Lauantai 9.6.2018 - Member of Tuesday Club
In the beginning of this year the Tuesday Club of the Aviation Museum Society has been working on the Myrsky project and the main emphasis has been in assembling the left wing of Myrsky MY-14. The test wing has also been under construction and some metal parts have been made too. The left wing has been assembled in a steel framed assembly jig where the wing spars have been firmly fastened. The area between the wing spars was built in the jig and the areas of the leading and trailing edge will be built later.
In the beginning of May the left wing was at the phase where the area between the wing spars was nearly ready and its upper surface covered with plywood. At this point the wing didn’t need the support of the jig anymore and could be unfastened. A lifting support was built from steel tubes for both ends of the wing before unfastening and moving it from the jig. The supports were necessary because the wing is too heavy to be moved manually.
Photo: Jorma Laakkonen.
When the wing had been unfastened from the jig, it was lifted by the supports at the ends of the wing using a forklift and a manual lift and moved on a wooden working platform. The wing was also turned upside down so that the covering of the lower wing surface can be started.
Photos: Jorma Laakkonen.
The covering of the wing was started by building the supporting battens for the plywood covering. This means fastening the lines of lengthwise battens between the wing ribs. The plywood covering is glued on these battens and secured by screws.
The construction of the battens was started by gluing plywood rests on the upper edge of each rib. The battens will be installed on these rests and the ends will be glued on the ribs. The battens were glued one by one as “bridges” between the ribs. By the end of May the installation of the battens had been completed and the actual covering of the area between the wing spars could be started.
The aim is to have the covering ready before the left wing will be placed on display in the VL Myrsky-project exhibition at the Finnish Air Force 100th Anniversary Airshow. Also the test wing built by the Tuesday Club will be on display there.
When the left wing was unfastened from the jig, it can be used for assembling the right wing of Myrsky. Now the Tuesday Club team had reached the point where both wings of Myrsky can be built and assembled simultaneously and side by side in the restoration room of the Finnish Aviation Museum.
The construction of the right wing in the jig will follow the same procedure as for the left wing. The wing will be built in the jig until the area between the wing spars is ready and the leading and trailing edges will be built later.
The wing spars of the right wing were fastened on the jig and the ribs were installed between the spars. The ribs had been ready and waiting for some time for the wing assembly to begin. The ribs were easily installed and the wing construction began to take shape. The metal brackets for the landing gear system were fastened on the wing spars and ribs and the fuel and air pipes of the auxiliary fuel tank were pushed into place through the holes in the ribs.
When the fuselage with engine, the left half of wing and the test wing are on the show in the Finnish Air Force 100th Anniversary Airshow on June 16th and 17th 2018, there is on the show the biggest Myrsky assembly since 1965. See you there!
Photos (execept when separately mentioned): Lassi Karivalo.
Maanantai 28.5.2018 - Member of Tuesday Club
The covering of I.V.L.K.1 Kurki’s left wing with new plywood is going on at the Tuesday Club. The rotten plywood on the lower side of the wing was dismantled and has already been replaced by new plywood covering and now the dismantled areas on the upper surface of the wing are being covered.
The aluminium plate access hatches for the aileron wire pulleys and aluminium plate collar for the aileron wire lead-in are located in the dismantled area on the lower surface of the wing, at the swastika emblem. The wire pulleys inside the wing are attached to the sides of the rear spar.
The Tuesday Club team wanted to keep the access hatches and the wire lead-in collar as they were and move them from the rotten plywood on the new plywood covering. For this procedure the location of the hatches and the collar were measured when the rotten plywood was still attached. The measurements were documented to a drawn scheme which will be used for placing the hatches and the collar in their correct places on the new plywood.
The sliding access hatches had been fastened to the plywood using copper rivets. The aileron wire lead-in collar had been fastened with screws to the supporting batten under the plywood. The collar was easy to dismantle by removing the screws. The access hatches were unfastened by drilling out the rivets without damaging the hatches.
The unfastened hatches and aluminium collar still had their original paint in reasonable condition and the team decided not to remove the paint. The surfaces were just cleaned carefully. The hatches and the wire lead-in collar will not be repainted when the national swastika emblem will be painted on the new plywood covering.
The Kurki wing is 225 cm wide and it has been originally covered with a plywood board 1,2 mm thick which is as wide as the wing. The Tuesday Club team has 1,2 mm thick plywood boards which are 150x150 cm so the dismantled wing area will be covered using two plywood boards with a seam on the rear spar. This means that the access hatches, which are located on either side of the rear spar, will be fastened on two different boards: one hatch to the plywood area towards the trailing edge and the other to the plywood area towards the leading edge.
The plywood sheet towards the trailing edge was cut to measure from the 1,2 mm thick plywood board and preliminarily installed in its place. Then the location of the hatch and the aileron wire lead-in collar were marked on the plywood using the drawn scheme. Holes were cut in the plywood according to the drawing. The sizes of the holes were compared to the ones on the dismantled rotten plywood. Finally the access hatch and the aluminium collar could be fastened onto the new plywood covering.
The sliding cover of the access hatch was unfastened and the cover frame was fitted into the hole made for it. Holes were drilled in the plywood at the places where the frame had the rivet holes. Aluminium rivets were used instead of copper ones. A protecting ring was placed on each rivet before hammering the rivets one at a time against an anvil, until the rivet was at the level of the plywood surface.
When all the rivets had been hammered in and the cover frame had been fastened by its corners, the sliding hatch cover could be pushed in place. The aluminium collar for the aileron wire lead-in was fastened in its place using screws.
Now the new plywood covering between the rear spar and the trailing edge had the original access hatch and the aileron wire lead-in collar in their correct places. The plywood sheet was fastened on the ribs using Casco Outdoor glue and rows of nails and screws. The access hatch for the other aileron wire pulley were installed in a similar technique to the new plywood between the rear spar and the leading edge and the plywood was fastened on the wing.
Photos: Lassi Karivalo.
Lauantai 12.5.2018 - Member of Tuesday Club
The Finnish Aviation Museum Society’s Tuesday Club project to restore the Valmet Vihuri II (VH-25) front fuselage has taken almost twenty years. Now the restored part with front and rear cockpits is ready and on display in Hall I at the Finnish Aviation Museum.
The restored Vihuri front fuselage is based on the front cockpit and the engine mounting of VH-25 which were found in a scrapyard in Helsinki in the 1970’s and purchased to the Finnish Aviation Museum. The cockpit had some equipment and wind screen and the engine mounting had some fairing plate remaining. The restoration project started in the late 1990’s but was interrupted for a while and started again with full speed in the early 2000’s.
The front fuselage found in the scrapyard had only the front cockpit so the rear cockpit with its pilot’s seat had to be built following the original Vihuri drawings. Cockpit equipment and instruments found in the collections of the Finnish Aviation Museum and the Finnish Air Force Museum have been installed in the cockpits. The Tuesday Club team is grateful for the assistance of both museums for supplying the material. The Tuesday Club team built several new items for the cockpit, including the luggage compartment, map holder and flare gun with its launching tube.
