In China it was the year of the Tiger; at Bruntingthorpe with Canberra WT333 it was the Year of the Painter.
We have been very fortunate in having some new hands join the Crew and Brushstrokes, The Red Baron and Private Ryan have been very busy on the painting section assisting Westy and The Gloster Painter. The top of the wings have been rubbed down again and given two coats of white and attention has turned to the red. Because of differing sunlight the gloss can go “flat” and this causes the colour to look a different shade. So the aim was to have one colour red on Treble Three. We almost managed it before the winter set in.
The Red Baron, El Presidenté and The Gloster Painter prepping the paintwork
Westy showing that painting can be hot work
Westy has turned his fine art skills to the intricate paintwork plus he has done some sign writing on our chocks so we will know who has purloined them.
Our Crew Chief, El Capitaine, is i/c maintenance schedule which includes the spinney whirly things on the wings. As fast as the painters are making the wing and engine panels pristine in appearance the riggers are wielding big screwdrivers and taking them off to peer into nooks and crannies and depositing great dollops of sticky stuff on all of Treble Three’s internal important places. This, apparently, is good for her – you try telling that to the painting section. To administer said dollops we have recruited our very own Grease Monkey but we have since found he also multi-tasks.
A party from 1985 (Flitwick) Squadron ATC came and experienced the joys of aircraft washing in the early part of the year and the opportunity was taken to show them over a “proper” aircraft. Thank you for your help.
The first Cold War Jets Open Day of 2010 took place on 30th May when we were invited to participate. Please refer to “Gallery” for pictures of Treble Three strutting her stuff at this event with Dennis once more in the “office”. It had been hoped that the newly arrived Nimrod would make her debut that day, but bumpf conspired to prevent that happening and she was restricted to static exhibition alongside one of the newly retired RAF VC.10s. A brace of ex Luftwaffe F-104Gs were also in the static park positioned side by side. For an excellent report of the day see http://www.airshows.co.uk/reports/uk/2010/bruntingthorpe-cold-war-jets-open-day/
We have noted that there are often very complimentary comments on the aviation forums after Open Days here concerning Treble Three’s appearance and that is good to read; turning her out in that condition requires a lot of elbows and a lot of……wax! In the days leading up to the Open Day said wax was liberally applied and the favourable comments once more appeared.
Sharp eyed visitors will have noticed a slight deficiency when looking at Treble Three from the rear – the starboard elevator balance tab has been removed. Them what know about these things had found a problem with the control rod so it is currently in Station Workshops being mended under the watchful eye of TT Timbo. Its absence does not affect Treble Three’s ability moving on the ground.
We were able to reunite an item of Treble Three’s ground equipment with the aircraft after an absence of some 41 years! You can read the details under our Australian section – Tail piece.
The second CWJ Open Day took place on 29th August and once more Treble Three was invited to do her party piece. Please see our Photo Gallery for pictures from the day. We had dry weather but a very strong crosswind and Dennis had some fun keeping her straight on the fast run along the runway.
We took the opportunity on this occasion to record Treble Three’s start up and run as we had been “commissioned” to produce an audio record of ‘genuine’ Canberra cockpit sounds. Our very own cameraman, Graham Bacon, was given the task of capturing such sound and he set up his equipment in the back of the cockpit prior to the run. He then accompanied Dennis in the back of the cockpit and produced an excellent 17 minute recording which has been transcribed to CD. So Graham turned soundman on this trip. The feedback we had from our sponsor was that it had been well received – it was being used as a series of add ons for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 covering the Canberra – hence the need for accurate sounds. We do have some CDs of the soundtrack available for sale. Graham is compiling a DVD of all things Treble Three. See his work at www.aircraftclassics.co.uk
This is another excellent report of the Open Day at: http://www.globalaviationresource.com/reports/2010/bruntingthorpe100829.php
In November two former RAE Bedford technicians came and renewed their contact with Treble Three. Both knew her in the ‘80s and ‘90s when she was very active in trials work at Bedford. An enjoyable day was spent by Bill Johns and Dick Hall reminiscing on those “good old” days.
Visit by (left) Bill Johns, ex TRE Defford, RRE & RSRE Pershore and RAE Bedford, and (centre) Dick Hall ex RAE Bedford 4th November, 2010
It had been the intention to finish the paintwork on the upper surfaces of Treble Three before the year was out. However Mother Nature demonstrated her superior power over Man by depositing white stuff all over the place in late November and this caused the painting section to go into immediate hibernation.
Snowy 27th November, 2010
Despite the grim weather 2010 was to end on a high note for the Team. Despite the two large crates of paperwork that accompanied Treble Three when she was acquired by the team, there was no information on her very early days including her first flight date. We knew that she had been built in 1955 through to 1956 as she was completed ready for collection on 21st March, 1956 but we did not know the date of her first flight. Thanks to the efforts of Max Waldron, a leading light in the Lightning Preservation Group and Head Honcho for the operating side of the Open Days at Bruntingthorpe, he was able to ascertain that Treble Three first flew on 30th January, 1956. We learnt this information on the 1st December – which meant that in eight weeks time Sunday 30th January, 2011 would see the 55th Anniversary of her first flight. We had to do something to mark the occasion.
Enter Andy Hay of www.flyingart.co.uk who previously designed our 60th Anniversary of the Canberra badges which are carried on Treble Three’s tail fin and wing tanks. Despite a hectic period just before Christmas when he was busy sending out orders to beat the postal problems he produced for us a superb design in record time and an excellent A3 profile print depicting Treble Three in five of her various configurations over that fifty-five year period. Have a look at http://www.flyingart.co.uk/SHOP/contents/en-uk/d6.html and feast your eyes on an outstanding piece of artwork that would be a credit to any wall. At £10 a print you could cover the wall with them!
So pleased were we with these designs Andy has kindly allowed us to use them on a range of commemorative merchandise we have produced marking the occasion and, hopefully, enabling us to raise a bit of money to help maintain Treble Three. Please see the separate “drop down” at the mast head titled “Merchandise” for full details.