Leading edge of Myrsky's aileron is strengthened with a fabric inset
Tiistai 3.11.2020 - Tuesday Club member
The plywood covered aileron of Myrsky-fighter (VL Myrsky II) has a reinforcing linen inset on the leading edge. The purpose of this inset is to protect the seam of the leading edge batten and the plywood sheets which are fastened on it. The strip of linen fabric is fastened on the leading edge with paint during the undercoat painting. The leading edge is not uniform, there are two notches in it for the hinges of the aileron. A reinforcing strip of linen fabric will be installed also on the edges of the wheel wells on the wings.
The MY-14 fighter, under restoration at the Tuesday Club of the Aviation Museum Society, has now the reinforcing strips on the leading edge of its ailerons. However, a small mishap occurred. Both ailerons had already been painted with the first undercoat paint, which is used for smoothing the surface, when the team remembered the reinforcing linen strip. Therefore, the undercoat paint, already honed smooth, had to be removed on the leading edge, over the width of the reinforcing fabric strip. The plywood surface was roughened so that the adhesive surface would be better for fastening the linen fabric on the leading edge with undercoat paint.
For the ailerons’ leading edge, a strip 15 cm wide was cut from 105 g/m2 linen fabric. A sawtooth pattern was cut on the fabric edges zig-zag scissors to make the adhesive surface of the fabric better than that of a straight edge. On airplane covering fabrics frayed edges were used for this purpose in the 1920s. When the fabric edge was frayed, the warp was unwoven over some centimetres’ distance. The sawtooth practice became common in the 1930s.
Before assembling the fabric on the leading edge, the aileron was supported to an upright position. Then a good layer of paint was spread on the leading edge, using a small foam rubber roller, over the width of the linen fabric strip. The fabric strip was placed carefully on the leading edge and pressed as tightly as possible against the wet paint.
When the fabric had fastened on the paint, adhesive undercoat paint was brushed on it. The Tuesday Club team made sure there was a sufficient layer of paint all over the fabric strip and that the sawtooth edge of the fabric had fastened tightly on the leading edge surface.
Both of Myrsky’s ailerons were treated in the similar manner. When the paint has dried, the painted surface on the fabric will be carefully honed smooth, making sure that the honing will not break the surface of the reinforcing fabric. If needed, an additional layer of paint will be added on the fabric and honed. Finally, the aileron will get the paint finishing with the green-black paint scheme.
Photos: Lassi Karivalo
Translation: Erja Reinikainen