Karelia Aviation Museum is located in Lappeenranta, near the airport. The museum opened to the public in 2000. Aviation Museum was founded in 1996 to maintain South-Finnish Aviation Museum Association (K-SIMY). Karelia Aviation Museum is an ideal destination for aviation enthusiasts.
Karelia Aviation Museum is open: 1.6.-31.8.2019 Mon - Fri 12 - 18.
September Mon - Fri 12 - 16.
Other times by appointment (tel: +358 44-266 0250 / email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Karelia Aviation Museum
Aviation Park 101, 53 600 Lappeenranta, Finland
tel: +358 44 2660 250
Founding of Lappeenranta airport is dated back to May the 10th, 1918. The field which used to be a traing ground for the Tzar’s cavalry units, started it’s operations as an airfield the day the military aircraft from Avation Batallion II, formerly locationed in Pääklahti, Antrea moved to the field. Operating plane types were: Nieuport 10, 17, 23, C.F.W. C.V, and N.A.B. typ 9 Albatros, and N.A.B. typ 17 Albatros Jagar.
A little earlier had a number of Russian pilots from St. Petersburg defected to Pääklahti, and brought with them five Nieuports. A few Russian-abandoned Nieuports were also obtained by the capture of Tampere.
Pilot and navigator training began immediately. Training was conducted by the first airport manager Lieutenant von Bülov and with the defected pilots from Russia. Activity was, however, rather short-lived and after a few months the entire fleet was deployed to Utti, and then on to Santahamina, where pilot training continued.
Finnish Air Force emblen (Suomen Ilmailutarha) from the year 1918. To day this emblem is Karelian Aironautical Museums emblem.
Lappeenranta airfield had little activity in the following twenty years. But the breaking of the Winter War changed everything as an airforce maintenance unit was deployed there. The field also got it’s own fighter fleet consisting of Fokker planes.
In the Continuation War Air Force units were operating from the field, until the front moved farther east and the field was left mainly for maintenance purposes. As the war was nearing its end, the field began to have a lot of activity. During the summer crisis of 1944 Lappeenranta airfield had the country’s best equipped fighter forces.
After the war, operations from the airfield were banned by the Safety Comission and weren’t re-started until the spring of 1951. Today, the field is in use by the Lappeenranta Aviation Association, and, for example foreign and home country-oriented charter flights.