SAASKI II Reg: N-40 "Måsen" C/n: 4.v/l
BUILT: August 1929.
LENGTH: 7,4 m
WINGSPAN: 8,80 m
HEIGHT: 3,3 m (med flottører)
MAX WEIGHT:850 Kg.
EMPTY WEIGHT: 600 Kg.
CARGO: Max 6 Kgs aft of aft seat.
FUEL LOAD: 125 iters.
OIL LOAD: 15 liters.
ENGINE: Siemens Halske Sh 12 118 Hk - 9 cyl. Radial engine.
SERIAL NO. ENGINE: 19863.
RPM,s: 1700 RPM,s.
CONSUMPTION: Fuel: 27,6 Kg/Hrs. (40 L.)
Oil: 1,2 Kg/Hrs. (1,6 L.)
OTHER DETAILS: Pilot & passenger each in open cockpits.
INSTRUMENTS: Compass, RPM -indicator, Airspeed indicator, Altimeter, Variometer and Clock. Instrument light at dashboard and visual indication for fuel. (glass)
EXTRAS: Fire extinguisher. (Pyrene) (When on Norwegian register.)
The airplane was designed by Ing. K.W.Berger and Ing. A.Nieminen. It was the first airplane made in Finland that were produced in series.The type was used by the Finnish A.F. from 1929 up to 1941.
Altogether 34 airplanes were produced for the Finnish A.F. They had the registration SA-95, SA-113, SA-117 - 126 and SA-127 - 148. In addition 5 more were made for civilian use.
HISTORY IN NORWAY:
Miss Gidsken Jakobsen from the North-Norwegian town of Narvik became the second woman in Norwegian history to obtain a pilots licence. However she became the first woman to actually own an aeroplane.
She got her first flying lessons at Aero-Materiell`s Flying School based at Stockholm, Sweden 1928/29. Later on she had a checkout to fly float equipped airplanes at Helsingfors, Finland.
This was probably the decisive factor behind the choice of the SAASKI as her first aeroplane.
The airplane was christened "MÅSEN" (Seagull) and in the august of 1929 she decided to fly the airplane from the Sääski factory all the way up to Narvik.
To accompany her on the flight she had the very experienced instructor G.Jäderholm from the SAASKI flying school as copilot.
From Helsingfors they sat their course north. The plan was that they were to follow the lake Tornetrask, but to do that they had to obtain a permission to overfly Sweden from the Swedish authorities. This permit never came!
Therefor they flew via Åbo to Vasa. There they had to spend the night. The airplane was well cared for and both pilots were invited for dinner by the authorities.
Next day they continued to Kemi where they refuelled. After taking off they overflew Torneå and Avasaksa. All the time they had the forbidden landscape of Sweden to their left.
However, at Munio they set a westerly course and after a flight for about half an hour they could see the mountains of Norway in the horizon. They were now very low on fuel and had to make a landing to refuel. Because they still were in Sweden, they decided to land a little away from Abisko. It was a possible that the authorities at Abisko could ask for the permit to overfly Sweden, and that permit they did not have!
Gidsken went to buy some fuel, and after refuelling they sat out on the last flight to Narvik. They landed in the harbour of Narvik august 23rd. 1929.
The instructor Jaderholm spent 6 more weeks in Narvik. There he had checkout-flights for the new pilot that were to accompany Gidsken on the following flights. His name was Ville Leppänen, also a flying instructor from Finland. At the same time a new shed and slipway for "Måsen" were constructed.
?Måsen? was used for several local flights in the vincinity of Narvik. "Måsen" had engine trouble on the 28th of october 1929 and had to go down on the water close to Kjøpsvik. They were finally towed ashore by the fishing boat "Løv" from Eidsfjord. In the rather heavy landing the floats started to leak. This was to become a problem later on.
Gidsken had however another problem! The airplane had to be certified by the Norwegian authorities, and Gidsken decided that this was to take place in Oslo even if she could have had this done in Trondheim. Together with Leppänen she set course down south on December 18th. 1929.
First landing was at Leines close to Bodø at 1130. Deteriorating weather caused them to stop for the day at Leines and the wind was increasing to a strong storm. In the end the airplane was secured with 18 different ropes to hold it down!
Later on they had a lot of days like this. To fly in the northern part of Norway in the middle of the winter is no joke even nowadays. Their floats started to leak more and more and because of that they could only take fuel for 1/3 of the normal fuel load. Very often they had to remove the floats in order to drain the water.
New Years Eve they rested in Trondheim for a week. January 16th they arrived at Lærdal. When they reached Stryn they mailed their flight suits and other equipment to Oslo in order to save weight.
Flying across Filefjell they again had bad weather. They maintained 2000 meters but suddenly they were taken by downdrafts and cleared the mountains by only a few meters. The first place suitable for landing was the frozen lake of Odalsvannet. The airplane sustained no damage in the landing but they had to walk for 5 hours in deep snow to find more fuel. Without warm flying suits Gidsken said later: "I have never frozen so much in my whole life!!?"
January 20th they finally landed in Oslo. They had landed 20 different places and covered 1650 Km. Altogether they had logged close to 15 hours of flying but they had spent more than one month on their way down!
The theaters in Oslo made jokes about the whole journey. They even said that it would have been much faster to take the coastal steamer down to Oslo!
Trygve Gran, another Norwegian aviation pioneer however wrote the following in a national newspaper: "The arrival of miss Gidsken Jakobsen in Oslo with an airplane is without doubt the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Norwegian aviation." He added: "Only pilots knows the acheivement of this flight!?"
January 30th 1930 they flew the SAASKI down to Horten to have the airplane certified. This went without great problems.
