AKK driver stars Valtteri Bottas and Kalle Rovanperä face each other in Hawk jet trainers in the Finnish Air Force 100th Anniversary Air Show

6.6.2018 13:41The Finnish Formula One Grand Prix winner Valtteri Bottas and young rallying prodigy Kalle Rovanperä will help celebrate the Finnish Airforce 100th anniversary at the air show organised at Tikkakoski airport on 16 June. The pair who are among AKK’s brightest stars, will get onboard Hawk advanced jet trainers to compete against each other in the sky, in blue-and-white AKK Flying Finn spirit.

Everyone knows that Valtteri Bottas and Kalle Rovanperä are among the world elite in their respective fields of motorsport. But what happens when these guys leave their four-wheeled vehicles, tarmac and gravel behind, switch them for the 1,200 km/h and 8 G Hawk jet trainers and take to the skies? A unique opportunity to see these star drivers in Finland presents itself in conjunction with the Finnish Air Force 100 Air Show on Saturday 16 June at the Tikkakoski airport, where the Finnish motorsport aces join top air combat instructors for some amazing aerobatics.

The theme of this historic show-stopping number is “Flying Finns – Challenge in the Sky”, echoing the Finnish ASN’s driver path as well as the opportunity offered by the Finnish Airforce. Both blue-and-white drivers have already earned the legendary title of Flying Finn, and when you add some professional Finnish Air Force instructors into the fighter jet cockpits together with Valtteri and Kalle, we can talk about a real Flying Finns super number, full of Finnish speed, skill, “sisu”, responsibility and above all amazing experiences.

Formula One ace Valtteri Bottas is eagerly awaiting the chance to climb aboard a jet.

“It’s an honour to celebrate the Finnish Air Force centennial and fly with the AKK Flying Finn insignia. At the start of my career, I got important support from the AKK driver path. I have no idea what to expect from the upcoming air show, but I believe that the Hawks pilots are going to provide us with a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will remember forever.”

Rally prodigy Kalle Rovanperä doesn’t stress about the ‘air battle looming ahead’.

“I’m sure that just before boarding the jet I’ll get the same feeling that I get before the start of a special stage – the ‘here we go’ feeling in my gut. It’s great to get to the skies with Valtteri and experience first-hand what the top Finnish Air Force pilots can do. We’ll have several Flying Finns together demonstrating their talents and showing what the Finnish top drivers and pilots can do.”

Hawk instructor, Major Timo Rauhala is already revelling in the spirit of the upcoming show.

“It’s fantastic to be a part of this joint Flying Finns team and meet the super talented AKK drivers. It is especially amazing to offer them this challenging but unique experience – we’ll see how they cope with the G-forces and what the over 1,000 km/h speeds feel like! The challenge is in the air, but I believe that the Flying Finn drivers will do great. We can offer the spectators a one-of-a-kind show – so welcome to Tikkakoski to see it all live.”

“Flying Finns – Challenge in the Sky” at the Tikkakoski airport, Saturday 16 June 2018, as part of the Finnish Air Force 100. Side events linked to the Flying Finn challenge take place at approx. 10:30 - 13:30 and the Flying Finn air show itself at approx. 12:00 - 12:30. More information to follow. Changes to the schedule possible. Please click here for a more detailed schedule. The Flying Finns -themed air shows will continue at the end of July in Rally Finland, with the Midnight Hawks aerobatics team performing e.g. on the Neste Rally Finland opening day 26 July over the Lutakko and Harju areas in Jyväskylä.

Further information about the event:

Timo Rauhala / Finnish Air Force, Major, [email protected], +358 40 357 3699
Rita Pasanen / AKK, Communications Manager, [email protected], +358 44 545 9919
Jarmo Majapuro / Finnish Aeronautical Association, Event Director, [email protected], +358 40 168 6115 

Flying Finn (YouTube)

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Finnish Air Force 100 Air Show is the main event of the 100th anniversary celebrations. The air show will take place 16 - 17 June 2018 at the Tikkakoski airport, Jyväskylä. The theme of the show is Know the history – Experience the present – See the future. The event is organised by the Finnish Aeronautical Association.

AKK directs, supervises, sanctions, develops and runs automobile sport in Finland. It also promotes Finnish motor sport nationally and internationally following ethical principles in support of sustainability. To this date AKK drivers have won four Formula One and 13 Rally World Championships. AKK comprises of the national sporting authority AKK-Motorsport ry with 30 000 members, officially recognized by the international automobile federation FIA, and of its marketing company AKK Sports Ltd. The latter organizes the Neste Rally Finland, the annual Finnish round of the FIA World Rally Championship. The company is also involved in providing television and video production services. AKK offices are located close to Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport with a staff of 25 full time employees. www.autourheilu.fi