Finland Retires Vinka Indigenous Trainer

Credit: Finnish Air Force

Finland has retired its indigenous Vinka training aircraft after 42 years of use. 

The L-70 Vinka was designed and developed by Finland’s Valmet as an elementary training aircraft for the Finnish Air Force. 

Despite attempts to export the side-by-side seater trainer, Finland was the only customer and just 30 aircraft were built. 

The aircraft was finally retired on Sept. 1. It had been used since 1980 to train fixed-wing and rotary-wing pilots in the Finnish armed forces and the country’s Border Guard. 

Fast jet pilots would train on the Vinka before transitioning to the BAE Systems Hawk jet trainer for advanced training. 

The aircraft went through a series of upgrades to keep them relevant during their operation, including structure airframe life extensions and avionics upgrades. 

The type will be replaced by Grob G115E training aircraft, which have been acquired second hand from the UK Royal Air Force. Some 28 G115Es have been purchased. 

Many of the decommissioned Vinkas will be handed over for public use such as museums and educational organizations. Another 15 will be sold via auction in the fall. 

Tony Osborne

Based in London, Tony covers European defense programs. Prior to joining Aviation Week in November 2012, Tony was at Shephard Media Group where he was deputy editor for Rotorhub and Defence Helicopter magazines.