Jet wash! Aircraft get New Year polish at RAF Museum Cosford - with VIDEO and PICTURES
It's a cleaning job with a difference as workers polish the aircraft suspended from the air at RAF Museum Cosford.
Over the next week the exhibits will be getting their annual New Year clean and will be inspected to ensure the supports are safe.
Several of the exhibits are suspended from building structures by cable at the museum.
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These require the supports to be inspected annually including the fixing point to the structure, transition components, cables complete with swages and eyes, spreaders and rings and the fixing equipment and point on the exhibit.
The job is expected to last eight days and work will begin at high level, firstly carrying out the inspection, then carrying out the cleaning work to the high level exhibits in the National Cold War Exhibition.
Once complete, the team will work down towards the larger aircraft on the ground and then on to a number of smaller objects in the Museum’s Visitor Centre. The helicopters displayed on high stands in Hangar 1 will have all support framework inspected and fixings will be torque tested.
No liquid or solutions will be used on any of the aircraft, cleaning will be carried out using 110v back pack vacuums, micro fibre cloth and large dusting mops.
Bruce Kemp, from Acro Professional Safety Services, said: “Me and the team always enjoy this time of year when we get to carry out the annual clean and anchor inspection of the planes here in the National Cold War Exhibition at RAF Museum Cosford.
"We are so lucky to be able to view these planes up close and it’s brilliant to be working to preserve these historical aircraft.”
A total of 12 of the aircraft which are suspended in the air will be cleaned by the team, along with 16 on the ground or on plinths.
The exhibits getting polished in the air include a Vulcan, Canberra, Meteor NF14, Sobre, Hunter T-7, Lightning F1, Dakota MK4, and Javelin.
Michelle Worthington, RAF Museum Cosford public relations executive, said the museum will remain open as the cleaning takes place and visitors can watch as the 'Spider-Men' cleaners get to work.
She said: “Over the course of eight days, the team from Acro Professional Safety Services will be cleaning the eight suspended aircraft and some of the larger harder to reach aircraft on display in the National Cold War Exhibition.
"Not only is it a spring clean on an epic scale, the team also carry out important safety checks on the suspension cables supporting the aircraft from the roof, it’s a specialist job that requires a lot of skill and bravery to be working at such heights.
"No cleaning solutions are used during the process, but dust that has gathered over the last 12 months is removed, ensuring our aircraft are looking their best for visitors.
"The museum remains open whilst the work takes place and visitors are always fascinated as they look up and see the men in the roof, it’s like Spider-Man weaving in between the aircraft.”