The front fuselage of Valmet Vihuri II with its cockpits and its equipment is now in the Finnish Aviation Museum, on display for the visitors. The only remaining whole Vihuri (VH-18) I s in the Finnish Air Force Museum. However, the front part of VH-25 in the Aviation Museum offers the visitors something that the VH-18 in the Air Force Museum doesn’t.
The restored front fuselage of VH-25 is mainly covered with transparent plexi, not aluminium plate. Therefore the museum visitor can clearly see what equipment and instruments the Vihuri has.
The cockpit and display lighting is on, as well as the lights in the sight. Above the front seat there is a mirror for having a good view of the sight and its light cross.
The cockpit equipment and instruments in Vihuri are interesting because they originate from earlier plane types used in the Finnish Air Force. When the Vihuri’s were originally built, parts were installed from dismantled Air Force planes. For example the stick in the front cockpit of the Vihuri, the magneto selection switch, the red cockpit light and parts of the oxygen supply system (the regulator, the flow and pressure indicators and valve) come from Messerschmitt Bf 109.
The oxygen bottles of Vihuri are probably from Junkers Ju 88. The rudder pedals in the front cockpit are from VL Myrsky.
The instruments in the instrument panel come from several different planes. The manual pump of the pressurized oil system is from Bristol Blenheim. Unfortunately there is no Bristol Mercury motor available in Finland, so the restored VH-25 has no motor. As you can see, recycling of equipment and instruments has been a key issue in the building of Vihuri.
Welcome to the Finnish Aviation Museum to see the front fuselage of Valmet Vihuri II, restored by the Tuesday Club.
Photos: Lassi Karivalo.
Torstai 19.4.2018 - Member of Tuesday Club
The Finnish Aviation Museum has donated the models of BEA Hawk, Folland Gnat, Saab Draken and MiG-21BIS to the Aviation Museum Society’s Hawk Experience Center. The large wooden models were found in the storage room of the museum. The models need some repairs which will be completed in the Tuesday Club before the Hawk Experience Center season 2018 begins in May. The repairs of the BAE Systems Hawk Mk.51 model have already been described in an earlier blog.
After the Hawk model the next target was the Folland Gnat F.1 model. This model wasn’t badly damaged but the cockpit canopy was missing. In addition to some minor repairs the canopy had to be made.
To make the new canopy, first a wooden model of the canopy had to be made. The cockpit was emptied by removing the pilot’s seat and the instrument panel. This was necessary in order to be able to fit the wooden canopy model, made of balsa, in its place in the cockpit. At the same time the measurements were taken of the line where the canopy meets the edge of the cockpit: a metal frame will be fitted on the sides and at the rear end of the canopy.
A piece of balsa was carved slowly to match the shape of the canopy and the correct size by fitting it into the cockpit every now and then. Photographs and 3d-drawings of the Gnat were used to define the shape of the canopy. The wooden model began to take shape when it was gradually and carefully carved and buffed out and regularly fitted into the cockpit. Now the model for the canopy was ready.
Photos: Jorma Laakso.
Before making the actual canopy, the metal frame for the edge of the canopy was made. The wooden model was used to dimension the frame. The location of the frame was marked on the model in red lines. The image of the frame was drawn on a 0.3 mm thick brass sheet and cut off. The thin strips of brass sheet were honed to match the shape of the frame on the lower edge and the rear section of the cockpit and fitted on the balsa model. When the metal parts seemed to fit nicely into place they were soldered together. Now the metal frames were ready to be installed on the actual canopy.
Photos: Jorma Laakso.
The windscreen arc in front of the canopy was made of 0.8 mm thick plywood, laminating four layers of plywood on top of each other. The laminated arc was milled and buffed out into shape. Then a windscreen made of transparent plastic sheet was attached, using a friction-type connection.
Photo: Jorma Laakso.
The making of the actual canopy was started, using the balsa model and a mould. A heated plastic sheet is pressed against the opening in the mould, using the balsa model for pressing. The mould was made from 4 mm plywood with an opening matching the shape and dimensions of the outer edges of the cockpit.
Photo: Jorma Laakso.
A piece of 10x10 cm was cut from a 0.5 mm thick GAG-PET sheet. The sheet of plastic was attached by its edges on top the opening in the plywood mould. The sheet of plastic was heated using a hot air blower. When the surface of the plastic was soft enough, the sheet was pressed evenly into the opening in the mould using the balsa model. The stoppers on the sides of the balsa model prevented the model from pressing the sheet of plastic too deep into the mould.
Photo: Jorma Laakso.
It took about one minute for the plastic sheet to cool down, then the balsa model was removed. A bulge had formed under the mould, shaped like the balsa model. This was the rough form of the canopy. The GAG-PET sheet was removed from the mould and the bulge, i.e. the preformed canopy was cut off.
Photos: Jorma Laakso & Lassi Karivalo.
Now the metal frames (at rear end and lower sides of the canopy) and the windscreen arc could be attached to the canopy. The canopy was placed on the balsa model where the red markings showed the exact place of the frame. When the metal strips had been placed exactly on the marked lines, they were glued in place using UHU POR contact glue. Now the extra plastic material below the frame could be cut off. When the canopy was placed on top of the cockpit to test how it fitted, the result looked good. UHU POR contact glue was used to glue the windscreen arc to the canopy. Then the canopy frame and the windscreen arc were painted dark green.
The last phase of work was to attach the new canopy on the Gnat model. The canopy was placed on the edges of the cockpit and attached with Plastic Padding. When the seam had dried it was honed smooth and painted dark green. The Folland Gnat F.1 model had a new canopy and is now ready to be placed on display in the Hawk Experience Center.
Photos: Unless separately mentioned, Lassi Karivalo.
Maanantai 2.4.2018 - Member of Tuesday Club
The Aviation Museum Society is arranging a fund raising campaign for the VL Myrsky restoration project, the campaign began in December 2017 and it ends at the end of November 2018. Five new money collection boxes are needed for the campaign. The Tuesday Club was given the task to make the partly transparent money boxes.
First the model of the money box was designed at the Tuesday Club. The starting point was the existing collection box which is in the lobby of the Aviation Museum. Also the suitable existing materials in the museum material storage had to be taken into account, e.g. old melamine surfaced shelves and thick transparent Perspex sheets.
The collection box was designed to have its sides, bottom and back wall made of 20 mm thick melamine surfaced chip board and its top and front wall of thick plexi. The box is cubicle in shape and its dimensions are 30x30x30 cm. The dimensions were determined by the existing Perspex sheet which was 30 cm wide. The back wall of the box consists of two parts and the upper and lower parts are joined together with a hinge. The lower part of the back wall is used as a hatch to empty the donated cash from the box.
