Mary became passionate about planes during long journeys on board. Her passion led her to fly aircraft as diverse as Lisunov Li-2 Ilyushin II-14, II-62 and IL-76, Tupolev Tu-134 and Tu-154B-2, Antonov An-12 and helicopters Mil Mi-2 and Mi-17.
“Workhorse” of Soviet aviation, turned into classroom
Finally, Mary “fell to thump” old Tupolev Tu-104A abandoned in Berdsk. The aircraft was one of the most famous in the history of aviation. Tu-104 was launched in the mid 1950s, became – briefly – the only jetliner in the world operating, which could carry 115 passengers over a distance of over 2700 km. The aircraft remained “workhorse” of Soviet civil aviation until 1970.
Face plane (CCCP-42382 registered series), was delivered to Aeroflot Soviet air operator in 1958 and remained in use for 20 years.
Initially, the plane flew on international routes between Vnukovo airport in Moscow and destinations outside the Iron Curtain.
He was later transferred to the airport Pulkovo near St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) and then Tolmachenko Novosibirsk airport. In 1978, the Tupolev was “retired out” and came to the airfield in Berdsk.
Tu-104 was useful even after retirement. The aviation instructors have used the “classroom” to train paratroopers and glider pilots, after which the disgraced aa was vandalized by various individuals.
“I’d love to see it flying”
Karmanova heard Tupolev’s fate in 2009. The restoration project was born and the young woman shown extraordinary commitment. The challenge was extraordinary.
Karmanova had no experience in the repair of aircraft, no idea what or where parts need to procure. Moreover, he had no sketch of the Soviet fighter.
The young Maria was involved in a “fight” to obtain all available information about the configuration of the cockpit Tu-104A.
The local aviation club have advised her to appeal to the Civil Aviation Administration of Western Siberia, where former pilots would be able to provide assistance.
Thus, he met a former co-pilot of Tu-104, which gave the aircraft manual. Finally, Maria managed to start looking for missing parts used market.
Surprisingly, the parts for the Tu-104 can be found in Russia and neighboring countries, especially on the Internet. Own money, managed to reassemble the plane Karmanova old.
“The cockpit is restored at the rate of almost 70% at the level of the original, but still have a lot of work,” said Maria.
Although he began this journey alone, along the way and joined people passionate about old Soviet aircraft, and engineer Vladimir Chebotnikov.
It helps Maria to the installation complex and restore various parts of Russian aircraft. Three other people have joined the project and locate the missing pieces, such as the electrical system.
Karmanova is realistic about her ambitious project. “Of course I dream of flying to see him,” she says. “But this would require money, many technical documents and hard work. I do not think that will happen in the near future. ”
A truer purpose would be to repair electrical equipment, such as lights and communication systems to function as the heyday of the aircraft.
Moreover, the young could turn the aircraft in the museum and people can already visit the wreck during the spring and summer. Once restored, the plane will be able to get more visitors, becoming a local attraction, high hopes.–