Caravelle's overhead storage shelf is moved

Tiistai 2.4.2024 - Ismo Matinlauri

The interior work of Caravelle III, restored as Finnair OH-LEA Bluebird, started in March after the winter break. The first work item was to move the rear part of the left-hand side overhead storage compartment to the front RH side. (In this case the compartment is actually a shelf, and it will be called that in this blog.) On the right-hand side all overhead storage shelves and the ceiling structure have been dismantled in Sweden for the needs of the local Caravelle III SE-DAI.

Our aim is to build a part of a passenger cabin to the front part of the fuselage, with four rows of seats. For this purpose the overhead storage shelf had to be disassembled from the rear part and installed to the other side in front. The rear part of the cabin will be an open space for future events and exhibitions.

Disassembling the overhead storage shelf proved to be an arduous operation. This seems to be the first area in the Caravelle where screws have not been used sparingly. Obviously the shelf has not been meant to be disassembled regularly during maintenance work.

Dozens of small screws had to be unfastened and on top of that, four locking bolts had to be unfastened through the passenger service unit. We had to build a long-handled tool specifically for this purpose.


Fastening battens for the overhead storage shelf were fastened on the RH side, starting from the service door. The lower aluminium batten could be moved but the upper batten proved impossible to unfasten and move, so we decided to use a wooden batten instead.


Reassembling the overhead storage shelf happened as the disassembly but in reversed order. First we fastened the row of air conditioning and loudspeaker panels into place.


The fasteners of the overhead storage shelf had to be modified to fit into their new location. The original spacing of the fasteners didn’t fit because the shelf had to be turned around to assemble it to the other side.


The final fastening of the shelf was done through the passenger service unit (PSU). This time the fastening bolts were replaced with self-drilling screws. We decided not to move the brackets for the fastening bolts, we estimated the screws to be sufficient.


Above the overhead storage shelves we stretched the covering material we had taken down from the other side. Now the front part of the cabin looks identical on both sides. Finally we installed the metal grilles to cover the air-conditioning and loudspeaker panels.


We had been doubtful about moving the overhead storage shelves because of the amount of work and breaking the existing structure. Actually disassembling the shelf proved to be the most difficult and the most time-consuming phase. After that the reassembly into the new place was quite straight-forward.

There will be a partition at both ends of the shelf so that the cut ends of the shelf will be covered. Building the partitions will be another story and we will come back to that later.

Photos by Ismo Matinlauri.

Translation by Erja Reinikainen.

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

The Caravelle right-hand wingtip leading edge is completed

Keskiviikko 27.3.2024 - Tuesday Club member


Owned by Aviation Museum Society Finland and now on display at Turku Airport, the Caravelle lll (OH-LEA Sinilintu, Bluebird) has had its damaged right-hand wingtip leading edge restoration completed. The wingtip in the Caravelle is a separate entity, which can be detached from the wing. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll use the term wingtip for this structure in the future.



The last task in building the new leading edge for the wingtip was to rivet the edges of the upper and lower covering sheets to the centre line of the leading edge. The edges of the covering sheets meet at the centreline of the leading edge. Otherwise the covering sheets of the new wingtip had already been riveted in the wingtip structure.



To be able to rivet the covering sheet edges on the leading edge centreline, the sheet edges were tightened against the leading edge using a cargo strap, tied around the wingtip. After this, rivet holes were drilled at both ends of the sheets and the edges were riveted on the centre line with pop rivets.


It was noticed that a gap of 1-4 mm was left between the edges. The edges of the sheets therefore didn’t reach each other to form a butt joint. It was decided to cover the gap with an aluminium covering strip, running along the leading edge centre line.





To make the covering strip, an 8 cm wide and 40 cm long aluminium strip was cut out of 1 mm thick aluminium sheet to conceal the seam between the covering sheets. The aluminium strip was shaped to the curved form of the leading edge by shaping it against a suitable size iron tube. The concealing strip was arduous to shape because the wingtip leading edge slopes to various directions. The strip was, therefore, moulded phase by phase, fitting it to place at times. Thus the concealing strip was made to press tightly against the leading edge ridge.





Now the blue plastic films protecting the aluminium sheet could be removed and start the riveting of the covering strip. For the riveting the covering strip was tightened to place at both ends with a cargo strap. Masking tape was applied to both ends of the covering strip to mark the places of the pop rivets. The places were marked on the surface of the tape at even spaces with a compass and pencil, and the holes for the rivets were drilled accordingly.



We discussed what would be the best order to rivet the covering strip, so that it would best confirm to the shape of the wingtip leading edge. We ended up in starting the riveting from the rear end of the covering strip, proceeding rivet by rivet towards the wingtip. In doing so, the covering strip riveted itself tightly to the wingtip leading edge. Finally, the edges of the covering strip were tapped with a hammer and a piece of wood to press it still more tightly to the underlying surface of the covering material.



The demanding task of rebuilding the destroyed wingtip leading edge of the Caravelle III was now ready. Let’s not forget the fitting of the 3D-printed navigation lamp cover to its place in the leading edge tip.

Photos by Lassi Karivalo.

Translation by Matti Liuskallio.

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

To the sunny south by Super Caravelle

Maanantai 26.2.2024 - Erja Reinikainen


I wrote in my travel diary on June 22nd, 1966: “The airplane is still on the ground, the engines are running. … We have been in the air for quite a while now. We had lunch and we will be in Warsaw in about 30 minutes. … We took off from Warsaw a long time ago and are flying high above the clouds. Soon we will land in Constanta. We will go by bus from the airport to Hotel Lotus”.

We were on a holiday trip to Mamaia beach resort in Romania, on the Black Sea coast. I was 10 years old. The aircraft was Finnair Super Caravelle, but I haven’t noted its registration, and it can’t be seen in the photographs. On the way there and coming back we stopped in Warsaw to refuel.

