Finland Air Force

Discussion in 'Aircraft Pictures' started by gekho, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    The Finnish Air Force was founded on 6th March 1918. There was one exceptional feature in the founding of the FAF, that it was organized right from the start as an independent branch of the armed forces. This foresight created a good basis for its development and made it one of the oldest air forces in the world. The first aircraft was donated by a Swedish count, Erik von Rosen. On the wings of the airplane was painted his personal lucky insignia, the blue swastikas. This was the origin of the first official Finnish Air Force markings. The swastikas, still seen in many FAF traditional markings, as insignias have nothing to do with the Nazi swastikas of the 1930s.

    The Winter War was the first real baptism of fire for the Finnish Air Force. The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany formed a pact in 1939 which resulted in the German attack on Poland in September of that year. Subsequent to that assault was the Soviet Union's attack on Finland on November of the same year. The Defence Forces of Finland was ill-prepared for the war from a material standpoint. In the Air Force for example the number of fighters was alarmingly small. However, their training and therefore their combat readiness was fairly high. Actually, The Finnish Air Force was the inventor of the modern fighter tactics.

    Before and in the beginning of the second World War the ideas of general Douhet were noticed in many air forces and accordingly the fighter forces were rather universally underestimated. Fighter tactics also was hampered by peace time formalities. In Great Britain the two types of fighter formation were either built up from a tight vic of three aircraft or four in line-astern. The vic was a legacy of peace time flying in which the two wingmen had all their work cut out to stay near their leader and little time to search the sky. The high casualty rate of the tail-end Charlies was a grim measure of the vulnerability of the line-astern formations. During the Battle of Britain the RAF renewed both its formation tactics and training.

    In Germany the Luftwaffe was founded again in 1933 and the Chief of the Luftwaffe General Staff, general Wever, emphasized strategic bombers as the main aircraft of the new organization. After Wever had died in the flight accident in 1936 the new technical chief, Ernst Udet, brought from a trip to USA the idea of dive bombers as the most suitable method for the blitzkrieg philosophy. The German bi-plane fighters, Arado Ar 65/68 and Heinkel He 51, used in the Spanish Civil War, proved to be inferior compared to the adversaries I-15 and I-16 from Soviet Union. However, in 1938 both the fighters and the fighter tactics in Luftwaffe were renewed when Legion Condor got the new Bf 109 B-2 fighters in use.

    In the Soviet Union the bombers had the priority in the operational planning of the air forces during the 1930s. Also the Soviet Union participated the Spanish Civil War but its Air Force elements were used as the subordinated support units to the Army and thus for example the fighter tactical lessons were unlearned. The Soviets kept on using the tight three fighters formation as the basic tactical element in air combat and the wingmen were to fire anytime the leader did so. The weapons were lined straight ahead.

    Some of the first American fighter combat experiences came via Flying Tigers in China. They started by using eight fighters tight formation but cancelled it soon and changed both tactics and training. Also Japanese first used rather big formations, for example fifteen Mitsubishi 96 Claude fighters in tight Vic-formation in their Chinese campaign. In Finland the Air Force started during the years 1934 and 1935 to use the loose and broad section as the basic formation in fighter aviation. The bigger formations were built so that two sections flying side by side made a finger four division. In a flight formation two divisions flew almost side by side while the top division was much higher than the lower strike division. In divisions, the sections still operated independently. These formations, at that time differing from all international principles, were developed during fighter courses in both theoretical analyses and practical exercises. The Finnish fighter pilots concluded that they would never have such big numbers of fighters that they could build up those great squadron formations which were used abroad to concentrate fighter power to certain areas. They also concluded that big and tight fighter formations were tactically inefficient.

    The most important element in the fighter combat was surprise, and that was the goal which always had to be tried to reach for. A big and tight formation could very seldom achieve the surprise because it was easily seen from far away and the pilots couldn't keep good lookout while working to maintain their positions in the formation. On the other hand a section with the two fighters about 100 - 150 yards away from each other, or the division with 300 - 400 yards between the two sections, were found very effective in the search exercises. Every pilot was free to keep a good lookout to every direction and also all the time to check the six of the other pilots. In addition to that this kind of small and loose formation was seen much later because all of its aircraft were not always at the same time in the view of the opponent. The search phase was heavily emphasized in the training and the ability in that was an important factor in the evaluation of the fighter pilots.

