Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Man With a Plan

When we left Saturday night we quit working because we'd pushed the starboard MiG-23 wing stand up against the wheel without getting the holes for the pin aligned. Our plan was to pick up the wing with the forklift, move the stand out and away from the aircraft and then try again. This might have worked, but it was promising to be as much work as getting the port wing on. Fortunately, Bud did a lot of thinking on the drive home. He realized that the wing had a bit of down-slope (called anhedral) and moving the wing across the floor on the stand was going to result in more continuous adjustment to slide it in. So he came up with a better plan...

Instead, what we wound up doing is matching the wing root angle (about 4 degrees) of the two sides and then adjusting the wing stand until the wings had an equal angle (about 6 degrees). We had placed some strips of old carpet on the tops of the wing stand supports. Bud's plan was to slide the wing across the carpet, keeping the same angle. This worked a lot better. The pin simply dropped into place as had been foretold by all the people who were advising us from afar.

As an additional bit of good news, Sean said that his dad was interested in taking the intake covers and cleaning the gunk off of them. Standard Operating Procedure on old Soviet air bases was to make things look better by simply applying a new coat of paint over whatever old paint was there. Someone once told us that every time there was a visiting VIP the guys would run out and slap some paint on everything. We think they used tractor paint... over the years, the effect is not too pretty.

All ground equipment is marked with its weight. These intake covers weigh 5Kg and 3Kg, respectively, and are marked with the bord number of the aircraft they came from. Cleaned up they'll look really nice.

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