To the sunny south by Super Caravelle

Maanantai 26.2.2024 - Erja Reinikainen


I wrote in my travel diary on June 22nd, 1966: “The airplane is still on the ground, the engines are running. … We have been in the air for quite a while now. We had lunch and we will be in Warsaw in about 30 minutes. … We took off from Warsaw a long time ago and are flying high above the clouds. Soon we will land in Constanta. We will go by bus from the airport to Hotel Lotus”.

We were on a holiday trip to Mamaia beach resort in Romania, on the Black Sea coast. I was 10 years old. The aircraft was Finnair Super Caravelle, but I haven’t noted its registration, and it can’t be seen in the photographs. On the way there and coming back we stopped in Warsaw to refuel.

In the same diary there are stories from a trip on the Swedish charter airline’s Internord DC-6 from Helsinki to Naples and back in 1967. Flying over the Alps on a sunny day was an experience for a child from Finland where there are no mountains: “Ahead of us there are magnificent and beautiful mountains! The majestic Alps with their wonderful valleys glide by”. Some superlatives from a 11-year-old.


Between the diary pages there is a leaflet by Aurinkomatkat travel agency “Relaxing holiday to Rhodes, May 29th, 1968”. It shows that our flight was a Kar-Air flight, the aircraft belonged to Aero Oy.

The following year we are in the air again and I write in my diary on May 29th, 1968: “Once more on a Finnair Super Caravelle. We are heading away from Seutula airport and towards Rhodes. … A map-like view opens below us with forests, lakes, and fields. The clouds drift by, soft and white. This time we will stop in Budapest to refuel. … Now we are in Budapest, but they won’t let us out. Why not?? So this is Budapest, looks very ordinary to me: a radar, an Interflug airplane and fuel trucks”.


Erja and her mother in the Rhodes harbour. This is the photo which everybody who goes there will have.

In 1969 we were on the way to Rhodes again, this time the Caravelle was OH-LSB “Tampere”. I drew a picture of it in my diary. It is rather short and the windows are not triangular, but otherwise it is almost recognizable: engines on the rear fuselage, the horizontal stabilizer is almost the right size and there are boundary fences on the wings.


Drawing of Super Caravelle from 1969.

Some background information for the travel stories: my father was an air force mechanic during WW2, and he wanted his family to experience what it was like to fly. I was 6 years old when we travelled from Helsinki to Tampere on a Kar-Air DC-3. In 1962-69 and in the early 1970s I travelled somewhere with my parents every year, usually by air. And I thought flying was fantastic.

Avainsanat: aviation history, restoration, Caravelle, OH-LEA, Sinilintu, Bluebird