Midnight Hawks – Twenty Years of Aerobatic Display
Aerobatics, especially team aerobatics, has had a central role in the training of military pilots. The aerobatic displays of military display teams have also became popular Air Show attractions.
The display team of the Finnish Air Force, the Midnight Hawks, first flew under its current name in Oulu 7.6.1997. The name refers to the Midnight Sun of the Finnish summer – the pilots traditionally performed at the annual Midnight Summer Airshow at the former Finnish Air Force Academy base at Kauhava. Apart from Finland, the Midnight Hawks have also performed in Austria, Great Britain, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Italy and Sweden. The team flies, as the name implies, British Bae Hawk jet trainers.
The origins of the Finnish Air Force display teams, however, go back to the 1920’s. In 1925 the Fighter Squadron of the Air Force formed a performing aerobatic team, which was nicknamed “Emperor’s Flying Circus” after its commander, captain Väinö “the Emperor” Bremer. The team gave its first public display with their French Gourdou-Leseurre -fighters in Utti during the Summer 1925, and first visited Helsinki the following March.