The DO-5 fuselage on display at the Turku Airshow
Perjantai 23.6.2023 - Tuesday Club member
The fuselage of the Douglas C-47 A, registered DO-5, owned by Aviation Museum Society Finland was on display at the Turku Airshow as part the Aviation Museum’s stand. The DO-5 fuselage, which was used by the Finnish Air Force for training paratroopers in the 1960’s, was refurbished enough in the Aviation Museum Society’s Tuesday Club for the fuselage to be brought on display to Turku. The Airshow visitors could be allowed inside the fuselage to see how the aircraft was used in training the paratroopers.
Photos by Janne Salonen
Photo my Lassi Karivalo
The DO-5 fuselage was transported from the Aviation Museum’s yard at Vantaa to Turku Airport on the Thursday before the Airshow weekend. The Aviation Museum Society’s stand was situated in the Airshow area close to the mighty Boeing C-17 Globemaster. So there they were in close vicinity, the USA Air Force Air Transport aircraft from the 1930’s and the 1990’s, albeit in different calibre.
Photos by Lassi Karivalo
The Society had also brought on display the “Snoopy” aircraft donated to the Society and awaiting full restoration. This experimental aircraft from 1969 was constructed by the brothers Ari and Esko Hietanen from Turku.
Photo by Janne Pauni
The DO-5 fuselage drew great interest among the Airshow visitors. On both show days, Saturday and Sunday, people poured into the DO-5 to hear about the history of this individual aircraft and about the refurbishing projects done by the Tuesday Club, including the full-sized photo in the cockpit of the instrument panel of the Kar-Air DC-3 OH-VKB, which is situated in the Aviation Museum.
Photo by Juha Veijalainen
Photo via Jarmo Kaipainen
We told the visitors in particular how the DO-5 was used at Utti as a jump aircraft to train paratroopers and after it was taken off from flying, how the fuselage was utilized on the ground as a dry run platform before the first real jump as a paratrooper. We didn’t keep count how many persons visited the interior of the DO-5, but we estimate that the number is nearer 2000 than one thousand. It was a pleasant incident, when someone visited the aircraft and said that he had jumped from this very aircraft in 1963 on his conscript time, when it still served as a jump aircraft.
Those who visited the aircraft were also very interested in the Aviation Museum Society’s DO-5 project in itself. They thought it was commendable that Aviation Museum Society Finland saved from the scrap yard an aircraft used by the Air Force in the 1960’s, with the cabin still in its original paratrooper training attire. Our project isn’t solely to preserve a C-47 because there are plenty of them still flying in the world, including converted airliner flying “Dak”, the OH-LCH, owned by Airveteran Oy.
In preserving the DO-5 we’ll be able to save for the future generations Air Force history from the 1960’s concerning paratrooper training. We at the Tuesday Club can be proud as Punch for what we have already done to refurbish the fuselage. Without our input the fuselage wouldn’t have been in such a condition that it could have been put on display. There’s still a lot to do with the DO-5, but time will show how far we can go. The positive feedback we received at the Turku Airshow only confirmed how important our idea was, from the point of aviation history, to save the DO-5 used by the Air Force in training paratroopers more than 50 years ago.
We, inside the DO-5 telling the visitors about the history and use of the aircraft, were literally in a hot spot. The scorching weather and the sun blaring from a cloudless sky heated the interior really hot. The temperature must have been nearly +50 degrees Celsius, even though we had installed a few fans to ease our existence. We did survive the hours’ long “sauna” of both airshow days. It must be admitted that cases of mineral water and Coke relieved the situation in preventing dehydration.
The positive attitude of the visitors motivates Aviation Museum Society Finland to carry on with the refurbishing of the DO-5. From the point of view of the Tuesday Club the situation is problematic, because for the time being the DO-5 remains in Turku and our club operates in the Finnish Aviation Museum’s premises in Vantaa in co-operation with the Museum.
Photos by Janne Salonen
After the Airshow the DO-5 fuselage was transported to Turku Airport to the vicinity of the Caravelle III, which was restored as Finnair’s “Bluebird”, and is owned by Aviation Museum Society Finland. There the Old Lady DO-5 can stay by the little younger Old Lady the “Bluebird” on public display.
Photos by Janne Salonen
The former SAS Caravelle (SE-DAF) presently in Finnair colours, outside the actual Airshow area also interested the Airshow visitors very much. So about 1300 people popped in to get acquainted with the Caravelle “Bluebird” on their way from the Airport terminal bus-stop to the gates of the Airshow area. It was well worth getting acquainted with, because the newly painted Finnair “Bluebird is a truly resplendent sight.
Translation by Matti Liuskallio.