Post Update 2 – Technical Museum Aircraft (Again)

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With a growing fascination for the Technical Museum and the few – but fine – aviation exhibits within, today I was back there yet again, camera ready to cover anything I had missed in my previous report :). A definite case of I-need-a-life-ism, but my research for the first post on the topic had revealed that the Museum had definitely traded quantity for quality (or rather rarity), so I was naturally keen to see what else was I missing out on…

This odd-looking little thing is an ex-Yu UTVA BC-3, popularly known as the "Trojka" ("Three"). Developed shortly after WW2 by Boris Cijan - hence BC - for Ikarus as the model 251, and later produced by UTVA, only 80-ish of these this fabric-covered trainer/tourers were ever made
While not the most beautiful aircraft ever designed, the BC-3 did apparently provide excellent visibility from the cockpit. Weighing only 600 kg, a 65 HP Walter Mikron engine provided sufficient power
Oddly suitable against all the wood, YU-30-15 (also referred to as YU-3015) is an ex-Yu UTVA Jastreb ("Hawk") glider. Couldn't find out much about it except that it had been operated by AK Ljubljana in Slovenia
For those who don't find open cockpits exciting enough, we have the UTVA Čavka ("Jackdraw") :). Designed by Ivan Šoštarić back in 1939, gliders of this type were in use all the way to till the 70s, proving easy to fly (contrary to the way they look) and easy to maintain (precisely the way they look)
Pretty much the only aircraft in contemporary Croatian colors in the Museum, this Albatros AE-209 ultralight is also the newest - and feels decidedly out of place among the biplanes and early gliders 🙂
Something a little bit different now :). The tail section of what my friends in the know say is a Hurricane. The donor was probably one of the Hurricane Mk.IVs operated by the YuAF in the years following WW2 (being passed down from either the Partisan Air Force or the RAF's Balkan Air Force)
The previously featured YU-HAL from a more flattering perspective :). I'm not sure it will be visible, but this helicopter has the entire control panel moved to the side of the cockpit, rather than in front of the pilot. Don't know if this is a standard feature on the whole type though... note also the exposed tail rotor pitch control mechanism running on top of the tail boom
An artsy difference in size :). The DAR-9's 160 HP 7-cyl radial against the Thunderbolt's monstrous 2500 HP twin row 18 cylinder volcano
A small, noisy engine, an open cockpit and a view full of wing and bracing wires... I must admit I envy the people who get to fly my two favorite German biplanes 🙂
Biplanes galore! Too bad they're just museum pieces...

Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow:

Having said in the original post that I had only photographed the engines I thought interesting – and given my post-visit realization that EVERYTHING in the Museum is interesting 😀 – I decided to go back there and properly finish the job. And I’m glad I did, because quite a few gems had managed to sneak by me that first time…

