In the Finnish Aviation Museum you can see, touch and even fly

The Finnish Aviation Museum is a short walk from the airport in the futuristically sounding Aviapolis area. What started out as a small collection in an airport corridor has now grown, thanks to the hard work of volunteers, into a professional and fascinating museum, a must for anyone interested in aircraft, Finnish history or great engineering. As well as the impressive main collection there are also three flight simulators for an even more memorable day out.

Text : Henry Loveless | Photos : Aviation Museum

The museum is in the Vantaa area of Helsinki, close to the airport. The easiest way to arrive is by train from the city centre. From the central station take either the I or P train to the Aviapolis station and then follow the signs to the museum, look out for the shiny twin-engine plane next to the museum entrance.

The main collection is divided between two hangars packed like a grandparent’s attic, full of both military and commercial aeroplanes, helicopters, recovered fighter engines, beautifully hand-carved wooden propellers and many other fascinating items connected with Finland and flying. One of the nicest things about the museum is its hands-on nature and though the hangars can be chilly in winter (take warm clothing), the cold is soon forgotten as you begin to explore the impressive collection, climbing in and out of authentic wartime cockpits, boarding a 1953 passenger plane, walking along its aisle and trying out the surprisingly comfy seats.

There are guided tours available (free in Finnish on Saturdays at 13.00) and are recommended if you are interested in the stories behind the objects including the little known history of the Sea Plane factory on Suomenliina Island, the origins of the only existing Soviet Polikarpov I-16 bi-plane in the world and the curious use of the swastika symbol during the first era of the Finnish air force.

Perhaps the most exciting attractions for the real flying fanatics are the museum’s three flight simulators; the modern Diamond-DA42, also used for training by professional pilots, the vintage Piper in which you can sit with the entire family in the seats next to you, or the notoriously tricky Messerschmitt BF 109 Fighter in which you can fly over accurate images of 1940s Helsinki and even participate in historical aerial warfare scenarios. Each simulator combines authentic cockpit seats and controls with huge computer displays and sound effects which will soon have you gripping the controls with nervous excitement. Its recommended to book the simulators in advance or you can ask on the day if an instructor is available for a drop-in session.

The museum is open every day of the week and also has a restaurant and a shop with every flight related souvenir imaginable as well as one of the best collections of Finnish aeroplane model kits in the country. There are also special event days where normally reserved areas of the museum are open to the public (check website for details - also in English).

Read more news of Helsinki on our site.
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

The coach of a sports club in Hyvinkää, southern Finland has been remanded into police custody on suspicion of sexual abuse of minors he was coaching, the Itä-Uusimaa police department said on Thursday. Officials said that they are investigating the case as suspected child abuse but did not disclose the ages of the alleged victims. The suspect in the case, a 50-year-old man, was remanded into custody on Wednesday. The suspected sexual abuse is believed to...
Finns increasingly forego do-it-yourself construction of prefab elements in favour of completely completed homes. Turnkey homes (where homes are fully finished and owners can immediately occupy them) have become more popular than traditional house packages, says the Finnish Association for Manufacturers of Prefabricated Houses. “About 7,500 detached homes are built in Finland every year, and about 70 percent of them are prefabricated houses of some kind,”...
THE FESTIVE ATMOSPHERE in the Helsinki neighbourhood of Arabianranta was visibly subdued on Tuesday, as residents mourned the death of a local child who is believed to have been murdered. While little information has been released to the public, it is known that the victim was murdered near their home on the night of Christmas Eve (December 24). The police apprehended a suspect at the scene of the crime, who has been confirmed as a 36-year old male. Whethe...
One of Finland’s most famous seafaring vessels, the titanic icebreaker Otso, was deployed on its first mission of the winter season last night, keeping sea routes open for the 22nd year in a row. Late in the evening of Christmas Day, Otso, the crowning glory of Arctia Oy’s extensive fleet, departed from Helsinki’s Katajanokka Harbour, heading north to the Bay of Bothnia. The 7000-ton Polar icebreaker has been tasked with keeping waterways open between Oulu...
Eight Finnish political parties have published their a statement on future climate policy goals in Finland. Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) in November invited all nine parliamentary parties to join a task force established to find an agreement on new, more ambitious climate goals for Finland. The one-month project was led by Kimmo Tiilikainen (Centre), the Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing. The Finns Party abandoned the task force last w...
A 25-year-old man suspected of the sexual abuse of a girl under the age of 15 in Oulu, northwestern Finland, who was arrested in Germany last Tuesday is now reported to be at large. According to law enforcement officials in Oulu, the suspect was released by German police before he could be transferred to Finnish custody due to "a breakdown in communication between authorities". Oulu District Court ordered the suspect to be reprimanded into custody in absen...
Finland’s high earners saw their real income grow more in 2017 than their peers in middle and low income groups, according to new data released by Statistics Finland on Tuesday. Incomes among the country’s highest income decile rose by 4.4 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, while the year-on-year increase was 1.3 percent for middle income earners. Incomes for the four lowest income deciles meanwhile grew by 1.2 percent over the one-year period. However amon...
A man wanted in connection with a suspected arson attempt on a home in Helsinki’s Käpylä district was remanded into police custody on Sunday. The Helsinki district court has remanded a man suspected of attempted arson and attempted murder into police custody, ending a short-lived manhunt, police said on Sunday. The 25 year-old is suspected of using a Molotov cocktail to cause a fire at a flat in Käpylä, Helsinki last Monday. The apartment was completely de...
Helsinki Central Library Oodi will opened its doors to the public on 5 December at 8am, a day before Finland’s 101st birthday. Designed by ALA Architects, this library of a new era is an ode to Finnish culture, equality and freedom of expression. Oodi offers everyone an open, public urban space at Kansalaistori Square, right opposite Parliament House. Central Library Oodi is an active and functional meeting point with 2.5 million expected annual visitors....