Projects in Various
PIK-19 "MUHINU" Tow Plane, OH-MHX 1972. This plane was a Finnish government sponsored research project and a full-time job for me in 1969-1972 at Helsinki University of Technology Laboratory of Lightweight Structures under the leadership of Professor Veikko Linnaluoto. For this project I hired many skilled young engineers and graduates from the University: Ilkka Rantasalo, Pekka Tammi, Hannu Korhonen, Markku Hiedanpää, Erkki Haapanen, Olof Lagerkrantz, etc.
The Muhinu was powered by a 150 hp Lycoming engine and was the fourth powered aircraft in the world made entirely of composites. One each already existed in the US, France and Germany. Some unique design details were used in the construction of the Muhinu -e.g., the wing was made of one-meter (3 ft) panels. We thus avoided big female molds for the wing. Both the fuselage and wing were made of glass-epoxy- honeycomb sandwich. The main landing gear was also made of fiberglass-epoxy by the filament winding process.
Several graduate works ("diplomityo" in Finnish) were done on this project including wind tunnel measurements of a wooden model as well as stress analysis of the cellulose-acetate honeycomb structure.
The plane got a PIK designation since "Polyteknikkojen Ilmailukerho" or Aviation Club of Helsinki University of Technology was well known for its earlier designs.
Muhinu took to the air 1972 and flew 21 years, accumulating 5217 hrs of flying time and some 40000 glider tows. In 1993 the plane was lost in a crash when the engine quit at low altitude.
MT-7 autogyro I-VILU, 1985. In 1980 Vittorio Magni of Italy, the same man who had bought the JT-5 autogyro a few years earlier, asked me to design a new, two-seat autogyro with a 150 hp Lycoming engine. The machine got the project name MT-7 (Magni-Tervamaki). Vittorio later redesignated the machine as VPM S-2.
I made the calculations and general design, delivering the blueprints to Vittorio, who was responsible for all the detail design. He also built the machine together with his son.
The machine was completed in 1985, and we toasted it with a bottle of very superior old champagne. Vittorio had done an excellent job in finishing the machine, and it also flew well judging from the 8 mm films he sent me.
However, according to information I have received, some years later the machine was lost in an accident in France. The control rods had been bent in road transport by a truck.
Anyway, Vittorio has continued the development of autogyros and has designed a series of very nice looking 1- and 2-place gyros which all seem to have the rotor head and blade design of JT-5 and MT-7.
Rocket launchers 1967. In the 1960s, the Finnish Air Force had MIG-21 rockets in stock which had a limited lifetime. To use this stock for training purposes the idea of rocket launchers for Fouga Magister jet trainers was born. I got the contract to design the launchers as a private venture, and together with Aulis Eerola built 4-tube units covered with fiberglass skin. In test firings the launchers proved to be accurate but had an unfortunate end. On one of the test flights the pilot accidentally pressed the emergency release button and the units were lost deep in a bog and were never found.
Probably, after the next ice age, future excavators will find a "strange tool" of early inhabitants of this planet.
Aircraft skis 1973. When I worked for Finnaviation at the beginning of the 1970s, the company received a research and development contract from the Swedish Air Force to design skis for their primary trainer, Beagle Bulldog. The Swedes had developed a unique bottom shape for the skis around which I designed an aerodynamic casing and load carrying structure of fiberglass epoxy laminate.
The skis were test loaded in the Helsinki University of Techonology structures lab. In this photo the test load was close to 2 metric tons with no failure yet apparent.