The team decided to build first one test box. Pieces were sawn to measure from the old melamine covered shelves to form the bottom, sides and back wall. Then the bottom and sides were assembled together. After minor adjustments the parts were attached using Erikeeper Plus glue and screws. Then the back wall was cut in two parts to make the hatch. The upper and lower parts of the back wall were connected to each other using a piano hinge. The upper part was attached between the sides of the box using glue and screws. A lock was installed on the openable lower part of the back wall and a hole for the locking beak was made into the bottom plate of the box.
The team was pleased about the way the test box looked and “mass production” to build the other four boxes could be started. The bottoms, sides and back walls for all four collection boxes were sawn from the existing shelves. The frames of the four boxes with the openable hatches were built following the model.
As old melamine covered shelves had been used to build the boxes, the sides of the chip boards had to be covered to make them look nice. White covering strip was used for the sides, it was glued into place using the heat of a flat iron. Before the plexi pieces were installed to form the front wall and the top, a piece of carpeting was glued on the bottom of the box as padding.
The front walls and roofs for all five collection boxes were sawn from 30 cm wide and 7 mm thick Perspex sheets. The sawn edges of the plates were buffed out.
The transparent parts were fitted into place in each box. A rectangular opening was milled in the middle of the roof sheets, this would be used for dropping cash into the box. The transparent surfaces were thoroughly cleaned before assembling the plexis on the boxes using screws.
To prevent the stealing of a donation box, 4 mm thick plastic covered steel wire was purchased for each box. Each box also needed two wire rope grips for the loops at each end of the wire. The loops were needed for the padlock. An eye hook was attached on the back edge of the bottom plate and the wire was threaded through. The aim is to attach the money box to a nearby structure and lock it in place using the wire and the padlock.
The work was concluded by attaching stickers on both sides of each box, introducing the Myrsky project and the permit for the fund raising campaign.
The money collection boxes of the VL Myrsky restoration project are now ready. When you see such a box, made by the Tuesday Club, you have a good opportunity, even a responsibility, to drop some money into the box and support the VL Myrsky II restoration project.
Sunnuntai 25.3.2018 - Member of Tuesday Club
The test wing in the VL Myrsky II restoration project has progressed to the phase where the construction of the mainwheel inner door (“the angel wing”) has been started. In the original VL Myrsky drawings this part has been named “hatch” but the word “door” has been used in this translation. The inner door covers about half of the wheel well. The other half is covered by the mainwheel door, which is attached to the landing gear leg and covers half of the wheel.
The opening and closing mechanism of the mainwheel door operates like this: when the landing gear is pulled into the mainwheel well inside the wing, on its way in the wheel pushes a lever on the mainwheel door which closes the door. The outer edge of the mainwheel door fairing presses against the inner door fairing, shutting it firmly. When the landing gear is taken out, the inner door linkage mechanism pushes the door automatically open using spring load.
The mainwheel inner door in Myrsky has box construction. It consists of two aluminium fairings with a supporting metal frame in between. The inner door fairing is 2 mm thick aluminium plate on the outside and 1mm thick aluminium plate on the inside. The outer measurements of the inner fairing are 440x660 mm and those of the outer fairing 485x700 mm, so the inner fairing is smaller than the outer. This means that the outer fairing forms a flange at the edge of the fairing.
Some hinge mechanisms of daisy cutters have been survived but the doors not. Therefore the doors have to be manufactures as new production.
There is metal frame between the inner and outer fairing of the mainwheel inner door. It runs along the edge of the inner fairing. The aluminium fairings are attached to the frame by riveting. Originally the Myrsky mainwheel inner door had an open U-shaped aluminium frame structure, on which the fairings were separately riveted. A different structure was chosen in the Myrsky restoration project. The supporting frame between the fairings is made of 15x15mm rectangular steel tube. The outer and inner fairing are attached to the frame with rows of rivets penetrating the frame. Rows of holes are drilled into the supporting frame for the rivets.
The test wing in the Myrsky project is a wing half, couple of meters long, and it has only one mainwheel well. Therefore only one mainwheel inner door is needed for the test wing. The Tuesday Club team decided, however, to build three doors: one for the test wing and two for the actual Myrsky (which naturally has two mainwheel wells).
The work was started by laser-cutting the fairings according to their accurate measurements: the three outer fairings from 2 mm plate and the three inner fairings from 1 mm plate.
Then the supporting frame structures were made. Pieces matching the inner fairing measurements were cut from 15x15 mm rectangular steel tube. Three sets of pieces were cut, one set of pieces for each “daisy cutter”. Some of the tubes had to be bent to match the curving edges of the inner fairing.
The frame pieces were placed along the edge of the inner fairing of the mainwheel inner door and attached to it using small clamps. Then the work continued in the “welding space”, i.e. a sea container outside the Finnish Aviation Museum where the pieces were welded together to form the frame along the edge of the inner fairing. A similar procedure was used to weld the two other frames.
Now the mainwheel inner door supporting frames and inner and outer fairings were ready. The next phase will be to rivet the fairings onto the frame.
Keskiviikko 21.3.2018 - Member of Tuesday Club
A wooden model of BAE Systems Hawk Mk 51 jet trainer was found in the storage room of the Finnish Aviation Museum. The partly damaged model is approximately 50 cm long and it represents HW-310 which was in use in the Finnish Air Force. HW-310 belongs to the series of Hawks which were assembled by the Valmet Aviation Industries between 1980 and 1985. The real HW-310 has been withdrawn from use and stored. The State of Finland will donate it to an aviation museum in Switzwerland (Clin d'Ailes - Musée de l'aviation militaire de Payerne) and where it will probably be transported already this spring.
The museum has no information about the builder of the HW-310 model. Originally the model has been attached by its landing gear on a white plywood board which has been hanging on the wall. So the model has been a wall decoration.
The model is very well made and its proportions match the original aircraft. The cockpit has seats and its main equipment – also made of wood. The instruments on the panel have been painted, decals haven’t been used. The model has been painted according to the old camouflage scheme (black/green/grey) used in the 1980s, which suggests that the model was probably made about twenty years ago. Today the planes are painted all grey with small national insignia.
Photo: Jorma Laakso.
When the Hawk model was found, the idea of bringing it on display in the Hawk Experience Center of the Aviation Museum Society was brought up. The center has on display the cockpit section of HW-314, which belonged to the same Hawk production series as the real HW-310. The model of HW-310 could be used to illustrate what a whole Hawk looks like. There is an existing showcase where the HW-310 could be on display. An additional advantage is that the HW-310 has a similar black/green/grey camouflage scheme as the HW-314 in the Experience Center.
The Finnish Aviation Museum decided to donate the HW-310 model to the Hawk Experience Center and the Tuesday Club set out to work. The model was moved from the storage to the club workshop. The model had some damages: the nose landing gear was broken, one of the horizontal elevators was loose, the seam of the vertical elevator and the fuselage was broken and the cockpit canopy was loose and slightly broken.
