Caravelle's passenger door mechanism is repaired - Part 4

Maanantai 27.5.2024 - Erja Reinikainen ja Martti Saarinen


The reparation procedure of the left-hand side passenger door’s complicated opening and counterbalancing system has been described in the previous blogs and the story is completed in this one.

During our previous reparation visit the door was already functioning in the desired way but after a long working day the last adjustments and final inspection were not done. Therefore the door could not be taken into use yet. In the week before our latest visit to Turku we asked the Turku team to check whether the bungee ropes are still tight when the door is closed. The reply was reassuring, they are tight all right. This meant that nothing had failed or broken while the counterbalancing system had been carrying a full load for a week while the door remained closed.

After arriving we lifted the cabin floorboards and checked the bungee ropes in the side tunnel under the floor. The ropes were still tight, so everything was ok. The polishing team was working outside, polishing the lower section of the passenger door and we had to wait for a while before we could open the door. It could be opened without problems.


Photo by Ismo Matinlauri.

When the door was open and in its highest position, we could see that the bungee ropes had slackened a little. This we had expected to happen. There is a convenient adjustment at the far end of the each bungee cord attachment cable: the fastener pin is moved on the connecting piece into the hole where the desired tightness of the bungee rope is achieved. The adjustment was done in a couple of minutes and the door operation was tested again. Everything worked fine. After this the last installations were done, and the final inspection was completed.


The Turku team members were given user training on how to operate the door. Now it can be used safely and there is no need to go back and forth through the small and low service door. The passenger door was open for the visitors during the weekend opening hours on May 25th – 26th.


Meanwhile, work on the flight deck was continued to have the side windows replaced. The small triangular windows had already been replaced and now the large rear windows were under work. The windows are the emergency exits for the flight deck crew, so they are easy to remove by opening the locking levers and lifting the window away.


However, this was easier said than done after the aircraft had been standing outside for almost fifty years. A lot of gun oil and some patience were needed to open the locking mechanisms but eventually they could be opened. Installing the new window on the left-hand side went smoothly but the right-hand side was more difficult. Some machining was needed and two assistants helping before the window was in its place.

Photos by Martti Saarinen except if otherwise mentioned.

Translation by Erja Reinikainen.

Avainsanat: aviation history, restoration, Caravelle, OH-LEA, Sinilintu, Bluebird