This is my 100th post on Testimony of Spade and as it is a special occation this post does not concern archaeology, or at least not prehistoric archaeology. Last weekend I visited a museum that has bit more modern touch: the Swedish Air Force Museum in Linköping.
Though my interest normally lies elsewhere I have to say it is a nice museum. We began our visit with the Jas 39 Gripen flight simulator which was a lot of fun. During the simulation I low sniffed over the island Visingsö at approximately 100 ft. The maps are made out of satellite pictures which allow a rather good resolution. It was a fun experience and we got a lot of interesting information by the guide.
The museum is constructed on an old Swedish army flight base F3 (1926-1974) with, obviously, a lot of army aeroplanes; this is not my favourite part of the exhibit. Most interesting are the displays that tell stories, for example:
The display of DC 3 that was shot down in 1952 by Soviet fighters over international water is built around the finding of the aeroplane in 2004/2005. Here one can read about how the plane was found and lifted from the bottom of the Baltic Sea and perhaps most interesting about the preservation of the finds. Some of the objects can be seen in the display.
There are other finds made on bottom of the Baltic Ocean, the engine of a Lancaster Mark 1 was found in 1996. An engine on display doesn’t do much for me but when there is an interesting story is connected to it then it transforms into something interesting. This story could become even more interesting, with more information on the plane and about research regarding the people that rode in the plane.
And lastly a larger display with several planes that are undergoing restoration at the museum. This gives the visitor the opportunity that to see cross sections of several planes. Among them a Saab 18 B that was involved in an accident just outside of Härnösand in 1946 where the plane sunk, in 1979 it was salvaged from the bottom of the sea.
This part as well as others would gain a lot with a greater access to the planes, with this I mean that in some cases you would like to see more. For me the most interesting part is to see the cockpits, because that’s where it all happened. With a few exceptions this is not possible. An easy solution would be stairs that makes it possible to see into the planes.
Over all I ,like this museum and I recommend it to anyone with the slightest interest in aeroplanes as well as history, as this museum covers a small part of our history.
Before I end this post I would like to show you an aeroplane that I have a special bond to; the Tiger moth (SK 11). It was used as a training plane by the Swedish Air force in the 30’s and 40’s.
Some years ago on a vacation in USA I got the chance to ride in one of these machines and I have to say it is an amazing feeling to sit in an open airplane while flying. That is something I will never forget.