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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Refurbish or Restore

The dictionary says refurbish means to repair and make improvements, or to brighten or freshen up.  Restore is to return (something) to an earlier or original condition by repairing it, cleaning it, etc.  At MMS Aviation we do a lot of heavy-duty maintenance on airplanes so I wanted to know which word best described our work.  My conclusion is that both terms pretty well captures what goes on at MMS, but rather than just writing about it, here are a few pictures to illustrate it.

Work began in the upper forward cabin of this Cessna U206F.  Chuck cleans the wing support structure so it can be properly inspected.  Disassembly was accomplished by removing rivets that held the various pieces together. 
Airworthy parts were cleaned and painted before reassembly.  Parts that were damaged were replaced with new parts.

Work progressed from the upper forward cabin to the tail cone.

When the tail cone repair was complete the fuselage was rotated onto its left side to work on the belly and landing gear support structure.  The last two skins to be replaced have been removed.

Chuck and Jake use floor support structure to check rivet hole patterns because sometimes there are more holes in the old skin than need to be in the new one.  New aluminum sheet is below the original skin that is the pattern for the new skin.

The airplane being refurbished/restored was used most recently in Indonesia and may have been in Africa before that.  It will next be used in Suriname and based in a costal city so corrosion prevention is a priority.
This plane is a 1976 model and it's important to remember that it has been well maintained and safely operated by missionary aviators for nearly 37 years.  With the work MMS Aviation mechanics are doing, who knows, we may see it serve another 37 years in missionary aviation. 

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