Sunday, May 07, 2006

Shock and Awe

Mike Thorneycroft getting himself ready for the rebuild of a lifetime

It was an average week at the hangar. Lots of little flight added up. Eleven point four hours for the week. Not bad. Certainly not low flight hours found in the winter months.
There was a buzz in the hangar this week. It was a kinda like a calm before a storm. Not for the pilots or flight crew, but for the flight engineering staff at the hangar.
A couple of weeks ago one of the flying machines was taken apart for some structural work. The work would have to be done at airframe shop. The preparation took 6 days of pain staking disassembly. In aviation, every screw, every part has to be labeled and inspected. It takes time. But it keeps us all safe when we fly.
Friday the structural work was completed and the airframe was delivered back to the hangar. Now the real work begins and to complicate things, the machine is needed to fly by the middle of the week. Can it be done? Anything is possible I suppose.

The body of the flying machine arrives back for assembly

As I write this a team of skilled aircraft engineers are assembling the machine. Every screw, every part inspected and approved for flight. Fuel cells that need to be plumbed. Rotors that need to be balanced, flight controls that have to be finely tuned and electronics that need to be wired and tested. It is an around the clock endeavor.
It is a complete rebuild and it will be done in four days.
But this project is what has consumed Mike and his team of tool welding warriors this week. They have had that "thousand yard stare" this week. They knew that the parts waited for them and their skillful assembly. Can they make it fly on such a tight timeline? I am sure they can and you cannot help but be in awe of that kind of accomplishment.

Flight reporter David Kincaid checking for leaks as all of the flight engineers are tied up with the rebuild----- well that's what we were going for in this picture---he had to taste it to make sure it was aviation oil


Anonymous said...

It's Thorneycroft.....

Anonymous said...

Hey when did you become a censor for my comments????????


Murman said...

As you all know I suck at spelling, sorry Mike, Thats why I take the pictures.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand this blog post. Are they getting a new chopper?

Anonymous said...

Mike te ves muy guapo en la foto.
te adoro mucho