Swedish air force museum

The Swedish Air Force Museum

As we have already written, many museums in Sweden do not have entrance fee. On the way to IKEA birthplace, Älmhult, we used this advantage again and visited the Swedish Air Force Museum in Linköping. Here we spent more than three hours and had a lot of fun.

Unfortunately, the museum is located far from Stockholm, and the only way to get there is a rented car. However, it is on the way from Stockholm to, say, Gothenburg or Copenhagen. The Swedish Air Force Museum is a modern technical and cultural history museum tracing the development of Swedish military aviation. The museum has a unique collection of aircraft, from pioneers of the early 20th century to the present day JAS 39 Gripen. The museum consists of several thematic sections, and I will try to describe each of them.
Swedish Air Force Museum

The main exposition

The main exposition is devoted to the aircrafts of Swedish aviation in 1910-1945. Yet, before you get acquainted with them, you should pay attention to unusual passengers … According to the exhibition, the pioneering aeronauts were a goose, a cock and a lamb. In 1783 in Paris, they made their first flight with the balloon with hot air.
pioneering aeronauts

Further, aircrafts are introduced in the chronological order.
Swedish Air Force Museum

Basically, these are planes manufactured by the Swedish company SAAB. Before visiting the museum, I personally did not know that this company specializes not only on cars, but also in aviation.
J21R-SAAB 21R

Near every exhibit, there is a sign with technical information, as well as the history of a particular aircraft in Swedish and English. Sometimes they help a lot.
J8-Gloster Gladiator

For example, these aircrafts belonged to the Finnish Air Force during the winter war, not to Germany, as I would think. I had to google and now I know that the blue swastika was a symbol of the Finnish Air Force from 1918 to 1945. It has nothing to do with fascists, since Finland itself was not a Nazi state.
B4-Hawker Hart

J8-Gloster Gladiator

I would like to mention this object too. Due to the replacement of the metal sheathing with organic glass, it is possible to observe the traction mechanics and the design of the wings with stiffeners.
traction mechanics and the design of the wings of airplane

Some objects of everyday life and the ammunition of pilots.
objects of everyday life and the ammunition of pilots

The second large pavilion is reserved for more modern crafts dating from the 1950s to the 1980s.
Swedish Air Forces

Swedish Air Forces

In the middle of the hall, there are terminals, where you can get acquainted with the details of the machines, watch the video or even listen to the sounds of the aircrafts.

The Cold War

An internal exposition dedicated to the Cold War:
The Cold War

In addition, here you will find several rooms, which describe Swedish lifestyle of that time. By the way, one of the TVs showed news about the Chernobyl disaster.
Swedish lifestyle

Chernobyl disaster

In the course of the arms race, the opposing countries carried out reconnaissance activities. This picture has camera lenses on spy planes.
lenses on spy planes

The history of the Swedish reconnaissance aircraft DC-3

A separate exposition hall is dedicated to one of such planes. In June 13, 1952, the DC-3 took off from Bromma Airport. 8 people on the board were performing a secret mission. The aircraft was used for airborne electronic intelligence. There were many advantages with using aircraft for this purpose if compared to fixes listening station on the ground. The higher the plane is in the air, the longer the range for the antennas is needed. The technical surveillance of the Swedish armed forces was directed, among other things, towards various types of Soviet radars installations. The mapping and assessment of these Soviet systems was a very important part of Sweden’s defence efforts.
Swedish reconnaissance aircraft DC-3

Two hours after the setoff, the radio contact with the plane was lost. The board was found only in 2003 and it was soon collected from the seabed of the Baltic Sea.
The exposition is located in the basement of the museum and is stylized as a sea abyss. Here, the fragments of the aircraft are presented with a detailed description of what happened.
DC-3 disaster

DC-3 tragedy

You can find some materials and documents on this case. Initially, it was claimed that the aircraft was not a part of the airspace of the Soviet Union, but only after many years, declassified documents showed that the DC-3 was in neutral waters. By the way, the original lie made it difficult to find the missing car.
DC-3 spy aircraft

history of DC-3 spy aircraft

Also, based on the incident, a documentary film was made shedding light on the history of the crash. In addition, the video captures key episodes of the long-term work of a search expedition, including underwater surveys.

Flight laboratory

The so-called flight laboratory deserves to be told too. The museum’s science centre has clever experiment stations on flying. Here, you can try yourself in the role of a pilot in both simple games and a more realistic simulator. I spent here almost an hour, trying to land a plane at the airport. It was not so easy to find a runway, and later it turned out to be an impossible mission for me to perform landing.
flight simulators

If you pay 150 SEK, you can try a professional simulator for 15 minutes, and a professional instructor will teach you.
JAS 39 flight simulator

Animals and war

Another unusual exhibition is devoted to animals at war. Here you can find funny facts about how they have been used.
Animals and war

In addition to transportation, animals have been rescuers, honorary soldiers, and spies. For example, in 2007, the Iranian police detained 14 squirrels with listening equipment. The fate of another spy, the cat, was even more deplorable. It had to walk along the streets with a microphone in the ear, but was killed by taxi during its first mission.
Animals and war

The Swedish Aviation Museum is an amazing place, interesting for both children and adults. The only drawback is that it is located too far from Stockholm. However, if you drive nearby or you are an aviation enthusiast, you should definitely visit it. I finish the story with the promo video of the museum: