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Virtuaalilentäjät - Virtual Pilots Association
Ilmailuharrastepäivät 24-25.10.201

Aviation hobby days at Finnish Aviation Museum 24-25.10.2001

Virtuaalilentäjät - Virtual Pilots ry, association of Finnish online WW2 simulator pilots gathered in the final weekend of October 2001 to Finnish Aviation Museum to participate in the Aviation Hobby Days -happening. The happening gathered all kinds of people interested in aviation to the museum, from small shops bringing their catalogue for sale to aviators and families. Our simulator association also decided to participate, so our members brought three computers and set up in the "Warplanes" exhibition room.

We were equipped with Aces High, WarBirds II and III, World War II Online, IL-2 and European Air War simulators, but WarBirds III and IL-2 were the sims that were shown most after all, with the third machine dedicated purely for European Air War. WarBirds II and IL-2 were used for head to head fighting, between our members and people wanting to test the games.

Our idea was to have fun there, show modern simulators and maybe to attract new people to the online environments. For this we had plentiful amounts of small fliers with summaries about Aces High, WarBirds and World War II Online-simulators and Internet links to them and Finnish simulator resources. The walls around our stand were filled with propaganda, with longer descriptions about simulators and online flying, and all kinds of photographs, printed screenshots and scenario logos (like WarBirds' Blitzkrieg and New Guinea scenario logos and lots and lots of graphics from EMC scenarios (thanks Lap ;-) )). After seeing Grendel taping new banners and simulator ads for the 15th time he was actually given nickname "Göbbels" for the endless propaganda effort. :-)

In the end the participation at the Aviation Hobby Days was considered a great success. We had fun, met a lot of people, chatted with many interesting people and showed simulators to all kinds of people.

Following members of the association were "working" in our stand, though many many more visited the museum and spent time chatting and demonstrating the games as well:

Jukka "Grendel" Kauppinen
Timo "Kossu" Niiranen
Petteri "Zombie" Kihlberg
Kaj "Kaizu" Laaksonen
Janne "Netfly" Kallela
Sami "BlauKreuz" Kukkonen
Raimo "RaimoK" Korpi
Matti "My" Yrjölä
Sakari "Julle" Rantanen
Kari "Koko" Riekki

The participants were a nice mix from the Finnish Aces High, WarBirds, World War II Online, IL-2 and European Air War simulator communities, with following online squadrons represented: Virtuaalilentolaivue Icebreakers, Moosefly, Lentolaivue 34, Hävittäjälentolaivue 24, JG 51.

Special thanks to Kaizu, My and RaimoK who brought their computers to demonstrate flight sims to the general public, and Ismo from Plan 1 for participating in the happening with us!

Virtual Pilots in the Warplanes room

Couldn't have asked a better place for the virtual pilots' stand. We were placed to the museum's Warplanes special exhibition room, where we had WW2 airplane wrecks right behind us. Click the link or read summary here:

The "Warplanes" special exhibition displays objects found on land and in the bottom of the sea over the decades by research staff of Finnish Aviation Museum and associated parties.

Immediately after the war, wrecked aircraft were of interest only to people of a particular trade: scrap merchants. Aluminum was highly valued. The search and salvaging of wrecks commenced on a wider scale in Lapland in the 1960's and has continued until present day. Central Finland Aviation Museum, under the leadership of Hannu Valtonen, has been particularly active in mapping aircraft crash sites.

In central and southern Finland, scuba divers from Lahti began an active search in the early 1970's. Particularly distinguished among them is Timo Nyman from Orimattila. His initiative and hard work have brought objects from many different aircraft to the collections of aviation museums. People involved in his projects include, e.g., Veli-Pekka Korhonen, Olavi Veijalainen, Toimi Kelkola and Yrjö Toivanen.

In the 1980's, Finnish Aviation Museum had a number of research teams, of which especially Ala-Keitele Divers - the finders of BL-180 and VP-14 - deserve a mention, as well as Matti Ojala with his friends. During the next decade, a special research team for underwater wrecks was organised at Finnish Aviation Museum. Led by Tapio Suhonen, this team solved the origin of the Ju-88 at the bottom of the sea near Hanko. Later the team and its members, e.g., Heikki Moisio, Harri Köykkälä, Matti Nurminen, Kai Kaartinen, Raimo Stanley, Hans Sachse and Pekka Simula, have studied several alleged aircraft crash sites. A particularly great achievement of the team was organising the salvage of the Messerschmitt 109G-2 fighter MT-208 from the sea near Säppi in 1999. This was the culmination point of a project started in 1983 by Timo Nyman. He initiated the search that was continued by scuba divers from Pori as a hobby until the turn of the decade, when the aircraft was finally found.

