Caravelle restoration work has started

Lauantai 1.10.2022 - Tero Hyvärinen

The restoration work on the Caravelle has started and the volunteers have agreed to work on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The aircraft is in the Pansio harbour area, in a large former shipyard hall and there is plenty of space for working. The atmosphere causes a flashback from the 1970s, only the angry foreman and a ruddy shop steward are missing! The hall is about 7 kilometres from Turku centre. The area is guarded and behind a gate, so unauthorized curiosity is prevented, to some extent at least.


At this point different kinds of organizing has been necessary and time consuming. Tools and supplies are gradually being acquired and borrowed. The volunteers have also used their own tools. Tenders for cleaning the outer surface of fuselage have been asked from power washing companies and they have visited the site to estimate the situation.


We are sharing the hall with pigeons, which is somewhat annoying. They seem to have their favourite places among the roof trusses and the equipment underneath must be protected from their droppings. Bird nest housing areas have been found inside the Caravelle’s wings and stabilizers, obviously built during the years at Arlanda.


The existing white layer of paint is very uneven in some areas, and at the moment it also seems that the paint is very hard. There has been some discussion whether the aluminium surfaces will be polished or painted. The amount of work is still difficult to estimate.


Working safety issues are important here, as they are in a paid job. Aviation Museum Society Finland has bought various safety equipment and given instructions on their use. A helmet, safety footwear and protective glasses must be worn in all tasks. When working in high places, harnesses and safety ropes must be used. Those who don’t have a valid working safety card will participate in a working safety course.


Usually there are 5-10 volunteers working on the agreed days. There are former Caravelle mechanics in the team, so up to now real show-stopper problems have not occurred.
The average age of the volunteers probably begins with six, based on a rough estimate. There is plenty of enthusiasm and probably experience brings along some patience. When disassembling the wing tips and other small parts it has been necessary to bore out the screws – and removing their remains is time consuming work. However, the calm and well-planned actions will prove to be an advantage when the aircraft is eventually reassembled. Although there is not enough time to be wasted, a peaceful atmosphere is preferred. We are all volunteers and working here is our hobby. The work is progressing, although there are occasionally some chatter circles.

Ismo Matinlauri is supervising the work and managing the project in Turku. I, Tero Hyvärinen, have promised to take care of photographing and writing blogs. I aim to document the restoration work for future needs and to take also different kinds of snapshots of the working team to be published and for the team’s own purposes.

An observation of life philosophy: A get-to-know-each-other game is not the best way to learn to know people, working together is.

Photos: Tero Hyvärinen

Translation: Erja Reinikainen.

Avainsanat: aviation history, restoration, Caravelle