In the same diary there are stories from a trip on the Swedish charter airline’s Internord DC-6 from Helsinki to Naples and back in 1967. Flying over the Alps on a sunny day was an experience for a child from Finland where there are no mountains: “Ahead of us there are magnificent and beautiful mountains! The majestic Alps with their wonderful valleys glide by”. Some superlatives from a 11-year-old.


Between the diary pages there is a leaflet by Aurinkomatkat travel agency “Relaxing holiday to Rhodes, May 29th, 1968”. It shows that our flight was a Kar-Air flight, the aircraft belonged to Aero Oy.

The following year we are in the air again and I write in my diary on May 29th, 1968: “Once more on a Finnair Super Caravelle. We are heading away from Seutula airport and towards Rhodes. … A map-like view opens below us with forests, lakes, and fields. The clouds drift by, soft and white. This time we will stop in Budapest to refuel. … Now we are in Budapest, but they won’t let us out. Why not?? So this is Budapest, looks very ordinary to me: a radar, an Interflug airplane and fuel trucks”.


Erja and her mother in the Rhodes harbour. This is the photo which everybody who goes there will have.

In 1969 we were on the way to Rhodes again, this time the Caravelle was OH-LSB “Tampere”. I drew a picture of it in my diary. It is rather short and the windows are not triangular, but otherwise it is almost recognizable: engines on the rear fuselage, the horizontal stabilizer is almost the right size and there are boundary fences on the wings.


Drawing of Super Caravelle from 1969.

Some background information for the travel stories: my father was an air force mechanic during WW2, and he wanted his family to experience what it was like to fly. I was 6 years old when we travelled from Helsinki to Tampere on a Kar-Air DC-3. In 1962-69 and in the early 1970s I travelled somewhere with my parents every year, usually by air. And I thought flying was fantastic.

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

Stories from the Caravelle's winter

Sunnuntai 11.2.2024 - Jouko Tarponen ja Hannu Hedman


There are several Caravelle veterans among us. During coffee breaks and in different conversations colourful stories have been told from those days. Below two personal experiences.

My first trip by air in a Caravelle

When we were 13-14 years old, my friend and I were real aircraft fans. We lived in Raisio and we came often to Turku airport or the nearby Sikovuori nearby to see airplanes. Mainly we came there by bike but sometimes our parents drove us there.


In spring 1982 my friend and I saved money to travel by air from Turku to Helsinki, the aim was to fly in a Super Caravelle which Finnair was about to remove from service. I was already then a Caravelle fan, which must be because it was probably the first aircraft I was able to recognise as a child. In those days a weekly charter flight from Turku to Heraklion was flown by a Caravelle. The Finnair Super Caravelle flew a scheduled flight from Helsinki to Turku on Saturday evening and the departure time to Heraklion was 9.15 pm - if I remember correctly. The return flight to Turku landed on Sunday morning at 7.15 am.

The great day was Sunday, May 23rd, 1982. We bought tickets for the morning flight from Turku to Helsinki, departing at 7.45. The aircraft was Super Caravelle and the ticket cost 70 Finnish marks. We returned home by taking a bus from Helsinki-Vantaa airport to the Helsinki railway station and from there by train to Turku.

I felt very nervous and thrilled about flying because I had never experienced it before. In the morning we left Raisio in sunny weather, taken to Turku airport by car by our parents. When we got there, the information display said that the aircraft will return from Heraklion almost two hours later than scheduled. Then we drove back home to Raisio and returned to the airport about one hour and a half later.



Finnair’s Super Caravelle OH-LSD ”Oulu” from Heraklion landed in Turku at 9.10, full of passengers. When the passengers had disembarked, and the aircraft had been refuelled, there was an announcement: “departure on Finnair flight AY204 to Helsinki, gate 1”. At that point I felt for a moment that the situation was almost insuperable.


I felt slightly better when my friend and I started to walk from the gate to the aircraft. I was a first-timer in air travel, my friend wasn’t. I could only look at the floor, during take-off the uneven surface of the runway could be felt inside the aircraft, and this was a new experience for me. When we were in the air, the travelling became smooth.


Soon I looked out of the window for the first time. That was something new and awesome. I don’t remember being afraid anymore, except when the aircraft was turning when coming in for landing. I was 14 and my friend was 13. The whole experience of the first flight was and still is one of my most memorable experiences. At that time air travel was rather luxurious, compared today. Travelling south on holiday was not that common then. This was really a great experience and overcame my fear of flying. Now I knew what flying was about. It was really safe in those days too.  

An encounter in the dark

In this poor-quality picture you see a page from my pilot’s logbook from more than 50 years ago. At that time I was on a night VFR and basic instrument course in Kuopio. We were flying training flights and solo flights in the dark. I flew my first solo flight at night on February 4th, 1972. At that time the evening flight AY555 from Helsinki to Kuopio was flown on a Super Caravelle.


On these late flights I was often in the air at the same time with the Caravelle. Once flight controller Kalle Linden in the Kuopio tower warned me when I was heading south by the Kurkimäki masts: “OH-PCD, look around, the Finnair Fiver (555) is ahead”. The Caravelle acknowledged: “We can see the small one”. That was when I noticed there was an enormous pool of light flying on my left side.

After that I was more careful, and we met often in the air in the Kuopio APP area. It was rather stirring that the tower cleared my plane on the ramp close to the Finnair Caravelle. I had to go round and kick the wheels on my plane to make myself important. And yes, the guys waved from the Caravelle’s window.