They now were in a hurry and february 8th they set course for Narvik again. Four days later they were at Aursundsjøen. The lake was frozen and a heavy snowfall made it necessary to remove the snow before they could take off again. Several hundred people helped them clear the snow and soon they were on their way north again.
Half an hour into the flight they had a bursting oilpipe that caused a small engine fire, but a successful emergency landing at Gaula solved their problems. After the necessary repair, they had a relatively uneventful trip to Narvik.
The last heavy landing was 29th of June 1930. Gidsken and her brother had an elevator malfunction just before landing and they hit the sea with some force. They sustained damage to the wings and the SAASKI had to be taken first to Sweden and then to the Sääski factory in Finland for repair.
Gidskens father who was a wealthy businessman trading in lumber, took over the airplane and had the ownership transferred to his company "Narvik Trelastforretning". Gidsken was not satisfied with the quality of the floats. They were maybe good for flying from the lakes of Finland but they were not suitable for Norwegian conditions.
After an ongoing argument with the factory about compensation for all the problems sustained, "Måsen" was sold at an auction in Helsinki august 18th 1931. The new owners were the Sääski factory. After being repaired it was sold to H.M.Kastin who was living in Helsinki. The registration was then OH-ASC. He used the SAASKI until it was rendered not airworthy sometimes in 1939.
The civilian part of the Norsk Luftfartsmuseum has for some time been on the lookout for airplanes covering the period from 1911 to 1937. Because it is relatively difficult to obtain airplanes of that period, the museum decided to make a copy of the SAASKI. All this because of the added complexity and the bigger costs of making the other types of airplanes that Gidsken flew. The problem was to obtain the drawings necessary for the building of the aircraft.
Two museums located in Finland were contacted and because the SAASKI in the "Finlands Flygmuseum" had about half of the canvas removed for exibition purposes we decided to use this airplane as a master for the reconstruction.
Two of the technicians employed by Norsk Luftfartsmuseum, Ivan Kristiansen and Halvor Nilsen took the task of making the rebuild. They both have their background from the Norwegian AF. Kristiansen also have been instrumental in the restoration of the "KAJE" and the Spitfire now on display at the museum.
They made a visit to Finlands Flygmuseum first time in the summer of 1997. Three more trips have been necessary to make the drawings for the project.
Because of great hospitality and help from Mr Nieminen at the Finlands Flygmuseum, their task of copying all the parts have been much easier than first anticipated.
The worst task in the project are to build the wings. Therefore they started on just these parts. After the start of the project in the autumn 1997, they have now finished the wings, floats and all of the control surfaces and are now well into the construction of the fuselage.
At the same time the museum has started the collection of original instruments and an original engine for the airplane. Up until now we have found about half of the instruments.
Hopefully we will find the rest of the needed parts before long. Also from Finland we have obtained about half of the parts for the engine. Because "MÅSEN" is very much connected to the local history of Narvik, an interest group have emerged in the Narvik area. Also we find supporting enthusiasts in Harstad and at Evenes Airport. Altogether they have collected more than 40000 NKr. for the rebuild. The son of Gidskens brother, Mr. Dag Bjørn Johnson is also supporting the project.
progress report 20.4.03.
reconstruction of “Måsen”
is moving steadily ahead. All the main parts are now ready.
(Wings, fuselage, floats and all control surfaces.) In the
works now are details to go inside the fuselage. (Steering
sticks, rudder pedals, pilot seats, instrument panel and lots
of other details.)
The pilot seats are made but still to be finished is the
mounting for the seats.
This mounting also contains the steering systems. (Steering
sticks and rudderpedals.)
The pictures are showing the wings and the floats. The other
showing the fuselage and details inside the cockpit.
When everything is ready the main parts will be connected to
fitting of all the control cables. This has to be done before
covering of the
wings and the fuselage.
Restoration Project status, October 10, 2003
The SAASKI is really starting to take
shape. Seats and control columns are in place, as well as some
of the instruments. The assortment of instruments in 1929 can
of course not be compared to what is used in modern aircraft;
however, all the basics were there.Some are now made from paper
to illustrate the original location.
The rudder-pedals, throttle and elevator trim
have been installed in cockpit. The pictures show that the
tailplane with the elevator is in place, and the top half of the
body has now been covered with veneer.The pictures describe the
status of the restoration very well.
SAASKI Restoration Project status,
February 16th. 2004.
A decision is taken on the highest level of the museum that
the Sääski is to be made ready for our anniversary. Because
of this we have put more manpower into the project and the
roll-out date is planned to be June 6th this
We now have two men on the engine restoration. At the same time
we have ordered a complete exhaust system from Finland. Thanks
to great help from Harald Tandefelt in Finland we now have
solved most of the engine problems. Still some parts are missing
but we have hopes to find the missing parts before the roll-out.
At the same time Halvor has started the process of covering the
airplane. Already most of the smaller parts are covered. (Fin,
rudder, elevator and tailplane.)
Ivan has also done most of the work on the fueltank.
NARVIK INTEREST GROUP "MÅSEN": Roald Kristensen, Fasanveien 8, N-8500 Narvik. Phone: +47 76 94 25 20
SAASKIS ON DISPLAY:
VL SAASKI II : Reg: SA-122 C/n 11.
Mail: PB 42, FIN-01531 VANDA, Finland.
Phone/Fax: +358 09-821 870
VL SAASKI II : Reg: LK-1 C/n 2 (earlier OH-MVA)
HALLINPORTI ILMAILMUSEO, FIN-35600 HALLI.
Location: 70 Km NE of Tampere and 20 Km W of Jamsa.
OTHER MUSEUMS WITH PARTS OF SAASKIS:
VL SAASKI I : Reg: SA-95 C/n 1 (fuselage only)
Phone: (941) 375 2125/ 375 3162
Fax: (941) 375 3620