IVL K.1 Kurki – peanut plan

If you check my last post (see here) you might notice that I sound overly enthusiastic of this ugly duckling. You are pretty right.. This is truly one of ugliest planes I have seen and it is also of finnish origin.

It was designed in 1927 by Asser Järvinen. He was employed by Finnish state aviation factory (IVL = Ilmavoimien Lentokonetehdas, directly translated airforce airplane factory..). Originally this plane was his pet project which he designed without permission. But the need for planes was so great that initial design got accepted as an official project.

Good intentions do great things, but not in this case. When plane was completed it turned out to be overweight and challenging to fly. For many reasons. There is an good wiki page for it. Strangely enough this is categorized as an military, transport & training plane.

After extensive testing, some 55 test flights it was concluded that it is of ‘no practical use’. Project was scrapped and only existing plane was stored for prosperity. That is museum. It ended up in Vesivehmaa museum where it was stored in sad condition. Check my previous visit there.

After while good people of Finnish Aviation museum decided to restore it and the end result is much nicer. But still it is ugly plane.

Well, that does one do when one encounters something so extraordinary? Obviously one must make model aeroplane out of it. I did some initial design drafts couple years ago. Then after new Kurki exhibition opened in decemeber 2018 at museum I decided to complete design. For several reasons I decided to make an peanut scale version of it.

So here it is for your viewing and building pleasure. Enjoy.

Click here to download plan.

I strongly propose that you visit Aviation Museum (Ilmailumuseo) to see this plane in it’s 1:1 glory. It is sight to see, and the  IVL Kurki special exhibition is open to end of january 2019. Nice place to visit in so many ways!

This plan has been released for free download. If you manage to make something out of it pls send me pics of that. I would love to hear whether it flies….

IVL K.1 Kurki revisited

You might remember back in 2015 when I visited Vesivehmaa aviation museum? I did get great pictures of many interesting planes. One which was in appaling condition was so ugly that I got interested into it and when I heard that Ilmailumuseo finished restoring it I immediately decided to visit it.

Here it is… This is truly an sight only mother of the plane would love. But still, it is in much better condition than last time I saw it. Took some pics for your viewing pleasure.

See also previous photo gallery. That was bad then. It really is in much better state. But still this plane is ugly.

Here is something completely different.. Sisilisko which is almost like WWS-1 “Salamandra” but not quite.

Short story : Time and location is 1947 Finland, Tampere. There was an ambitious and exciting aviation club, Tampereen Ilmailuyhdistys (TIY Ry) seeking good sailplane for their club flying. They set their eyes to WWS.1 Salamander they have seen with their more southern colleagues, PIK. They tried to obtain plans for it but were not so successful. I have read some comments that the plans were too expensive, but who knows.

This small obstacle did not stop TIY. They decided to design an plane inspired by Salamander. And name it as Sisilisko, which is almost directly translated Salamander to finnish. Chief designer was Paavo Järvenpää. Building started same year and was completed 1950. Only one plane was built. Design proved to be great flyer. Fun fact : there is also some links between Salamandra and PIK-5a, but this too long story to put here.

In year 1961, after many flights plane was sold to Jyväskylä. Then after some time it came back. After restoration it spent some time in display at Vapriikki @ Tampere. Then back to storage, Now it is time to take it out of storage and start planning for putting it to display. Again.

I have participated in Pirkanmaa Ilmailuhistoriallinen Seura Ry (PIHIS, Pirkanmaa Aviation Historical Society) projects before (see this then this and finally this). When I heard of this project I knew that I simply must participate it. First step is to get plane out of long term storage. Weather was cold and windy, but plane itself is in good shape. Properly packed in bubble wrap. Which caused some limitations for photography, but still this is great stuff. Actually I had never seen this plane in real life and only seen couple bw-photos of it. So orange colour was real surprise.

We moved plane from one storage to another for further study. I trust that this is really good progress and I am aware of further planning of new location. Hopefully it will find nice home like the PIK-12.

I will keep you updated on further developments, meanwhile some pics below.

Some further reading :

Visited Sprit of Jämi -event

Nice event, large crowd, nice planes great weather. Some pics 🙂

Eklund TE-1 @ Ilmailumuseo

Here is an nifty and nice small waterplane. It was originally built as ambifious plane but due weight considerations wheels were removed. For further info see here.

