|FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / Finland / VL|
On 8 June 1939, the VL (Valtion Lentokonetehdas) received a contract from the Ministry of Defence to design a new single-seat fighter. Chief designer was Dipl Ing A Ylinen, who was assisted by T Verkkola and M Vainio, and, within nine months of receiving the definitive prototype contract on 20 December 1940, the prototype of the Myrsky (Storm) was in final assembly. A conventional low-wing cantilever monoplane, the Myrsky had a plywood-skinned two-spar wooden wing and a welded steel-tube fuselage covered by dural panels forward and fabric aft. Power was provided by a Pratt & Whitney R-1830-SC3-G Twin Wasp 14-cylinder radial rated at 1115hp for take-off. The prototype was flown on 23 December 1941, but immediately encountered the first of what were to be many teething troubles.
On 30 May 1942, the VL received a contract for three development aircraft which were to embody numerous detail structural and other changes, these including an increase in wing area of 1.3m2 and a change in armament from two 12.7mm and four 7.7mm guns to three (in first and second) or four (in third aircraft) of the larger-calibre weapons. The first of these was completed on 30 April 1943, but crashed a week later, and the second suffered a wheels-up landing three months later, and broke up in the air shortly after resuming flight test. The third was evaluated in service, and, on 17 March 1944, lost both wings in a dive.
In the meantime, VL had initiated production of the first series model which was referred to as the Myrsky II Series. All the progressive changes that had been introduced in the pre-series aircraft were incorporated, armament was standardised on four 12.7mm LKK/42 guns, and by the end of July 1944 the VL had completed 14 of the II Series aircraft, a further 16 having been delivered by the truce of 4 September. Production continued after the truce and the last five of the 47 built were delivered straight to the Air Force Depot on 30 December 1944 without flight testing. The Myrsky II series was assigned to a tactical reconnaissance squadron (TLeLv 12) which received its first aircraft on 23 July 1944, 20 being delivered to the squadron before the Armistice, and a second squadron (TLeLv 16) initiating conversion to the Myrsky meanwhile. The Myrsky was flown operationally over Lapland against the Wehrmacht under the terms of the Finnish-Soviet agreement, but Ilmavoimat flew this fighter only to a limited extent, and the service's doubts as to its durability and sturdiness, despite continuous reinforcement of various components, finally came to a head on 9 May 1947 when a Myrsky broke up in a dive, all aircraft of this type then being grounded.