As most readers will know XM603 has been at Woodford since the 80s, she was refurbished externally a couple of years ago to her current incredible shining finish (try looking at her in bright sunshine). Since the Museum opened she has been the central focus at the rear of the Museum but has always had an unnaturally nose down attitude. This was mainly due to a collapsed nose oleo.
Many comments have been made and various reason why it couldn’t be reset to the correct attitude. Finally this Autumn a group of volunteers, with technical support from the Wellesbourne Team that run XM655, was setup.
The team initially faced outright “no it can’t/won’t be possible” but in 3 sessions over a period of a few weeks the “impossible” was done.
Using a correct 20ton bottle jack loaned to us by Lomas of Birch Vale (many thanks), we attained her correct height position & 603 then released water from her rear engine exhausts (one reason for lifting her). We then inserted concrete flags under the nose wheels to level her position in line with the rear wheels (the ground surface rises to her rear).
We also exposed most of the nose wheel Oleo ready for the 655 teams visit, & then settled her wheels in new 2nd height position…All looking good for team 655s visit.
Tuesday November 13th 2018 saw the end game of restoring 603s nose wheel to correct height, from 70” ground to front of bomb Aimers window, up to 90”, 655s current & correct position, mission accomplished.
The 655 team Helen Eric & Rog, a massive thanks to them.
A finishing touch of checker plate was added between flags & wheels.
It’s now an effort for tall men to close her entrance door.
Thanks to the whole team involved from the Museum, XM655 & Lomas of Birch Vale