Thursday, August 11, 2011

MiG-23 Twilight Afterburner Run

On Saturday the Cold War Air Museum performed a twilight taxi test of its MiG-23UB "Flogger" aircraft.

The following photographs are provided courtesy of Ivan Voukadinov, who made the trip from Chicago for the event. Ivan is from Bulgaria, where his uncle was a Bulgarian Air Force pilot who flew our Bord 022 during its military career.

Photographers and movie makers refer to the time that straddles sunrise and sunset as "Golden Hour" because the natural lighting has a certain glow to it.

15 minutes after sunset, the MiG-23 was taxied into position on the runway and the afterburner was lit for approximately 3.5 seconds. The initial afterburner ignition is the most impressive because of the sheer volume of raw fuel that is sprayed into the tail pipe. The MiG-23 consumes approximately 2 gallons of Jet-A per second at max afterburner.

After slowing down and leaving the runway, the wings were swept to the 72° position, giving the Flogger its signature "go fast" look.

The MiG-23's appearance is even more menacing after dark. Taxi lighting consists of illumination on both sides of the aircraft. The landing configuration consists of illuminating only the larger light on the port side of the aircraft as Soviet pilots were taught to "look left" during landing.

The MiG-23 was the first Soviet design that took cockpit ergonomics into strong consideration and the internal lighting is particularly well thought out.

Even sitting still the MiG-23 looks like it's going Mach 2.35.

Many thanks to Ivan and all the other photographers who made it out to the museum!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cold War Air Museum L-29 Delfin Projects

The Cold War Air Museum is fortunate to have a number of friends and associates that help support the museum. Part of this growing network includes a number of L-29 pilots and aircraft owners.

Many of these fine Delfin Trainers were imported, but some were never reassembled or flown. Even with the best of intentions, there sometimes is simply not enough time in the day to do everything a busy person wants to do. With the price of Jet fuel high and the economy low, several such projects have been offered or donated to the Museum.

Moving and storage alone places significant demands on Museum resources. Brad, who has taken a lead role in a number of projects lately, is shown rigging an L-29 center section for local transport. The cradles and frames shown in these pictures were originally used for the overseas shipment of the aircraft. Chris (with an appropriate western hat), stands by to help.

This particular nose section came from a base that also provided training and support for MiG-23's, as indicated by its nose art.

For many of the volunteers, this was their first opportunity to see an aircraft in pieces, as it was originally shipped. For others, it was a familiar experience, having moved dozens of similar projects in the past.

Machinery helps, but is not always available or necessary. Here, a set of L-29 wings is being moved by hand. Approaching a downhill section on the ramp, Homer stretches his legs to stay ahead of the rollers. Tales from Eastern block crews that worked on these aircraft contain numerous anecdotes about maintenance in countries and on bases, where equipment we take for granted was not always available.

Rene, Larry and others assisted as well. Equipping this golf cart with drop tanks did not significantly increase it's range. We're working on providing training for that as an L-29, mod-golf-cart (dash-1), issue.

With recent improvements in housekeeping, we were able to accommodate storage for three more projects (in pieces). Our goal (one on a list of many goals), will be to continue to restore and fly such aircraft in support of the educational and historical mission of the Museum.

Post WWII, there were tens of thousands of surplus aircraft on airports and in hangars across the U.S. Now, there are only a few hundred left in flying condition. The "mature" generation at the Museum watched as those aircraft and their history disappeared forever. Thus we appreciate the value of rescuing and recovering aircraft from "our" era for future generations to enjoy.

Bord 10, the aircraft hidden in the picture above, now hopefully heads for a new home.

Cosmetically restored at its prior home, we hope more importantly that this aircraft can again regain flight with the Museum's parts and maintenance resources for support.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Welcome Ed VanWinkle

The Cold War Air Museum attracts many visitors because of its unique mix of aircraft, associates and projects.

Meet Ed VanWinkle, a Rotary Wing CFII, who recently joined our restoration and flying team.

Ed and Larry, pictured here, took Larry's beautiful Bell 47 out for some proficiency work last weekend. We look forward to seeing more of Ed in the near future.

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 25th, Airport Day

The Airport where the Cold War Air Museum is located hosted another community event last Saturday. More activities and events attract more visitors and we are happy to see them.

Our volunteers rolled out a number of aircraft for viewing.

And other aircraft from the CAF were put on display as well.

Quite a few aircraft flew in. This demonstration team of RV's showed their skill in formation exercises.

The Mi-24 is passing well behind the parked RV's, making it look much smaller than it does up close.

And the MiG-23 was on display as well.

Jon said it was a good day to make MiG noise.
(Jon likes to make MiG noise)

And the MiG is very good at making noise.
Add fuel - Make noise.
Make lots of noise, is good, is normal.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Third Mi-2 Gets Airworthiness

Returning to flying status after quite a few years on the ground, the Cold War Air Museum's third Mil Mi-2 "Hoplite" aircraft, bord 212, received it's airworthiness certificate today.

Directors Pete Coz and Jon Boede hold the latest FAA Airworthiness Certificate in front of the newest fully restored aircraft at the Museum.

Having multiple Mi-2s and pilots to fly them, allows the museum to respond to more requests for aircraft at airshows and events throughout the year.

Congratulations to all our volunteers and associates for their efforts in making this project another success at the Cold War Air Museum.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Follow us on Facebook

The Cold War Air Museum has created a Facebook page for those people using the popular social media site who would like to be Friends with the museum.

To "Like" us, click on the button below, or search for "Cold War Air Museum" on Facebook.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

During the last FAA visit to the Cold War Air Museum, we picked up several action items for the completion of our Mi-2, bord 212.

