Painting of the Mi-8 helicopter tail boom stabilizers

Tiistai 16.1.2024 - Tuesday Club member


Suomeksi

The restoration of the Karalian Aviation Museum situated Mil Mi-8T (HS-4) tail boom stabilizers has been concluded. It started at the Tuesday Club in the autumn season 2023. The decayed covering fabrics of the stabilizers of aluminium structure were removed and the stabilizers were covered with weatherproof thin aluminium sheets instead of fabric. Because it was decided to paint the stabilizers all round, the worn paint surfaces were ground ready for painting. The priming of the stabilizers has been described in an earlier blog.

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The stabilizers of the tail boom will be painted according to the paint scheme used in Mi-8 helicopters in the Defence Forces. The upper surfaces will get a camouflage colour AN 22 green (Light bronze green), which compares to the NCS-shade map NCS S6020-G50Y. The under surface will be light grey (Light aircraft gray), which corresponds to the RAL shade map RAL 7038. As the surface paint the Teknos Futura 15 outside furniture paint was chosen. Corresponding to the aforementioned shades, the grey and green paints were bought at the Pintaväri Vantaa branch.

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The painting was started from the upper surfaces with the green Futura. The smooth surfaces were painted with a narrow mohair roller. Uneven surfaces like the rivet studs, the stabilizer stem and the strut were painted with a brush. The first time over gave a fairly good coverage, but to achieve a good surface the stabilizers have to be painted twice over.

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After the green paint had dried, the under surfaces were painted once over with the light grey Futura. This paint, too, gave laudable coverage with the first painting. However, the under surfaces were painted a second time over after the paint had dried, to achieve an even and well protecting surface.

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We still had to paint the stabilizers’ upper surface for a second time. The painting of the upper surface for the second time was left last, because at the seam of the upper and under surfaces of the stabilizer, the green paint gives a good coverage over the light grey paint. In this context the green and grey border surface of the stabilizer was taped over with painter’s tape. Another option would have been to paint the border area with a roller without masking. However, we ended up with masking, because it produces a neat and tidy straight border between the grey and green paint.

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When masking is used in painting, it’s important to take off the masking tapes immediately, before the paint dries. If you leave the tape in place till the paint is dry, when taking the tape off it easily tears dried paint along, and the neat border that was meant to be achieved by masking, will be lost.

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The Mil Mi-8T helicopter of the Karelian Aviation Museum has now had its tail boom stabilizers restored and they are ready to be delivered to Lappeenranta.

Photos by Lassi Karivalo.

Translation by Matti Liuskallio.

Avainsanat: aviation history, restoration, Mil Mi-8, HS-4, Tuesday Club


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