VL Viima

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Viima
OH-VII VL Viima II (Helsinki Museum 2001-09-15).JPG
VL Viima II at the Finnish Aviation Museum
Role Basic trainer
National origin Finland
Manufacturer Valtion Lentokonetehdas
First flight 11 November 1936
Retired May 1960 (Finnish Air Force)
Status One airworthy, several on display
Primary user Finnish Air Force
Number built 24[1]

VL Viima, constructed by the State Aircraft Factory (Finnish: Valtion lentokonetehdas or VL) was a Finnish two-seat, biplane trainer used by the Finnish Air Force from the late 1930s to the early 1960s.[1] After military service, several were released into civil use.[2]

Design[edit]

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.[3]

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.[3]

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.[3] A tailwheel was fitted.[2] The Viima was powered by an uncowled Siemens-Halske Sh 14 radial engine.[3]

All Viimas of the Finnish Air Force were fitted with framed cockpit in 1950s.[1]

Operational history[edit]

24 Viimas served with the Finnish Air Force until the early 1960s.[1] They were then released for civil use, 14 appearing on the Finnish civil register.[2]

Versions[edit]

VL Viima II

Viima I was a prototype aircraft, of which two aircraft were made. The third Viima I was the first aircraft of the series production version.

Viima II was the series production version of the trainer aircraft. 20 aircraft were built for the FAF.[2] Another two were delivered to the Finnish Air Defence Guild.

Viima IIB was powered by a de Havilland Gipsy Major.[2]

Operators[edit]

 Finland

Survivors[edit]

There are two Viimas on display in Finland, one in Finnish Aviation Museum in Vantaa (VI-23/OH-VII) and second one in Härmälä, Tampere (VI-1).[1]

The last airworthy Viima was sold first to England and from there to Belgium in the autumn of 2006.[1][4]

Specifications (VL Viima II)[edit]

Data from Heinonen & Valtonen 2010, pp. 104-107

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 7.35 m (24 ft 1 in)
  • Wingspan: 9.20 m (30 ft 2 in)
  • Height: 2.73 m (8 ft 11 in)
  • Wing area: 20 m2 (220 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 555 kg (1,224 lb)
  • Gross weight: 875 kg (1,929 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Siemens-Halske Sh 14A 7-cylinder single row radial, air cooled, 110 kW (150 hp)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 186 km/h (116 mph; 100 kn)
  • Cruising speed: 167 km/h (104 mph; 90 kn)
  • Range: 500 km (311 mi; 270 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 3,700 m (12,139 ft)
  • Time to altitude: 15 min to 2000 m
  • Wing loading: 44 kg/m2 (9.0 lb/sq ft) [3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Heinonen & Valtonen 2010, pp. 104-107
  2. ^ a b c d e Simpson 2000, p. 563
  3. ^ a b c d e Grey 1972, p. 101c
  4. ^ "Last Viima". 

References[edit]

  • Grey, C.G. (1972). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1938. London: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-5734-4. 
  • Simpson, Rod (2001). Airlife's World Aircraft. Shrewsbury: Airlife Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-84037-115-3. 
  • Heinonen, Timo; Valtonen, Hannu (2010). Albatrosista Pilatukseen (in Finnish). Tikkakoski: Keski-Suomen ilmailumuseo. ISBN 978-952-99989-2-0.