First story: Jouko Tarponen, the photographer from the Turku team and documenter of the Caravelle restoration project

Second story: Hannu Hedman, also from the Turku Caravelle team and a pilot with his heart and soul. He also likes to wear a red robe before Christmas…

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

Mid-winter Caravelle news from the writing desk

Sunnuntai 14.1.2024 - Erja Reinikainen


About six months ago Ismo Matinlauri wrote a blog on this website where he talks about the amount of work and accessories used so far for Caravelle’s restoration project. At the end of 2023 the number of working hours spent on Caravelle’s disassembly, restoration and reassembly totalled 5,653 hours.


Photo via Ismo Matinlauri.

Paraphrasing Ismo’s text from last July: "Restoring the Caravelle has required a fair number of volunteers’ working hours. The job can’t be done by restoration work volunteers alone, a lot of paperwork is also needed".


Photo via Ismo Matinlauri.

The successful running of the project has required comprehensive commitment from the key personnel, especially for planning, procurement, and practical arrangements before each actual phase of work. In the three years since the beginning of the project, a large number of Caravelle-related meetings have been arranged by various groups involved in the project:

  • follow-up meetings of the Aviation Museum Society Finland board in the critical phases of the project
  • gatherings of the technical planning team, every other week in average
  • meetings for the transport planning
  • meetings for organizing competitions for equipment and service providers and procurement meetings during the disassembly phase and later in the reassembly phase
  • weekly meetings for work planning and material procurement during the restoration phase
  • furthermore, several unofficial ad-hoc work sessions have been arranged, especially by the technical crew.

A memo has been written of nearly all meetings. We can say that the project has been rather well documented for the future aviation history researchers.

The background crew of the project have also taken care of informing the various stakeholders about the project, as well as of Facebook posting, press releases, media interviews, photo processing, project material filing, etc. My estimate is that there are about 8-10 of us who have been involved in the project as PR officers, writers, translators, bloggers, photographers, etc.


Photo by Erja Reinikainen.

About 50 blogs have been written yearly on the Caravelle project website, and all blogs have been complemented with photographs and translated into English. The web pages went through a thorough update in October 2023. Several articles have been written about the Caravelle and the project phases, mainly for the Feeniks journal of the Aviation Museum Society, but also for other aviation history magazines.  

Based on an unofficial and rather freely formulated Excel spreadsheet, about 70 meeting memos have been prepared so far in the Caravelle project. About 80 person-workdays have been spent in meetings when all participants and the memo writing are considered. It can be also estimated that about 40 person-workdays have been spent on publishing all the blogs, including writing, translation, photographs, and publishing.

As the year 2024 progresses and the Caravelle restoration work continues, there will be more weekly meetings, blogs, articles, and photographs – and the documenting team will be busy again…

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

Repairing the Caravelle right-hand wingtip

Sunnuntai 14.1.2024 - Tuesday Club member


Acquired from Sweden by Aviation Museum Society Finland, the Caravelle (OH-LEA) restored at Turku airport as Finnair’s “Bluebird” had had its right-hand wingtip leading edge badly damaged during its stay in Sweden. It was damaged for a distance of ca. 40 cm, and at the process the wingtip navigation light was also destroyed. Luckily the left-hand wingtip is intact, so that it can be used as a model when rebuilding the right-hand smashed wingtip. So the destroyed wingtip must be remade.


The remaking the right-hand wingtip was started by dismantling the damaged area. The rivets on the crumpled aluminium sheets were drilled away, so that the wingtip covering could be bent open, and the covering sheets detached from the wingtip support frame. We tried to straighten the detached aluminium sheets to their original shape, but they turned out to be so brittle, that they broke when straightened to their shape. So we concluded that the right-hand wingtip leading edge had to be covered with new sheets of aluminium.




We dismantled the detachable support frames of the damaged area. Part of the structure didn’t need to be detached, so it could be used as such in reconstructing the wingtip leading edge. The detached and usable frames were straightened to their original shape. They were fastened with pop rivets to their places, utilizing the intact left-hand wingtip when positioning the support frames.



After this the back wall and bottom plate of the right-hand wing navigation light bay was constructed with the left-hand wing navigation light bay as a model. The back wall and bottom plate were cut off from 1 mm thick aluminium plate. When the navigation light bay back wall and bottom plate were tentatively in place, the wingtip leading edge was nearing its original shape.



An opening was made in the bottom plate of the navigation light for the wiring of the navigation light. Also a cup-like socket was lathed for the later fixing of the light in mind. After that the whole navigation light bay was locked from its edges to the remaining original frames of the wingtip with strips cut from 1 mm thick aluminium plate. The fastening was done with pop rivets.




The next phase was to make a support frame between the edge of the intact area in the wingtip and the back wall of the navigation light, where the original frame had been destroyed. The edge of the intact area is formed by the wingtip’s original curve. However, the curve is somewhat damaged in its upper edge, but repairable and will be hidden by the wingtip new covering.


The support frame was made of 2 cm wide strips cut off from 1mm thick aluminium plate. To be able to rivet the ends of the support frame strips to the edge of the curve, the original damaged aluminium covering which had been on the frame, was cut off with a Dremel blade. Five strips were fastened between the edge of the curve and the back wall of the navigation light. The fastening was made with pop rivets. To make the structure sturdy enough to bend and fasten the aluminium cover sheets on the frame, two additional crosswise support strips were riveted to the structure. Now we’ll be ready to start covering the right-hand wingtip leading edge with 1 mm thick aluminium sheets.

Photos by Lassi Karivalo.

Translation by Matti Liuskallio.

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

Caravelle's Turku team and a nice Christmas lunch

Lauantai 23.12.2023 - Ismo Matinlauri


On Tuesday, December 19th, the Caravelle Turku restoration group gathered for a Christmas lunch. The place was Krookila Wanha Tupa (Old Farmhouse). The history of the place goes as far back as 1490, and in the summer the farm is open to the public as a museum. We enjoyed a nice and traditional Christmas lunch in this historic and beautiful surrounding.



