Aviation history at Malmi on 15 May 2005

2 May 2005

On Sunday 15 May 67 years will have passed since the opening ceremony of Helsinki-Malmi Airport. A tri-motor Junkers Ju-52 airliner will arrive to Malmi Airport to celebrate the event.

Flying in the livery of Deutsche Lufthansa, "Berlin-Tempelhof" is firmly connected to the history of Malmi Airport and Finnish commercial aviation. Aero o/y flew domestic and international flights with this type in the 30's and the 40's. The great hangar of the Airport was designed specifically to be big enough to accommodate six Ju-52's simultaneously.

The corrugated-metal Ju-52's opened the way for Finnish air travel to Central Europe and became a familiar sight at Nordic airports as well. The Finnish history of this type also contains a tragic memory. In June, 65 years will have passed since two Soviet military aircraft shot down Aero's Ju-52 "Kaleva", a civilian airliner on a scheduled flight from Tallinn to Malmi Airport. The tragedy happened during the 1940-1941 intermediate peace between Finland and the Soviet Union and was hushed up for decades. Last year it was reported by the Estonian Navy that the wreck of "Kaleva" had possibly been found near the Estonian coast.

Lufthansa's flying museum aircraft will arrive in Helsinki on Sunday 15 May around 4 pm and will make a local flight for invited guests and the media at 5 pm. The aircraft will also fly over Helsinki on Monday 16 May three times. The public has a chance to see the aircraft and observe the normal activities of Malmi Airport on both days.

The historical airliner's visit to Helsinki is hosted by Friends of Malmi Airport Society. Founded in 2002, the Society has about 1.000 members. It maintains a Petition to Save Malmi Airport, signed so far by more than 32.000 Finns and 1.000 people from other countries.

Friends of Malmi Airport Society

Tero Auranen
Tel. (+358 40) 572 9765

Raine Haikarainen
vice chairman
Tel. (+358 40) 553 9464