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.

A citizens initiative demanding the end of diesel tax met its target for 50,000 signatures in just one day, six months ahead of schedule. Cities across the world might be looking for ways to reduce the use of harmful diesel engines, but in Finland there appears to be a groundswell of popular support for the dirty fuel. On Monday Tuulikki Paavola published a citizens initiative demanding an end to Finland’s diesel tax was published, with the goal of getting...
The winners of the first edition of the European Capital of Smart Tourism competition were awarded 7th of November at a ceremony in Brussels, on the occasion of the European Tourism Day. The title for 2019 was awarded to two cities: Helsinki and Lyon. Cities of more than 100.000 inhabitants were eligible in the first edition of this competition. 38 cities from 19 EU Member States applied, but Helsinki and Lyon stood out for their innovative tourism measure...
Alexander Stubb (NCP), a vice-president at the European Investment Bank (EIB), has hinted at the possibility of returning to politics after losing the race to become the lead candidate of the European People’s Party (EPP) to Manfred Weber of Germany. Stubb received more votes than expected but lost to his rival candidate by a clear vote of 127 to 492 at EPP Congress Helsinki on Thursday. “I got a very good feeling [from the campaign], I must admit,” the fo...
The Finnish government will introduce no amendments to legislation on patient data during this electoral term, assures Annika Saarikko, the Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services. Saarikko and Kai Mykkänen (NCP), the Minister of the Interior, have participated actively in public debate concerning a legislative proposal that, according to Helsingin Sanomat, has been drafted in secrecy and would grant police significantly wider access to sensitive pa...
School groups could in the future use public transport services in the Helsinki region free of charge when travelling with a teacher, according to a decision made by the Executive Board of Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) on 30 October 2018. The final decision on transport charges, including tickets for school groups, will be made by the HSL General Meeting on 27 November.  From the beginning of 2019 onwards, municipal school administrations would no longer...
Finland has dropped to eighth in the world in the latest version of a ranking of countries according to their English language skills. Finns are now the worst English-speakers in the Nordic countries, according to the EF English Proficiency Index. The 2018 version of the ranking puts Finland in eighth spot, with western neighbour Sweden topping the comparison. This year’s result is the weakest Finland has achieved in the ranking, which has been published e...
The theme of next month's Independence Day ball at Helsinki's Presidential Palace will be climate change and environmental issues. The theme of this year's Independence Day reception will be climate change and the environment, according to the Office of the President of the Republic. Finland's most exclusive social occasion is just one month away, and the Office of the President has started sending invitations to some 1,700 guests for an evening that tradi...
The day's papers report on unsolved thefts, free head lice medicine for families and Angela Merkel's visit to Helsinki. Daily Helsingin Sanomat reports that most larcenies go unsolved in Finland. According to statistics by the Police University College, police were able to clear 3,150 offences between January and September of this year, while about 41,500 remain unsolved. In 80 smaller municipalities, especially in Lapland and Åland, the police did not sol...
Finland's Tax Administration reports that 15,000 more eligible taxpayers declared no taxable income in the last two years, putting the total past 160,000 in 2017. The number of eligible taxpayers who reported no taxable income in Finland has risen by 15,000 in the last two years to a total of 161,000 in 2017. "Most of the people declaring no taxable income are...