Helsinki Airport has lots to see and do for aviation enthusiasts. The engine of a Convair 340 is one of the most interesting things. You can marvel at this twin-row radial engine from 1953 on the entrance floor of the terminal.

You will gain an even better understanding of the engine, which weighs more than a tonne, when you insert a euro coin into the machine. The engine starts and you can see the pistons and connecting rods move. Of course, the rotation speed is much slower than in an actual situation.

The engine is owned by the Finnish Aviation Museum, and money inserted into the machine goes there.

The Convair 340–40 with tail number OH-LRB was manufactured in San Diego, United States, in 1953. The aircraft arrived in Finland on 18 May 1953. At first, this aircraft type had 44 seats, but was later converted to have 52 seats.

"To Paris in a day with the new Convair Metropolitan"

was how Finnair advertised it in 1953. At first, Finnair used the Convair for Central European routes and charter flights. Later on, Convair aircraft were used for domestic flights. OH-LRB served Finnair for almost 30 years. The last Convair flight, AY571, took place on the Kuopio-Mikkeli-Helsinki route on 30 April 1980.

Technical details of the twin-row radial engine

The engine is a Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp.

Power 2,500 hp
Weight 1,085 kg
Compression ratio 6.75:1
Number of cylinders 18
Number of ignition plugs 36
Diameter of cylinder 146 mm
Stroke 153 mm
Engine diameter 1,341 mm
Engine length 2,068 mm
Country of manufacture United States

Photos: Finnish Aviation Museum and Finavia