The "Bluebird" assembly team
Lauantai 3.6.2023 - Erja Reinikainen
The blogs written this week mention several times the Caravelle assembly team. So it is more than appropriate to introduce this group which was working on the Caravelle at Turku airport on two occasions in the past weeks. The first work phase took place on May 22nd-23rd, when the wings were transported from Pansio and joined at the airport. The second work phase was longer, May 29th-June 2nd, when first the fuselage was assembled on the wing and then the horizontal stabilizer and the vertical stabilizer were assembled on the tail. When written like this the task may sound simple, but it was far from that.
During the winter the Caravelle technical team, consisting of Markku Ahokoski, Kari Nyman, Martti Saarinen and Ismo Matinlauri, was coordinating the Caravelle restoration work which was going on in Pansio. Last year Markku, Kari and Martti planned how the Caravelle can be disassembled and now they planned and scheduled how it can be put back together.
Lifting the parts of the aircraft from a trailer and getting them accurately into place in the strong wind was a challenging task. Fastening the fuselage-wing joint bolts in the cramped keel tunnel wasn’t easy as it was almost dark there. Getting the vertical stabilizer and rudder into place on the scaffolding, in the torrents of rain, was quite an achievement, too. Assembling all the wing root fairings required a lot of patience from the team, as there were dozens of panels and hundreds of rivets. In addition to the demanding assembly work there were plenty of other activities during the week: jacks, plywood boards, pallets and car tires were moved where needed, items were taken out from the sea container and put back, slings and cargo straps were used for multiple purposes, there were several visits to the hardware store, etc.
The assembly team was led by Markku Ahokoski and in addition to Kari Nyman and Martti Saarinen, there were Reima Lindroth, Hannu Penttilä and Jouko Rinne, who had also been in Arlanda during the disassembly. Martti Saarinen wasn’t in Turku, but he participated in discussions on the phone during the assembly week. Yrjö Honkavaara and Elias Viitanen from the Pansio group were assisting in the assembly work and Erja Reinikainen worked as an overall helper.
This team of eight volunteers assembled the Caravelle “Bluebird” in five days, not including the days when the parts were lifted on trailers. Now the Pansio team can continue and assemble the remaining fairings and panels and go on with the sanding, painting, and polishing work.
Photo by Jouko Tarponen on May 29th, 2023.
This photo of the assembly team was taken in the Pansio hall on May 29th when the Caravelle fuselage had been lifted on the Ahola Special Transport trailer and the Society’s banner had been straightened. From the left: Hannu Penttilä, Yrjö Honkavaara, Reima Lindroth, Markku Ahokoski, Ismo Matinlauri, Elias Viitanen, Erja Reinikainen and Jouko Rinne, on far right ”Curre” who came to see what is going on in the hall.