Valmet Vihuri VH-25 got flare pistol tube
Tiistai 20.6.2017 - Member of Tuesday Club
The cockpit of the Valmet Vihuri II (VH-25) under restoration by the Aviation Museum Society (Finland) is one step closer to completion when the flare pistol firing-tube going through the cockpit floor in the area between the pilots legs, was installed. Also an original flare pistol cartridge holder was fitted. Pilots who flew the Vihuri have told us that not every Vihuri was equipped with this tube, but at least our VH-25 now has one.
The flare pistol firing-tube was made according to original drawings. Its main part consists of a metal tube, with a piece of larger-diameter tube welded to its topside. Then slits were ground into this piece and a tensioning lever mechanism fitted. Tightening this tensioning mechanism decreases the tube diameter and thus ensures that the flare pistol stays in place in the tube when firing the pistol.
In addition to this, the tube is fitted with a small aluminium rack against which the flare pistol is placed into firing-position. Finally a leather padding was glued to the top-side of the tube and to the pistol rack. The unpadded metal parts were painted grey.
A hole for the tube was made in the floor of the front cockpit and the needed fastening to the fuselage frame was prepared. Before its final installation the firing tube was cut to its proper length. As a finishing touch some empty flare-cartridges were put in the cartridge holder on the right cockpit wall.
A “cold-test” of the finished firing –tube was done using a flare pistol from the Finnish Aviation Museum’s collection. However, this flare pistol will not be on show in the fuselage section of the Vihuri (VH-25) when it is exhibited in the museum. Instead, it will be replaced by a wooden “look-alike”.