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VL Humu

Finland (1944)
Picture of VL Humu Fighter Prototype

The VL Humu was nothing more than a short-lived local Finnish development of the American Brewster F2A fighter series - only one prototype was completed.


Detailing the development and operational history of the VL Humu Fighter Prototype.  Entry last updated on 5/5/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Finnish wartime aero industry managed a few notable entries during World War 2 (1939-1945), its adversary becoming the Soviet Union. Valtion Lentokonetehdas (VL) was its primary state-run aircraft factory which began manufacturing for the Finnish Air Force in 1928. Its early products were seaplanes, owing to the fact that the facility lacked a runway, but eventually the facility graduated to more advanced types.

One of the "one-off" prototypes to emerge during the war years - which saw a Soviet invasion of Finland spark the "Winter War" and subsequent "Continuation War" - was the VL "Humu" - or "Whirlwind". It was developed along the lines of a fighter with a nose-mounted single engine installation, a single-seat cockpit, and low-set monoplane wings. The undercarriage was made retractable and the pilot fully-enclosed in his cockpit. Armament centered on 2 x 12.7mm LKK/42 fuselage-mounted heavy machine guns.

At its core, the Finnish Humu was nothing more than a local evolution of the American Brewster "F2A" which became known as the "Buffalo" in British service. Like the Royal Air Force (RAF), the Finns were also recipients of this fighter product, via export, and found the most success with the type in its fight against the Soviets. Unlike the American entry, which was constructed as an all-metal aircraft, wartime restrictions on materials like metal forced wood to be substituted in the design where possible. The result was a "wooden fighter" with steel under structure.

The Humu was conceived of due to the fact that the 40+ F2As were simply not enough to meet the demand placed by the Finnish Air Force. So an indigenous effort was put forth to recreate the American fighter using local measures. Torsti Verkkola, Arvo Ylinen, and Martti Vainio were all names associated with the Humu's design as project leads.

This gave the Finnish fighter a strong resemblance to the Brewster product. It showcased a length of 26.3 feet, a wingspan of 35 feet, and a height of 12 feet. Power was from a Shvetsov M-63 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine developing 1,000 horsepower. The engines were Soviet in origin but based in the American Wright R-1820 "Cyclone" series radials which powered other aircraft - including the original F2A. The M-63 was an improvement over the earlier M-62.

Performance specs for the Humu included a maximum speed of 267 miles per hour and a service ceiling up to 26,250 feet.

An order for ninety Humu fighters was placed by the Finnish Air Force. The first completed aircraft was flown on August 8th, 1944 but this essentially marked the high point of the program for it was cancelled with just the sole example becoming available. This aircraft managed nearly 20 hours in the air but it was soon found to be heavy and lack the performance needed to contend with more modern fighters. As such, the Humu was left as-is and ended its days as a showpiece of the Central Finland Aviation Museum where it resides today.

Any available statistics for the VL Humu Fighter Prototype are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (267mph).

    Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the VL Humu's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1
1


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: Finland
Year: 1944
Type: Fighter Prototype
Manufacturer(s): VL (Valtion lentokonetehdas) - Finland
Production: 1
Global Operators:
Finland (cancelled)
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the VL Humu model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
26.35 ft


Meters
8.03 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
35.01 ft


Meters
10.67 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
11.98 ft


Meters
3.65 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
4,299 lb


Kilograms
1,950 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
6,393 lb


Kilograms
2,900 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Shvetsov M-63 9-cylinder radial piston engine developing 1,000 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
267 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
430 kph


Knots
232 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
777 mi


Kilometers
1,250 km


Nautical Miles
675 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
26,247 ft


Meters
8,000 m


Miles
4.97 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
2,000 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
610 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft heavy machine gun
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

PROPOSED:
2 x 12.7mm LKK/42 machine guns
Variants: Series Model Variants
• "Humu" - Base Series Name; sole example completed.