Thulin LA

Last updated
Thulin LA.jpg
RoleTrainer aircraft
Manufacturer AB Thulinverken
DesignerEnoch Thulin
Number built15

The Thulin LA was a Swedish two-seat, single-engine biplane designed by Enoch Thulin in 1917 and made by his company AB Thulinverken in Landskrona. It was based on the earlier Thulin L and E aircraft, with a new engine, fuselage and empennage. The L and E types were in turn based on the German Albatros B.II aircraft, like the NAB Albatros. The Thulin LA was used in Sweden, the Netherlands (10) and Finland (1). This type also made the first passenger transport flights between Sweden and Denmark in 1919. Altogether there were 15 Thulin LAs built.

Sweden constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund Strait. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. The capital city is Stockholm. Sweden has a total population of 10.3 million of which 2.5 million have a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi) and the highest urban concentration is in the central and southern half of the country.

Biplane Airplane wing configuration with two vertically stacked main flying surfaces

A biplane is a fixed-wing aircraft with two main wings stacked one above the other. The first powered, controlled aeroplane to fly, the Wright Flyer, used a biplane wing arrangement, as did many aircraft in the early years of aviation. While a biplane wing structure has a structural advantage over a monoplane, it produces more drag than a similar unbraced or cantilever monoplane wing. Improved structural techniques, better materials and the quest for greater speed made the biplane configuration obsolete for most purposes by the late 1930s.

Enoch Thulin Swedish aircraft pioneer

Enoch Leonard Thulin, is primarily remembered as a pioneer of the Swedish aircraft industry. He was an engineer who also worked on cars, lorries and internal combustion engines.



The engine used was a Thulin G, which was an 11-cylinder 75 kW (100 hp) Le Rhône 11F (bore x stroke 105 mm × 140 mm (4.1 in × 5.5 in)), [nb 1] manufactured under licence by Thulinverken in Sweden. Thulin had journeyed to France in 1915 and acquired the licence to manufacture it from Gnome et Rhône, as well as the Le Rhone 9C, which was sold as the Thulin A. [1] The Thulin-built engine, with a dry weight of 168 kg (370 lb), replaced the much heavier original engine of the Albatros B.II, a Mercedes D.II 89 kW (120 hp) 6-cylinder inline water-cooled engine weighing 240 kg (530 lb).

Gnome et Rhône was a major French aircraft engine manufacturer. Between 1914 and 1918 they produced 25,000 of their 9-cylinder Delta and Le Rhône 110 hp (81 kW) rotary designs, while another 75,000 were produced by various licensees. These engines powered the majority of aircraft in the first half of the war, both Allied designs as well as German examples produced by Motorenfabrik Oberursel.

Mercedes D.II I-6 piston aircraft engine version used as the basis for the D.III

The Mercedes D.II was a six-cylinder, SOHC valvetrain liquid-cooled inline aircraft engine built by Daimler during the early stages of World War I. Producing about 110 to 120 hp, it was at the low-end of the power range of contemporary engines, and was generally outperformed by rotaries whose power-to-weight ratio tended to be much better. It also had stiff competition from the Ferdinand Porsche-designed 120 hp Austro-Daimler 6. The D.II was produced only briefly as a result, but its design formed the basis for the later Mercedes D.III which saw widespread use throughout the war.

Use in Finland

The Finnish Air Force (The Whites) received one aircraft as a gift from Sweden from the grocery magnate G. Svensson in the spring of 1918.

Finnish Air Force Aerial warfare branch of Finlands armed forces

The Finnish Air Force is one of the branches of the Finnish Defence Forces. Its peacetime tasks are airspace surveillance, identification flights, and production of readiness formations for wartime conditions. The Finnish Air Force was founded on 6 March 1918.

The aircraft arrived by ship at Turku on 5 May 1918, where it was used at the Turku Flying School (Turun Lentokoulu), established on 1 May 1918. The flying school was renamed V Flying Detachment (V Lento-osasto) of the Finnish Air Force on 1 October 1918. [2] [3] The aircraft was mainly used as a trainer aircraft and was destroyed in a crash due to engine malfunction outside Helsinki's Pohjoissatama harbour in February 1919.

Turku City in Southwest Finland, Finland

Turku is a city on the southwest coast of Finland at the mouth of the Aura River, in the region of Finland Proper (Varsinais-Suomi). The region was originally called Suomi (Finland), which later became the name for the whole country.

Helsinki Capital of Finland

Helsinki is the capital and most populous city of Finland. Located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, it is the seat of the region of Uusimaa in southern Finland, and has a population of 650,058. The city's urban area has a population of 1,268,296, making it by far the most populous urban area in Finland as well as the country's most important center for politics, education, finance, culture, and research. Helsinki is located 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Tallinn, Estonia, 400 km (250 mi) east of Stockholm, Sweden, and 300 km (190 mi) west of Saint Petersburg, Russia. It has close historical ties with these three cities.


Thulin also made a floatplane version of the LA, based on the Albatros B.II-W ("Wasserflugzeug").

Floatplane aircraft equipped with floats for operation from water surfaces

A floatplane is a type of seaplane with one or more slender floats mounted under the fuselage to provide buoyancy. By contrast, a flying boat uses its fuselage for buoyancy. Either type of seaplane may also have landing gear suitable for land, making the vehicle an amphibious aircraft. British usage is to call "floatplanes" "seaplanes" rather than use the term "seaplane" to refer to both floatplanes and flying boats.


Flag of Finland.svg  Finland
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden

Specifications (LA)

Data from [4]

General characteristics


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  1. The Le Rhône 11F was essentially an enlarged 9-cylinder Le Rhône 9C with two extra cylinders, developing 15 kW (20 hp) more.


  1. Bellander, Björn. "The museum of Landskrona: The Thulin room".
  2. Keskinen, Kalevi; Kyösti, Partonen; Stenman, Kari (2005). Suomen ilmavoimat I [Finnish Air Force vol. I] 1918 - 1927 (in Finnish). Kari Stenman. ISBN   952-99432-2-9.
  3. "FINNISH Army in 1920s-1930s (organization, equipment)". Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  4. Stenman, Kari; Kyösti Partonen; Kalevi Keskinen (2005). Suomen Ilmavoimat 1918-1927. Vol. 1 (in Finnish). Espoo. ISBN   952-99432-2-9.

See also