The weather was perfect last Saturday and it's been a while since the Cold War Air Museum has taken the Mi-24 helicopter out for a walk.
One of the many impressive things about the Hind is its AI-9 Safire starter, which often makes an impressive display during start. Its important to position the main rotor blades so that they don't get cooked by the starter.
Sean, sitting in the doorway, probably wishes he had an AK-47 to pose with for authenticity.
Bruce and Mike discuss the co-pilot's controls. The front seat of the Hind has a collective, cyclic and torque pedals in case the pilot is unable to control the aircraft. Interestingly, it's possible for the flight engineer (who sits in the gangway behind the pilot) to pull a pin and tilt the pilot's seat backwards, making it possible to remove the pilot by pulling him backwards. While the front cockpit doesn't have full controls (for example, there is no throttle control), there are enough for operational purposes.
After getting the helicopter started, Mike, Bruce and our mechanic Johnny (who also holds a rotor pilot's certificate) took Bord 118 out for a spin (so to speak).
The three pilots on board have considerable flight time in our Mi-2 and all three sets of hands, feet and eyeballs were closely monitoring and evaluating Bord 118 as we get her ready for U.S certification.