Armoured pilot's seat of VL Myrsky

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.

Avainsanat: aviation history, restoring, old aircraft, VL Myrsky II, MY-14

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