Fortunately the damage wasn’t serious and repairing wasn’t difficult. The right side horizontal elevator was glued into place, the seam between the vertical stabilizer and fuselage was re-glued and painted. The split wheel on the nose landing gear was repaired. The canopy of the cockpit didn’t quite settle in its place and some modifications were needed on the canopy and the rear seat in order to have the canopy in the correct position.
As the model had originally been hanging on the wall, it hadn’t been balanced to be standing on its landing gear. When placed on a horizontal surface the rear-weighted plane’s tail is pointed downward. Therefore an additional support has to be added under the rear fuselage when the model is in its showcase.
The Tuesday Club team discussed whether the HW-310 identification marking should be changed to match the identification of HW-314 in the Experience Center. The decision was negative. It would have been difficult to modify the last number of the identification marking from a four to a zero so that the change couldn’t be noticed on the original paint. So the original appearance of the model was respected and no changes were made.
The HW-310 model is made of solid wood and is very robust but it still needs a good storage and transportation box. A new box was made from plywood and wooden battens. The box has a hinged lid and it was painted with clear varnish. The box and the lid have supporting pads which were cut to measure and support the weight of the model during storage and transport.
The Hawk model and its box are ready. The model was placed in the existing showcase to see how it fits there. And it looks great!
Fine, isn't it?
Now HW-310 is waiting for the summer exhibition round of the Hawk Experience Center to begin. The first event is already in the horizon: The “Military Aviation as a Profession” –event will be arranged by Satakunta Air Command in Pirkkala, Tampere on May 15th.
Photos (unless otherwise individually mentioned): Lassi Karivalo.
Sunnuntai 18.3.2018 - Member of Tuesday Club
The rotten parts of the left wing of I.V.L.K.1 Kurki have been under restoration in the Tuesday Club already for a month and a half. An additional project was launched to repair the aileron which had also been badly damaged. The aileron is located in the area of the wing which has been damaged during the 90 years of storage: water has been dripping on the plywood covering of the wing and aileron and caused rotting and moulding. The Tuesday Club will remove the rotten parts of the plywood covering of the aileron and rebuild the covering using new 1.2 mm thick plywood. Also the inner structures of the aileron will be repaired.
The work was started by defining which parts of the aileron covering needed to be dismantled. Then the plywood was cut along the marked line using a Dremel cutter blade. The rotten plywood was removed and it actually almost fell off from the aileron ribs, end and leading edge. The remaining fragments of the plywood were chiselled off the leading edge. When the plywood had been removed, further damage could be seen: parts of the aileron ribs and the rib plywood sides were partly badly rotten and will have to be renewed.
When the plywood covering had been dismantled, the attaching nails and screws remained on the leading edge, ribs and end batten. The plywood had originally been glued on the aileron structure and gluing had been reinforced with rows of nails and brass screws at 10 cm intervals. The team tried to pull out the rusted nails but only some came out and others broke. The broken nail stubs were either filed down to the wooden surface or struck into the wood using a punch. The brass screws were easy to remove.
The dismantled area is covered with new plywood so that the new material is attached on the aileron ribs, leading edge and end batten and meets the existing covering in a butt joint. A new joining batten is installed between each rib and under the edge of the old plywood, reaching a couple of centimetres outside the edge. These battens form the structure under the butt joint seams of the old and new material.
The wooden batten was cut to measure to fit between the ribs. Before gluing the battens into place, old protecting varnish had to be buffed out from the lower surface of the covering plywood. The battens were glued in place under the edge of the covering using Erikeeper Plus glue. A protecting plastic foil was spread over the edge of the plywood and a long wooden batten placed on top. The batten on top was an assisting element when squeezing the plywood edge and glued battens together using clamps. The plastic foil was necessary to keep the additional batten from attaching to the plywood in case some glue seeped out from the seam.
The repairs on the rotten aileron ribs has also been started. The plywood sides of the ribs, especially at the front ends, were so rotten on many ribs that the rotten parts had to be cut off and replaced using new plywood.
When the inner structures of the aileron have been repaired and the supporting battens for the butt joints of the new and old plywood covering are ready, the actual installation of the new plywood covering can be started in the dismantled areas.
Tiistai 6.3.2018 - Member of Tuesday Club
The I.V.L.K.1 Kurki plane was transported from the Päijät-Häme Aviation Museum in Vesivehmaa to the Tuesday Club workshop and the restoration work of its left wing has been started. The wing (5.75 m long and 2.32 m wide) is covered with 1.2 mm thick plywood. Rotten areas in the plywood covering of the wing have had to be dismantled.
The plywood covering of the wing has several stricken holes which are easy to repair. The worst problem is the extensive rotten area around the national insignia on both sides of the wing. During the storage of the wing water has been dripping on this part of the wing and the plywood covering has been badly damaged. Also the aileron covering is badly rotten.
The wing surfacing is intact and in reasonably good condition outside the rotten area and the stricken holes. The intact parts of the wing were washed clean using a miraclean sponge soaked in water and wiped dry with a cloth. Chemicals were not used when cleaning the plywood covering of the wing.
When the plywood covering is badly rotten, there is no other option than to remove it entirely and use new plywood to cover the area. This is how parts of the Kurki wing had to be restored. First a sketch was made of the rotten area to document the location of the national insignia, the maintenance panels and the aileron control wire holes. This documentation was necessary in order to place all the items correctly in their original locations when the new covering has been installed.
The rotten plywood covering was dismantled using a carpet knife. The dismantling covered the area between two or three ribs on both sides of the wing. Usually the dismantled area is extended as far as the ribs, which makes it easier to install the new covering.
When the rotten plywood covering was removed, further damage was revealed: there was mould on the inner surfaces of the plywood covering and the upper edges of the rib plywood sides were rotten and the sheets of plywood had come apart. The frayed upped edges of the rib sides can fortunately be repaired using glue, they don’t have to be dismantled and renewed.
When the rotten wing covering had been dismantled, the remaining plywood nails and screws had to be removed from the ribs. Some nails could be carefully pulled out using pliers but some nails broke in the procedure. The broken nail stubs were either filed down to the rib surface or struck into the rib using a punch. The brass screws were easy to remove.
The work will be continued by preparing the dismantled areas for covering. First the rib plywood sides will have to be repaired as well as all the damaged areas in the inner structures of the wing. New supporting battens will have to be built in order to assemble the new plywood covering in the dismantled area.
Sunnuntai 4.3.2018 - Member of Tuesday Club
The cockpit of VL Vihuri (VH-25) will soon be placed on display at the Finnish Aviation Museum. The last phase in the cockpit restoration work includes the side coverings. The sides are covered with aluminium plate and plexiglass so that the museum visitor is able to have a view inside the cockpit and see all the equipment there.