    When the aerial engagement began every pilot was free to manoeuvre in the most effective way, so, both the attacks and the evasive manoeuvres could be done without any delays. The flying in the small formations meant continuous fighting against bigger numbers but this could be compensated by always attacking regardless of numbers. The fighter combat generally spread quite quickly into section fights and duels where there was no immediate benefit of the bigger numbers. In these separate combats the better pilots always won. However, this philosophy demanded that every pilot was a skilful air combatant. This skill was trained for both in the fighter courses and in the squadrons.

    One of the corner stones in the skill of the fighter pilot was the complete control of his aircraft. This was trained by aerobatics and combat manoeuvres, and also by intentional mis-manoeuvring. In the classic one versus one and two versus two exercises and in the practice attacks on bomber targets the combat manoeuvres were trained as instinctive actions. In practical exercises the simple manoeuvres were found to be the best ones. It was also found in training that one of the most important skills of fighter pilot was the shooting accuracy; the ability to judge the right deflection during manoeuvring, to estimate the right shooting distance and to concentrate the fire on the point target, for example on some vulnerable part of the target airplane. The shooting training became an essential, and in times dominating, part of the fighter training.

    When the Winter War started the Finnish fighter tactics differed from almost all other countries` tactical principles. Only the Germans had started to use similar methods during the Spanish Civil War. There was no certainty of how this tactics would do in the merciless test of war. The numbers of the attacking Soviet Union seemed to be crushingly overwhelming. However, there was no hesitation about the defence task in the flying units. At least in that sense the training had succeeded; it had created a fighter pilot cadre with high motivation and self-confidence.
     
  2. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    The war experiences proved both the tactics and the training to be right and as a result, the main fighters Fokker D.XXIs were able to achieve an exchange ratio (kills in air combat versus losses in air combat) of 16:1 against Soviet combat aircraft. This was spectacular considering that the Fokkers had fixed undercarriages, making them slow for the bomber interceptor missions and clumsy against fighters in aerial combat. The Soviet order of battle in the Finnish campaign enjoyed a tenfold superiority against the Finnish Defence Forces. As a consequence Finland was forced to yield certain areas in Karelia. However, they were able to stop the Soviet offensive inflicting heavy losses on their enemy. The ineffectiveness of the Soviet offensive became an embarrassment to the Soviet superpower and they considered suing for a temporary peace agreement. On the other hand, Germany being hostile, official Sweden strictly neutral and the support plans of France and Great Britain proving to be inadequate, Finland had not resources enough to continue the fight alone. The peace treaty was thus signed on the evening of 12th March 1940 and came into effect the following day. This included a revision of the national border west of Lake Ladoga.

    When the war started the lack of fighters was quickly realized within the nation at large, and prompt measures were initiated to increase the fighter force. Thus 92 fighters were purchased or received as donations during the Winter War, including Fiat G.50, Gloster Gladiator II and Morane Saulnier M.S. 406 types. The best fighter acquired during the war, a Brewster B 239, came too late to participate in combat missions, and the same applied to the 10 Hawker Hurricane I fighters. So, all in all, the Finnish fighter force was in much better shape in the end of the war than what it had been in the beginning of the war. Finland's strategic position stayed difficult after the Winter War. The Soviet Union continued its diplomatic pressure and Foreign Minister Molotov, on a trip to Germany in November 1940, demanded that the "Finland problem" must be resolved for good. The supporters, France and Great Britain, were themselves embroiled in the war and in an ironic twist of fate, the Finns found that the only nearby country with whom they could trade to improve their defence status was the Soviet Union's former ally, Germany, which was at that time prepared its eastern offensive.

    From a political point of view Finland did not want to be involved in an alliance with Nazi Germany, but from a military standpoint cooperation seemed to be the only possible solution. But despite numerous requests by Germany to advance their forces beyond the demarcation line drawn through Eastern Karelia, for an attack on Leningrad, the Finns refused to do this. When Germany began its eastern offensive against the Soviet Union in June 1941, Finland had already given that country permission to stage units through Lapland, and after Soviet bombers had attacked various targets in Finland on 25th June 1941, the Finns officially entered into military cooperation with Germany, marking the beginning of the Continuation War.

