The restoration of the legendary "Tyurikov’s Plane" – the C-47 DL “Douglas” (USSR L-1204) aircraft evacuated from the Taimyr tundra by the expedition of the Krasnoyarsk Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society – continues in Novosibirsk. The specialists from the company “Helicopter” have been painstakingly examining the aircraft and putting it in order since last December. Now they are focusing their efforts on restoring the nose of the fuselage, which was seriously damaged during an emergency landing in 1947.
“Two new frames were made to replace those severely damaged during deformation of the nose part. The original skin sheets of the lower part of the fuselage have been flattened. The cabin equipment, the steering frame, the frames of the pilot seats have been cleaned and prepared for painting," said Alexander Matveev, head of the Commission for the Preservation of Historical Memory of the Krasnoyarsk Regional Branch of the RGS.
Simultaneously, work on the restoration of the tail and engine of the aircraft is progressing successfully. The process of painting some parts according to the previously agreed scheme recreating the historical appearance of the "Douglas" at the time of its arrival to the USSR has started.
“In addition, the use of a new steam generator made it possible to clean the restored engine well and start painting individual elements and attachments of the engine. Also, a restored tail fin has already been installed on the rear part of the fuselage," Matveev added.
It is assumed that the restoration of the aircraft in Novosibirsk will take up to two years. After that, the “Tyurikov’s Plane” will return to Krasnoyarsk as an interactive museum exhibit. During all this time, the Krasnoyarsk Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society will help its Novosibirsk colleagues in restoring the winged machine.
The project "Tyurikov’s Plane: The Return" is a large-scale international expedition to evacuate the unique “Douglas” C-47 aircraft, which was ferried along the ALSIB route to the USSR from the USA during the Great Patriotic War as part of the Lend-Lease program, from the Taimyr tundra. In 1947, the “Douglas” made an emergency landing in the north of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, 180 kilometers north of the village of Volochanka. The captain of the crew Maksim Tyurikov managed to save all the people on board. Tyurikov himself, and part of the crew, went for help and tragically died. The people who remained by the plane survived for three weeks in the harsh conditions of the Far North and were rescued.
There have been no analogues of such an operation in the history of Russia yet. Igor Spiridenko, chairman of the Krasnoyarsk Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society, led the evacuation. As a result of the coordinated actions of the expedition participants, the plane itself was evacuated to Krasnoyarsk in 2016, and its wings, a year later. In December 2021, the “Douglas” C-47 DL (USSR L-1204) was transported from Krasnoyarsk to Novosibirsk for restoration.
In June of this year, the aircraft restoration program was adjusted to take into account the malfunctions identified during a detailed inspection, as well as the increase in the cost of parts, and difficulties in delivering original materials from abroad. Despite this, the work is proceeding according to schedule.