One of them was adding dataplates (labels) to the panel and matching everything together in the new Pilot Operating Handbook (POH).

Jon, the detail oriented member of the group, studied the panels and requirements to send the necessary dimensions and details to the engraver.

The report for this week is; the POH update is nearly complete and the dataplates are on their way back from the engravers.

We're almost there!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mi-24 visits Bryan, Texas

A call to the Cold War Air Museum recently led to a quick trip to Bryan Texas. When the R4D from the sister museum on the field developed maintenance issues, the Mi-24 gallantly filled the vacant spot at the Coulter field airshow.

Bryan is the sister city to College Station, home of Texas A&M University.

Even with more aircraft flying in, and flying over, the Mi-24 was a big hit. And, the crew even remembered to take the fund-raiser T-shirts with them to the show.

The group takes a moment to pose with some of the CAP members that attended and helped with the show.

A prior post featured a story about one of the Faculty Members of the Bush School of Government and Public Service. The Bush Library and Bush School at Texas A&M house unique lessons and programs from the cold war era.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cold War Air Museum Mi-24D "Hind" gets U.S. Airworthiness Certificate

The second Mi-24D associated with the Cold War Air Museum received its U.S. Airworthiness Certificate today!

Licensed in the Experimental Exhibition category, bord 120, will soon join her sister ship, bord 118, flying to airshows and events.

Museum President, Bruce Stringfellow smiles as he shows off this all important part of our flying machine. Standing beside him is Museum Director Jon Boede and two smiling officials from the F.A.A.

This project truly was a team effort and we want to thank everyone who contributed their time, talent and labor. We also want to thank the F.A.A. for their help and guidance with the project. Look for more blog posts about the story of bord 120 soon.

Congratulations All!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day - 30 May, 2011

On this Memorial Day, the Cold War Air Museum joins with families and communities all over America in recognizing and honoring those men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in our military service .

Begun as a celebration of rememberance and reconcilliation shortly after the American Civil War, Memorial day is celebrated as a National Holiday each year on the last Monday in May.

To all who have served and are presently serving, Thank You.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cold War Air Museum at the Corsicana Air Show - Part 2

We've got a few more pics to share from the Cold War Air Museum visit to the Corsicana Airshow this year.

The Mi-2, as well as the Mi-24 drew plenty of interest.

Because the helicopters were perfectly happy to operate off the grass. More ramp area was made available for the fixed wing aircraft that needed a hard surface to park and taxi.

As Jon taxied by in the L-39, Andy got this shot of the Mils starting to develop lift power (and a UH-1 in flight behind them).

The top speed of the Mi-24 is well within the low end of the L-39's operational envelope, so Andy took several in-flight pictures of the Mil during his ride back to home base.

Thanks to Andy Nixon for sharing these additional photos with us.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

MiG-21 Work Continues

MiG consultants for the Cold War Air Museum  are in town working on our MiG-21UM and MiG-23UB.

On jacks, Bord 38 is about to go through gear retraction and extension cycles. Our external "mule" allows the hydraulic system to be isolated and checked before we move on to testing the engine. Ground tests are an important milestone in the restoration and certification process.

Improvisation is sometimes necessary. A few litres of hydraulic fluid needed to be injected into a hydraulic reservoir through this service port, so we modified a bug sprayer from the local hardware store to do the job. Kazik shows us how it's done.

Meanwhile, Roman inspects the connections and cannon plugs under the MiG-21's wheel well.

Our goal for this month is to get the hydraulic systems on the MiG-21 tested and the engine started so the aircraft can be taxied under its own power.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Aircraft Registration Marks

Part of the process of getting an aircraft at the Cold War Air Museum ready for certification is complying with the external marking requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

FAR 45.22 provides a few things that are unique to Experimental Exhibition aircraft:

1) "N numbers" can be as little as 2 inches tall and;

2) Instead of the word "EXPERIMENTAL" on the outside of the aircraft, an X can be placed in the second digit of the "N number" to identify the aircraft in the experimental category.

These concessions allow an aircraft to be displayed close to its original military markings, without as many visual distractions. After going through this ordeal with his own plane, one of the museum benefactors bought a stencil machine to help us with this process and Jon has provided some pictures and a description from one of the current projects, below.

First, the stencil must be designed using the vinyl cutting program. Stencil material can be up to 15 inches wide and the image can either be "positive" (blocking paint from the surface), or "negative" (the stencil is painted over and then removed, leaving a painted image behind).

Here, a "negative" is applied to the aircraft.

Then masking is added to limit over-spray on the rest of the aircraft and the floor.

And paint is applied.

Finally, the stencil is removed. Some experience is helpful at this step, as the paint must be dry enough to leave clean edges but not so dry that it pulls up with the stencil.

The result is a very nice "N number" of precisely the desired size and style.

Watch for more updates on this aircraft in the near future!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

CWAM at the Corsicana Airshow, Part 1

The Cold War Air Museum gets a fun opportunity to participate in the Corsicana Airshow every year.

The crowds enjoyed seeing our aircraft as well as a great many others.

Big kids and little kids are always fascinated to see flying machines, especially the Mi-24.

With the B-17 flying overhead and lots of other activities, there was plenty to see, hear and do.

Including getting your picture taken by our friendly guys.

The L-39 was a hit as well. With the price of fuel being what it is today, it is more of a burden for turbine aircraft owners to attend shows.

Old and new, a view of the B-17 on approach from the L-39 rear seat.

Thanks to Andy Nixon for sharing these fun photos with us. We'll have more soon in Part 2 of this series.