While the covering of the sides has been going on, the last of the cockpit equipment have been installed. The Tuesday Club was able to get hold of a machine gun camera control unit which has been in a Vihuri. The only problem was that the unit didn’t have the bracket which is needed to attach it to the instrument panel on the left side of the front cockpit. There was no information available about the original bracket. Therefore the bracket was designed by the Tuesday Club and built using aluminium. The bracket has now been made and the control unit is ready to be installed.
The cockpit and display lighting was completed before Christmas. The finalisation and installation of the lighting control unit was left to be done later. A container was made from aluminium plate to house the lighting control unit. The whole package was installed on the supporting frame under the front cockpit. The lighting control unit was placed behind the cockpit side covers, hidden from view and also protected from possible vandalism.
The covering of the lower parts of the cockpit sides using 1.5 mm aluminium plate has been completed. The aluminium plates cover half of the cockpit sides. The plates were attached at their lower edge to the supporting structure’s hem under the cockpit. The upper edge of the plates was attached to the covering panel which runs along the side of the cockpit. The upper sides of the cockpit will be covered using transparent plexiglass. The plexi installation has already been started.
Photos: Lassi Karivalo
Tiistai 20.2.2018 - Reino Myllymäki
There were several different process in order to enhance the corrosion protection of aluminium alloys in the 1940s. For example, the bulkheads may got either VLO 32742 part 40 and 41 processes (anodic treatment and bichromating) or part 42 process (treating in chromium nitric acid).
That kind of processes or agents were not in use anymore. MY-14's bulkheads are reproduced from new material by using design drawings and survived parts of bulkheads. Now they were yellow chromated by Alodine 1200 S process. Same process was used for the bottom access panel and instrument panels.
Alodine 1200 S process for MY-14's parts was provided by Patricomp Oy.
Photos: The Finnish Air Force Museum.
Sunnuntai 18.2.2018 - Reino Myllymäki
Before WWII, the fighter pilot's seats were normally not armoured. However, Russians were predecessors. The Finnish Air Force started the armouring during the Winter War, mostly that work was concluded before the Contiuation War. For example, the pilot's seat armours for Gloster Gladiator II biplane fighters were ordered on February 26th 1940 and for Morane-Saulnier M.S.406 monoplane fighters on March 5th 1940. Furthermore, Hawker Hurricanes were armoured after Winter War and the armouring of Brewster is totally own story.
The Finnish Air Force ordered 100 armoured pilot's seat from Swedish Avesta steel factory. These seats were intended to 50 Fokker D.XXIs ordered from the State Aircraft Factory but they were suitable for Fokker C.Xs, too. Now we know that the pilot's seat of Fokker D.XXI and VL Myrsky were same kind of. That means that VL Myrskys could have pilot's seats made in Avesta. These armours were 10 mm thick.
The armour of the VL Myrsky's pilot's seat is three-piece. Pilot's head armour is fixed to the upper part of the steel-tube fuselage frame. Other two pieces form the pilot's adjustable seat.
The original pilot's head armour of the MY-14 has preserved as a part of the steeb-tube fuselage frame. Photos: Reino Myllymäki.
The armoured back rest is an original part but it has been in a crashed Fokker D.XXI fighter. It has been straightened and needs some changes.
However, the armoured seat was lacking. It was produced as new production part by a subcontractor. Brewster 239's seat was used as a model since the drawings of the seat lacked. The result looks like original!
The brackets of the seat lacked too, but luckily the drawings were preserved. Mr Matti Patteri converted the drawings to the cutting files by CAD and the brackets' blanks were cutted by laser by Prolaser Oy. Blanks were welded by the restoration team at the Finnish Air Force museum.
The armoured pilot's seat will be covered by felt, flannel and pegamoid. The felt will be glued to the seat.
Photo: Reino Myllymäki
Some parts such as the adjusting screw and sandums were conserved or restored earlier and are now fixed to the MY-14.
Photos: Historic photo: archives of the Finnish Aviation Museum. Other photos unless separately mentioned: the Finnish Air Force Museum.
Perjantai 16.2.2018 - Member of Tuesday Club
There are many metal parts in the wooden wing structure of the VL Myrsky. The majority of these metal parts connect to the wing structure and the parts have to be installed at the same time when the ribs of the wing are attached between the wing spars.
Several of the metal parts are involved in the fastening of the landing gear at the root of the wing. These parts include e.g. the fastening of the diagonal rear strut of the landing gear which is attached to the rear spar, the fastenings of the landing gear strut which are attached to the seam of the fourth rib on the rear and front spars and the bearing and locking disc of the retracting actuator of the landing gear which is fastened on the front side of the front spar. The metal brackets, which fasten the wing to the fuselage, are fastened on the upper edge of the front and rear spars. In the mid-wing area there are also the fuel and compressed air tubes for the auxiliary fuel tank and the trimming mechanisms for the ailerons.
Some of the existing metal parts of the wing are original parts which have been installed in a Myrsky. They come from the wings of Myrsky which have been stored in the forest and decayed there for decades. The parts were salvaged from the forest, the moss was removed and the parts were cleaned, sand-blasted and painted grey. Also the original bolts and nuts belonging to these parts were salvaged and cleaned to be used again.
All of the metal parts needed for the wing were not found, so the missing parts have had to be made. The original parts and their drawings have been used when making the new parts. New parts have been needed to fasten the landing gear and also to fasten the wing to the fuselage.
There are four metal brackets on the upper edge of the front and rear spars which are needed to attach the wing to the fuselage. This means that when the Myrsky fuselage will eventually be placed on top of the wing, only four bolts will be needed to lock the wing and fuselage together.
Before the front and rear spars of the wing were fastened on the assembly jig, holes were drilled for the landing gear fasteners and for the bolts connecting the brackets of the wing and fuselage. When the wing spars had been fastened on the assembly jig, the installation of the ribs and the metal parts was started. It didn’t take long before all the metal parts had found their place and had been fastened on the wing spars.
The fuel and compressed air pipes of the auxiliary fuel tank were collected from the Finnish Air Force Museum. The original parts were rusty and had to be honed clean. The fuel tubes were painted yellow using a standard colour (Dicco 6 / RAL 1003 Signalgelb) typical for tubes on an aircraft and the compressed air tubes were painted blue. Then the tubes were pushed in place through the holes in the ribs.
Keskiviikko 14.2.2018 - Member of Tuesday Club
Since spring 2016 the Tuesday Club has been working on the restoration of the I.V.L.K.1. Kurki fuselage and right wing and the building of the wing struts. This work has been almost completed. Now it was time to bring the left wing of the Kurki to the Tuesday Club. Up to now the plywood-covered wing has been stored at the Päijät-Häme Aviation Museum in Vesivehmaa.
