Flugsafn Islands – or the Icelandic Aviation Museum – has of course been a attraction I just could not miss while visiting Akureyri in my 2021 trips. Nonetheless, it took a while to gather all my thoughts into a posting – here is my review of this aviation museum in the very North of Iceland.
Icelandic Aviation Museum – Location & Admission
The Icelandic Aviation Museum is located right at the Akureyri Airport (AEY) grounds. The museum is situated a bit of South of the passenger terminal of the airport, close to the Norlandair maintenance sites. You can park in front of the museum, The distance from city center is just a walk for aviation enthusiasts: the one-way hike from Akureyri Church, for example, is about 3.5 km.
In the summer season between 15th May and 15th September, the museum is open daily between 11:00 and 17:00 hrs. However, during other times, you may also visit the exhibits by appointment. Adult admission is 1,500 ISK, roughly 10.50 EUR.
Icelandic Aviation Museum – Airplanes
Unfortunately, the key language of the museum is Icelandic. The planes are typically documented in English as well, but other (smaller) items might need some guessing a bit of a feeling for the local language to get the key information. The museum is mostly located in a former hangar, which is really full of items. Already with the airplanes and helicopters in display, the Flugsafn Islands gives a really nice overview on the importance of aviation for the development of the country.
The most present exhibit of the indoor airplanes is definitely TF-SYN, a Fokker F27 Friendship originally operated by the Icelandic Coast Guard. You can step inside the plane and explore the normal seating area as well as the emergency equipment. You may also have a look inside the cockpit of this interesting plane. While this one is a rather modern plane, aviation history buffs might favor the silver TF-JFA, a Beech C-45H Expeditor C/N AF-602 built in 1952. Quite a large part of the planes are still fit to fly.
One Century of Icelandic Aviation
As you saw on the pictures, the 2000 opened museum hosts a wide range of very different planes of all eras since 1919. There are also plane parts like engines. One of my favorites was the red-painted TF-ISM, a 1944 built de Havilland DH89A Dragon Rapide, which as been used for speed races as well. Of course, I had to think about my visit at the amazing De Havilland Museum close to London.
I believe that Gullfaxi is a people’s favorite as well. The Icelandic Aviation Museum owns the cockpit of TF-FIE, a Boeing 727-108C, which has been the first jet airplane on Iceland. You will run into a lot more planes with very interesting stories during your visit. The Icelandic section of the museum’s website is excellent and gives a good overview with an automated translation like google translate.
TF-NPK – The C-47A Skytrain
Somehow, the most special plane on grounds of the museum is located on the outside part of the premises. The former (military) C-47A Skytrain has been re-painted in modern Inceland colors and thus rather feels like the civil version of the plane, the Douglas DC-3. The plane is not only looking to be in rather good state, it is in fact flying from time to time. There are also some other planes stored outside, but this old lady is just taking all the views of aviation fans.
Icelandic Aviation Museum – Other Exhibits
Reducing this place to its nice collection of planes would be unfair. There are a lot of historic pictures, an old control room and masses of plane models and other items honoring active and closed down Icelandic airlines. You also see some original uniforms or have a look into a former crew hangar.
Icelandic Aviation Museum – Services
There is a small souvenir shop at the entrance to the museum. The staff felt very friendly.
Icelandic Aviation Museum – My View
I definitely recommend this place, regardless if you are an aviation fan or not. You learn a lot about the country by looking at it with this focus. The Flugsafn Islands is an excellent museum with a richer collection than you might imagine. I had a very good visit, which took me some 80 minutes.
Postings about Akureyri
Here are all postings about museums concentrating on aviation: