Demoiselle on show to the Shopping Centre Tuulonen

Tiistai 6.2.2024 - Tuesday Club member


The Shopping Centre Tuulonen’s small aviation museum received a new aircraft, when the Santos-Dumont n:o 20 – La Demoiselle was assembled on show along he DC-2 Hanssin-Jukka. La Demoiselle was donated by Museum Centre Vapriikki to Aviation Museum Society Finland. The display in the Hanssin Jukka hangar had been agreed between the Hanssin-Jukka heritage foundation and Aviation Museum Society. This Demoiselle is a replica and was built at the change of the Millenium.




The Demoiselle replica arrived by road transportation from Tampere to Tuulonen on Monday February 5th. Without the outer wing panels the fuselage with the centre wing fitted well on a closed-bed lorry. After the transportation arrived at Tuulonen, the outer wing panels were carried straight into the Hanssin-Jukka hangar. The Demoiselle fuselage with its mid-wing section were drawn out of the transportation and wangled inside through the double doors and to the shopping centre corridor. There it was noted that the fuselage with its mid-wing will not fit through the Hanssin-Jukka hangar double doors. Thus the mid-wing section had to come off.



Photo by Juha Veijalainen.


The unfastening of the wing posed no problem to the Tuesday Club members who were present. The two parts of the mid-wing were unfastened from their struts. After that it was easy to draw off both halves of the mid-wing from their fastening pegs in the fuselage. The left-hand and right-hand side wing halves were carried into the hangar.



Photo by Ari Aho.


Photo by Ari Aho.

After that the mere Demoiselle fuselage was lifted with the shopping centre personnel engine first over the rails in front of the hangar doors, and from there carried into the hangar. There the fuselage was carried tail first into an area bordered by Hanssin-Jukka’s right-hand wing, fuselage and the horizontal stabilizer.


The original idea was to place the Demoiselle on show hanging from the ceiling, as was the case at the Museum Centre Vapriikki. It was, however, found that the floor level beside the Hanssin-Jukka was a much more presentable place. There the Demoiselle will be very well visible from the windows of the shopping centre and the aircraft wouldn’t obstruct the view to the Hanssin-Jukka. Thus the Demoiselle was decided to be reassembled right away.




Reassembling the Demoiselle replica was fairly straight forward. The Demoiselle’s use in shows with numerous dissembling and assembling has clearly been taken into account when building the aircraft. First the left- and right-hand halves of the mid-wing were pushed into the support pegs in the fuselage and the struts were fastened into the brackets situated on the wing under surface. Now the outer wing panels could be pushed into the fastening pegs in the mid-wing and tightened into place with overwing and underwing steel wire braces. When the propeller had also been fitted, the Demoiselle replica had been reassembled on show.


The Demoiselle replica, expertly built by a voluntary group in Tampere, is a resplendent sight, even though it’s not an original Demoiselle. The aircraft gives a good idea of the early 1900s aircraft and in this particular case of the Santos – Dumont n:o 20 – La Demoiselle type of aircraft. Adolf Arno of Tampere tried as the first Finn to get airborne in 1911 in a similar type - although failing in the attempt.

Photos by Lassi Karivalo except if otherwise mentioned.

Translation by Matti Liuskallio.

Avainsanat: aviation history, restoration, Santos-Dumont, La Demoiselle