VL Myrsky

VL Myrsky (English: Storm) was a Finnish World War II fighter, designed by the State Aircraft Factory (Valtion lentokonetehdas) for the Finnish Air Force. The models of the aircraft were Myrsky I, Myrsky II, and Myrsky III.

VL Myrsky
Class Aircraft
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Valtion lentokonetehdas
Origin Finland
Country Name Origin Year
Finland 1941
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Finland 1943 1947 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Valtion lentokonetehdas 51 View

The decision to start developing a new fighter for the Finnish Air Force was based on experience gained before the Winter War: in the "arms race" leading up to a war, it can be difficult for smaller nations to purchase top-of-the-range fighters without a significant political cost. The Finnish Air Force requested preliminary proposals for a domestic fighter from State Aircraft Factory (Valtion Lentokonetehdas) in early 1939, before the Winter War. State Aircraft Factory prepared five alternative proposals by May 1939. After that, The Ministry of Defence ordered the fighter design from State Aircraft Factory in June 1939.

The preliminary design was made by the aircraft-designer trio Arvo Ylinen (head of the design-bureau), Martti Vainio (aerodynamics), and Torsti Verkkola (structural design). Edward Wegelius was appointed head of the design department of the State Aircraft Factory when Ylinen later moved on to the Helsinki University of Technology in August 1940. VL did not appoint any main constructor to its products, such as the German aircraft manufacturers did.

Due to difficulties obtaining duraluminium, the wings were made out of plywood and the fuselage was metal structure with fabric or plywood coating. The planned Bristol Taurus III engine was not available due to war, so a Pratt & Whitney R-1830 (civil Twin Wasp) was chosen. Availability of this engine was also problematic, so an R-1830-S3C3-G was used for the first prototype and less-powerful SC3-Gs for later prototypes and production fighters. These were bought from German war booty stocks.

The first Myrsky prototype flew on 23 December 1941. The prototype was fully functional, but too heavy. After some modifications they soon had three new prototype aircraft. The test flights showed some structural problems during high-speed tests. All three prototypes were destroyed during test flights; two test pilots died, one was seriously injured.

Series production started in autumn 1942 far before German deliveries of Messerschmitt Bf 109 had begun in 1943. The series production version was called Myrsky II. 47 Myrsky IIs were built and together with the Myrsky I version and Myrsky prototype the production amounted to 51 in all. Although the aircraft met the specifications set for it, it did not fulfill all expectations due to structural problems.

The Myrsky III was ordered in spring 1943, but none were built.

Role Reconnaissance/fighter
Manufacturer Valtion lentokonetehdas
Designer Edward Wegelius, Martti Vainio and Torsti Verkkola
First flight 1941
Introduction 1943
Retired 1947
Status Retired
Primary user Finnish Air Force
Number built 51


General characteristics

  • Crew: One
  • Length: 8.35 m (27 ft 5 in)
  • Wingspan: 11.00 m (36 ft 1 in)
  • Height: 3.00 m (9 ft 10 in)
  • Wing area: 18.00 m² (193.7 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 2,337 kg (5,152 lbs)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 3,213 kg (7,080 lbs)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-1830-SC3-G Twin Wasp 14-cyl., 749 kW (1,065 hp (metric))1,050 hp (imperial)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 535 km/h
  • Range: 311 miles (500 Km)
  • Service ceiling: 9,500 m ()
  • Rate of climb: 15 m/s (50 ft/s)
  • Power/mass: 3.0 kg/hp (6.6 lb/hp)

Armament

  • 4× VKT 12,70 mm LKk/42 machine guns
  • 2× 100 kg bombs

End notes