Assembly of the horizontal stabilizer and farewell to the hall in Pansio
Torstai 1.6.2023 - Erja Reinikainen
On Thursday, June 1st, the Caravelle’s horizontal stabilizer and vertical stabilizer were lifted on the Ahola Special Transport trailer, and these were the last items to be transported as special transport. This load was not tall and not very wide either, so it could be taken to the airport during the day. The last items were packed into the sea container and the Pansio hall was ready to be vacated.
Photos by Jouko Tarponen
Photo by Janne Salonen
At the airport the assembly work was continued in windy weather. In the morning preparations were made for assembling the horizontal stabilizer and the assembly team checked that all needed special bolts, tools, safety harnesses, etc. were at hand. The “hiab” loader crane arrived soon after noon. When everything was ready for the lift, the wind got stronger, there was a brief hailstorm and sand dust was flying in the air.
Photo by Jouko Tarponen
First the vertical stabilizer was lifted from the trailer and lowered to the ground on car tires to wait for assembly on the following day. The rudder was brought to the airport from Pansio in the afternoon, in the sea container which had been loaded there in the morning.
Photo by Erja Reinikainen
The Caravelle’s horizontal stabilizer is large and lifting it in the gusty wind on the fin root on top of the fuselage was quite an achievement. Fortunately the wind was blowing against the nose of the aircraft and towards the tail, so the stabilizer didn’t swing too much from side to side during the lift and assembly. Cargo straps had been fastened to the tips of the stabilizer and the assembly team members holding the straps were prepared to prevent the swinging. Once again there were professionals at work – assembling the stabilizer on the scaffolding and operating the crane – and the stabilizer was soon in place without too much effort. The main bolts could be fastened without major difficulties and the assembly team could sigh with relief. Then it was time for a coffee: the aggregate was started, coffee was brewed, and the team sat beside the sea container, in shelter from the wind.
Photos by Jouko Tarponen
Photo by Janne Pauni
There were other activities during the day too: more wing to fuselage fillets were assembled and fastened using rivets and screws. The pop rivet guns were causing some trouble again, the battery driven one didn’t function well and the manual one broke the day before. The large rivets are so thick that the tools are strained to the limit. There was also activity in the cabin, after a long silence, when the wall upholstery was tidied, and the toilets were fixed. The plywood floorboards will have to be repaired before the public can be allowed to come and see the cockpit and cabin.