Dismantling of rotten parts of left wing of Kurki
Tiistai 6.3.2018 - Member of Tuesday Club
The I.V.L.K.1 Kurki plane was transported from the Päijät-Häme Aviation Museum in Vesivehmaa to the Tuesday Club workshop and the restoration work of its left wing has been started. The wing (5.75 m long and 2.32 m wide) is covered with 1.2 mm thick plywood. Rotten areas in the plywood covering of the wing have had to be dismantled.
The plywood covering of the wing has several stricken holes which are easy to repair. The worst problem is the extensive rotten area around the national insignia on both sides of the wing. During the storage of the wing water has been dripping on this part of the wing and the plywood covering has been badly damaged. Also the aileron covering is badly rotten.
The wing surfacing is intact and in reasonably good condition outside the rotten area and the stricken holes. The intact parts of the wing were washed clean using a miraclean sponge soaked in water and wiped dry with a cloth. Chemicals were not used when cleaning the plywood covering of the wing.
When the plywood covering is badly rotten, there is no other option than to remove it entirely and use new plywood to cover the area. This is how parts of the Kurki wing had to be restored. First a sketch was made of the rotten area to document the location of the national insignia, the maintenance panels and the aileron control wire holes. This documentation was necessary in order to place all the items correctly in their original locations when the new covering has been installed.
The rotten plywood covering was dismantled using a carpet knife. The dismantling covered the area between two or three ribs on both sides of the wing. Usually the dismantled area is extended as far as the ribs, which makes it easier to install the new covering.
When the rotten plywood covering was removed, further damage was revealed: there was mould on the inner surfaces of the plywood covering and the upper edges of the rib plywood sides were rotten and the sheets of plywood had come apart. The frayed upped edges of the rib sides can fortunately be repaired using glue, they don’t have to be dismantled and renewed.
When the rotten wing covering had been dismantled, the remaining plywood nails and screws had to be removed from the ribs. Some nails could be carefully pulled out using pliers but some nails broke in the procedure. The broken nail stubs were either filed down to the rib surface or struck into the rib using a punch. The brass screws were easy to remove.
The work will be continued by preparing the dismantled areas for covering. First the rib plywood sides will have to be repaired as well as all the damaged areas in the inner structures of the wing. New supporting battens will have to be built in order to assemble the new plywood covering in the dismantled area.