First up is the Italian Alfa Romeo 115-I. Produced in 1937 (when the design - based on the de Havilland Gypsy Six - was just a year old), this specific engine produced 195 HP out of six inverted inline cylinders. It's rather diminutive size and power meant it was suitable for training, liaison and reconnassance aircraft
Also from Italy is the Alfa Romeo 126-RC-34 of 1935. Based on the British Bristol Pegasus, this 9 cyl 750 HP engine saw use on a number of famous Italian aircraft - such as the Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 Pipistrelo transport and the curvy SM.79 Sparviero three-engine medium bomber - as well as some Junkers Ju-52 transports
Out back. With 11,000 built, the 125/126/128 family powered virtually all Italian three-engined aircraft (the different sub-types being based on different versions of either the mentioned Bristol Pegasus or the company's Jupiter engine)
A legend I cannot believe I had missed - the Wright GR-1820 Cyclone 9, here in its 760 HP F-56 variant. One of the great radial engines of WW2, in all variants it had powered dozens of aircraft, including the B-17 Flying Fortress, the original DC-2 and -3, the legendary Douglas Dauntless divebomber, the FM-2 Wildcat (a Grumman F4F produced under licence by General Motors), the Grumman HU-16 Albatross amphibian and the Lockheed Hudson, one of the first American contemporary aircraft to see combat in WW2
Something from Austria for a change :). One of the oldest engines on display, this 214 HP six-cyl was produced in Vienna in 1912! A search on the net gives indication that this could be a Hiero 6 or a Hiero E, designed by Otto Hieronimus, used on a number of WW1 reconnassance aircraft
Labeled simply as a "Jupiter" and produced in Belgrade in 1935 (in the then Kingdom of Yugoslavia), I believe this 500 HP engine is a licence-built version of the British Bristol Jupiter. Produced widely under licence in more than a dozen countries worldwide, the original Jupiter - one of the most reliable radials of all time - had naturally evolved into a number of different designs; some of the more interesting ones are the Bramo 323 Fafnir - powering (ironically) Germany's Focke-Wulf Fw.200 martime patrol aircraft and the superlative Dornier Do-17 light bomber (as well as the experimental Focke-Angelis Fa.223 helicopter!) - the Alfa Romeo 126-RC-35 (a close relation of the -34 featured several photos up), as well as the Soviet Union's Shvetsov M-22, powering the famous Polikarpov I-16 fighter
And now, an oddity... a inline 6-cyl labelled as the French Lorraine-Dietrich 12Eb. However, all sources on the net state that the 12Eb was a W12 - of similar configuration to the Benz Bz.DV featured in the previous post - so I've no idea what to make of this. The plaque says the engine was built in 1928 and produced 450 KS, which sounds a bit much for a 6-cyl...
More Lorraine-Dietrich confusion (it's becoming obvious they're French, no? :D) with the LD13. A V12 from 1924 (according to the plaque), this engine produces 400 HP - but I couldn't find any trace of it on the net, so it too is left open to interpretation 🙂
Another - less controversial - legend: the Bristol Mercury :). During its rather long lifetime, it had powered a number of notable designs including the Blenheim light bomber and the Gloster Gladiator - one of the world's last biplane fighters - as well as the relatively successful Polish PZL.11 fighter and Sweden's SAAB 17 fighter-bomber. This specific engine was produced in 1935 and developed 850 HP
An interesting little structural tidbit - the Mercury's reduction gearbox :). This permitted the engine to run at a high number of RPM, while keeping the prop at a lower number to keep its tips below the speed of sound
Another small, unobtrusive, but very interesting gem :). The plaque identifies this as a "Salmson", produced by GAZ in Russia in 1918. Salmson, a French engineering company, is noted - not widely unfortunately - for being one of the first companies to make purpose-built aircraft engines. This engine, stated as producing 120 HP, is I believe a Salmson 9, though my internet search noted that that model used to produce significantly more power...
And to finish this report off, a very rarely seen part of the aircraft engine - the crankshaft :). This particular one is from an Alfa Romeo engine, but it didn't say which one - a 6 cyl (probably inline) by the looks of it...

Post Update – Zagreb Technical Museum Engines

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All photos me too, copyrighted

Apparently destined to make up all the time since my last childhood visits to the Technical Museum, yesterday I made my third trip there in the space of a month :). A friend had asked me to take her to see the exhibition, an opportunity I used to upgrade the visit to an unofficial aviation history tour :D. Along the way, stopping at the engine section, we had noticed something on one of the engines that had eluded me before…

You may have seen an odd trident-configuration Daimler-Benz piston engine of unknown type down near the end of the report. I had it labeled as a six cylinder, information I then used in my unsuccessful attempts to find out more about it on the net. In a brilliant demonstration of my skills of perception, I had only noticed yesterday that the engine was in fact – a 12 cylinder…

The original engine shot from the previous post. Note that on first sight it looks remarkably like a 6-cyl...
A closer inspection however had revealled that what I had though to be cylinders were actually casings, with the cylinders themselves inside. At two per casing, this doubled the cylinder count 🙂

Armed with this new found knowledge, I once again roved the Internet and think I may have nailed it this time… apparently, this is not a Damiler-Benz, but a Benz Bz.DV, the first German 12-cyl aero engine :). Designed in 1914, it weighed 425 kg and produced 250 HP, but I could not find a list of aircraft that had used it…

Odd Photo Report – Zagreb Technical Museum

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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)