    At the beginning of the Continuation War the Soviet forces enjoyed only a two-to-one superiority over the Finns, and this permitted the Finns to advance fairly quickly to establish a defensive line where trench warfare network were ultimately located. The FAF had about 120 fighters in its flying units at that time, including Brewsters (BW), Fiats (FA), Morane Saulniers (MS), Curtisses (CU) and some Hurricanes (HC), 21 bombers, mainly Blenheims (BL) and some war booty planes, and 58 reconnaissance and liaison planes of various types, mainly obsolete. During this initial phase of the campaign the FAF achieved air superiority, and the Brewsters in particular excelled themselves, achieving a remarkable exchange ratio of 32:1. They added to the Winter War formation tactics and shooting accuracy a vertical energy-speed manoeuvre which was very effective against their main adversaries of that time, the I-153 Chaikas and I-16 Ratas, which were more agile but a little slower.

    During the trench war period the most important air operations were carried out in the Gulf of Finland. These were partly the outcome of naval operations, and gradually the process evolved into the Battle of the Gulf of Finland, which culminated in Soviet air raids on Kotka and Helsinki. Finnish fighter pilots carried the main defensive burden in this battle, and were quite successful in this. The FAF strategy of concentrating on aerial combat instead of attacks on the well-defended enemy bases proved correct. The numbers of enemy aircraft destroyed on the ground didn't mean much because the Soviet superpower's own aircraft production plus lend-lease support from Great Britain and the United States meant that there was no shortage of aircraft. The shortage of trained pilots, however, became a problem for the Soviets, as became apparent in the final phase of the Battle of the Gulf of Finland. After the major aerial engagements of May 1944, the People's Commissar for the Navy, Admiral N. G. Kutznetsov, had to withdraw a whole regiment from front line duties because of the lack of pilots.

    When the tide of war changed and the German forces began to retreat westwards, Soviet pressure on Finland increased. In spring of 1944 the Soviets decided to take Finland before beginning their advance towards Berlin. They amassed a tenfold superiority in troops and aircraft on the Karelian Isthmus and began their strategic offensive on 9th June 1944. Their advance achieved initial success, forcing the withdrawal of Finnish forces along the Isthmus, but in July 1944 the Finns were able to stabilize the front at the Vuoksi River and further attempts by the Soviet forces to advance beyond this line were repelled. The process seen in the Winter War was repeated.

    Despite the Soviet superiority in numbers of aircraft, the FAF was able to concentrate its air forces and continue to achieve good results. The Brewsters, along with the Morane, Fiat and Curtiss fighters, although continuing their operations, became obsolete in terms of performance from 1943 on, and new fighters, Messerschmitt 109 G (MT)s, were received, although once again only in small numbers. When the Soviet offensive began, the units had about 40 Messerschmitts. Fortunately, the FAF was able to get 74 more fighters from Germany during the campaign, so that despite the fierce battles, the number of Messerschmitt fighters actually increased during the summer of 1944. The number of bombers in the flying units at the beginning of June 1944 was 66.

    One good example of the ability to achieve local and temporal air superiority was the fact that the FAF bombers and a German support unit known as Kuhlmey were able to continue their effective air raids, which were vital contributions to the war effort, as the bombings could be concentrated on Soviet massed troops just before their preplanned attack times. Warnings of impending troop movements were usually captured by radio intelligence. It is also significant that no bombers in the formations escorted by the Messerschmitts were lost to enemy fighters during this period. The Messerschmitt fighters achieved an exchange ratio of 25:1.

    Again the Finnish fighter force was stronger in the end of the war than it had been in the beginning of that. Also, during the wars the number of Finnish fighter aces had become a world record in relation to population. And almost all the Finnish top aces were fighting at the end of the war just as they had been at the beginning. Also the bomber and reconnaissance units were able to carry on their missions throughout. When it became obvious that the Soviets had failed in their plan to take Finland, they began to move their troops from the Karelian front for the race to Berlin. This failure on the Karelian Front was the only Soviet strategic defeat during their advance westward. The Soviets signed a temporary peace agreement with the Finns on 4th September 1944 with the stipulation that the Finns push the cooperative German forces out of Lapland.

    Furthermore, the Finns ceded certain areas in Karelia and Petsamo and retired to the 1940 border. Nevertheless, the results of both the Winter War and the Continuation War were considered major victories for Finland. From the opening shots of the Winter War to the end of the Continuation War the Finnish objective was to save Finland and guarantee her independence. This was done and also one interesting point was made. Of all the countries in the European theatre participating the Second World War there were only two which never were occupied: Finland and Great Britain.
     