The group picture shows 13 members of the Turku team with Aviation Museum Society Finland chairman Janne Salonen and his mother Liisa Salonen. Liisa has participated in the Caravelle restoration project and has encouraged and cheered up the Turku team on several occasions. Our chief photographer Jouko Tarponen is missing from the picture – he was naturally behind the camera.


This team will continue its work with the Caravelle after a hopefully short winter break. If we are able to find a suitable warm workshop we will start restoring the passenger seat frames and cabin partition walls while waiting for the weather to get warmer.

Photos by Jouko Tarponen

Translation by Erja Reinikainen

Avainsanat: ilmailuhistoria, entisöinti, Caravelle, OH-LEA, Sinilintu

Santa Claus visited Caravelle

Tiistai 12.12.2023 - Ismo Matinlauri


On Saturday, December 9th, we had the pleasure to welcome Santa Claus on board our Caravelle. Santa turned out to be a competent pilot and well familiar with the Caravelle’s flight deck equipment. This is understandable – after all, he has hundreds of years’ experience of flying with reindeer.



The aircraft was open to the public, too. The weather was slightly colder than during the assembly phase in the beginning of June, now it was -5 degrees Centigrade. The rear pantry was in use for the first time, serving visitors glögg and gingerbread and juice boxes to the younger ones.



During the day we had 63 visitors, including about 15 children. The visitor from farthest away came from Portugal. The visitors were genuinely excited and interested about the airliner and stayed a long time despite the cold weather.



The hydraulic system of the rear stairway had been repaired a couple of days earlier so we could have the stair open during Santa’s visit. This way the visitors could move flexibly to the aircraft’s tail and behind it, where the Rantala crane truck was parked. The truck interested especially the youngest visitors.



After the last visitors, we topped up the bags of de-icing salt to make sure the de-humidifying continues inside the aircraft. Santa’s visit was a suitable closing for this eventful year in our Caravelle.



The Caravelle team wishes our readers Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Photos by Ismo Matinlauri

Translation by Erja Reinikainen

Avainsanat: ilmailuhistoria, entisöinti, Caravelle, OH-LEA, Sinilintu

Caravelle goes into hibernation

Torstai 16.11.2023 - Ismo Matinlauri


The days are getting shorter and colder even in Turku, on the south-west coast of Finland. The work period for the autumn has ended and it was time to prepare our beauty into hibernation for the winter.



The last work item for this autumn was to finish the insulation on the cabin walls. On the left-hand side of the cabin wall and ceiling the original insulation material is still there, but on the other side of the cabin the insulation has been dismantled together with the overhead shelves, other interior items, and surface material. We tidied the cut edges of the old insulation material and after analysing different new insulation material alternatives we decided to use cellular rubber, which is available from a hardware store.

It is water repelling, odourless and tasteless, and has a self-adhesive layer on one side. This makes its installation significantly simple and fast. It also acts as a vapour barrier, so no separate plastic barrier is needed, as there is on the inside of the old glass wool insulation layer.

Cblogi_2023-11-14-01.jpgPhoto by Puuilo

An insulation thickness of 10 mm is sufficient for our needs, because the aircraft will not be heated in the winter, nor cooled in the summer. The material is sold in rolls, one metre wide, so it is a material which is easy to cut into suitable pieces.

As the airliner has no heating, a solution for controlling humidity had to be found. We discussed the problem with several experts and decided to try two possible solutions.


Ordinary road salt (calcium chloride) was packed into three bags made of fabric, which were hung in the cabin. The salt is a hygroscopic material and absorbs water vapour from the indoor air. Buckets were placed under the bags, and they will be emptied at regular intervals when the salty water drips into them.


We are also testing a small air dehumidifier, which recirculates and cools indoor air, condensing humidity from the air. We set the target and limit value to 60% relative humidity. If the indoor humidity is lower, the dehumidifier switches itself off. When the machine is running, its electricity consumption seems to be 2,6 kWh/day when it is running. This means a monthly electricity cost of 20 euros if the dehumidifier is running all the time.

Furthermore, we have blocked all openings and sealed the doors to minimize uncontrolled ventilation and reduce humidity in the cabin. After the first two weeks we can see that in this period the relative humidity of outdoor air at Turku airport has been 85–95 %. In the cabin the readings have been 62–75 % so we are within the set limits. We will follow the readings during the winter and take corrective actions if needed.

The Caravelle has now gone into hibernation, but we will see if it is possible to wake her up for some Christmas events in December.

Photos by Ismo Matinlauri

Translation by Erja Reinikainen

Avainsanat: ilmailuhistoria, entisöinti, Caravelle, OH-LEA, Sinilintu

Gathering information for future cabin restoration work

Lauantai 11.11.2023 - Erja Reinikainen


The members of the Caravelle technical design team visited Turku a few weeks ago (on October 25th) to find information for the future restoration work in the cabin. The visitors were Markku Ahokoski, Kari Nyman and Martti Saarinen and team assistant Erja Reinikainen.

All summer and autumn access to the Caravelle’s cabin has been through the right-hand side service door and aft stairway. During the assembly phase in June also the emergency exits over the wing were used. The passenger door on the left-hand side is damaged and it can’t be opened. Lately also the aft stairway has been out of use as its hydraulic pump and cylinders are under repair. The service door is smaller than the passenger door and this has caused problems when large items (e.g. plywood boards) have been taken inside for repairs in the cabin. The passenger door needs to be repaired in the spring before any major work in the cabin is started.


