Battery built an air raid shelter and allotment some time ago which made a nice addition to the 1940's event. Despite a moderately cloudy forecast for part of the weekend, both days saw decent periods of blue sky and sun enough to give a good tan!

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The June 1944 papers are full of the latest "Brit-Entry" news!!

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We've now got one weekend off from the 1940's before we're back with the Breighton Aerodrome Summer Fly-In on July 20/21st.

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Posted (edited)

July 16th/17th - Coil/King Lead Modification

Over recent weeks, the Jeep engine hasn't been quite right, sometimes running a bit rough and down on power. I wondered whether the cylinder head gasket was failing again or whether the valves needed adjusting. All the plugs were a bit sooty, the front two more so than the others. A compression test showed the cylinder pressures all ok, though the front two were a little lower than the rear two. The valve cover came off and the valve clearances adjusted.

The French Solex carburetor mixture can't be adjusted. It's not designed to be adjusted, presumably so soldiers in the field don't mess around with it, so why did it appear the engine was running rich? A poor combustion would do it, but what would cause poor combustion? All the plugs were fairly new and the leads tight on the plugs and also tight into the distributor. The king lead from the distributor was also ok, but then I realised that it was loose in the coil.

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On removal, I found the coil socket and lead were all covered in carbon. It wouldn't firmly click into place and it was just the friction of the rubber cap holding it in, but obviously not making firm contact, hence the arcing in the end of the coil. From memory, it was never a positive click when the coil was replaced in 2018. It was all cleaned out and put back together with a drop of glue on the rubber cap, holding it onto the lead.

A test drive to get some fuel, showed the engine running fine and with perhaps a bit more pull than before. So the problem seemed to have been fixed, but how to stop the lead creeping back out.

The following day, I made a composite glass/ply/glass bar that slotted over the king lead. Two springs from the bar, attached to holes in the coil bracket, pull this bar with a little downward pressure to maintain positive contact of the lead into the coil. I may yet paint this black, but will eave it alone for now for further testing. 

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Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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Real Aeroplane Company 30th Anniversary Fly-In - July 20/21st

2019 marked the 30th Anniversary of the Real Aeroplane Company at Breighton Aerodrome. This year's Summer Fly-In was to celebrate this anniversary along with the 4th International Buckerfest Fly-In ( covered in a separate report ). 

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Leading up to the event, the weather forecast wasn't great, but it slowly improved closer to the weekend. 

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Saturday was gusty and had some heavy showers, so flying was a bit slow paced, especially in the morning. The Yorkshire Air Ambulance was one movement, there to collect a cheque for over £8600 raised by a Breighton pilot in a sponsored sky dive.

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There were a number of twin engined aircraft there for the weekend, including an orange and white Beechcraft which was a new addition to the Real Aero collection. A de Havilland Rapide and another Beechcraft C-45 were there, both of which have visited before. 

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The C-45 gave an impressive display upon arrival.

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There was a great variety of aircraft there, both home based and visiting aircraft. Due to the weather around the country, the arrival of visiting aircraft was slow until later on Saturday when the rain showers reduced in number.

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Several military vehicles also attended the event. There were several Jeeps, a few Land Rovers and a Volkswagen 181, the military version of the VW Trekker. The vehicles were displayed at various locations along the airfield.

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By Saturday evening, the weather had improved giving us blue sky, though still quite a stiff breeze. My Jeep was joined outside the hangar by "Hocus Pocus", the Jeep belonging to Patrick Smart who also had his Bristol Hercules aircraft engine on display.

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There was a DJ, a band, food and a bar set up, plus one of the pilots doing a stand up routine. The party continued until 2am.

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On Sunday, the wind was steady and more gentle and allowed much more flying. Both Beechcraft flew again and the Miles Messenger flew a practice display for an airshow next weekend. 

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This Chipmunk is the oldest still flying, serial number #11

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While looking like a modern design, the aerobatic Falco F8L design is all wood and first flew in 1955.

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Arrow Active II

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Further pictures can be found here..... http://www.sacarr.co.uk/mymvs/events/2019/breighton.htm

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4th International Buckerfest - July 20/21st

As part of the Summer Fly-In at Breighton, this year was also the 4th International Buckerfest Fly-In. This event happens every other year and is to celebrate Bucker designed aircraft. Bucker designs have featured heavily in the history of the Real Aeroplane Company. Due to poor weather, several visiting aircraft didn't arrive until late on Saturday.

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This is the visiting Bestmann, actually a licence built Egyptian Gomhouria 181 Mk6.

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Posted (edited)

The majority of the aircraft were Bucker Jungmans, or Spanish licence built versions. There were a couple of Bucker Jungmeisters and two Bestmanns, 'though only the visiting Bestmann was on display. In all, there were thirteen Bucker designs on the airfield, including a Jungmeister in the final stages of restoration in one of the Real Aero hangars.

G-TAFF is one of the Real Aero Jungmanns. 

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G-BJAL is privately owned and based at Breighton. 

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G-EHBJ is a Spanish built CASA 1-131E. 

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D-ETOY is privately owned and has recently arrived at Breighton. It is awaiting for UK paperwork and registration and is having work done to the engine, oil and fuel system to allow it to be fully aerobatic.

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Further images can be found here.....
http://www.sacarr.co.uk/mymvs/events/2019/buckerfest.htm

Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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Ordnance Depot Conversion - August 10th 2019

In the first week in August, I got a message from a friend asking if I would be able to supply a Jeep for a photo shoot in support of a WW2 preservation project. I said yes, and a date and time was arranged. I thought nothing of it for a couple of days and then the cog wheels of my mind began to turn. Which Jeep should I take? "Hope" looked more like a normal army Jeep, but "Jessie" was at the front of the garage and easier to get out without much effort. They couldn't just be swapped over in the garage, as wall mounted cupboards would get in the way of "Jessie's" roof. If I was going to have to take the sides and roof off anyway, I might as well take "Jessie" on the shoot.

So if I was going to take the sides and roof off, the "Flying Control" would still be very prominent across the screen. I could fold the screen down, but then the dummy radio would be more visible. I really wanted the Jeep to fit in more with the theme of the site, an ordnance depot.

Another thought popped into my head, which was that I still had some magnetic plastic left over from my RAF markings. There was enough to cover up the "Flying Control" words on the screen. I could make a new sign with "Ordnance Depot" on it. Out came the computer, a font was found and a paper template was printed out. The paper template was taped onto the plastic and the letters drawn through with pencil. 

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I contemplated masking out all the white letters, but really couldn't face that much masking. Instead I put some WW2 and space documentaries on the TV to listen to, while I hand painted the olive around the white lettering. It took a couple of coats to give reasonable coverage. Since the magnetic plastic I had remaining was a small rectangle, the sign was made in two sixteen inch long pieces. This had the benefit of a small piece to work on which could be left to dry while the other piece was painted.

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The "Ordnance Depot" sign would work well to cover the screen, but there was still the 8th Air Force markings on the front bumper. The RAF bumper markings, made a couple of years ago, just used the Jeep registration number along with the letters RAF and B/1 for the group.

This gave me a basis as I could use this, but add a second layer of magnetic plastic over the RAF letters. I would add "ORD" on a new piece of plastic to hide the RAF and leave the rest as it was. That was enough to convert the Jeep for the photo shoot without excessive effort and would make the Jeep look far more appropriate for the location.

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