  3. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    The VL Pyörremyrsky (Hurricane) was a Finnish fighter, designed by DI Torsti Verkkola at the State Aircraft Factory (Valtion lentokonetehdas) for service with the Finnish Air Force in World War II. The war ended before the type's first flight and only a single prototype was built. On November 26, 1942 the Finnish Air Force ordered two Pyörremyrsky prototypes to be built. The aircraft were to be ready by May 1944. One prototype was later cancelled and only one aircraft was ever built. The aircraft designation VMT Pyörremyrsky is also sometimes used, as the factory had been formed into the State Metal Factories (Valtion Metalli Tehtaat) during the construction of the aircraft.

    The use of wood in the construction of the aircraft was maximised due to the sparseness of metals. The goal was to create a fighter with similar flight qualities to the German Messerschmitt Bf 109G. The engine and the propeller were taken from the Bf 109G. The landing gear was significantly widened in order to address one of the German fighter's most noteworthy shortcomings. This significantly eased ground control, as well as take off and landing.

    The Pyörremyrsky prototype PM-1 made its first flight on November 21, 1945 at Härmälä, piloted by Esko Halme. After 25 minutes of flying, a piece from the hood fell off and Halme had to land when fumes from the engine started to enter the cockpit. The pilot was saved by his oxygen mask. The aircraft was to fly only three test flights in Tampere, the third time being a transfer flight to Kuorivesi on January 16, 1946. There it flew an additional 31 test flights, the total flight time being 27 hours by 1947. The aircraft was flown by eight pilots: Esko Halme, Lauri Hämäläinen, Erkki Itävuori, Osmo Kauppinen, Lasse Heikinaro, Martti Laitinen, Heikki Keso and Lauri Lautamäki. The last flight lasted only 20 minutes and was made by captain Osmo Kauppinen on July 22, 1947.

    The Pyörremyrsky design was considered quite successful. It could outclimb the Bf 109G-6 and it was very manoeuvrable. The only major problem with the design was found to be the low-quality glue used in the joints. The aircraft was still in the prototype stage when the war ended and this also meant that the funds allocated for the project decreased. The Pyörremyrsky prototype was grounded after only some 30 hours of flying and the programme terminated as no funds were available for the purchase of new aircraft for the Finnish Air Force and sufficient Bf 109Gs remained in service to equip the fighter force that was permitted under the Armistice terms. The PM-1 was removed from FAF lists on April 1, 1953. The wing construction was later used in another Finnish aircraft, the Valmet Vihuri trainer.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    #4 gekho, Jan 28, 2011
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
    The Blackburn T.5 Ripon was a British carrier-based torpedo bomber and reconnaissance biplane which first flew in 1926. It was used by the Fleet Air Arm as a torpedo bomber from 1930 until 1935. Ripons were also sold to Finland, where they continued to be used in action in the Winter War and the Continuation War until 1944. The Blackburn Ripon was also ordered for use by the Finnish Air Force, with one example for Finland being built by Blackburn, before 25 were produced under licence at the Finnish Aircraft Factory. These were powered with a number of different radial engines; the pattern aircraft had a 530 hp (400 kW) Bristol Jupiter VII, the next seven had 480 hp (360 kW) Gnome Rhone Jupiter VI, followed by eight with 535 hp (399 kW) Armstrong Siddeley Panther engines and the final ten with 580 hp (430 kW) Bristol Pegasus engines[2]. The Finnish Air Force used Ripons as reconnaissance aircraft against the Soviet Union in the Winter War and the Continuation War. After losing an aircraft to Soviet fighters in 1939, the Ripon was limited to night missions. The last missions were flown in 1944. One Ripon coded RI-140 was stored and has been reassembled and put on display in the Päijänne Tavastia Aviation Museum recently. It is the only preserved example.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    #5 gekho, Jan 28, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
    Junkers W 34 was a German-built, single-engine, passenger and transport aircraft. Developed in the 1920s, it was taken into service in 1926. The passenger version could take a pilot and five passengers. The aircraft was developed from the Junkers W 33. Further development led to the Junkers Ju 46.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Messages:
    7,907
    Likes Received:
    189
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    IT Nerd
    Location:
    Dallas, Tx Jubail, Saudi Arabia
    Good pics Gekho
     
  7. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    41,750
    Likes Received:
    518
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Doctor
    Location:
    Portsmouth / Royal Deeside, UK
    Home Page:
    Good stuff!
     