When the passenger door is opened, it moves first straight inwards and then it is manually lifted along its rails up to the cabin ceiling. The door weighs 53 kilos, so opening and closing is assisted with a counterbalancing system. The system consists of roll chains, steel cables and three bungee cords (rubber ropes), several metres long and located in the cargo space under the cabin floor. The mechanism is damaged, and the door can’t be used before the mechanism is repaired. There are no spare parts available so they will have to be made and this makes the repair work a lengthy process.


During their visit to Turku Markku and Kari opened the cabin floorboards and concentrated on the passenger door’s bungee cord system. They also disassembled the broken roll chains and now their parts can be used as models when making new ones. 

While the others were occupied with the door mechanism, Martti was working on the flight deck installing the latest additions into the instrument panel. The panel on the captain’s side looks quite good already, on the co-pilot’s side there are more still missing. Some instruments have been donated, some have been received in an exchange, some have been bought



While the others were working inside the aircraft, Erja dug herself into the storage container to find the cabin seat covers which were brought from Arlanda. According to Murphy’s law, they had been packed into the far corner of the container, in thoroughly sealed boxes which were under other boxes at the very bottom. It turned out that there is a good number of are dark green seat covers in reasonable condition and they can probably be fitted on the seat frames we have. During the winter we can start planning how to clean and repair the seat covers.



Winter is coming and there will be a break in the restoration work for the coldest months. Along with that there will also be less blogs during the winter. 

Photos by Erja Reinikainen

Translation by Erja Reinikainen

Avainsanat: ilmailuhistoria, entisöinti, Caravelle, OH-LEA, Sinilintu

How to Fence a Caravelle

Keskiviikko 1.11.2023 - Ismo Matinlauri


Since the beginning of June, the restored Caravelle has been protected at Turku airport by temporary rented fencing – providing only rather moral security. On Tuesday October 24th the permanent fence around the aircraft was completed. Fortunately during these months before the real fence was built there were no damages or accidents caused by the lack of proper fencing.


Photo by Ismo Matinlauri

When the Caravelle’s location was planned in the Turku airport area, it was already obvious that a fence must be built around the aircraft. The main worry were vandals, graffiti sprayers and odd curious visitors. Secondly the fencing helps to control visitors and in other times protects the curious passers-by from accidents in the vicinity of the aircraft.

Naturally the fence will not stop the most persistent trespassers, but it will, however, provide sufficient security.

The purchase of the fence material started already before the Caravelle arrived in Turku. In spring 2022 Aviation Museum Society Finland bought the material for the fence and the gates. First the construction of the fence was scheduled to take place before the aircraft is moved to the site in spring 2023. Soon it was discovered that the fence will hamper the crane operations on site during the assembly and also make the actual assembly work more difficult. Therefore it was decided that the Caravelle is assembled first, and the fence is erected after that.

The construction of the fence was left to a professional – that means that a contractor was hired to erect the fence. For cost saving reasons some of the work was done by the Aviation Museum Society Finland volunteers. In this case this meant assisting in setting the fence poles into concrete and in spreading the net wiring between the poles. This reduced the total cost nicely.

Building the fence was an efficient procedure, completed in five workdays:

• Day 1: marking and levelling the fence line, digging the holes for the concrete foundations,
• Day 2: setting the posts into concrete, 50 – 200 litres of concrete was poured into each hole,
• Day 3: drilling the bases for the fence posts on the rock slope behind the aircraft and landscaping the concrete foundations,
• Day 4: fastening the wire net on the gate halves (two 5 m wide gates) and making preparations for fastening the wire net,
• Day 5: unrolling the wire net and fastening on the posts, installing the gates and checking their operation.


Photo by Janne Salonen


Photo by Janne Salonen


Photo by Ismo Matinlauri


Photo by Jouko Tarponen


Photo by Jouko Tarponen

Building the fence in late October was eventually a good thing. The weather is getting cold and there is quite a limited amount of work which can be done inside and outside the Caravelle due to the cold and wet weather, so we had plenty of time to assist in erecting the fence.

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

The Finnish DC-Association's DC-3 visited Turku

Sunnuntai 8.10.2023 - Ismo Matinlauri


On Wednesday, October 4th, the Caravelle restoration work was interrupted in a very positive way: The DC-Association’s Douglas DC-3 OH-LCH landed in Turku and taxied to the airport terminal.


We can say that “the flying eternally youthful visited the new senior”. The DC-3 was in Turku on a training flight and the crew came to see how the Caravelle’s restoration work is progressing.


The crew members who visited the Caravelle: pilot Mikka Rautakoura, maintenance director Jussi Pakarinen, mechanic Reino Ahola and chief pilot Petri Munukka.

There was a lively conversation in the cabin and on the flight deck about the technology used in the Caravelle. The visitors were particularly interested in how the acquisition of the flight instruments for the instrument panel is progressing.



Photos by Ismo Matinlauri

A brief update on the restoration work: This week we installed the last new plywood boards into the floor and now the necessary areas have been replaced. Four boards of 12 mm thick waterproof plywood were needed, but now the critical areas of the floor are in good condition.




We installed a sheet of thick plexiglass in the cabin floor area above the wing-fuselage joint. In the future the visitors are able to see the details of the wing-fuselage joint.

Outside the aircraft the polishing work on the fuselage has also progressed. The polishing of the front section will be completed before the autumn rain and cold weather settle in. During the following two weeks a permanent fence will be built around the aircraft. That will be the topic in the blog at the end of this month.

Photos by Jouko Tarponen except if otherwise mentioned.

Translation by Erja Reinikainen. 

