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Finnish Virtual Pilots Association

Description of the history project | Activities and goals of the history project | Interviews with the war veterans | Documentation project | Help the history research project | Contact information | Thanks

Finnish Virtual Pilots Association
Description of the history project

"Virtuaalilentäjät - Virtual Pilots ry" is an association of virtual aviation, whose plan of action also includes active research and preservation of Finnish aviation history.

Activities and goals of the history project

The aim for the historical project is to preserve Finnish aviation history in its various aspects using amongst others the following means
  • By interviewing the war veterans and gathering their recollections and the information they possess and by publishing aviation-historic papers on the basis of these. Example: www.virtualpilots.fi/hist/.
  • By translating the published interviews and articles of aviation history into English language. Example: Captain H. Wind's Lectures On Fighter Tactics.
  • By preserving manuals, research papers, test flight documents and other archived material of museums into digital format. For example: Technical & Pilot Manuals.
  • Collecting and publishing other rare material of historical value, like personal memoirs, notes and squadron and course publications.
  • By processing material in digital format and compiling the material into CD-ROM disks, which will be passed on free of charge to Finnish museums for their use.
  • By digitising photographs of military aviation and compiling that material into digital photobooks.
  • By publishing significant documents by both Finnish and international aviation enthusiasts.
All the produced material will be preserved and made public for viewing by everyone into the Virtual Pilots WWW-pages at www.virtualpilots.fi. Because of the prevalence of Internet these publications will be available to the world-wide community of both amateur aviation enthusiasts and aviation professionals. During all phases of the history project all copyright laws, general good habits and the will of the interviewed and other people are being complied with.

Besides all this the association is active in the Suomen Sodat 1939-1945 DVD-project.

Interviews with the war veterans

By interviewing the Finnish war veterans the recollections, opinions and the information they possess is being preserved in an enduring format. The pilots, wireless operators, gunners, mechanics and other personnel involved in Finnish Air Force wartime operation possess plenty of rare - often unique - information that has importance for the people interested in aviation history.

The interviews of the veterans take place in restaurants or other location convenient for both parties. The veterans are treated by the association to achieve a jovial atmosphere for conversation. The interviews are usually carried out with the presence of at least two or three members of the association but if situation permits even more members may be present there. The purpose of this practice is to ensure most diversified knowledge base possible and to offer opportunities for the aviation enthusiasts of younger generation to meet the war veterans for comparing views and thoughts.

The interviews are recorded on audio tapes and are converted into MP3-format for computer use. The MP3-files are transferred to the transcribers responsible for the editing, proof-reading and publishing this material in publishable text format. The papers produced are published in the history-section of the association's WWW-pages.

After the Finnish language versions of the articles are made public at the historic pages, translation into English language and publishing those articles as well is strived for. The making public of any new articles will be announced in both Finnish and International discussion groups of aviation enthusiasts.

Particularly the war pilots' Pilvenveikot association and the Tampereen Ilmasilta -association aided with numerous private persons have been of great assistance helping the association's efforts during the history project.

Documentation project

Virtual Pilots ry is also doing its part of preserving both Finnish and international aviation history by converting valuable old documents, manuals, test flight reports and other archived material into digital format.

There are loads of valuables hidden within the aviation museums' archives. This material is important - even by international standards - and highly sought-after. This material in its existing paper format is slowly becoming brittle and then it will be illegible. With the documentation project this material will be scanned into computers and if needed enhanced by computer software and it will be compiled in the association's WWW-pages for everyone to read. In the first phase of the project the main emphasis will be preserving the documents in Finnish language. Secondary, is to preserve those documents in English that directly concern the Finnish Air Force. After the most important documents in Finnish and English languages have been digitised, the work will start on processing documents in other languages e.g. German and French.

The processed material in digital format will be compiled into CD-ROM disks, which will be passed on free of charge to Finnish museums for their use and for sale.

The main partner of the documentation project is the Hallinportti aviation museum.

Help the history research project

The history project would not be possible without the help of volunteers. For example the transcribing of the interviews from audio tapes to text format is being done by volunteers. The reward for the volunteers for their efforts are pleasure for doing something good for a common good and credit for their work in the published articles.

Volunteers are needed for 2 main tasks regarding the interviews:

  • Transcribing the audio tapes. The volunteers will be provided with a tape of the project in progress that the volunteer will transcribe into text format.
  • Translation from Finnish to English language or vice versa. The articles published by Virtual Pilots ry will also eventually be translated into English for which voluntery translators and proof-readers with good proficiency in the English language are needed. Additionally articles originally published in English or other languages will be translated into Finnish when they are considered beneficial.
The volunteers do not need to be virtual pilots. Help from any aviation enthusiasts will be greatly appreciated. Contact person: Jukka Kauppinen.

Under the documentation project volunteers can be used primarily for processing material into publishable format. Additionally for the visits in the archives laptop PCs and fast scanners (preferably in A3 size) are needed for preserving the material. Any equipment available for borrowing will be greatly appriciated. Contact person: Pentti Kurkinen.

Contact information

General coordination and interviews:
Jukka O. Kauppinen (Grendel), jukka.kauppinen at jmp dot fi, tel. +358 - 40 - 730 0036

Processing of material for the project and coordination:
Pentti Kurkinen (Buffalo, Penttiku), pentti.kurkinen at kiipula dot fi, tel. +358 - 50 - 593 8642

Thanks to

We sincerely thank the following people, who have been most helpful for the history project. Without you any of this wouldn't be possible!
  • Pilvenveikot; especially Kauko Aho, Olli Kivioja, Väinö Pokela
  • Finnish Air Force; especiallyJarmo Lindberg
  • Hallinportti Aviation Museum
  • Tampereen ilmasilta; especially Lauri Väisänen
  • Göran Bruun
  • Jussi Soini
  • Ossi Juntunen
  • Jarmo Paimen
  • Markku Herd
  • Hannu Mononen
  • Juhana Lepoluoto
  • Matti Yrjölä
  • Erkki Nieminen
  • Teemu Pitkänen
  • Joonas Konttinen
  • Antti Laukkanen
  • Seppo Tolonen
  • Ari Simolin
  • Marko Salo
  • Petri Hallberg
  • Pasi Kajo
  • Jari Matti Taskinen
  • Mirja Krook
  • Timo Niiranen
  • Marko Enenbert
  • Paavo Kajakoski
  • Janne Kallela
  • Teemu Perheentupa
  • Jaakko Kuusisto
  • Tommi Maijala
  • Viljo Lehtinen

Last modified: 2006-08-19 22:55