The wing arrived from Vesivehmaa on Tuesday, January 30th, transported by the Finnish Defence Forces. The transportation had been arranged by the Finnish Air Force Museum. The truck left Tikkakoski in the morning, bringing to the Päijät-Häme Aviation Museum the ejection seat simulator of MiG-21 that had been used by the Air Force and is now withdrawn from use. When the simulator had been transferred into the museum, the Kurki wing was loaded on the truck and the journey towards the Finnish Aviation Museum in Vantaa began. When the truck arrived at the Aviation Museum, the wing was moved directly into the restoration space of the museum.
The right wing of the Kurki – which has now been almost completely restored at the Tuesday Club – as well as the left wing have suffered major damage during the 90 years of storage. There are punched holes in the plywood covering of the wing and during the storing period water and moisture have damaged the covering and inner structures of the wing. The plywood covering has partly moulded beyond repair and will have to be renewed.
The first task will be to clean the wing surfaces and remove dust and dirt. Then the repairing work of the damaged parts can be started. The hard work ahead is expected to be completed in autumn.
Perjantai 2.2.2018 - Member of Tuesday Club
Photo: Photo archive of the Finnish Air Force Museum
The oil cooler of the Pratt&Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp engine in VL Myrsky is located in the lower part of the engine mounting, in front of the foremost wing spar. The cooling air is led in through a three-port air intake opening in the leading edge at the root of the left wing. The supply air flows from the air intake to the cooler in an air duct. From the other end of the cooler the warm exhaust air flows through an air duct to the exhaust opening which is located on the lower surface of the leading edge on the right wing.
At the root of the left wing the end of the air duct is attached to the leading edge rib which is made of aluminium plate. The other ribs of the leading edge are made of plywood. The aluminium rib has a hole with a flange matching the size of the air duct.
One of the tasks in the Myrsky restoration project was to build this aluminium rib. The drawings of the rib were available, so fortunately precise instructions for the task existed. First a mould had to be made in order to be able to bend the rib into its final shape.
The profile of the rib was cut out from a paper copy of the drawing and glued on thick plywood. Tracing the edges of the drawing two similar rib-shaped plywood pieces were sawed. The mould was needed to bend the edges of the aluminium plate rib so that they form a rim 22 mm wide.
The plywood mould was used to draw the shape of the rib onto 1 mm aluminium plate and 22 mm was added around the shape for the rim. The preliminary shape of the rib was cut and attached tightly between the two plywood moulds.
The following step was to bend the overlapping edge of the aluminium plate over the edge of the mould to make the rim. The plate was forced carefully to bend using a rubber hammer so that the aluminium wouldn’t break at the pleat / knuckle.
When the edge had been roughly bent, the rim was forced to its final shape using a sheet metal shrinker. The outer edges of the rib were now ready and the work could proceed to the next phase.
A hole for the air duct was made to the middle of the rib, following the dimensions in the drawing and taking into account the width of the flange for attaching the duct. The shape of the hole was drawn on the rib. The hole was made by first drilling a line of small holes following the drawn shape and then cutting along the holes using plate shears. The plywood mould of the rib was needed again: a similar hole was made in the middle of the mould. The aluminium rib was fixed tightly between the moulds. Then the edges of the hole in the aluminium plate were preliminarily bent against the edge of the plywood mould to form the flange and the final forcing was done using the sheet metal shrinker.
Now the rib for the leading edge at the root of the left wing was ready. Two similar ribs were made – one will be installed on the test wing and the other on the actual Myrsky wing.
Photos: unless separately mentioned: Lassi Karivalo
Keskiviikko 31.1.2018 - Reino Myllymäki
Aviation Museum Society visited in the Finnish Air Force Museum on Saturday 27th January 2018. There was possibility to visit in the workshop where the VL Myrsky fighter MY-14 is restored. The progress during the first half of the year 2017 was remarkable. During the last half the team has had other duties, too. Therefore the progress has slowed down a little. Almost all original parts are fastened to the aircraft.
The original cockpit ventilation pipe has been found but it was dented. The straightening work was big. Especially a dent behind curves was laborious to be straightened. When the straightened pipe was fastened, it was easy to note that foot controls will hit to it. The original production drawing has disappeared but according to the installation drawing, the pipe has no dents. It is possible, that the needed dent has been hit in the production.
Another pipe laborious to be straightened, is located in left hand side of the cockpit. An aluminium pipe changes shape from round to oval.
During the storage cleaning a rod with a special shape was found. It was easy to identify. It is a connection rod between the throttle lever and an electricity switch needed to warn the pilot when the engine idles and the landing gear is up. The orginal part is now installed and substitutes already installed reproduction part.
Another original part, which was found after production of the new part, is the locking wire of the tail wheel. The reproduction part has been allowed to stay in the MY-14. The original part ensured that the reproduction part has been produced right way.
A very interesting part was found in the storages. After another unidentified part was found, both of them could be identified. They were brackets of the manual starter. One is bracket of the hand crank and another is part of a reserve clutch. The will be installed in the MY-14.
The pilot seat of the VL Myrsky has sandums. Since the rubber features are different in warm and cold, the aircraft has different sandums for summer and winter use. However, it is possible that same sandums were used all year.
Perjantai 26.1.2018 - Member of Tuesday Club
The VL Myrsky is a fighter plane having mixed construction. The wings are made of wood and the fuselage consists of a tubular steel frame covered with a covering structure that gives the aircraft its shape. The rear fuselage covering consists of wooden upper, lower and side skin panels which are attached to the steel tube frame construction. The covering consists of wooden arc-shaped formers and wooden stringers and the skin is made of 1.2 mm plywood.
Photo: Finnish Aviation Museum photo archive
In the first Myrsky serial production individuals the lower, side and upper coverings of the rear fuselage were built directly onto the tubular steel frame. Later the lower and upper coverings were pre-built on an assembly jig and attached onto the frame in one piece. The sides, however, were still built directly onto the frame of the plane.
The upper skin plywood panel in the rear fuselage of Myrsky doesn’t meet the upper edge of the side skin panel in a butt joint but slightly overlaps the side panel. In a similar way the side skin plywood panel’s lower edge overlaps the upper edge of the lower panel’s upper edge. This is how the rear fuselage covering has a lap joint structure.
The Tuesday Club built tubular steel frame assembly jigs for assembling the upper and lower coverings of the Myrsky. The jig dimensions match accurately the dimensions of the Myrsky steel frame construction. This ensures that the upper and lower coverings which are completed on the jig will fit precisely the Myrsky tubular frame.
The assembly of the rear fuselage upper covering was started in the Tuesday club by attaching the formers on the jig. The wooden formers have been made in the youth workshop operated by the city of Vantaa. The jig frame has brackets for attaching the roots of the formers in the correct position. Corresponding brackets exist on the Myrsky steel frame.
When all the formers for the upper covering were in place, the wooden stringers connecting and supporting the formers were attached and modelled to their final shape.
When the formers and stringers had been glued together, the upper covering skin plywood could be preliminarily installed. The skin on the upper and lower covering will be finished later.
