After a while I was finally able to get my old Peugeot 205 GTI back in driving condition. It was nice to get back to the museum and enjoy my old car. After getting there I went out to look for the boys. This time I was able to locate them right at the repair shop. At first Harri was missing but the guys notified me that he was hoovering the aircraft at the main display hall. This was done because of the Finnish Air Force Anniversary Day which was approaching in early March. Traditionally my visit started with a cup of coffee and a doughnut. I took along an old photo album which I had bought from Ebay. The album includes all the aircraft used by the Luftwaffe during WW2. I’m quite sure the album dates back to the late 1940’s or early 1950’s. An 80 year old American lady sold the photo album she had found from her attic where it had stayed and collected dust for the last 40 years or so. We examined the album at the museum café and the boys where able to spot some photos even they hadn’t seen before. The museum’s researcher Mr. Timo Heinonen also checked the album and found some interesting rare photos. He commented that quite possibly the album was made right after WW2 by the U.S. government as a summary of all the aircraft types used by the Luftwaffe. Well, anyway I don’t believe that one could buy this kind of material from your local convenience store.
|Property of the U.S. government.|
|101 sivua Luftwaffen lentokoneista.|
101 pages filled with Luftwaffe aircraft
|Museon tutkija Timo Heinonen tarkestelee kansioita.|
Museum researcher Timo Heinonen takes a close look at the photo album
Now it’s back to work. Since my last visit the guys had installed the control column and the pilot’s oxygen bottle into the aircraft. The canopy seemed to be ready to be installed to its place. Pekka Nieminen was making a rack for the radio. The T.R. 9D radio came from the Air Force Signals Museum storage and this means that it was originally installed either into a Hurricane or a Gloster Gladiator fighter. Then again it is possible that it was also used in a Westland Lysander. The first radios used in British fighters came into service during the early 1930’s and the T.R. 9D in question dates back to 1937. It operates on HF frequency. At the outbreak of war it was discovered that the T.R. 9D’s were becoming obsolete fast and they were replaced with VHF radios by the end of 1940. The effective range of a HF radio was very limited. It was in the order of only about a few kilometres. This seems “quite modest” by modern standards. In practice you couldn’t hear a thing if you lost the sight of your wingman in the sky.
|Hurricanen T.R. 9.|
|Niemisen Pekka rakentamassa radion kehikkoa (huomatkaa taustalla museon uusi työntekijä, asustuksen perusteella voimme kutsua häntä vaikkapa sauna Jormaksi). |
Pekka Nieminen is making a rack for the radio. Notice the new employee in the background.
It was great to notice that the boys had pretty comprehensive and detailed blueprints available from different parts of the aircraft. For example the details of the radio rack were clear and precise. Another good example is the cockpit’s right “door” panel. Harri was using the detailed blueprints which included all the measurements needed for sewing a small fabric pouch to the cockpit door. He “sacrificed” one standard issue Finnish Army map case which he used for raw material for the pouch. When I looked at the seams of the pouch I was pretty much impressed. I think that the museum should consider buying Harri a sewing machine as a gift when he reaches a clear round number of years in the service of the museum. I couldn’t help wondering my old primary school days and all the compulsory sewing classes I had to take.
|Harri ohjaamon oven kimpussa. |
Harri works with the cockpit door panel.
|Ohjaamon ovi ja Harrin tekemä kangaspussi.|
A close up of the cockpit door panel. The fabric pouch is sewn by Harri himself.
The control column seems to be from a British Harvard trainer, which was fitted with a similar type of control column. The control column used here came from Britain as a part of a swap of material. After some minor modifications it was fitted into the Hurricane. The Hurricane’s controls are based on control cables and there are no boosters or hydraulics involved. A pilot with a weak physique could not handle the Hurricane and force it into steep high speed curves. But then again back in the days of WW2 the pilots were made of steel and the planes out of wood and fabric. It is interesting that the standard British control column type consists of two separate parts. The lower part moves back and forward and the upper part moves from left to right. The pieces are connected with a joint and a special chain transmission. I couldn’t figure out the advantages of this arrangement, but then again I’m no engineer myself.
|Ohjainsauva ja tuo insinöörien keksimä nivel. |
The control stick and the joint invented by aircraft engineers.
The oxygen bottle came via one Finnish collector. The pilot’s oxygen bottle was fitted to its place in the fuselage behind the pilot’s seat. According to the manual the 5 litre bottle could hold some 750 litres of air. The indicator which shows the amount of oxygen and the air flow is located on the left side of the panel above the clock and landing gear indicator together with the closing valve. The amount of air in the bottle was enough for a 45 minutes of flight time.
|Pullo asennettuna runkoon istuimen takana. |
The oxygen bottle is fitted in the fuselage just behind the pilot’s seat.
Jatkamme jälleen seuraavalla kerralla…
For conclusion I do have to comment that Harri and I received an interesting contact from New Zealand. A reporter from Classic Wings magazine contacted us and informed that he would be interested to do story on the restoration of the Hurricane. Now Harri and I must do some thinking for the material needed for the article. It will be published when the restoration project is completed and the Hurricane is ready for its roll-out ceremony. It’s a small world I should say.
To be continued…
|Classic Wings Vol 18 No 2 2011.|