- Posted by Pia Illikainen
- On 06.03.2017
- 0 Comments
Today, on the Anniversary Day of the Finnish Air Force, we are glad to announce a historic performer at the Kaivopuisto Air Show. The Saab 35C Draken -fighter, operated by the Swedish Air Force Historical Flight, will perform at Kaivopuisto in June. The predecessor of the current Hornet Fighters of the Finnish Air Force last flew in Finland in 2000.
The Draken is sponsored by the Swedish aerospace and defence company Saab AB. Saab is an official partner of the Kaivopuisto Air Show and Finland 100 Programme.
”It is a great honor for us, to enable the participation of the Saab 35C Draken Fighter in Finland’s Centenary Air Show. The Draken, which served a long carreer in the Finnish Air Force, is part of the aviation history of both Finland and Saab. We wish to preserve these traditions in the future as well”, says Mr. Anders Gardberg, the Country Manager of Saab in Finland.
Saab Draken – The first modern, Western fighter in Post-War Finland
The double-delta wing Saab 35 “Draken” fighter was developed in Sweden in the early 1950’s, to succeed the older Saab 29 “Flygande Tunnan” fighter. The first prototype of the Draken flew in 1955, and the aircraft entered operational use by the Swedish Air Force in 1959. Draken was designed to intercept fast bombers, flying at a high altitude.
The Finnish Air Force modernized its equipment in the early 1960’s. The Finns evaluated the Draken already in 1961, but chose to order Soviet MiG-21 fighters in 1962. There was, however, an increasing need for new, modern fighters, and in 1970 Finland decided to order the first Saab Draken fighters. The Drakens, which were assembled at the Valmet Factory in Kuorevesi, became the first modern, Western fighter of the Finnish Air Force. The Draken deal meant that roughly half of the fighters of the Finnish Air Force came from the West and half from the East. The Finnish Air Force had altogether 48 Drakens, of four different versions. The aircraft was replaced in the 1990’s by the American Hornets. The last Drakens of the Finnish Air Force flew in 2000.
A total of 661 Drakens has been manufactured, and the aircraft has been in use in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Austria. The last country to operate the Draken was Austria, where the aircraft flew its last flight in 2005.
The Draken arriving in Kaivopuisto (SE-DXP) has been modified into a two-seat trainer (SK 35C). It served in the Swedish Air Force until 1997, and was made airworthy again after almost two decades, in 2014. The aircraft is operated by the Swedish Air Force Historical Flight, a private association which has its home base at Såtenäs. The Finnish Air Force had five similar two-seat trainers in 1976 – 2000, which were purchased secondhand from Sweden.
Read more about the performers and other program on the Museum’s www-page: http://ilmailumuseo.fi/en/kaivari/ or our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/kaivariairshow/
The Kaivopuisto Air Show is a huge, aviation-themed event, organized by the Finnish Aviation Museum. The Show will be held on Friday Night, 9.6.2017. Various aircraft types representing the past, present and future of Finnish Aviation will take part in the Show. The Show will take place in the air, land and sea. Partners of the event include Finavia, Saab AB, SEK, The Finnish Aeronautical Association and the City of Vantaa.
Perttu Karivalo, Air Show Director
tel. +358 40 5431539, firstname.lastname@example.org
Markku Kyyrönen, Museum Director, Finnish Aviation Museum
tel. +358 44 777 0797, email@example.com
The Finnish Aviation Museum is a national special museum, it has the largest aeronautical collection in Finland. Finnish aviation and planes either designed or used by Finns are at the heart of the collection. The Finnish Aviation Museum is an active and interactive Museum up to international standards. The museum is located near the Helsinki-Vantaa airport and can easily be reached by several means of transport. The Finnish Aviation Museum is owned by the Finnish Aviation Museum Foundation. TAKE-OFF!