The upper and lower coverings without the plywood skin have already been preliminarily assembled on the Myrsky MY-14 fuselage at the Finnish Air Force Museum.
Photo: Finnish Air Force Museum
The Tuesday Club has made two rear fuselage coverings for the Myrsky. Why two? One covering belongs to the Myrsky MY-14 which is under restoration. But what about the other one? It will be assembled on the less famous Myrsky MY-5 steel frame. The MY-5 frame is one of the four existing but damaged Myrsky tubular steel frames.
The MY-5 steel frame has been reserved for the model wing which has been built in the Myrsky restoration project. The model wing is the 2,5 m long root part of the right wing. When the model wing is completed, it will be attached to the MY-5 frame. The MY-5 frame will also have another model wing: the root part of the left wing, about 1 m long which will be built in the restoration project. The other rear fuselage upper covering which was made now will be assembled on this frame. Maybe the Tuesday Club will have the energy to build also the lower and side coverings for the MY-5...
The Myrsky MY-5 frame with its short model wings and upper coverings will eventually be placed on display at the Finnish Aviation Museum. At the moment the MY-5 tubular steel frame lies unrestored at the Finnish Air Force Museum in Tikkakoski.
Photos: Unless separately mentioned: Lassi Karivalo.
Lauantai 30.12.2017 - Member of Tuesday Club
A lot of work was needed before the right wing of the I.V.L. K.1 Kurki was ready for testing how to attach it to the fuselage. The Tuesday Club of the Aviation Museum Society had repaired the plywood covering of the wing and the damages in the inner structures and built the missing four wing struts. Also the restoration of the Kurki fuselage was almost completed, so it was time to test how the wing would be attached.
The Kurki wing had been restored in the work space of the Finnish Aviation Museum and now it was carried to the mid-hall where the restored Kurki fuselage was waiting. A lot of excitement was in the air when the assembly work was started by picking the wing up by a stacker and moving it slowly to the proper installation position.
Boards had been placed on the fork of the stacker so that the whole length of the wing could be supported. Two cargo lashes were attached to the ceiling beam of the hall and wrapped around the wing to ensure the lifting. The cargo lashes were tightened as the stacker lifted the wing higher.
When the correct installation height had been reached, the stacker was moved away and the cargo lashes now carried the whole weight of the wing. The wing was tilted so that the locating lugs were in line with the wing assembly holes in the fuselage.
Then the wing was pushed against the Kurki fuselage and the locating lugs at the root of the wing slid into the holes in the fuselage. The installation was surprisingly easy and the lugs were locked in place using bolts.
More stress was coming: would the two original wing struts and the two new ones (which had been made based on the original ones) fit the Kurki wing now that it was in place? The new wing struts had been made assuming that the two old wing struts found in the Vesivehmaa museum hall (and used as models) had belonged to Kurki. There was no evidence to support this assumption.
The original and repaired straight wing strut on the leading edge of the wing was installed first. The quill-shaped fastener at the lower end of the wing strut was attached to the brackets on the fuselage. This went well and the connection was secured with a bolt. Then the upper end of the front wing strut was lifted up in an angle to meet the brackets on the wing. After some adjustments the fastener was attached to the brackets. Now the front wing strut had been installed.
It was time to install the straight wing strut to the rear part of the wing. The rear wing strut had been made based on the original and repaired strut main tube and covered with plywood. The wing strut had been attached by its lower end to the brackets on the fuselage. Then a problem arose. When the strut was lifted up in an angle towards the brackets on the wing, the strut was positioned about 15 cm in front of the brackets. This meant that the brackets on the fuselage and on the wing were not in a perpendicular line. The brackets on the wing are located about 10 cm further back than the ones on the fuselage.
When the wing strut was rotated 180 degrees around its axis (the leading edge of the strut now pointing towards the trailing edge of the wing), the wing strut settled nicely between the brackets on the fuselage and the brackets on the wing. The Tuesday Club team noticed that the fastening quill on the lower end of the wing strut tube had been originally welded at an angle of 5 degrees to compensate the difference in the positioning of the brackets on the wing and the fuselage. This was something the team hadn’t noticed earlier and this couldn’t have been observed by naked eye.
The team had to face the fact that the wing strut tube had been covered the wrong way round: its leading edge was pointing backwards to the trailing edge of the wing and vice versa. The chance of getting it right had been 50/50 but it didn’t happen. Now the decision had to be made whether to dismantle the strut tube covering and do it right or to solve the assembly problem by modifying the fastening part on the lower end of the strut or the brackets on the wing in order to change the angle of the strut.
A new approach was taken: the unfortunate rear wing strut was first replaced by an original strut and then by a new wing strut which had been made using a new main tube. The fasteners at the ends of the new wing strut had been welded at a 90 degree angle to the center line of the strut. The original wing strut met both fastening brackets nicely and accurately. Fortunately also the new rear wing strut could be installed – with some assistance - to meet the brackets.
Before the test assembly of the wing will be completed, decisions will have to be made on how to install and fasten the diagonal wing strut which is positioned between the front and rear wing struts. There are no separate brackets for the diagonal strut on the wing or on the fuselage – and there is no drawing, photo or instruction about this either. The diagonal strut was preliminarily installed between the straight wing struts in order to find a solution how to attach it. Some ideas already came up but the decisions will be made after the Tuesday Club Christmas break.
When the wing and wing struts had been attached to the Kurki fuselage, the team knew that it had two original Kurki wing struts, three eligible wing struts that had been made according to the original ones plus one wing strut that could be modified to fit.
For the first time since 1927, after 90 years, the Kurki fuselage has wings. To be more precise, at the moment it has one wing. The left wing is waiting in Vesivehmaa for its restoration work.
Tiistai 26.12.2017 - Member of Tuesday Club
The Tuesday Club of the Finnish Aviation Museum Association has completed the missing wing struts in the I.V.L. K.1 Kurki restoration project. The wing struts have been built at the workshop of the Finnish Aviation Museum according to the original wing struts. They were built already in summer, covered with plywood, but without the connecting fasteners. The club members spent all autumn making the metal fasteners and installing them on the wing struts.
The wing struts of the Kurki are fastened on the lower edge of the fuselage and connected to brackets of the front and rear wing struts using quill-type fasteners. These fasteners are locked between the brackets on the fuselage and on the wing struts using bolts. Between the straight struts there is a diagonal N-shaped strut which has slot-type fasteners. The fasteners at the upper end of the wing struts can be adjusted.
The work on the new fasteners was started by measuring accurately the two existing original wing strut fasteners and examining their structure and the way they had been made. The basic structures of the quill-type and slot-type fastener are the same.
Each fastener consists of an installation tube about 10 cm long and of the actual fastener, which is pushed inside the installation tube and attached to it by welding. The installation tube has a dimension which matches the steel frame tube inside the wing strut. The installation tube and the attached fastener are pushed inside the end of the wing strut tube and locked in place using two steel bayonets which go through the end of the wing strut.
