Odd Photo Report – Zagreb Technical Museum

By me
All photos me too, copyrighted

With quite a strong feeling of shame, I must admit that the last time I had visited the Technical Museum here in Zagreb – all 30 minutes away by tram – was back in primary school, some 15 years ago. Though I had been there a few weeks ago for the opening of the Croatian military aviation photo exhibition (featured a couple of posts back), being parking-meter-limited I couldn’t really take a good, thorough look around…

I had however noticed several aircraft hanging about, so feeling a little aviation-photography deprived – and with the weather steadily changing from awful to worse – I promptly set course for the museum for this year’s first photo report… 🙂

Something homegrown to start this report off. A Fizir FNH, YU-CGO is (as far as I've been able to find out) one of the oldest Croatian aircraft surviving today, built sometime in the early 30s. Designed by Rudolf Fizir - Croatia's most successful aircraft designer - this biplane trainer could be equipped with either floats or normal wheeled gear, which, designed as modules, could be interchanged on each aircraft out in the field
Ah finally, one of my favorite biplanes - the Bücker Bu-131 Jungmann :). One of Germany's most successful pre-WW2 trainers, the Jungmann was extensively operated by a number of Axis and neutral countries
Operated also by the Axis-supported Ustaše movement during WW2, many of these aircraft found their way into civilian aeroclubs after the war. Along with a number of domestic types, the Bu-131 and the single seat Bu-133 Jungmeister added to the already significant variety of the "small aviation" scene
Not a particularly inspired shot, but showing quite an interesting detail of the fabric-covered Jüngmann - the stitching under the fuselage! 🙂 This is the first time I've seen this in person
Now this is a special one! 🙂 An antiquated Agusta-Bell AB-47J, YU-HAL was the first aircraft to be operated by the nascent Croatian Air Force in 1991. Taken out of this very museum and restored to flying condition, it was used for medevac duties until Croatian ground forces captured an Mi-8 (the famous "Stara frajla" - "Old Lady"), the first "true" military aircraft for the CroAF. Following an engine failure, it was returned back to the museum
Another (unmarked) rarity - a D.A.R. DAR-9. The more astute will have noticed that it looks remarkably like a Focke-Wulf Fw.44 Stieglitz - because it is, but partly manufactured and assembled in Bulgaria. Today this is the only remaining example of the type in the world...
The mighty Thunderbolt! Rebranded as the F-47 during the post-WW2 USAF designation change, this aircraft (13109) was also an unlikely candidate for service in the 90s Civil War. It had been planned to overhaul and rearm it, but a lack of parts for the engine killed the idea off
R-2800 power! Though the idea of turning this into a combat aircraft for the 90s seems iffy to start with, it wouldn't have been all that unique - before acquiring MiG-21s and Mi-24s, the Croatian Air Force had used Cessna 172s and UTVA-75s with shoulder-launched anti-tank missiles strapped under the wings, An-2s with "boiler bombs" (gas cylinders filled with explosives and shrapnel) and even converted Air Tractors and Cessna 188s with underwing weapon pylons and Soviet gunsights. One of the most famous modifications was what became popularly known as the "AnWACS", an An-2 modified with radar and various sensors to serve as an early warning and electronic warfare platform 🙂
The Technical Museum is also home to the Aero 3 prototype, coded 40001. This would eventually lead to - among other things - YU-CPC, our own example hidden away in the AK Zagreb hangar at Lučko (and previously featured here)
In company with the FNH to the right and an UTVA Trojka hanging above, 40001 represents one of the very few local showcases of ex-Yu aviation technology. Note also the provision of spaces for side exhausts, indicating that the airframe had been designed to accept different engines

Power on!

Along with the various flying machines, I had also stumbled upon an excellent collection of aircraft engines in an adjacent room :). I seem to remember seeing only one when I was here last time, so apparently the museum staff had been busy! 🙂 Though these are not all the engines on display, I had photographed the ones I had thought the most interesting…

Hail to the King! The most famous aircraft piston engine of all time, the legendary Rolls-Royce Merlin! 🙂 This is an early Merlin II, churning out 990 HP
Symbolic... to WW2 adversaries, the Merlin in the back and the 1160 HP Daimler-Benz DB601 inverted V12 in the foreground
Something a bit rarer for a change, a Franco-Spanish Hispano Suiza 14AB 14 cylinder radial of 1935. Of interest is its twin-row layout - nicely shown here - with cylinders in the back row positioned between the cylinders in the front for better cooling. This specific engine was rated at 870 HP and used on the Potez 630 ground-attack aircraft of the late 30s
Something Czechoslovak for a change - a 160 HP Walter Minor 6-III. Like similar British engines of the period, it uses an unorthodox inverted straight six layout - and though designed in 1929, it is still in production today 🙂
Now this had immediately caught my eye! What an unusual 6 cylinder layout... the plaque next to it said it was an unspecified Daimler-Benz engine of 1916... but how accurate that is, I have no idea. A search using its manufacture number (if that is what it is) of MN22218 didn't clear things up either...
And finally something completely different - the General Electric/Allison J35 turbojet. The US' first axial-flow jet engine, it had cut its teeth on several well-known early jets such as the B-47 Stratojet prototype, the F-84 Thunderjet and the North American FJ-1 Fury, a carrier-based interceptor that would later evolve into one of the most famous jet fighters ever built - the F-86 Sabre (whose prototype was also powered by a J35)

4 thoughts on “Odd Photo Report – Zagreb Technical Museum

  1. The unusual D-B engine above the turbine seems to have three lines of cylinders, with each line having two blocks of a pair of cylinders, making it a W12, am I right?

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