Bristol Blenheim Mk. IV BL-200 Memorial Project
2.11.2007 9:59:18 - Pertti Juutilainen

It was excatly on 07.05.2007 at 10.00 a.m., when Bristol Blenheim Mk IV saw thr daylight since 1970’s. The plane had been in storage for very long time, but originally it was constructed in Finland already in 1943 and taken to use in 1944 early spring. The plane took part in the defencive battlesof in Karelian Isthmus and the war of Lapland. Totally about 60 war flights was done by it, and after it’s active service this plane BL 200 was standing like a monument at the staff of the bomber command group from the late 1950’s until the beginning of 1970.

Picture 1. Bristol Blenheim Mk IV ym 1944.

In early 1970 Bristol Blenheim Mk IV BL 200 was carried to the base of the squadron, to get reconstructed. After two years work the plane was shifted outside of the hall, and was lying there couple of years.

After being forgotten outside this only plane of that type was carried to the hall again, and the reconstruction work started again on 07.05.2007. In the hall it will be built almost ready, also final paintings will be done there. Only it’s wings can’t get fixed in the hall, because of the space limit.

When all the work is done, the plane will be transferred to the Aviation Museum of Tikkakoski, situated in the central part of Finland, near Jyväskylä. It has been planned to put the plane in vitrine, and money to built it is planned to be cathered. The people working in reconstruction are all aviation devotees, having this project as their leisure- time activity. The former prime minister of Finland, Mr Paavo Lipponen, has promised to patron this project, and Air Academy club stands behind it.

Picture 2. Airplane is waiting reconstruction.

Bristol Blenheim lost its paint during the first two weeks, when reconstruction work got started. As it can seen from the picture 2, the right side of the plane was plain. The painting of its left side was done, when the plane took part of the film showing enforced landing. That’s why the left side was painted like in war-time. To get out the old paint 70 litres of thinner and 30 kilos nitromorse was used. After this I twas time to start looking after Blenhiems parts. For good luck there were found plenty, and they were put in right places on the plane. After that devotees started to change the plexiglass, and also the inside space of the plane was reconstructed. Also flying indicators was put in the place, except six of them which are still missing. The flying indicators were in four different languages; but Blenheim was made for the war, when everything’s possible!

Picture 3. Almost all the old paint had been taken away, on 04.06.2007.

The aluminium ground was in good condition under the old paint. In steel parts there was some rust, but it was easily taken away. There was also wood in the plane (pict 4), in rear wings and in the trunk. There was no need to make new wooden parts, just to clean and polish the old ones. Also steel screws were cleaned and handled with protecting pait.

Picture 4. Blenheim has some wooden parts.

Picture 5. From the left side.

The engines was cleaned outside, and there was no need to demolite they. They were just like in 1957, after being used last time. The propels were working freely, but of course the engines were not fit for flying: for that they should have needed very many working-hours more!

Picture 6. Bristol Blenheim without its windows.

The new plexiglasses were made in Kuorevesi, right after old models. It was important to change them, although in the beginning it was not planned to do so.

Picture 7. Non-transparent, old but still entire plexiglass.

All the plexiglasses of Blenheim were looking like in above picture.Only three of them were broken, one in totally two parts. All the old parts, Plexiglasses and other, are in the Aviation Museum. There are together very few parts which we have chanced.

Picture 8. Plexiglasses on their way to another workshop, to Patria.

At this moment we felt a bit hopeless. How does it work, and how do they look like when ready? But it was good to wait, because until the beginning of October the new plexiglasses have been started to fix in the planes cockpit. And now 29.10.2007 the cockpit is ready!

To be continued….

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Previous bloggings
21.11.2007 - Pertti Juutilainen
Bristol Blenheim Project Mk. IV BL-200 - Part 6.

19.11.2007 - Pertti Juutilainen
Bristol Blenheim Project Mk. IV BL-200 - Part 5.

19.11.2007 - Pertti Juutilainen
Bristol Blenheim Project Mk. IV BL-200 - Part 4.

16.11.2007 - Pertti Juutilainen
Bristol Blenheim Project Mk. IV BL-200 - Part 3.

15.11.2007 - Pertti Juutilainen
Bristol Blenheim Project Mk. IV BL-200 - Part 2.

18.5.2007 - Pertti Juutilainen
Bristol Blenheim Mk. IV BL-200 Memorial Project