The Caravelle restoration works before Easter

Lauantai 15.4.2023 - Erja Reinikainen


In the weeks before Easter the Caravelle restoration team in Pansio has been busy doing the remaining sanding work on the wing and vertical stabilizer. The lower part of the fuselage has not been sanded yet because the fuselage is now resting on low trestles, and it is impossible to work under the fuselage. The technical team decided that the fuselage will not be lifted higher at this point, mainly to save time. The parts of the fuselage sides, which will remain visible, can be quite well sanded in this existing position.


Polishing work has been practised on the engine air intake rings. Polishing the leading edge of the wings and flaps is also under way. In polishing it is easy to see that the quality of work does not get better by increasing the amount of polishing agent, quite the contrary. Polishing of the fuselage will be started in the riveted areas of the tail.

Polishing a jet airliner requires time and effort, so more volunteers are needed. A polishing work party is organized on the weekend April 22nd-23rd, 2023. You can participate on either day - or both. No special skills are needed. More information and registration on the Aviation Museum Society Finland website.


The painting work has progressed to a point where several small aluminium parts have been painted. Some painted fairings and panels have already been assembled around the engine nacelles and in the wing roots. So far we have been painting with rollers and brushes in the semi-heated rooms of the hall. When the weather gets warmer, we will be able to paint also in the large unheated hall. Major painting work will not be started before the stored boats are moved out from the rear section of the hall. This will take place in the beginning of May.


In the cabin clearing and cleaning has been continued, and the functioning of the doors has been tested. The aft stairway was repaired some weeks ago and it operates on its own hydraulics when some changes were made in the system. The original operating mechanism of the front door has been damaged and probably can’t be repaired. Alternative solutions for operating the front door have been investigated.


Photo by Ismo Matinlauri.

During the decades the Caravelle’s windows have cracked and become opaque. The technical team has been trying to find a feasible way to repair or to renew them. Repairing them proved to be burdensome and time-consuming, and having new windows made for the whole cabin is expensive. So the decision was that now there is nothing to be done about the windows. Their renewal can naturally be considered in the future.


The Caravelle’s radome and the nose bulkhead behind it have been repaired by Aviation Museum Society Finland’s Tuesday Club. The work is ready, and the parts have been brought to Pansio to wait for assembly.

The search of Caravelle’s missing flight instruments and radio panels has been going on in Finland and abroad. The inquiry online brought some results, but a lot is still missing. All instruments which have been received have been installed into place. Aviation Museum Society’s chairman Janne Salonen has been visiting colleagues in Sweden over Easter, and we hope he will be able to bring some new supplies to the instrument panel. The previous inquiry brought, however, a donation of several flight instruments, which we can’t use on the Caravelle but which can maybe be traded when acquiring the right kind of instruments.

Minor details but important elements in the appearance of the aircraft are the registration, airline name and country colours which are painted on its surface. These are among the last tasks during the finalizing phase, but the technical team has already been evaluating the alternatives how to make them. When the aircraft is brought to Turku airport, its rudder and elevators will have to be locked into place so that they are not moved by the wind. How to accomplish this detail has also been investigated during the winter.

The technical team is already planning how to move the aircraft parts to the display site at the airport, how to lift the parts into place and eventually assemble them there. Before the aircraft is brought there, concrete slabs will have to be dug into the ground under its landing gear. The details of the transportation and lifting procedures will have to be carefully planned so that everything goes smoothly and without problems. The display site is right on the edge of the airport area, which brings an extra challenge for traffic arrangements and cranes, among other things. There will be more blogs about this phase later.

Photos by Jouko Tarponen except if otherwise mentioned.

Avainsanat: aviation history, restoration, Caravelle, SE-DAF, Sven Viking, OH-LEA, Sinilintu