  8. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    24,072
    Likes Received:
    655
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Korporate Kontrolleur
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I'd never heard of the VL Pyörremyrsky, what a great looking plane!
     
  9. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    VL Viima, constructed by the State Aircraft Factory (Valtion lentokonetehdas or VL) is a Finnish two-seat, biplane trainer used by the Finnish Air Force from the late 1930s to the end of the 1940s. After military service, several were released into civil use.The Viima II was a single engined, tandem seater biplane. Viima means Wind in English. Post war, VL was eventually absorbed into Valmet, so the aircraft is often referred to as the Valmet Viima. It had unequal span, staggered single bay wings built around two box spars with plywood ribs. The interplane struts were N shaped. The wings were fabric covered and carried four ailerons in all; the upper and lower ailerons were externally linked.

    The fuselage and tail unit were constructed of chrome-molybdenum steel and fabric covered. The tailplane, mounted on the top of the fuselage, was wire braced to the small triangular fin. Both fin and tailplane were adjustable on the ground. The wide chord, deep rudder reached to the bottom of the fuselage between divided elevators. The rudder carried a trim tab and the elevators a Flettner flap. The cockpits were close together, the forward one at mid-chord with a cut-out in the upper wing to enhance visibility. Dual control was fitted. The undercarriage was of the split axle type, with the faired main legs attached to the fuselage forward of the wings and braced by rearward struts. It used low pressure tyres and rubber in compression springing.[2] A tailwheel was fitted. The Viima was powered by an uncowled Siemens-Halske Sh 14 radial engine. 20 Viimas served with the Finnish Air Force until the late 1940s. They were then released for civil use, 14 appearing on the Finnish civil register, several of them fitted with a framed enclosed cockpit.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    Development of the three-seat Dornier Do 22 floatplane was the responsibility of Dornier's Altenrhein factory in Switzerland, where.two prototypes were built. Of all-metal construction with fabric covering throughout, except for the metal-skinned forward fuselage, the Do 22 was powered by a Hispano-Suiza 12Ybrs engine driving a three-bladed propeller. The Do 22 carried a crew of three, the rear cockpit providing accommodation for a gunner, and a radio operator whose position in the front half of the cockpit was protected by a glazed canopy. Four 7.92mm MG 15 machine-guns were fitted, one in the forward fuselage above the engine, one in a ventral position and two in the rear cockpit. Although not ordered by the Luftwaffe, approximately 30 were built at Friedrichshafen in Germany and the first production aircraft was flown on 15 July 1938. Do 22s were supplied to the Greek, Yugoslav and Latvian air forces as the Do 22Kg, Do 22Kj and Do 22Kl respectively. The four Latvian aircraft had not been delivered when the Soviet Union occupied Latvia in 1940 and were retained by Germany. In 1942 they were transferred to Finland, being used on floats or skis until the end of the war.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    51,168
    Likes Received:
    847
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Adelaide Sth. Aust.
    Excellent look forward to more Finnish stuff!:D
     
  12. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Messages:
    14,953
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    model builder
    Location:
    Revis Island.
    Junkes K-43 is a cool bird!
     
  13. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    In November 1941, Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring decided to give 15 Dornier Do 17Z aircraft to the Finnish Air Force. No. 46 Squadron operated the Dorniers. The Finns used their Do 17 aircraft mainly for night bombing and against "soft" targets at the front, since the aircraft were considered obsolete – the speed and climbing abilities of the Do 17 were deemed inadequate by 1942 standards. Fifteen Do 17s (three Z-1, three Z-2 and nine Z-3) saw service with the Finns. Ten were lost between January 1943 and January 1945, the remaining five were not scrapped until in 1952.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    41,750
    Likes Received:
    518
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Doctor
    Location:
    Portsmouth / Royal Deeside, UK
    Home Page:
    Good shots!
     
  15. muggs

    muggs Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Bucharest
    Thanks very much for this thread !
     