Gluhareff S-22 in France

There is an really nice Gluhareff S-22 -project at Retroplane.net . This has been really worth following, as the build is really impressive, title pic lifted from thread. Also, I noted that there is flight video of S-22 (and Airspeed Tern) at slope. This is actually S-22 returning to it’s roots as originally S-22 completed only slope flights. So this is quite something. For more reading of S-22 see here and here. I have to admit that I had never dreamed seeing S-22 in slope and I am rather pleased to see how well it seems to cope with brutal seawind. Really nice and smooth!

Build in France is really apropriate anyway as S-22 was co-designed with Boris Adaridi who emigrated to Paris, France.


Original S-22 preparing for slope flights.


Kessel 12A 13 @ Ilmailumuseo

Here are couple old pics of Kessel 12A (id 13) which was waiting for it’s restoration. Plane completed restoration and is currently hanging from ceiling of main hall. For short article of plane see here.

New PIK-7 Harakka II get’s maidened

Another PIK-7 Harakka II got it’s maiden some time ago. For rather nice video see below.

This marks really interesting milestone as normally large scale gliders are being aerotowed up or flown at slope. This is the first time I have seen successful winch launch and it is slightly hair raising. But then again, originally Harakka’s were bungee launched from slope or car-towed. So this video presents Harakka returning to it’s origins.

Here is nice vintage video of one of original Harakka’s being auto-towed. You must fast-forward to approx 2:00.

VL Sääski

VL Sääski is one of my all-time-favourite Finnish biplanes. It has simple, yet sleek lines and it looks rather light. Name Sääski comes from finnish, meaning mosquito. This post contains pics from three sources listed below and it is extremely long. It is not really walk-around, it is 3x walk-arounds. Great.

VL Sääski was designed in 1928 (see Wiki here). You can see original sales- & information material at finnish national digital archives. It was originally built in float, ski and wheel variants. Only surviving examples are float ones and to mu knowledge there are no plans around for wheel version.

To the actual VL Sääskis. One should note that there is an VL Sääski at Nors Luftfartsmuseum @  Bodø, Norway. It’s replica and the story behind (and it’s owner) is intriguing.

First, you should visit Maritime Centre Vellamo @ Kotka. It ia incredibly nice maritime history museum containing among other things seaplanes. They have VL Sääski in maritime customs livery hanging from ceiling, id LK-1. This is so nice…

Second, you should Aviation Museum @ Vantaa.

They have VL Sääski at display, bearing identification SÄ-122.

Last, but not least

Some years ago, I was visiting Vesivehmaa Aviation museum, obviously @ Vesivehmaa. They had some VL Sääski wings in rather derelict mode in one corner of museum.



Getting better scanning results from vintage plans

Now with better time I have been tuning my processes for better scans. For mini-review of scanner see here. This is continuation article of that mini-review, but these comments apply also to any scanner.

1. First, if plan is really vintage, try ‘Document type : Grayscale CAD/map’ instead of normal colour. For example, see below:

with colour

with Grayscale CAD/map

This is rather counter-intuitive, but idea is to let scanner do automatic removal of yellowish tint. It performs rather nicely.

2.  Do not use high resolution.

Changing resolution from normal (300) to fine (600) dpi creates rather large files and makes things much more complicated. Using 600dpi resolution creates A1-scans of PDF-size 16mb. And if you open that file and make some changes you end up with 200+ mb workspace and 150mb files. Which are just too much.  Using 300dpi has enough resolution for normal model aeroplane plans.

3. Use backing paper if plan is really fragile.

Use normal A0/A1-roll paper as backing if plan is almost schreds. Just tape leading edge of plan to paper with small pieces of tape (3M Magic Scotch). Note that use as small amount of tape as possible and only on leading edge. By leading edge I mean the edge which goes into scanner.

really brittle plan with all kinds dents.

taped to paper, nicely and safely waiting for scan

4. If plan is vintage drafting paper then do following

  • scanner can do wonders with yellow tint removal, but it cannot help translucent drafting paper hue. You can try to use backing paper to make effect smaller, but it does not work well enough

Plain Grayscale CAD

Graysale CAD with paper backing.

  • Get adobe photoshop, elements is just fine and use Levels-tool. Move white end from right side to the left part of black curve. See below.

Using levels

And then you get much more clear plan.

Good enough.

The plan in question and further info of this nice -30’s biplane can be found here.