On Monday, July 26, a helicopter was set up at the Świdnickiego Lipca 80 roundabout in Świdnik (Lublin Province). This is a famous exhibit from 1979 that came back after several months of renovation. Among other things, the machine has been repainted while retaining its original colors. Even imitation instruments have been added to the interior of the cabin.
In 1979, the SM-1 helicopter was set up at the roundabout in Świdnik, as part of the city’s 25th anniversary celebration. It was to commemorate the first helicopter produced in the Świdnik aviation plant. It immediately became a showcase of the city.
In February 2021, the machine was removed from the pedestal and put into renovation. This, in turn, was related to the 70th anniversary of the plant, celebrated this year. That is, today owned by the Italian company Leonardo Helicopters, Wytwórnia Urządzeń Komunikacyjnego PZL – Świdnik SA (years ago the plant was called WSK Świdnik – editor’s note). This is where the helicopter was renovated.
All the necessary structural elements were replaced in the SM-1
All corroded undercarriage tubes and main rotor blades were replaced. The tail rotor was also completely replaced. In addition, defects in the hull plating were filled. The interior of the cabin has also been refreshed and an imitation of the instrument panel has been added.
On the other hand, seventy liters of rubbish and bird nests had to be removed from the helicopter’s cabin. Now these types of problems are about to end. The helicopter has received nets to protect it from birds. Additionally, the hull of the machine was sanded and painted anew (keeping the original colors). The cabin windows were also replaced. They are now transparent.
The helicopter was placed on a restored pedestal
On the occasion of the helicopter renovation, the Świdnica municipality announced a competition for the design of a new pedestal on which it would be placed. 21 works were submitted, 10 of which were put to the vote. The inhabitants, however, opted for tradition and were against the construction of a new plinth, choosing a renewed version of the “old” one.
The helicopter returned to its seat on Monday 26 July. Soon it will also be highlighted. – We managed to restore it to its prime thanks to the joint efforts of the city and PZL-Świdnik, although of course the biggest thanks go to the plant that took care of the renovation works. It is a beautiful gift for the 70th anniversary of PZL-Świdnik and for the city that grew up around the factory. We will definitely take care of the helicopter, and we invite the residents to admire it – comments Marcin Dmowski, deputy mayor of Świdnik.
The helicopter is located at the Świdnicki Lipca 80 roundabout
Main photo source: Świdnik City Hall