Ressu's fuselage frame moved from Lemu to Vantaa

Tiistai 9.4.2024 - Tuesday Club member


On Thursday April 4th, the Tuesday Club task force set off towards Lemu in the Turku region to fetch the OH-XEA “Ressu” (“Snoopy”) fuselage frame to Finnish Aviation Museum to be restored by the Tuesday Club. The OH-XEA is an experimental aircraft, designed and built in the late 1960s by brothers Hietanen, Esko and Ari. Since last autumn we have been working on the restoration of Ressu’s horizontal stabilizer, elevator, rudder, and wing struts. This work will be ready soon and we could pick up the Ressu’s fuselage frame from Lemu to be restored.

The Ressu fuselage, stripped entirely of its fabric covering, has been stored in the hall of Martti Mattila, an aviation enthusiast from Lemu. Last autumn we fetched the Ressu’s wings and tail parts from the same place. On our way to Lemu we made a detour via Turku Airport, to Caravelle “Bluebird”, which is on display there. In Helsinki we had picked up a Super Caravelle First-Class double seat frame, which we left to the Caravelle. The aim is to build four rows of seats in the “Bluebird” cabin and an adapted group of First-Class seats. From the Airport we continued to Lemu, where we arrived soon after noon.


Photo by Martti Mattila.

Martti Mattila had already prepared the Ressu fuselage frame for pick up by fastening two wheels with pneumatic tyres, borrowed from a ride-on lawn mower, on the ends of the landing gear axle and by moving the fuselage frame outside the hall. Due to the wheels the fuselage frame was easy to move. The lawn mower wheels are exactly the suitable size for Ressu. Before the fuselage fame was moved next to the trailer to be loaded, the pick-up team posed for a group photo.


Photo by Matti Kainulainen.

When the rather light fuselage frame was lifted on the trailer, we noticed that the landing gear with its wheels was too wide to fit inside the trailer sides. We solved the problem by unfastening the wheels and the landing gear fitted just nicely inside the trailer sides, and the fuselage frame rested on the trailer floor on its wheel flanges.


Photo by Matti Kainulainen.

We fastened the fuselage frame on the trailer with the nose of the aircraft facing forward. The trailer we had at our disposal was long enough to hold almost the whole length of the Ressu’s fuselage frame. The tail reached just slightly over the tailgate. The fuselage frame was secured tightly on the trailer, front and aft, using cargo straps. We topped up our cargo by adding a security banner on the tail. We also loaded the rest of the Ressu stuff from Mattila’s hall, such as the cockpit plexiglass windows and the seat belts. Many thanks to Martti Mattila for accommodating Ressu and its parts in his hall since last June.


Photo by Matti Kainulainen.

We spent some time with Martti Mattila, listening to him talking about his ongoing aircraft engine project. Based on what we heard, we can say that Mattila is a person with multiple skills when it comes to aircraft engines and aircraft in general. He has designed and built an aircraft and he also owns an airworthy engine-Lerche.




It was time to head back to Vantaa and the Finnish Aviation Museum, where we arrived late in the afternoon. On the museum yard we unfastened the cargo straps from Ressu’s fuselage frame and reassembled the wheels on the landing gear. Then we lifted the fuselage frame from the trailer on the asphalt-covered museum yard and pushed it on its wheels in front of the restoration workshop. As the Ressu’s fuselage frame will remain outside for the time being, we wrapped a tarpaulin around it to protect it from rain.



The Ressu’s fuselage frame is now ready to face the restoration procedure of the Tuesday Club. The first actual work item will be to clean the rusty frame tubes of the fuselage frame, stripped of its fabric covering. Then the tubes will be painted with protective Isotrol paint.

Photos by Lassi Karivalo except if otherwise mentioned.

Translation by Erja Reinikainen.

Avainsanat: aviation history, restoration, Tuesday Club, Hietanen HEA-23b, OH-XEA, "Ressu"