Museum plane surfaces were cleaned in Finnish Aviation Museum
Lauantai 14.10.2017 - Member of Tuesday Club
A common problem in aviation museums is that the planes on display are covered with dust. The Finnish Aviation Museum makes no exception. The planes hanging from the ceiling as well as the ones on floor level were in need of cleaning. One of the reasons for this is that the museum doesn’t have the staff to keep the plane surfaces clean.
The Tuesday Club members of the Aviation Museum Society decided to lend a helping hand and arranged two events in the halls I and II in the Finnish Aviation Museum to clean the planes standing on floor level. The work had to be limited to what could be done without a man lift and without building any scaffolding.
The surfaces of the planes were vacuumed, wiped using a damp cloth and dried. The wiping cloths were rinsed in plain water. Cleaning chemicals were not used to avoid possible harmful effects. A half-tall A-ladder was needed to reach the surfaces that were higher up, such as the upper surfaces of fuselages and wings. Tall A-ladders could not be used for safety reasons.
The plane surfaces where partly covered with a thick layer of dust and the cleaning rags had to be frequently rinsed in water. The water in the bucket soon turned nearly black and had to be changed. Also the cleaning rags became quickly too dirty to use and had to be thrown away and replaced by clean ones. Judging by the amount of water and rags used, the majority of the dust and dirt was definitely wiped off and rinsed into the Vantaa city sewer system.
After the work of several hours nearly thirty planes had been cleaned and are now tidy and clean for the museum visitors to see. Unfortunately this doesn’t apply to all of the planes in the museum, including the Convair Metropolitan, the DC-3 or the Lockheed Lodestar – not to mention all the planes hanging from the ceiling of the museum halls. A man lift or large-scale scaffolding would be needed to clean the surfaces so high up in the display area. Using a man lift would be the most appropriate arrangement but the museum doesn’t have one.
Although man lifts are not cheap to purchase or to rent, we hope that the Aviation Museum could invest in one so that all the large planes and the hanging ones could be kept clean and tidy – as the old planes deserve. Or maybe a supporter of the Aviation Museum could donate a new or a second-hand man lift to the museum?