In mid 2008, restoration of CWAM's Mi-2s was underway when corrosion was found on the bottom skin below the fuel tank. After inspecting the other Mi-2's and making calls, we found that this is a common problem with former military Mi-2s. Removing the fuel pumps, fuel bladder and bladder support structure in 214 uncovered areas of severe corrosion in the fuel compartment. After consultation with an airframe representative, it was determined that the bad skin would be removed and replaced.
As work progressed, a series of e-mail "newsletters" with pictures was sent to the Directors and Volunteers to keep them informed of work progress. Eventually we realized that this was a valuable and interesting part of the museum story. As an alternative to a newsletter, a blog allows readers to interact with the museum through questions, comments and shared information. We hope this experiment succeeds and that you not only enjoy the pictures and narrative we provide, but share information with us as well.
The Mi-2 story continues below.
Because the skin is a major component of the strength of an aircraft and because we would be removing most of the external stiffeners ("hats"), the aircraft was supported by an overhead frame as well as jacks. The main gear was removed to allow removal of the corroded skin and to allow inspection and treatment of structural components.
After the skin was removed and the hats, doublers and filler neck were recovered, the extent of the corrosion could be seen. We are fortunate in having the service of an expert aircraft repairman, Charles, who could remove, duplicate and replace the skin structure.
Hats, Doublers and the machined neck piece for the fuel pump were salvaged from the old metal and reused on the new.