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

Caravelle's autumn season started in the beginning of September

Keskiviikko 6.9.2023 - Ismo Matinlauri


The restoration work of the Caravelle OH-LEA at Turku airport started efficiently on Monday, September 4th, when there were nine volunteers at work. In the Turku area it rained a lot in August, and it wasn’t possible to do any of the remaining restoration work outside the aircraft. During the summer weekends the Caravelle was open to visitors, and this led to some restrictions to starting the work inside the aircraft.


On the last weekend we had the summer season’s last open doors event and after this it was possible to continue the restoration work from where we had left it in June. The half cloudy weather was ideal for sanding, polishing, and painting the last identification markings.




On the underside of the fuselage there is a small area which needs to be sanded and painted with aluminium colour paint. The last identification markings will be painted on the wings and fuselage. The largest of these is the registration OH-LEA missing on the underside of the wing.


Photos by Lassi Karivalo.

A lot of polishing work is still needed, this is the main item to be completed on the outer surface. Polishing will be continued as long as the weather allows. However, there is so much to be polished that the work will continue next spring.


The work inside the aircraft has also started. The repairs and painting of the flight deck and the toilet area will be the first work items. The floor and the ceiling area in the cabin will follow in the coming weeks.


It was a pleasure to have visitors from the Tuesday Club at Vantaa. Three club members came to Turku to measure the openings on the tail of the DO-5, which is temporarily parked next to the Caravelle. Protecting covers will be made at the Tuesday Club to cover the holes before the autumn storms arrive.


The busy afternoon was spent at work, but there was a moment for lively discussion when the Turku team and the Tuesday Club members had a coffee break together inside the aircraft at “Café Caravelle”. The Tuesday Club is a valuable support and aid for the Turku team when the details of the restoration work are pondered. We are looking forward to making good progress during the autumn.

Photos by Jouko Tarponen except if otherwise mentioned.

Translation by Erja Reinikainen.

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

Caravelle visitors are welcome

Tiistai 4.7.2023 - Ismo Matinlauri


The Caravelle restoration team went on a well-earned summer holiday after the Turku Airshow. The restoration work is not finished outside or inside, and the team will continue its work in August. However, the unfinished appearance isn’t an obstacle for presenting the aircraft to the interested audience. The nearly 1300 visitors during the Airshow days proved this to be true.


Last week I had the pleasure of presenting the Caravelle to a group of motor bikers consisting of Hornet-men mainly from the Defence Forces, Insta, Finnair and Patria. This was a group of experts and the first hour or so was spent outside the aircraft discussing the wing construction and engines. The Caravelle’s history and similarities to the Comet, especially in the flight deck, were discussed, too.


The visit to the cabin and flight deck was brief, mainly due to the temperature resembling a sauna. There the visitors concentrated on the differences in the passenger cabins of modern and 1960s aircraft. The seat frames in the rear cabin caught the visitors’ attention as they are not from a Caravelle III.


I thank the visitors for their interest in our project – and take the opportunity to welcome more visitors to come and see the Caravelle. English-speaking vistors are welcome, too! At the moment we don’t have regular visiting times, but we try to be flexible in arranging someone to come and give a tour. Feel free to contact me about a visit, preferably well in advance, so that we can arrange a tour for you.

Contact berfore visiting: Ismo Matinlauri, +358405013495, matinlaurii(at)

Photos by Ismo Matinlauri.

Translation by Erja Reinikainen.

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

Thank you to the supporters of the Caravelle project

Keskiviikko 21.6.2023 - Erja Reinikainen

We managed to restore the SAS Caravelle III Sven Viking, abandoned on the edge of the airfield for decades, to the Finnair OH-LEA Bluebird in the schedule we had defined. It was open to the public during the Turku Airshow at Turku airport, on June 17th and 18th. On both days there was a queue at the Bluebird’s gate and the volunteer guides, who have been involved in the restoration work, had an interested audience. After a successful effort – the restoration and the airshow weekend – the team of volunteers can relax and enjoy a well-earned summer holiday.



Photos by Jouko Tarponen

We think that this is a good moment to thank all those who have supported the Caravelle project. Without you the Bluebird wouldn’t be ready to be presented to the public.

In this period of about a year and a half we have received financial support for the procurement of many important items. In a society operating on membership fees we appreciate your support very much. Many of you have lent us special tools which are needed in the disassembly and reassembly work. Without your help we wouldn’t have been able to get these tools. Furthermore, we have been given access to Caravelle archive data, we have been given lots of valuable advice and all kinds of help in the problems we have encountered during the project.  

We thank the companies and societies which have supported us. They are mentioned at the end of this blog.

We thank all the private persons who have helped us in various ways during the project.

And last but not least, we thank the family members and other close ones of our volunteers for patience and understanding for the OH-LEA Bluebird.

Caravelle-project supporters:

Statens Maritima on Transporthistoriska Museer (Sweden)

  • Sud Aviation SE 210 Caravelle III SE-DAF "Sven Viking" aircraft.

Arlanda Flygsamlingar (Sweden) / Jan Forsgren

  • Assistance in matters related to Caravelle aircraft.

Le Caravelle Club (Sweden) / Ulf Nyström

  • Assistance in matters related to disassembling and reassembling the Caravelle, and tools lent for assembly work.  

Swedavia (Sweden) / Andreas Persson

  • Assistance in matters related to moving and disassembling the Caravelle.

Danmarks Tekniske Museet, Helsingør (Denmark) / Susanne Krogh Jensen

  • Assistance and archive material in matters related to disassembling and reassembling the Caravelle,.

Ahola Special

  • Assistance and consulting in planning the Caravelle transportation.
  • Special thanks to the drivers for helping in loading and unloading the aircraft parts.


  • Trasportation of four special trucks on the ferry from Kapellskär to Naantali and turning the ferry around in Naantali.


