Project in a nutshell
In this project the former SAS Caravelle SE-DAF, acquired into the possession of Aviation Museum Society Finland, was transported from Arlanda airport by land and sea to Finland. Then it was restored into the colours of Finnair OH-LEA “Bluebird” and placed on display at Turku airport, close to the passenger terminal. It is open to the public as a memorial for jet age passenger travel.
In summer 2022, in the first phase of the project, the airliner was disassembled in Arlanda for transport. Wings, stabilizers, rudder, and the engine nacelles were detached from the fuselage and the wing halves separated from each other. The parts were loaded on four special trailers to be transported to Finland. Furthermore, Caravelle spare parts, tools and accessories obtained from Arlanda were brought to Finland in a sea container and by truck. The Caravelle arrived in Naantali harbour on August 19th, 2022.
The aircraft was brought into a former shipyard workshop hall in Pansio harbour for the winter 2022-23. There the old paint was sanded off and the traces of decades under the open sky were removed. The second phase of the project was completed when in spring 2023 the Caravelle was painted and polished into the appearance of Finnair’s OH-LEA “Bluebird”. The aircraft has the paint scheme of 1963 when Finnair celebrated its 40th anniversary. The aircraft is not airworthy.
In summer 2023, in the third phase of the project, the Caravelle was reassembled at Turku airport. During the final assembly the parts removed for transport and restoration were installed back into place and the painting and polishing work was completed. Now the restoration work continues inside the aircraft.
The Caravelle has been open to the public since June 2023. The aim is that during the early summer in 2024 it can be restored into a tourist attraction presenting Finnish passenger jet travel history and into a location for arranging different events.