JSC “Moscow Aircraft Overhaul Plant VAAFNAS” – the leading enterprise in repairing and maintenance of aviation equipment of small aircrafts. According to statistics, 90% of the Mi-2 and 70% of the An-2, operating in Russia, have been repaired here.
For 75-year history of the plant there was mastered the repair of more than 29 types of aircrafts and power plants. The first aircrafts, which were repaired there in 1939 were Po-2.
MAOP is located in the Balashikha District of the Moscow Region, near the Fedurnovo village. Our tour was held by a plant director, Pavel Nikolaevich Nenastiev. Today we will speak about one interesting machine…
In the second half of 1960, the company entered “a helicopter era” that began with the Mi-1, Mi-4 was repaired from 1974 to 1982.
The pace of work was high – up to 30 cars were repaired there on a monthly basis.
One of the helicopters came here for the renovation a few decades ago, and still stays in the backyard.
The initial impression was not very good.
There are no blades, rust is visible under the layers of paint, glazing is partly destroyed…
Inside there is devastation.
However, if you have a dream than you can overcome everything.
Pavel Nikolaevich really wants to restore MI-4. Why not? If they can do this in America then why can’t we?
To answer the question “To be or not to be”, I mean – “To fly or not to fly,” we need to put together a lot of information. To begin with – we need to find the documentation. Fortunately, in the archive was found not actualized, but actual repair documentation.
The first superficial examination revealed a good state of airframe components.
The tail boom inside is like just from the factory.
For a more detailed status of the helicopter and recovery of units Mi-4 was moved into the shop.
Most worries were about the state of the fuel tank, but it was fine.
Layer after layer the paint was washed off. This work was started in August last year, and ended only in the winter.
The condition of glider – is better than it looks.
Of course, sometimes there are dents, scratches, and corrosion. But it is fixable.
Recovery is really slow, because the funding comes from their own funds. There is no response on the letters to the CB and the helicopter holding. There is no doubt that someone would show himself closer to the assembling of Mi-4 project completion.
In the meantime they do everything on their own…
It looks scary, but it all would be washed.
The heart of the helicopter – the engine AL-82B (H – helicopter). Initially it was a Wright Cyclone, a family of engines developed by the American company Curtiss-Wright. In 1930 it was made up according to the license in the USSR as the M-25, it was placed on the I-15, I-153, I-16 and other fighters. Designers consistently increased power and resource of engine, so that’s how a M-62 appeared. Finally, instead of the single-row 9-cylinder in “star” 2-row engine (two rows each with seven cylinders) was made, which was called the M-82, renamed in honor of the designer Arkady Shvetsov in AS-82.
By the way, the helicopter will get a new “heart.” Somewhere in warehouses someone found the engine of the first category: a brand new, packaged, canned. Such a condition that you can “Pull it, rub with a cloth – and it can work.”
There are more historical aircrafts in a state of airworthiness in the world than helicopters.
From the point of view of physics, the entire structure of the helicopter is much more complicated. If there everything is on the lifting force on the wing and the load is spread than in the helicopter the load is concentrated on the gear frame. And there are much more torque and greater vibration …
Ahead – there is a dismantling, defect inspection and repair of the chassis.
Over the past year the transmission and gearbox were repaired.
The tail boom.
The shafts of the tail boom haven’t been repaired – they are like new.
The problem, which is impossible to solve – the repair or manufacture of the blades. The first helicopters were with wooden blades, now there are none of them. In last series metal was already used, but their release has been also stopped.
The plant itself does not produce the blades, but the guys from Kirzhach heard about the repair of the Mi-4 and offered to make the new tail rotor blade, canned.
Now the main task – to remove the rotor blades from the monument in Torzhok and repair them.
In order to recover the helicopter, it was necessary to involve masters who have worked with it in the 1970-1980 years.
“We realized that we can’t continue recovering the helicopter ourselves. We attracted old veterans who have worked here. The former master of the TCD of this workshop is 76 years old. He came, and said “You can’t find this?”. Yes it is like this, and it is here, and it is from here. The old people are great, give them the gun, they’ll go to the battle! ”
Well, young people are also enthusiastically engaged in the restoration of the Mi-4.
The purpose of this project – to bring the machine to a flight condition. Main experts of avia restoration work in the Novosibirsk SibNIA. They confirmed that after the restoration of parts and assemblies they will test the systems and issue a permition for a trial run.
Pilots-testers, who will raise the plane for the first flight are also not found.
Not everyone will sit down in such plane, which stood for 30 years. This person needs to be a little bit crazy …
When the helicopter would be ready for flights – hard to say, too many unpredictable factors. But there are no doubts that this team will bring this story to a happy ending.
We will continue to look after the condition of the restoration of Mi-4.
Such a beauty!