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Grumman F4F Mk5 Wildcat JV482

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This aircraft is currently under going restoration at the Ulster Aviation Society's hangers and I have volunteered to help with the restoration work being done on her. I plan to share with you the history of this aircraft and keep you updated with photos of the restoration work, the aim of which is to get the aircraft back to the condition it was in when it took off from RAF Long Kesh on Christmas Eve 1944 on what turned out to be her last flight. This a few photos of the condition of the plane at the moment.






Cheers Andy 

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10 hours ago, Grunhertz said:

So is she being returned to flight status or display in the museum? Looks like quite a bits been done already 

She is being rebuilt just for display, there is no runway at the museum anymore. This was the first aircraft that the society got in 1984 and there has been work done to her ever since, the problem being that some of the earlier work was found to be incorrect so has needed to be redone. The port side of the aircraft was in not too bad a condition but the starboard side has had to be replaced using the old parts as patterns. Some of the aircraft was missing, taken by various people when it was in the Lough, in fact a few years ago the society got a letter from someone to say that their Father had recently died and going through his stuff they had found several aircraft parts which turned out to be from this Wildcat. At the moment there are several aircraft under going restoration with most work being done on a Saturday afternoon, there are a couple more aircraft due to arrive soon, including something rather special that everyone is excited about, so there are only a couple of people currently working on this aircraft. Alex is the project leader, a former RAF Airframe Fitter who worked on Lightnings, Harriers and the Wessex 5, and his wife Jane, a former Nurse who has now become an expert Riveter. At the moment the aim is to get the starboard wing finished off and fitted, the aircraft can then go to be painted. The wing has had to be totally rebuilt from scratch, so maybe a job for Gorby here, It's only when I saw the starboard wing that I realised just how much work went into building one of these aircraft.



The plan is to take this Wildcat to airshows and other historic events to showcase the work that the society does and because of it's local history, the wings can be folded up so it can be transported by road.

9 hours ago, RWG686 said:

This link shows some photos of her being recovered from the loch.



Thanks Richard, they have all those photos on display next to the Wildcat along with ones of the pilot S. Ltn. Peter Lock and the pilots of 882 Fighter Squadron Fleet Air Arm, HMS Searcher 1944/1945. I'll post more of them when I do the history of the aircraft.

Cheers Andy

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