Sunday, February 15, 2009

Gate Guardian

In Eastern Europe where most of our museum aircraft are from, it is common at each base for a piece of retired equipment to be on display at the gate. We refer to these as "Gate Guardians".

Lancaster Airport has its very own Gate Guardian, Mi-24 bord 122.

Our gate guardian comes courtesy of a shipping company in Houston that loaded the shipment on a standard trailer instead of a low trailer. Since the top of the rotor mast extended above 14 feet, this caused a serious problem when the truck encountered the first bridge on the highway. The damage was impressive (and extensive). The rotor head, transmission, and airframe were destroyed. The salvage was donated to our sister museum on the airport, the Commemorative Air Force (CAF).

In the picture above, the tilt of the rotor head is apparent, a broken transmission mount is visible and if you look closely, buckling of the airframe aft of the pilots station can be seen. But, as with other things, we will try do our best with what we have available. In this case, the joint goal of the museums is to restore this as an outdoor exhibit by erecting the rotor head, installing the blades and repairing the skins so that it will be a visually correct, static display.

With the weather cooperating today, our team, including joint members of the CAF, went down to the other end of the field to put in some work on their exhibit.

The guys start with a talk about how they are going to clear the damaged area for repairs..

Bud, looks at the problem from the top down;

Brad, looks at how he is going to implement the plan,

and Todd is ready, lets go.

Bruce and Brad rig the transmission for removal. The chain lift on the rotor head was necessary because damage to the mast (not visible in these pictures) prevented removal of the head and attachment of a lifting hub.

Bruce checks to make sure everything is clear.

Near the end of the day, we're finally rigged and ready to go.

Everyone is happy to get this portion of the job completed. The inside of the transmission is visible through the front of the broken casting.

For more pictures and stories about this project,
click the "Bord 122" label below.

1 comment:

  1. What is Tracie doing to Bruce's head? And why is Charlie so concerned that she is doing it??