  16. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    #16 gekho, Feb 1, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
    In April 1943, as Finland was fighting its Continuation War against the USSR, the Finnish Air Force bought 24 Ju 88s from Germany. The aircraft were used to equip No. 44 Sqn which had previously operated Bristol Blenheims, but these were instead transferred to No. 42 Sqn. Due to the complexity of the Ju 88, most of 1943 was used for training the crews on the aircraft, and only a handful of bombing missions were undertaken. The most notable was a raid on the Lehto partisan village on 20 August 1943 (in which the whole squadron participated), and a raid on the Lavansaari air field (leaving seven Ju 88 damaged from forced landing in inclement weather). In the summer of 1943, the Finns noted stress damage on the wings. This had occurred when the aircraft were used in dive bombing. Restrictions followed: the dive brakes were removed and it was only allowed to dive at a 45 degree angle (compared to 60-80 degrees previously). In this way, they tried to spare the aircraft from unnecessary wear.

    Ju 88 cockpit hood preserved at the Finnish Aviation Museum in VantaaOne of the more remarkable missions was a bombing raid on 9 March 1944 against Soviet Long Range Aviation bases near Saint Petersburg, when the Finnish aircraft, including Ju 88s, followed Soviet bombers returning from a night raid on Tallinn, catching the Soviets unprepared and destroying many Soviet bombers and their fuel reserves, and a raid against the Aerosan base at Petsnajoki on 22 March 1944. The whole bomber regiment took part in the defence against the Soviets during the fourth strategic offensive. All aircraft flew several missions per day, day and night, when the weather permitted.

    No. 44 Sqn was subordinated Lentoryhmä Sarko during the Lapland War (now against Germany), and the Ju 88s were used both for reconnaissance and bombing. The targets were mostly vehicle columns. Reconnaissance flights were also made over northern Norway. The last war mission was flown on 4 April 1945. After the wars, Finland was prohibited from using bomber aircraft with internal bomb stores. Consequently, the Finnish Ju 88s were used for training until 1948. The aircraft were then scrapped over the following years. No Finnish Ju 88s have survived, but an engine is on display at the Central Finland Aviation Museum, and the structure of a German Ju 88 cockpit hood is preserved at the Finnish Aviation Museum in Vantaa.
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
  17. Snautzer01

    Snautzer01 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    3,097
    Likes Received:
    453
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    As always very interesting Keep up the good work !!
     
  18. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    #18 gekho, Feb 1, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
    In July 1924, Gloucestershire Aircraft began work on an improved Grebe single-seat fighter to Specification 37/23 and intended to be powered by the 398hp Bristol Jupiter IV nine-cylinder radial engine. Of wooden construction with fabric skinning and retaining the then-standard armament of two synchronised 7.7mm Vickers guns, and to receive the appellation of Gamecock, the prototype was delivered to Martlesham Heath on 20 February 1925. In the following September, an initial order was placed on behalf of the RAF for 30 Gamecock Is powered by the 425hp Jupiter VI. In the event, a further 60 Gamecock Is were built for the RAF (1925-27), one of these (unofficially known as the Gamecock III) at one time flying with a lengthened fuselage, new and enlarged fm-and-rudder assembly and narrow-chord ailerons. A developed version, the Gamecock II, with a steel-tube upper wing centre section, narrow-chord ailerons and a larger rudder, appeared in 1928. This was adopted by Finland, two pattern aircraft and a manufacturing licence being acquired. Fifteen Gamecock IIs were built for the Finnish air arm 1929-30 by the State Aircraft Factory (Valtion Lentokonenetehdas), these having the lengthened fuselage tested earlier in the UK by the so-called Gamecock III and being powered initially by the 420hp Gnome-Rhone Jupiter (IV) 9Ab or 9Ak and later by the 480hp Jupiter (IV) 9Ag. The last Gamecock Is were withdrawn from first-line RAF service mid-1931, Gamecock IIs remaining first-line Finnish equipment until 1935.

    Source: Gloster Gamecock - fighter
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
  19. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    36,729
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Nightshift picker
    Location:
    A Swede living in Glasgow, Scotland
    Home Page:
    Cool stuff!
     
  20. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    In April 1939, the Finnish government contacted the Roosevelt administration in a search to hastily acquire modern combat aircraft for its air force. On 17 October that same year, the Finnish Embassy in Washington, DC, received a telegram clearing the purchase of fighter aircraft. Prompt availability, and compatibility with 87-octane fuel, were the only requirements stipulated by the Finns. [35] The U.S. Navy and State Department arranged to divert the remaining F2A-1 fighter aircraft,[N 4] in exchange for its order of F2A-2 Buffalos scheduled to be delivered later (and hence sent to the U.S. Navy, instead). Consequently, on 16 December, Finnish signed a contract for the provision of 44 Model 239 fighters. The total price to be paid was US $3.4 million, and the deal included the provision of spare parts, 10 replacement engines and 20 Hamilton Standard propellers. The Buffalo fighters that were sent to Finland were de-navalized; before these fighters were placed onto ships for delivery to Finland, Brewster Company employees removed all the naval equipment on the fighters, such as their tailhooks and life-raft containers, resulting in a somewhat lighter aircraft. The Finnish F2A-1s further lacked self-sealing fuel tanks and cockpit armor.

