The on June 2015 started Focke-Wulf Fw 44 Stieglitz (SZ-25) renovation project at Tuesday Club got a worthy ending on 29th of September. On that day happened the ceremonial inauguration of the newest showcase at Kauhava Aircraft Park. SZ-25 was placed in this showcase together with VL Pyry (PY-1). The third trainer in the same showcase will eventually be Valmet Vinka when Finnish Air Force renounces the use of this type.
SZ-25’s wings had been transported to Tikkakoski for interim storage already during spring, while its fuselage stayed at Finnish Aviation Museum to be finalised by Tuesday Club.
The last phase of renovation was making of missing locking parts for propeller by turning. Also exhaust tubs for cylinders had to be made. This was outsourced. Matching exhaust tubs, exhaust manifold and exhaust tube under the fuselage turned out to be difficult. However, finally all parts fell together and the fuselage was ready to be transported to Kauhava.
Transportation was done on 13th of September by Finnish Army. Their truck arrived at Aviation Museum and SZ-25’s fuselage was hoisted into truck and secured with cargo straps. The propeller was moved separately and attached into a transport pallet. Also SZ- 25’s wings were transported to Kauhava from Tikkakoski. A dozen strong group of Tuesday Club members traveled two days later to Kauhava to assemble SZ-25 inside the gorgeous, newly built showcase.
Even while we started working immediately after arriving, there were things to do also on the next day. It took seven hours for us to assemble SZ-25 plus wash both Stieglitz and Pyry.
Renovating SZ-25 was an acceptable work for Tuesday Club. It was even more meaningful because while working we knew that this aircraft will be placed in an appropriate exhibition place. This new showcase includes even dehumidification equipment. It is sad that most of aircraft we renovate end up in storage areas or somewhere else than in actual aviation museums. This is because Finnish aviation museums are too crowded already now.
It was heart warming to experience how serious was the attitude of the Air Force Academy Guild towards the preservation and presentation of Air Force aviation heritage. This new showcase built by Guild and our good co-operation between Guild and Tuesday Club is an example of this. And now the showcase glows with its bright lights like a jewel in Kauhava’s night.
This photo: Timo Telen. Others: Lassi Karivalo.