Lappeenranta June 6th 1999,
In June 1999 we had some base visits
in Finland , coinciding with these visits we noted that there was a air
show at Lappeenranta.
With Lappeenranta being close to the border of Russia we decided to have
a look at the show you never know what might be appearing at the show.
The show was organized by the aero Club of Lappeenranta. The Club members
are very committed to aviation and engage actively in promoting it in
Lappeenranta area. Club members also frequently get together to organize airshows and fund-raising activities.
The first thing we noted at the show was the large amount of aircraft from the
Royal Air Force Including
the Red Arrows. A other unexpected visitor was a RF-4C from the Spanish
Air Force. With a good mix of aircraft from the
Finnish Air Force the
show was worth the visit. Not being the biggest show is must be sad that
it is well organized and also in later years the variety off visitors
One very special aircraft on the show
was a Gloster Gauntlet MK II
The Gloster Gauntlet is a single-seat biplane fighter aircraft designed
and built by Gloster Aircraft in Britain in the 1930s. It was the last
Royal Air Force fighter to have an open cockpit and one of the very last
biplane fighters in service anywhere. The first production-quality
prototype flew for the first time in 1933 and the aircraft entered
serial production the following year. The Gauntlets were retired in
Britain in 1943 after some 246 planes altogether had been built by
Gloster in Britain and under license in Denmark.
The Finnish Air Force received 25 ex-RAF Gauntlets from South Africa in
1940 and used them mainly as advanced trainers. Other users were
Australia, Denmark, South Africa and Southern Rhodesia. Today, only one
Gloster Gauntlet II remains airworthy in the world, the "GT-400" / OH-XGT
operated by Lentotekniikan Kilta in Finland