    These F2A-1 Buffalos given the export number Model B-239, were equipped with an export-approved Wright R-1820-G5 nine-cylinder radial engine of 950 hp (708 kW). After delivery to Finland, the Finnish Air Force added armored backrests for their pilots, metric flight instruments, the Finnish Väisälä T.h.m.40 gunsight, and four .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns. The top speed of the Finnish Buffalos, as modified, was 297 mph (478 km/h) at 15,675 ft (4,750 m), and their loaded weight was 5,820 lb (2,640 kg). Built in four batches, the "Finnish" Brewster were loaded aboard four merchant ships in New York and shipped for Bergen, in Norway, in January-February 1940. The crates with the fighter were sent by railway to Sweden and assembled by SAAB, near Gothenburg.

    In February 1940, the Finnish Air Force pilot Lt. Jorma "Joppe" Karhunen flight tested the first Buffalo. Unfamiliar with the aircraft, he accidentally burned out the engine while flying very low at high speed; crashing on a snow-covered field, damaging the propeller and some belly panels. Initially unimpressed, the Finns later witnessed a demonstration by a Brewster Company factory test pilot Robrt A. Winston, who was able to stay on the tail of an Finnish Fiat G.50 Freccia fighter from Italy; although the Fiat fighter was slightly faster in level flight, the Brewster could out-turn it. The Finns were overjoyed, and they began flying their new fighter. Of the six Buffalo B-239 fighters delivered to Finland before the end of the Winter War of 1939–1940, five of them became combat-ready, but they did not enter combat before this war ended. The Brewster B-239E fighter aircraft was never referred to as the "Buffalo" in Finland; it was known simply as the "Brewster" or sometimes by the nicknames Taivaan helmi ("Sky Pearl") or Pohjoisten taivaiden helmi ("Pearl of the Northern Skies"). Other nicknames were Pylly-Valtteri ("Butt-Walter"), Amerikanrauta ("American hardware" or "American car") and Lentävä kaljapullo ("flying beer-bottle"). The 44 Buffalo Model B-239(export) fighters used by the FAF received serial numbers BW-351 to BW-394.

    Finnish Air Force's Brewster B-239 formation during the Continuation WarIn Finnish Air Force service, the B-239s were regarded as being very easy to fly, a "gentleman's plane". The Buffalo was also popular within the FAF because of their relatively long range and flight endurance, and also because of their low-trouble maintenance record. This was in part due to the efforts of the Finnish engine mechanics, who solved a problem that plagued the Wright Cyclone engine simply by inverting one of the piston rings in each cylinder. This had a positive effect on engine reliability. The cooler weather of Finland was also a plus for the engine. In the end, the Brewster Buffalo gained a reputation in Finnish Air Force service as one of their more successful fighter aircraft. In service during 1941–1945, Buffalos of Lentolaivue 24 (Fighter Squadron 24) claimed with 477 Soviet Air Force warplanes destroyed, with the combat loss of just 19 Buffalos; an outstanding victory ratio of 26:1. However, substantiation of this claim from Luftwaffe and Soviet Air Force records (matching Finnish reported kills to the enemy's acknowledged losses) has not been completed as of 2007. These figures also do not specify the number of bombers and the number of fighter aircraft destroyed. During the Continuation War, Lentolaivue 24 (Fighter Squadron 24) was equipped with the B-239s until May 1944, when the Buffalos were transferred to Hävittäjälentolaivue 26 (Fighter Squadron 26). The Brewsters had their baptism of fire in Finland on 25 June 1941 when a pair of Buffalos from 2/LLv24 intercepted 27 Soviet SBs from 201st SBAP over Turku. Cpl Heimo Lampi and SSgt Kinnunen shot down five Tupolev SBs. Subsequent attacks were repelled by LLv24 pilots that, by dusk, had flown 77 missions.
     

    Attached Files:

Loading...

Share This Page