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Turku Airshow promises impressive aerial displays

The two-day event commemorates the 100-year anniversary of the Finnish Aeronautical Association.  

The Finnish Aeronautical Association (FAA) celebrates its centenary the weekend of 15-16 June in the southwest coastal city of Turku with an airshow featuring fighter jets, aerial acrobatics, rescue helicopters, formation flying and private aircraft.

The Turku Airshow will take place on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm, with virtually the same programme on both days.

The stars of this year's celebratory airshow are fifth-generation F-35 jet fighters from five international defence contractors that are competing to win a projected 12 billion-euro contract to replace Finland's aging Hornet fighter fleet.

Of the five planes that are in the running, three will take to the skies at the Turku Airshow: the British-owned BAE Systems' Eurofighter Typhoon, the French-made Dassault Aviation's Rafale, and Sweden's Saab Gripen. Boeing and Lockheed Martin will also have their fighter plane candidates on display.

The airshow will also feature Finland's oldest operational aircraft: Turku Flying Club's Klemm Leichtflugzeugbau, a German monoplane developed in the 1928. Several planes from the Second World War, including the Luftwaffe's Messerschmitt Bf 109, will also take part.

Planes from the Finnish Air Force, Army Aviation, and the Border Guard will all be represented.

Airbus 350 and NATO radar plane on hand

The largest plane that will participate in the Turku Airshow this year is Finnair's Airbus 350 passenger plane. A NATO Boeing E-3 Sentry, commonly known as an AWACS, will also be featured. An airborne early warning and control aircraft, it is distinguished by a rotating radar dome above its fuselage. The first E-3 was manufactured in 1977, with 68 aircraft built before production ended in 1992.

The Turku Airshow is organized annually by the Turku Flying Club, with support from the Finnish Air Force and the FAA. The 100-year-old FAA has over 200 member organizations and some 9,000 members from all corners of Finland.

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