So we could just turn, take few steps from the computers and touch real WW2 planes. Very nice. If that Messerchmitt 109 G-2 on the photos seems interesting then read this article about its rescue and restoration project.

Soviet SB-2 bomber was right behind our backs.

SB-2 engine and part of LaGG-3 fighter's fuselage

Messerchmitt 109 G-2

Another Soviet bomber


German Junkers 88 bomber cockpit

German Junkers 88 bomber cockpit

Many visitors got to check the simulators

A lot of people stopped by to check the simulators, and anyone who dared also got to fly them. If you look closer you can see a lot of "propadanga" posters on the walls ;-) We also had a whole load of IL-2 demos on CD-ROMs, brought by the game's Finnish representative Plan 1.

Julle showing WarBirds III.

Plan 1 should hire Koko as IL-2 demoperson, he did really good work showing the game. :)

The Dweebs themselves

And then the mandatory gallery of us in the museum

Kaizu and Zombie, Icebreakers

A kill has been recorded to Kaizu

BlauK from Lentolaivue 34 showing IL-2 to Kaizu

A visitor chatting with My (Hävittäjälentolaivue 24), RaimoK (EAW pilot) and BlauK

Netfly (JG51) with the men from Crashers Club squadron: Oiva, Lipfert, Iku and Tern.

More Crashers Club pilots: Oiva, Tern, Lipfert, Kossu/ICE, Iku

Tough head-to-head fighting going on, Grendel / Icebreakers on the stick.

A peek behind the SB-2 rudder to BlauK, Netfly, Zombie and RaimoK.

Zombie with IL-2, Kaizu standing and Ismo from Plan 1.

Visitor, RaimoK and BlauK. What's that with the capital letters in both ends of name?

The Gents

And here are the two gentlemen who were very kind to visit us and check what kind of flying we are into:

Two Messerchmitt pilots and aces: Kyösti "Kössi" Karhula and Hemmo Leino

Kyösti Karhila, born 2.5.1921 at Rauma. Credited with 32 1/4 confirmed victories. Military honors: VR4, VR3, VR3 tlk, VR2. Units: Started 18.3.1941 in LeLv (Flying Squadron) 32, after which he flew in LeLv 30, LeLv 34 and 24. He flew Fokker D.XXIs, Curtiss Hawks and moved to Messerchmitt fighters during 1943. Karhila is credited with 13 1/4 victories in the Curtiss Hawk and rest in Messerchmitts. His peculiarity in Messerchmitts was his "liking" to the wing cannons of the 109 G-6 - while others removed the wing cannons to increase speed and maneuverability "Kössi" instead insisted to fly with the cannons, preferring the firepower. During the Soviet offensive summer 1944 Kössi shot down 13 Soviet aircraft. His kill list includes about everything the Soviets could fly, including I-153s, I-16s, MiG-3s, , LaGG-3s and La-5s, Yak-9s, IL-2s and even P-51 Mustangs. Two articles about mr. Karhila in the Internet in english language: Kyosti Karhila in Dogfight Over Gulf of Finland and Kyosti Karhila in EXCLUSIVE interview for WW2AS!

Hemmo Kullervo Leino, born 8.4.1921. Credited with 11 confirmed victories. Military honors: VM1, VR4, VR4 tlk. Started 16.9.1942 in LeLv 30 and flew later in LeLv 14 and LeLv 34. "Hemmo" made his first victory 9th january 1942 flying Fokker D.XXI fighter by shooting down a Soviet Hurricane. He flew later also the Morane Saulnier 406 and Messerchmitt 109 fighters. His kill list includes, in addition to the Hurricane, LaGG-3, IL-2, Yak-9, Boston and a P-51 Mustang.

Grendel and Kossu had met mr. Karhila earlier, and invited him to visit the society in the museum. The first pictures show the gentlement writing signatures to Sture Gripenberg's latest painting. Rest of the photos show them visiting us in the Warplanes room, looking at the simulators and test flying WarBirds III. The special idea here was that we had a "skin" in WarBirds III for the MT-208, the Messerchmitt 109 G-2, that was being displayed just few meters behind our back in the same room. So the gents got once again into air with their old bird. Neither had flown MT-208 in the war time, but at least the plane in simulator looked real, like their old birds had been like so many years ago.

Kyösti Karhila and Hemmo Leino writing signatures to Sture Gripenberg's latest painting, that depicts museum's Me 109 G-2 "MT-208" (see above or here for more information.

Just to give you some idea, here are few thumbnails from Sture Gripenberg's paintings. He is kind of official war aviation painter in Finland, and his art is sold in the aviation museums and shops. A lot of his art also carries signatures by the war pilots. Mor examples can be seen and ordered at Aviationshop. Their frontpage for language impaired.

