Restoration Program of "Tyurikov’s Plane" to be Adjusted

Крылья "Дугласа". Фото Красноярского краевого отделения РГО

The restoration program of the legendary "Tyurikov’s Plane", evacuated in 2016-2017 from the Taimyr tundra, will be adjusted. This became known following the results of the restoration progress assessment in Novosibirsk by a delegation that included Chairman of the Krasnoyarsk Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society Igor Spiridenko; Head of the Commission of the Department for the Preservation of Historical Memory Alexander Matveev; and the famous aviation historian Vyacheslav Filippov.

The restoration of the C-47 DL “Douglas” (USSR L-1204) aircraft has been carried out by the specialists of the Novosibirsk company “Helicopter” in a special hangar on the territory of Mochishche Airfield since December last year. Restoration is carried out strictly on schedule, but objective reasons are forcing to change plans.


Ангар в Новосибирске. Фото Красноярского краевого отделения РГО

“According to the results of the work of our commission, the restoration program of the ‘Douglas’ was adjusted taking into account the malfunctions of systems, units, and motors identified during a detailed examination, as well as the rise in the cost of parts and difficulties encountered in delivering original materials from abroad. As a result, it was decided to focus the main work now on the restoration of the forward fuselage, the cockpit, and the cargo compartment. The aircraft and interior paint schemes have been coordinated in accordance with the historical period of the time of the aircraft's arrival in the USSR. Technical documentation has been handed over, which will help Novosibirsk restorers in their work. In general, the work is proceeding on schedule. I would like to say a big thank you for the active participation in the project to the governor of the Krasnoyarsk Krai, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Krasnoyarsk Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society Alexander Viktorovich Uss, as well as to the company ‘Rosneft’, and personally to Igor Ivanovich Sechin for financial support in the restoration of the aircraft,” said Chairman of the Krasnoyarsk Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society Igor Spiridenko.

Currently, work is underway to restore the center section, struts, engines, and engine modules. The Krasnoyarsk delegation noted the high quality of the restoration of the fuselage parts and the interior of the cabins, almost made anew, since the original parts were lost or severely damaged in the accident.

The study of the aircraft engines showed that one of them is suitable for use only as an indecomposable mock-up due to severe internal damage by swamp water. All non-recoverable parts of the aircraft and engines are carefully preserved. They are planned to be included in the museum composition.

“Separately, we would like to note the excellent condition of Mochishche Airfield itself, hangars and the technical base of the company ‘Helicopter’ as a worthy continuation of the traditions of the Soviet air fleet. We saw for ourselves that the restoration is done by real professionals in their field with maximum preservation of the historical appearance of the aircraft,” said Vyacheslav Filippov, a member of the Krasnoyarsk delegation.


Обсуждение хода реставрации. Фото Красноярского краевого отделения РГО

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 Krasnoyarsk Krai, 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. Now it is in a special hangar on the territory of Mochishche Airfield. The full restoration of the legendary aircraft is expected to take about two years, after which "Tyurikov’s Plane" will return to Krasnoyarsk. The Krasnoyarsk Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society will help Novosibirsk colleagues throughout the entire restoration process.