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.
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.
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!
We are fortunate to be in an area with so many talents and benefits.
Mike clears the area below for the Mi-2's arrival. The crew also kept a sharp eye on the weather. Dumping rain and hail to the South, the weather cooperated for this flight by providing VFR conditions with a dramatic backdrop of low clouds.
We received the Red Carpet treatment and many visitors, actors and executives had an opportunity to see the MI-2 and visit with Cold War Air Museum Associates at the Las Colinas Studios.
The "Gala" was a celebration and review of thirty years of television and movie production complemented by recent change and renovation by the Muller Group.
Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, and Linda Grey from the TV show Dallas
were there and Cold War Air Museum Associates got an opportunity to briefly meet them and answer a few questions about the Mi-2 and the Museum.
The show must have been translated and watched in Eastern Europe as people would ask us about "JR" in our early travels there.
And Mike got to sit on the bench that played a supporting role in Forrest Gump while he watched hand rolled cigars being made. Life is even better with a box of chocolates and a good cigar.
With thanks to Mike, Johnny, Brad and Larry for crewing the event as well as Chris Williams for introducing us and sharing these pictures. More great shots from Chris and Bobbi can be found at the www.artsciencephotos.com web site.
The Cold War Air Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration and maintenance of Cold War era aircraft with a special emphasis on aircraft flown by the former Soviet Union.
Most of the museum's 20+ aircraft are in flying condition or being made ready for flight.
The museum is located on Lancaster Municipal Airport, twenty minutes south of Dallas, Texas. The museum has tour hours of 10am to 4pm on Saturdays but is open all day most weekends. There is a cafe on the field that serves a full breakfast and lunch menu.