Kossu shows the basics of WarBirds III to the gents:

Mr. Karhila, Leino, Kossu and Gripenberg.

Kossu, mr. Karhila and mr. Leino

My, Kossu, mr. Karhila, mr. Leino

After initial problems with the strange little joysticks and their feeling both gents fast found how WarBirds III reacts and we put them into WBIII offline bomber interception. Especially Hemmo Leino showed his old talent is 100% left - his maneuveres were truly of a real ace.

Hemmo Leino scored there the first 4 engine bomber kill of Finnish Air Force. And this was good, because if it had been the 2nd or 3rd - that would have been a hell. Why? THESE two gentlemen were once in Germany getting new 109s to Finland. And the Viermots were once again over Germany. So what they did? They stepped into 109 cockpits, readied and were in immediate takeoff readiness - they wanted to go hunting 4 engine bombers! Luckily the bomber raid streamed elsewhere - otherwise it would have been SOME diplomating show and proparanga effect, if Finnish pilots succeed in shooting down American heavy bomber.

Kyösti "Kössi" Karhila gets up to the virtual skies:

And then Hemmo Leino:

Kossu reports:

About Hemmo's moves. First he was quite reluctant to test fly WBIII, and said: "I don't want to make a fool of myself in front of all these people." But after Kössi did his hop in the air and managed to ventilate P-38s and Wildcats, Hemmo accepted the challenge and strapped himself in front of the screen. After an orientation flight with some figters here and there and testing the flight characteristics of the Franz he did some coordinated turns and other manuevers. While familiarizing himself with the plane he flew quite far from the battle and I asked if he wanted to do some Viermot hunting. He said why not, and I set him up against 3 Liberators in his Franz.

Hemmo started with two high speed passes against the bombers and on the third pass damaged both port engines of the leftmost B-24. "Well, now I'll just kill that straggler, and go after the rest later", was his comment. And so he did. He attacked the lone bomber and killed the already smoking engines and the buff fell to it's death.

After his first virtual kill he then climbed towards the remaining two bombers and attacked them with a good speed advantage. He went past the buffs and almost immediately pulled up for a perfect barrel. During this maneuver (He did not use the views) flying inverted he said: Hmm, the bombers should appear into my view from about there... He pulled the stick back a little and there they were, exactly where he thought they would be (Nice SA !) He did the last pass from the top shooting for the cockpit and went through the box below. He was out of ammo and so the Aces retired for coffee.

A little later I saw them in the Museum Cafe waving hands and going through their virtual fights just before I asked them what they thought of it, and got interesting answers, which also portray their different personalities. Kössi: "Yeah, it was fun, but to fly with visual cues and gauges only is pretty difficult. In the war I never checked where the ball was or what my speedometer said. I just felt and heard what the plane was doing." A pure seat of the pants fighter pilot. Mr. Leino was more analytical in his approach to the simulators. Hemmo: "Many things in that simulator are very well done and the gauges seemed to work right, but what it would really need is some kind of an "artificial feel" for the stick and pedals." (He didn't know about Force Feedback controllers)

My continues about Hemmo Leino's flight:

Hehe, that was my favourite moment during the weekend. Another good one was when Hemmo Leino asked why the enemy aircraft (offline drones) weren't more active/agressive and I explained that they were setup as target drones for practice. He dryly commented that "Oh, so they are just _victims_ then - it was bit different during the wartime".

Grendel showing mr. Karhila and another visitor something.

MT-208 reborn - WarBirds III.

MT-208 reborn - WarBirds III.

The younger pilot generation got to fly too

It REALLY does help in hard maneuvers if you put out your tongue, by the way.

A short tour in the museum

Polikarpov UTI-4 ( I-16 UTI)

Polikarpov UTI-4 ( I-16 UTI)

VL Pyry II

Soviet 500kg aerial bomb

DH Vampire F.B.52 and DH Vampire Trainer T.55

I.V.L. A.22 Hansa

I.V.L. A.22 Hansa

VL Sääski II

Saab J35BS Draken

Saab J35BS Draken

Swastikas, fylfots and a Von Rosen Cross

Symbols of three air forces. Finnish, Latvian and German.

Model competition

The Warplanes exhibition room was shared with the International Plastic Modeller's Society people, who held their major annual competition. Some photos of their amazing models below.

(C) Virtuaalilentäjät - Virtual Pilots ry 2001
Photos by Jukka "Grendel" Kauppinen and Matti "My" Yrjölä. Report by Jukka Kauppinen.

For more historical aviation and virtual flying related stories visit Virtuaalilentäjät ry World war 2 history section

Viimeksi muokattu: 2002-09-27 08:22