Operation "Kurki returns to Vesivehmaa" - Part 1
Maanantai 13.5.2019 - Member of Tuesday Club
Half a dozen Tuesday Club members and members of the Finnish Aviation Museum staff gathered in the mid-hall of the Finnish Aviation Museum on Monday, May 13. The task at hand was to dismantle the I.V.L.K.1 Kurki, which had been on display for about six monthts, and prepare it for the transportation to the Päijänne-Tavastis Aviation Museum in Vesivehmaa. The Kurki is returning to the place where it was before its restoration in 2016.
The dismantling of Kurki is Part 1 in the operation “Kurki returns to Vesivehmaa”. The following episodes in the operation are the transport of Kurki from Helsinki-Vantaa to Vesivehmaa on May 14th and the re-assembling of the plane on May 15th.
The dismantling was started by removing the venturi-tube on the wing strut of the starboard wing and unfastening the tail part. The bracing cables for the horizontal stabilizer and the control cables for the tail were unfastened and tied on a roll for the journey.
Two stackers were needed when the wings were unfastened. A padded platform had been built on the forks of the stackers. First one stacker was placed under one wing to support the wing when the wing on the other side was removed. This was necessary to prevent the plane from keeling over to one side when the wing is unfastened.
The unfastening of the wing was started by pulling out the fastening pins on the main wing brackets at the wing root and unfastening the aileron cables. Then the front, middle and rear wing struts could be removed one by one and finally the wing rested on the stacker.
The wing struts had been in the way and the stacker couldn’t be placed under the wing’s center of mass. When the struts were unfastened, the stacker could be moved towards the center of the wing. This was done by manually lifting the wing tip. The wing was resting on the stacker and it was unfastened by inching the wing manually outwards and supporting it at the wing tip. When the wing had come loose, it was lowered on the floor. It was turned up, standing on its leading edge and placed on wooden frame. The other wing was unfastened in similar manner. It would be interesting to know what the mechanics of the Air Force airplane factory had thought when watching the activities of the Tuesday Club team. In 1927 the mechanics were the professionals in assembling and dismantling the Kurki.
The Kurki’s fuselage was now without wings and it was lifted by the landing gear with a stacker so that boards with wheels could be placed under the skis. Another board with wheels was placed under the tailskid. Now the fuselage could be maneuvered easily when loading it for transportation.
The smaller parts, included wing struts, elevators and horizontal stabilizer, were wrapped in bubble wrap for the transportation.
Finally, all the tools for the re-assembling of the Kurki at Vesivehmaa and all other items (small ladder, paddings, timber, padded platforms for stackers, etc.) where gathered and packed to take along to Vesivehmaa. Equipment of the Defence Forces will be used for the transport.
One stacker was loaded on a trailer, to be used for re-assembling Kurki at Vesivehmaa. It will be taken there when the Kurki is unloaded from the truck. The other stacker will be taken to Vesivehmaa on May 15th when the Tuesday Club team travels there to re-assemble the plane.
The story continues in Part 2 of the project “Kurki returns to Vesivehmaa”.
Photos: Lassi Karivalo except if separately otherwise mentioned.
Translation from Finnish to English: Erja Reinikainen.