Caudron's horizontal stabilizer is taken apart

Tiistai 27.8.2019 - Member of Tuesday Club


Before the summer break the Tuesday Club team managed to dismantle the fabric covering on the horizontal stabilizer of the Caudron C.59. (CA-59), which was used by the Air Force in the late 1920s. Also a few ribs were unfastened, too. The horizontal stabilizer has been badly bent, and it will have to be dismantled into parts to straighten it. The wooden edge of the stabilizer is in the worst condition and repairing it won’t be easy.


When the Club’s autumn season started on August 13th, the work continued by unfastening the ribs of the horizontal stabilizer. There are 11 ribs, three wooden ones and eight plywood ribs with wooden battens around the edges. The edge battens are in good condition, but the plywood parts are badly rotten. The ribs were numbered before they were unfastened.


There was busy activity around the work table when the team started to unfasten the ribs. It was hard work because the ends of the wooden battens on the upper and lower edges of the ribs had been fastened on the wooden leading and trailing edges with a fishtail joint, secured with screws.


The screws at the ends of the battens couldn’t be unfastened with a screwdriver. The screwdriver had to be used as a lever when pulling the screws out with pliers. When all the battens had been dismantled, they were bundled together with the broken plywood ribs, using painter’s tape. They will have to wait for further activities.


The wooden ribs were dismantled after the plywood ones. The team noticed that no glue had been used when building the Caudron’s horizontal stabilizer. All joints are either fishtail joints or the joints have been secured with bolts, screws or nails.


When the ribs had been dismantled, the fasteners for the stabilizer’s bracing wires on the leading and trailing edges had to be removed. The bracing wires and fasteners and their bolts were bundled together for further activities.


A historical photo from the Finnish Aviation Museum's photo archive shows what kind of aircraft Caudron C.59 is.

Other photos: Lassi Karivalo.

Translation from Finnish to English: Erja Reinikainen.

Avainsanat: aviation history, restoring, old aircraft, Caudron C.59, CA-50