Just in time for winter, the Bell T-AH-1F Cobra is undergoing its annual major maintenance checkup, known as the “Condition Inspection” among aviation enthusiasts. The Cobra, the first helicopter that was designed purely for military use and owned by the Flying Bulls since 2004, will be meticulously checked for mechanical and electrical flaws. To do so, the helicopter must be dismantled almost completely, revealing most of its single components.
In addition, all oil nozzles, gas and hydraulic tubes as well as the three hydraulic cylinder of themain rotor control system are checked due to long installation times – this will be the first time since the Cobra joined the Flying Bulls fleet.
According to schedule, the check will take until the end February or the beginning of March when the legendary helicopter will once again be able taketo the skies with its unique sound!
Subject to strict regulations, the mandatory annual inspection is necessary to meet the safety-related standards that include a few additional requirements for the Cobra. The main rotor head, for instance, has to be examined carefully every five years.
The inspection also includes a careful examination of the tail rotor drive shafts and couplings, which are stripped down during maintenance to be cleaned, checked, oiled and then reassembled. Furthermore, the complete engine will be sent to Canada for disassembling, “HIS” (hot section inspection) and reassembling. The engine is then reinstalled by our own mechanics.