The coronavirus pandemic has impacted progress on the VL Myrsky II project in many ways since spring 2020. An aircraft that was originally built in exceptional circumstances has recently been restored under a whole new set of exceptional circumstances. Yet in spite of the pandemic, restoration of the MY-14 is now entering the final straight.

In the main photo, Bo Paul, a volunteer in the Aviation Museum Society’s Tuesday Club, fits mounting consoles to the NACA cowl using a jig designed and built by Matti Patteri. Photo: Jorma Laakkonen

Text: Reino Myllymäki, spokesperson for the VL Myrsky II restoration project

Photos: The Finnish Aviation Museum and Jorma Laakkonen 

In March 2020, the Finnish Aviation Museum in Vantaa suspended volunteer activities, which meant that work being carried out by the Aviation Museum Society’s Tuesday Club on Myrsky’s wings and NACA cowl was also halted. However, critical work was soon allowed to continue with a small team. Although this team was enlarged in summer 2020, it had to return to its original composition in the autumn. Whilst 3,000 hours of work would have been done on Myrsky in Vantaa in a normal year, only 2,000 were possible during the pandemic.

In spite of the setbacks, the team finished the wing surface veneering in spring 2021 and moved on to the groundwork, which has also been completed. The wings, ailerons and stabilisers have now been primed, and work to fit the landing gear to the wings has begun. Re-covering work has also begun on the fabric-covered rudder.

The engine cover – aka the “NACA cowl” – has proved to be more laborious than expected. The NACA cowl was welded together from lightweight metal segments drawn at Patricomp, after which it was equipped with feedthroughs for the carburettor air intake and four heavy machine guns. However, as the NACA cowl is connected to the carburettor air intake trumpets, the cooling grill system and the mounting consoles for the engine’s fourteen cylinders, fitting all these components together will end up taking just over a year.

Work at the Finnish Air Force Museum in Tikkakoski has progressed more rapidly than usual.

By contrast, work at the Finnish Air Force Museum in Tikkakoski has progressed more rapidly than usual. Although it has been necessary to do some work either in shifts or remotely, there have been few other ongoing projects and the restoration of the MY-14 has progressed well. The tailwheel steering mechanism – which required a great deal of work and cooperation between a number of workshops – has now been manufactured and successfully installed in the aircraft. The wooden components of the fuselage, including the service hatches, have been made and fitted. Before fuselage covering can begin in August, there are still some laborious installation tasks that need to be carried out in the cockpit and in the space between the engine and the cockpit.

While the restoration team are on their summer holidays, the MY-14’s fuselage has been moved to the Finnish Air Force Museum’s regular exhibition, where it is on display to the public every day from 10 am to 8 pm throughout July. So it’s getting to be your last chance to see what Myrsky looks like on the inside!

VL Myrsky MY-14
VL Myrsky MY-14’s uncovered fuselage Photo: Finnish Aviation Museum

Although the restoration of Myrsky has been delayed, and is now scheduled for completion in the winter of 2022–2023, the restoration project will be on prominent display at the Kokonaisturvallisuus (Comprehensive Security) 2021 exhibition in Tampere on 1–2 October 2021. There are also plans to exhibit other Finnish aircraft in the Finnish Aviation Museum’s department: a Valmet Tuuli III prototype, part of the cockpit of a Valmet Vihuri VH-25, and part of the cockpit of a BAe Hawk Mk.51 HW-314 assembled by Valmet.