The work on the wing strut fasteners was started by lathing the six installation tubes that are needed. Then the quill-type and slot-type fasteners, which will be pushed into the installation tubes, were made by lathing, welding and milling. Two holes were drilled into each installation tube. The fastener was pushed into the installation tube and spot-welded in place through the holes. The welded spots were ground even and smooth. This is how all four quill-type and two slot-type fasteners were made.
Then the fasteners and their installation tubes were attached to the ends of the wing struts. Some of the installation tubes slid easily into place in the strut tubes, but some didn’t. Therefore some of the wing strut tubes had to be filed on the inside to make the installation tube fit. The next phase was to lock the fasteners to the wing strut pipe by using two steel bayonets.
The work on the first wing strut was started by making sure that the fastener was attached to the wing strut in the correct position. Then the fastener was locked in place with clamps. Two holes were drilled through the end of the wing strut using a 5mm drill piece and then screws were temporarily placed into the holes to prevent the fastener from moving. Then the holes were enlarged by using a 10 mm drill piece in order to match the diameter of the locking bayonet.
A total of 12 locking bayonets are needed and they were made by cutting 55 mm long pieces from a steel bar 10 mm in diameter. The length of the bayonet was based on the fact that the wing strut metal tube is 50,5 mm in diameter and a reserve of 2 mm is needed at each end for riveting. A small cavity was drilled on both ends of the bar so that the end would enlarge when riveted onto the wing strut bar.
A 5 mm hole was drilled through the bar. This hole is needed for the cover which is installed on the locking bayonet hole in the plywood cover of the wing strut. The cover prevents moisture from getting inside the wing strut. The original Kurki wing struts had round covers, 20 mm in diameter, which were connected to the locking bayonets using aluminum wire. In the restoring work this structure won’t be used. The locking bayonet holes will be protected by using wide-headed pop-rivets which are pressed into the holes in the bayonets.
When the holes for the locking bayonets had been drilled at both ends of the wing strut, the bayonets were pushed into place one by one. The ends of the bayonets were riveted onto the wing strut frame. The fasteners were now in place on the wing struts and the work was nearly ready: only the covers were missing. The remaining wing strut fasteners were assembled in a similar way and all the wing struts were now ready for painting.
The wing struts will be painted using silver-bronze varnish. The plywood-covered wing struts won’t be painted before the right side wing of Kurki has been preliminarily installed onto the Kurki frame. The wing has been under restoration work in the Tuesday Club as well. This preliminary installation will ensure that the two original wing struts have actually belonged to the Kurki. These two original parts were used as models for making the missing wing struts.
Keskiviikko 20.12.2017 - Member of Tuesday Club
The last phases in the restoration work of the Valmet Vihuri II (VH-25) cockpit included the installation of the cockpit lights, the instrument board background lights, the light of the sight and the display lights when the cockpit is in the museum. Finally the sides of the cockpit will be covered with aluminum plate and plexiglass.
Originally the Vihuri had a 24V direct current electrical system. The positive pole of the system was insulated from the fuselage of the plane and the negative pole was connected to the fuselage. However, in the restoration of the Vihuri cockpit a 12 V alternating current system was chosen. In this system both poles of the system are insulated from the fuselage. The mains voltage (240 V AC) is transformed into a low voltage (12 V) and rectified to direct current. This power supply (12 V DC) is connected to the Vihuri lighting control panel, which supplies power to each lighting fixture.
The front and rear cockpits of the Vihuri has small red lights on both sides of the cockpit. The light is tinted red in order to disturb the pilots’ night vision as little as possible when flying in dusk or in darkness. The amount and direction of light can be adjusted simply by turning the shade around the glass of the lighting fixture.
Three original cockpit lights were available and could be installed into the VH-25 cockpits, but the fourth lighting fixture was missing and had to be made. Fortunately the base of the fourth light was found. The body, the glass and the turning shade of the lighting fixture had to be made to resemble the original ones. The body was made of aluminum, the “glass” was cut from red plastic and the cover was made from aluminum plate.
When the fourth cockpit lighting fixture was ready, all four lights were installed in the cockpit by attaching them to the original fasteners in the upper parts of both cockpits. The original incandescent lamps were replaced by led lamps. Leds were chosen because the cockpit lights are always on when the VH-25 cockpit is on display in the museum and the heat emitting incandescent lamps wouldn’t be a good solution. Installing the led lamps into the original lighting fixtures wasn’t a problem because the leds have the same type of socket (BA 15d) as the original incandescent lamps.
The original power cables of the four cockpit lights in the Vihuri are protected by transparent plastic tubes. A similar installation was chosen in the restoration work, but using similar thin silicon tube. In the original installation there were two cables (positive and negative) from each lighting fixture installed into the plastic tube and the negative cable was connected to the fuselage. The cabling was changed so that both cables are inside the tube and they connect the lighting fixtures to the lighting control panel. The red lights were turned on when the power was connected.
Three background lights were installed behind each instrument board. Unfortunately there were no original background lights available and all of them had to be made. Fortunately the instrument boards still had the clips for the lighting fixtures so that the size and shape of the lighting fixture could be estimated.
The tube-shaped bodies of the lighting fixtures were lathed from plastic. A cable was pulled through the body and the wires were attached to the base of the fixture. Led lamps with G4 caps were attached to the base. When power was supplied to the cables, the background lights illuminated the instrument boards.
The cabling was made by using one cable from the lighting control panel to each instrument panel. According to the drawings of the original installation, the wiring was branched at the instrument panel to supply each of the three lighting fixtures. The light of the sight was installed in a similar way.
In the Vihuri the background lights of the instrument boards and the sight light had originally armored cables. The armor, i.e. the braided metal covering of the cables, was meant to protect the power supply from disturbing external signals. However, the armored cable used in the restoration work of the instrument panel lights had three cables whereas the original one had only two. Therefore the three-wire cable was pulled out of the armor and replaced by the two wires leading to the instrument board lights. At the same time the armor was stretched in order to make it thinner, resembling the original one used in the Vihuri.
The Vihuri cockpit will be on display in the Finnish Aviation Museum. The red lights in the cockpits, the instrument board lights and the sight light were adequate for the pilots but they won’t be able to illuminate the cockpit enough for the museum visitors. Therefore four 30 cm long led tubes were installed as display lighting. The leds were attached to the upper edges of both cockpits, trying to install them as unnoticed as possible. Depending on the position of the cockpit in the museum, the lights will be controlled so that the leds are on only on the side where the viewer is standing. In this way the lights on the opposite side will not produce disturbing glare.
Now the cockpit lights in the Vihuri as well as the instrument board background lights, sight light and the display lighting were working. The last phase was to organize the various cables from the lighting fixtures to the lighting control panel into a tight group. This was done by attaching the cables to the cockpit frame tubes by using original clips and new clips made to match the original ones.