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Kensgaila RT-6 / Lituanica

 

Kens-RT6

 

The director Raimondas Beetle was going to make a movie on S. Darius and S.Gireno, which required a copy of the legendary aircraft, Lituanica.

Kensgaila already knew the original settings and was thinking about what parts of other planes to use. A "Construction Office” wassetup in their house in the basement for a stack of drawings. However, turning to the Yak-12 "Bellanca”, and later - Lituanica was not easy.

Maintaining the engine mounting frame and other parts, it was necessary to evaluate the structural stiffness and chromansilio tubes were boiled at the factory - all the major work conducted in Panevezys Base Aero Club.

The movie studio agreed on a salary for a group of ten people. Each assessed the number of hours worked. Put all the time and in proportion to divide the salary.

Working in the club, the main tools were a hammer and files. Most critical units were commissioned in Panevezys Compressors in the factory. Although they had Prienuose aviation plant, it was far away, and building inhouse saved time because of no need to prepare the drawings, but the quality was the same.

The Lituanica used Yak-12 wings, but they had to be  lengthened forflaps. To riveted wing extension, required change the front edge.

The first of Bellanca's flights took place at Panevezys aerodrome.

Aviation celebrations, attended by Darius and Girėnas with Bellanca, "filmed in Klaipeda airfield. Pulp mill chimneys, "played" Chicago. That shot with the airplane in the background, then they had to quickly disassemble and assemble Minija street. Later, in the autumn began the recycle of "Bellanca" to "Lituanica”.

During filming the plane went into a pit, onto the nose and broke the propeller. Fortunately, sufficient parts to produce a new propeller were available. And this is also not a small job. This used only the central Yak-12 propeller parts.

The movie "One Flew over the Atlantic" was completed. After the shooting in 1983 summer, Lituanica participated in a transatlantic flight 50th anniversary commemorations. The first of them was Darius Judrėnai hometown. The aircraft had to travel by truck. During the night Lituanica brought him to his homeland S.Girėno Vytogalą, then attended aviation festival in Vilnius.

 

Kens-RT6-3

 

The aircraft flew in aviation festivals until 14 May 1989, when it flew into the airfield Aleksoto Kaunas in Lithuania with a technical museum. In order to fly from Panevezys to Kaunas, it took long negotiation with the Riga sitting by the Soviet military to convince Panevezys Aero Club chief S.Noreiką. Only threatened to fly without permission finally got it. On the same day with the museum staff compiled Lituanica former airport, and a museum hall, where she stayed until the summer of 1993 and returned after flying into Soldini.

The original LY-XAU / NR688E Lituanica was a modified Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker flown from New York across the Atlantic Ocean by lithuanian-american aviators Steponas Darius and Stasys Girėnas in 1933. After flying 6,411 km in 37 hours it crashed in Germany, 650 km away from it‘s intended destination Kaunas Aleksotas Airport due to the undetermined circumstances, killing both pilots.

 

Kens-RT6-2

 

 


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