Aviation Museum Society Finland welcomed its Caravelle III on August 19th, 2022
The Sud Aviation SE 210 Caravelle III SE-DAF Sven Viking was transferred to the possession of Aviation Museum Society Finland in 2021, when the previous owner Swedish National Maritime and Transport Museums (SMTM) and Aviation Museum Society Finland signed an agreement. The former Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) passenger jet had since 1974 been waiting at Arlanda to be scrapped. Without this agreement its fate would have been sealed. SE-DAF flew its first flight in the SAS fleet on February 8th, 1962, and its last flight took place on September 23rd, 1974.
In June and July 2022, the volunteers of Aviation Museum Society Finland dismantled the Caravelle at Arlanda for transportation. First the tailplane and the fin were taken down, then the fuselage was disassembled from the wings and finally the wing halves were separated. The engine nacelles and the front wheels of the main landing gear were also disassembled. The dismantling went well and according to the planned schedule, without any major surprises.
On Thursday August 18th, 2022, the main parts of the aircraft were loaded on four special trailers of Ahola Special (AT Special Transport Oy), from Kokkola, Finland. Smaller dismantled parts and a sea container containing tools and accessories were loaded on two ordinary trailers, which drove to Kapellskär harbour early in the evening and arrived in Naantali on Friday morning.
The convoy of four special trailers left Arlanda after 9 pm on Thursday, the first part of the route was along the taxiways of the airport and then along public roads to Kapellskär harbour. There were some low bridges on the way which set requirements for the height of the trailers, together with the dimensions of the ferry on the Kapellskär-Naantali route. The most demanding part to be transported was the aircraft fuselage, it is 32 metres long and the root of the tail fin was too tall for the critical bridges and the ferry, so the fuselage had to be tilted about 45 degrees to its left side before placing it on the trailer.
In the morning of August 19th, the special trailers were loaded on the Finnlines ferry Europalink, which sailed from Kapellskär to Finland during the day and arrived in Naantali at 7.40 pm. All other vehicles on board were driven out and then the ferry was turned around to allow the special trailers to drive out as smoothly as possible through the tail gate where there was more space. The convoy drove out with all lights on, starting at 8.24 pm, led by the longest trailer carrying the fuselage.
During the late evening the special trailers drove to Turku, to Pansio harbour area where Aviation Museum Society Finland has rented a large hangar for the restoration work of the Caravelle. The trailers waited outside the hangar until Satrurday morning, August 20th, when the aircraft parts were unloaded. A team of volunteers helped in the unloading and lifted the main parts with the cranes in the hangar. The sea container and the trailer carrying the smaller parts had already been unloaded the day before.
Finnair gave up its Caravelle III fleet in 1964 and its Super Caravelles in 1983. The last overhaul on a Caravelle at Finnair technical maintenance took place in 1984. After this at least Transwede flew to Finland on Caravelles. Transwede gave up its Caravelles in 1990, so this means that Finland has been without a Caravelle for more than 30 years – but now there is one again.
Text and photos: Reino Myllymäki
Translation: Erja Reinikainen