Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mi24 Bord 120, moving toward flight status

We never seem to be at a loss for projects around the Cold War Air Museum. Among other aircraft receiving attention last weekend was Mi-24 Bord 120. The second, soon to be flying, large Russian (former Bulgarian actually) helicopter based in Texas was scheduled to receive a new set of main rotor blades.

This project started with the new blades on the ground and the volunteers full of enthusiasm. The unique experience that these volunteers get working with associates on their aircraft attracts such aircraft enthusiasts.

The blades have to be hoisted about 5 meters up and aligned to the main rotor hub before they can be attached.

Don't let the look of scepticism fool you, Larry's seen this done before. I think he's just mugging for the camera. We are looking forward to doing articles on each of these associates new aircraft soon.

With a "Yo heave ho", a blade is brought over to the scissor lift that will be used to simplify and expedite the process. Improvising is no stranger to this crew.

Placed on padded saddles, each blade will be carefully raised and moved up to the hub for mating.

On approach, the crew holds her steady.

On short final, they are at the proper height and in the groove.

With minor adjustment, each blade slides easily into place. 

Hey Bruce, I've got cyclic and collective here, a blade on top and we're going up and down and back and forth. We are logging this as flight time aren't we?

Between helping and watching (with amusement), Johnny takes care of routine maintenance on Mi-2 Bord 211, cleaning the transmission filter. Johnny's motto of "Get 'er done, let's get 'em flying" is well applied here.