Some overdue news:
Last year some aviation enthusiasts, retired Air Force pilots, pilots, ground personell, and students studying all roles in aviation (including myself) formed a group and then a non-profit organisation called "Aviarestorer". Every saturday, even in the winter, we meet up at the Central Aviation Museum in Monino (near Moscow) and do all sorts of volunteer work: from cleaning the museum grounds and aircraft to actually restoring the museum aircraft - inside and out.
Our goal is to preserve the display aircraft and restore them to the condition they were in when they landed for the last time at Monino...over 20 years ago. Our long term goal is to restore the interior of the passenger aircraft and open them to the general public. After all, it always pains me to tell guests of the museum that they cannot come inside and have a look at the Tu-144 when we are working inside it
We have a site, http://aviarestorer.ru (in Russian) and a Forum at http://aviarestorer.ru/forum/ (again in Russian)
We also upload all our photos from each saturday to this site: http://www.streamphoto.ru/users/FlyAway/175030/
(This is the link to yesterday's photos, but you can view others by selecting a different folder on the left side of the screen)
Currently, Aviarestorer gets all of its funds from its members (we all chip in for paint, tools and any other materials we need to reach our goal). At the moment we are considering creating a fund for donations, so I was asked to find out if any A.net memebers would potentially consider donating a couple dollars in case the fund was created to sponsor a plane of your choice at Monino. If so, please write me a PM or just reply in this post.
Also, if we have any A.nutters in Moscow other than myself, I urge you to come to Monino on any Saturday to help out because we do need all the help we can get, there are alot of aircraft that can be cleaned, painted, propped up (as their landing gears have sunk a bit into the ground in the past 20 years of neglect). After a day of work we always have a barbeque, so, if you are interested, please PM me or just show up at Monino after 9AM on Saturday and tell the ticket lady that you are with Aviarestorer. By the way, this also goes for any A.nutter that visits Moscow and wouldn't mind a bit of work and see some of these aircraft from the inside and take a few photos
Below are some photo's from this saturday.
Me entering the Tu-144 through the avionics bay (between the engine nacelles) through a tiny access hatch:
The "Tupolev 144/114 team" on the wing of the Tu-144 with the other plane we are responsible for, the Tu-114 in the backround:
The forward economy class cabin in the Tu-144:
The "IL-18 team" after cleaning out the interior of the IL-18 as seen from the Tu-114. A couple years ago the IL-18 caught on fire and all the seats and flamable materials burnt up, fortunately, the 2 tonnes of Kerosene left in the tanks did not explode. These guys removed 16 garbage bags of trash in total (some are seen behind them):
Me in the spacious cockpit of the Tu-114 yelling at the Pavel, the guy taking the picture (Superfly, you know who I am talking about ) to get back to working on the replacing one of the windows on the plane:
Me after a little rest on one of the !BEDS! in the Tu-114. Nikita Khruschev, leader of the Soviet Union in the 1950's and early 1960's used this as his personal plane and actually slept on that very bed on his way to the United States in 1960! (When he took off his shoe and slammed it on the desk at the UN Summit and threated the west that "we will bury you"):
Me sitting in the second cabin of the same Tupolev 114. The interior is in suprisingly good condition for a plane that was retired in 1969. A little damp and the paint faded and flaked off in several places, but even the seats are in good condition (and very comfortable for that matter). Next weekend we plan to take all of the seat covers off and wash them. You can see how "retro" the cabin looks and how spacious it is in this plane.
Here is Pavel making a temporary patch on the broken window so that water...and vandals will not be able to get in. Next week we will have a permanent plexiglass replacement:
The "MiG-23 team" propped up the MiG-23 on jacks after half of the tyre sank into the ground. They put some bricks and rocks under it, lowered the aircraft and in a month, after the pile becomes level, they will once again lift the aircraft and solidify those rocks with cement to make a stand for the plane:
Next week I plan to restore the Soviet flags on the Tu-144, Tu-114 and the Yak-42 with a fresh coat of paint.