  • Assistance and consulting in planning the lifting operations during the assembly phase.
  • Special thanks to the crane operators during the assembly.

P. Tyllilä Linja Oy / Juhani Tyllilä, Katri Tyllilä, Kimmo Koskinen

  • Travel and accommodation arrangements in Finland and abroad.

Select Service Partner Finland Oy

  • Lunches at Turku airport for the volunteers working on the Caravelle site.

Kuljetus R. Stenvall Oy / Jussi Mäkelä

  • Sea container logistics and support in planning the transportation, contact information for Finland and Sweden.

Nostot & kuljetukset R. M. Laine Oy / Mikko Laine

  • Transportation and lifting of sea containers, passenger stairs, etc. in Turku area.


  • Hydraulic pump and cylinder for the disassembly and reassembly work.

Hyvinkään Ilmailukerho ry

  • Cradles and supporters lent for the disassembly and reassembly.

Finnair Tekniikka

  • Tools lent for disassembly and reassembly.


  • Work safety material for the disassembly team.

Finavia / Juha Aaltonen, Veli-Matti Paasikivi, EFTU kunnossapito

  • The site for the Caravelle at Turku airport and other assistance in the project.
  • Earth moving works on the Caravelle site and wheel loader to help during the preparations of the assembly phase.


  • Colour prints of the OH-LEA painting by Kari Vertanen for a fund-raising campaign.

Port of Turku

  • Assistance in bringing the Caravelle to be restored in the Pansio port hall.

RMR Merirakenne

  • Assistance and material for building the free-turning pulley system for rotating the aircraft.

Companies in the Pansio shipyard area

  • Assistance in moving and lifting the aircraft and tools lent for the assembly work.

Teknos / Markku Uusitalo

  • Paint for the restoration work.

Anzo / Oy C.E. Lindgren Ab

  • Paint brushes for the restoration work.


  • Mohair paint rolls for the restoration work.

Arctic Decals / Mika Jernfors

  • Assistance in acquiring the stencil stickers and in sorting out the details for the painting work.

Peter Lampinen

  • 3D-printing of the navigation light covers


  • Instruments for the Caravelle’s flight deck.

Consolis Parma

  • Three hollow core slabs to be placed under the Caravelle’s landing gear at Turku airport.


  • Gravel for building the other driveway to the Caravelle site.

Ossi Harjula

  • Construction contracting services for the Caravelle site works.

Finnish Aviation Museum

  • Support in acquiring information, permission to use premises and equipment for doing Caravelle restoration work, tools lent for disassembly and reassembly.

The Media

  • Articles and video material about the project in various phases.

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

Turku Airshow - Caravelle flight to Las Palmas

Maanantai 19.6.2023 - Erja Reinikainen

During the weekend, June 17th and 18th, Turku airport was the venue for the Turku Airshow 2023, which was the main airshow of the year in Finland. Early this year this date was written in large numbers on the coffee room wall in the hall in Pansio, where the Caravelle was under restoration. The aim was to present the Caravelle to the public, outside and inside, and tell its story until this day.


The Caravelle was outside the actual display area and because of this only those who came to the airshow by bus from Turku could visit the aircraft. On the other hand, the location by the pedestrian route allowed quick and easy access to the aircraft.




There were more visitors than we expected. On Saturday there were 865 and on Sunday 430 visitors, in total 1 295. At times the passenger stairs were crowded but some queuing didn’t seem to bother the good-humoured visitors. They told the Caravelle guides many stories about the aircraft. Sometimes it even seemed that the roles were interchanged. The visitor number 1000 was rewarded with a Caravelle key fob. Danial was the lucky winner who was congratulated by Jari Myrsky and received the key fob.


Photos by Ismo Matinlauri

Another visitor must be mentioned. The WWII fighter veteran and Caravelle pilot Mauri Maunula stopped by to have a look at the replica of his previous aircraft. During his brief chat with the Aviation Museum Society Finland’s chairman Janne Salonen several colourful incidents from Mr Maunula’s Caravelle times were told.


There was a small but busy Aviation Museum Society Finland sales stall by the Caravelle. Caravelle caps, T-shirts and mugs were sold there. On the second day of the airshow old aviation magazines were handed out for free to those coming to see the Caravelle. The magazines were popular especially among the younger visitors.

Photos by Jouko Tarponen except if otherwise mentioned.

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

Busy day at Turku Airport

Torstai 8.6.2023 - Erja Reinikainen


On Wednesday, June 7th, there were about a dozen volunteers at work to prepare “the Bluebird” for public display. The work started at about 10 am and was continued until 6 pm. Now the weather was nicer than last week, the sun was shining, and it was almost warm.


Photo by Ismo Matinlauri



Photos by Jouko Tarponen

The aim is to take down the scaffolding before the end of this week, so the work in the tail has been prioritized. The stencil stickers for painting the “AERO” text on the fuselage below the horizontal stabilizer were fastened into place and the text was painted in blue. In the tail fin there are several fillets and panels and the last of them were fastened into place. When the others were leaving, two men remained on the scaffolding finishing the panel sealings.



Photos by Jouko Tarponen


Photo by Erja Reinikainen

There was activity on ground level as well. The right-hand side main landing gear was being cleaned. The result was surprisingly good although there was no water available. Under the aircraft the panels under the wing to fuselage joint were installed into place. Polishing was under way, too, on the wings and in the nose section. Furthermore, the blue paint on the window line had been slightly damaged by the crane slings when the fuselage was lifted. The damaged areas were sanded and re-painted.


Photo by Erja Reinikainen


Photo by Jouko Tarponen


Photo by Erja Reinikainen

The cleaning of the cabin, started the day before, was continued. Now the cabin, flight deck, toilets, and aft upper cargo department have been vacuumed and cleared. The wall panels and overhead shelves have also been wiped with a damp cloth. This was a quick tidying of the appearance so that the inside of the aircraft can be presented to the public on the Turku airshow days. The restoration of the interior will be a project for the future.


