Jämtland´s Aircraft and WVS Museum

 

The Museum was inaugurated in the autumn of 1994 and opened to the public on the First of May 1995.

The Museum was set up by Members of the Swedish Aviation Historical Society, Jämtland/Härjedalen branch and is run by volunteers from the Östersund area.

The Society as a whole has some 6,000 members nationwide, of which about 200 live in this county.

The Museum grows every year, both in available museum space and exhibits.

 

Today there are more than 30 aircraft displayed; a varied mix of military and civilian types – from sailplanes to the 37 Viggen.

The main theme of this establishment is that all aircraft and other exhibits all have a connection to the military and civilian aviation history of Jämtland/Härjedalen.

 

Model planes are also an important part of our history of flying. On display you will see different types of models – radio controlled, free flight, rubber band propellered balsa models, plastic and home made scale models.

 

The Women’s Voluntary Services part of the museum is accommodated in a dining hall and kitchen dating from the Second World War, complete with wood-burnings stoves and other utensils from the Air Base of the time.

Also shown here is the history of the WVS from the 1920s up till today.

 

The Optand Airfield was planned and constructed during the late 1930s when it became obvious that Sweden could be attacked by hostile nations in the vicinity.

All buildings and the revetments are still intact and are available to the visitors.

Of a total of 10 hangars, all in original condition and appearance, 7 are owned by the Museum and open to the public. The hangars are painted red with black windows as to resemble the farm buildings that were common all around. Most interesting is the construction of the doors with their winches.

Furthermore there are 15 earthen revetments of which one is cleared of trees and can be found some 100 meters north of the museum buildings.

 

Even in modern times the Optand Airfield has been a part of the Swedish Air Force´s 

Base 90-system, and the paved field was a “short runway” with taxi-ways and arming/fueling areas where the 37s landed, was turned around and took of again in a very short lapse of time. 

After the Defence Act of 2004 where F 4 was closed down, the Optand Airfield also lost its role as a War Base.

Still, the Airfield lives on with flying activities of all kinds such as Private Flying Club, Parachute Club, Model flying of different sorts almost every day…

 This makes Optand unique in Sweden, as the Air Force’s Base system has been kept intact with buildings and other time-specific paraphernalia from WW II, the Cold War and post-Soviet military times.