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VL F.30 Paarma (Horse-fly) is a Finnish two-seat basic trainer biplane designed by Valtion lentokonetehdas (VL, State Aircraft Factory) in 1930-1931. Due to its disappointing performance, only one example was built.

Development Edit

By 1929 the Finnish Air Force was in dire need of new training aircraft to replace the aging Caudron C.60s. The commander of the FAF, Väino Vuori, recommended the Czechoslovakian Letov Š-218A, but an indigenous alternative was also ordered from VL.

Work on the Paarma began soon. Designer Gunnar Semenius copied much of VL Sääski's design, while the aspect ratio was copied from the Š-218A and the RAF 28 airfoil from the Blackburn Ripon. To save time, the building of the prototype was commenced even before the design work was completed. The Paarma flew for the first time on 20 March 1931 at Suomenlinna, piloted by Uuno E. Mäkelä.

The Paarma's performance was found to be highly unsatisfactory. It was slow, the vertical stabilizer turned the aircraft by itself, and the view from the cockpit was poor. It had a service ceiling of just 2,000 m while flights to an altitude of 4,000 m were a mandatory part of pilot training. Paarma's main advantage over the Š-218A was its cheaper price. Although the Š-218A had some weaknesses in its structure, it was superior and the FAF chose it.

Service Edit

The Paarma prototype, coded PA-137, received some modifications to improve its performance and flight characteristics, but with little success. It was sent to Kauhava for testing in the end of September 1931. PA-137 was damaged in a forced landing on 28 August 1933 and written off, after flying for 105 hours and 10 minutes during 163 flights.

The Paarma's wreck was fitted with a Siemens-Halske Sh 12 engine and the landing gear of a Caudron C.60, and used for training mechanics. The wreck's fate is unknown.

Specifications Edit

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 7,86 m
  • Wingspan: 10,5 m
  • Height: 2,8 m
  • Wing area: 24,0 m²
  • Airfoil: RAF 28
  • Empty weight: 641 kg
  • Take-off weight: 959 kg
  • Fuel capacity: 130 l
  • Poweplant: 1 × Walter Nz 130 9-cylinder radial engine; 97 kW (130 hv)
  • Maximum speed: 135 km/h
  • Landing speed: 75 km/h
  • Range: 955 km or 4 h
  • Service ceiling: 2 000 m
  • Climb to 1,000 m: 11 min 35 s
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