Photo by Curt Oksa

There were several visitors during the day. Maybe the Caravelle article on Helsingin Sanomat website today and the beautiful weather encouraged people to come and see “the Bluebird”. There were also visitors from Turku customs office, four officials and a dog. No traces of old smuggled goods were detected.

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

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.

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

The "Bluebird" has been assembled

Perjantai 2.6.2023 - Erja Reinikainen


On Friday, June 2nd, the Caravelle assembly team and the assistants who came to help from Pansio were facing the dreariest conditions of the week at the Turku airport: it was +6°C in the morning, there was a strong wind from the north and there were heavy showers of rain during the day.


Photo ny Janne Pauni


Photo by Erja Reinikainen

In the morning the scaffolding builders extended the scaffolding around the tail. The rudder was unloaded from the sea container and pieces of metal net were fastened on the holes in the leading edge of the rudder to prevent birds from getting inside the rudder. A new cable was installed for the anti-collision light – it will wait for the new electrical system to be installed later. The rudder and the elevators were locked into a fixed position by preventing the movement of their servos.




Photos by Erja Reinikainen

The assembly team prepared to assemble the vertical stabilizer and the rudder in the usual way: the tools and accessories, bolts, safety harnesses, cargo straps, etc. were arranged for use. First the vertical stabilizer was lifted from the ground, a rather challenging operation in the strong wind. High on the scaffolding around the tail the tall stabilizer was inched into place although a shower of rain disturbed the assembly team. The main bolts could be installed quite easily. The rudder is a difficult item to lift, tall and narrow, and it had to be fitted accurately into place in the strong wind. The cargo straps held by the assistants prevented the rudder from swinging during the lifting and assembly. This time it took more effort to install the fasteners – and another heavy shower disturbed the team on the scaffolding. By lunchtime the rudder was in place and the Finnish flag was up on the Caravelle’s tail – a fine sight. It was time to call the aircraft by its Finnish name, “Sinilintu”, i.e. “Bluebird”.  


Photo by Erja Reinikainen


Photo by Janne Salonen


Photo by Erja Reinikainen

The Friday afternoon was spent on miscellaneous tasks. The installation of the stabilizers was finalized on the scaffolding, the floor in the cabin was temporarily fixed with plywood boards, the car tires, and pieces of cardboard on which the stabilizer and rudder had been on the ground were collected, the cargo straps were picked up, the contents of the containers was arranged, etc. The repaired and painted radome was installed on the Caravelle’s nose, and this changed its appearance remarkably.


Photo by Janne Salonen

During the day an electric cable was pulled from the Finavia area to the right-hand side of the nose wheel. Hopefully the installation will be ready next week, and power will be available on the site. This would make it possible to start sanding, polishing and installation work.


Photo by Jouko Tarponen

The assembly team (Markku, Kari, Hannu, Jouko, Reima and Erja) were relieved, they had completed this phase in the Caravelle’s restoration successfully and in the planned schedule. Now the Turku (former Pansio) team can continue and finalize the outside of the aircraft and prepare the cabin for display during the following weeks before the Turku Airshow. The daily reporting of the assembly work ends to this blog.

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

Assembly of the horizontal stabilizer and farewell to the hall in Pansio

Torstai 1.6.2023 - Erja Reinikainen


On Thursday, June 1st, the Caravelle’s horizontal stabilizer and vertical stabilizer were lifted on the Ahola Special Transport trailer, and these were the last items to be transported as special transport. This load was not tall and not very wide either, so it could be taken to the airport during the day. The last items were packed into the sea container and the Pansio hall was ready to be vacated.



Photos by Jouko Tarponen


Photo by Janne Salonen

At the airport the assembly work was continued in windy weather. In the morning preparations were made for assembling the horizontal stabilizer and the assembly team checked that all needed special bolts, tools, safety harnesses, etc. were at hand. The “hiab” loader crane arrived soon after noon. When everything was ready for the lift, the wind got stronger, there was a brief hailstorm and sand dust was flying in the air.


Photo by Jouko Tarponen

First the vertical stabilizer was lifted from the trailer and lowered to the ground on car tires to wait for assembly on the following day. The rudder was brought to the airport from Pansio in the afternoon, in the sea container which had been loaded there in the morning.


Photo by Erja Reinikainen

The Caravelle’s horizontal stabilizer is large and lifting it in the gusty wind on the fin root on top of the fuselage was quite an achievement. Fortunately the wind was blowing against the nose of the aircraft and towards the tail, so the stabilizer didn’t swing too much from side to side during the lift and assembly. Cargo straps had been fastened to the tips of the stabilizer and the assembly team members holding the straps were prepared to prevent the swinging. Once again there were professionals at work – assembling the stabilizer on the scaffolding and operating the crane – and the stabilizer was soon in place without too much effort. The main bolts could be fastened without major difficulties and the assembly team could sigh with relief. Then it was time for a coffee: the aggregate was started, coffee was brewed, and the team sat beside the sea container, in shelter from the wind.



Photos by Jouko Tarponen


Photo by Janne Pauni

There were other activities during the day too: more wing to fuselage fillets were assembled and fastened using rivets and screws. The pop rivet guns were causing some trouble again, the battery driven one didn’t function well and the manual one broke the day before. The large rivets are so thick that the tools are strained to the limit. There was also activity in the cabin, after a long silence, when the wall upholstery was tidied, and the toilets were fixed. The plywood floorboards will have to be repaired before the public can be allowed to come and see the cockpit and cabin.

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

Vanhemmat kirjoitukset »