Twists and turns of the 1950s
Serial manufacture of the Finnish Vihuri training fighter in 1951 - 55 was a breath of fresh air for the aviation industry. The wings, stabilizers, rudders and ailerons for the Vihuri fighters were manufactured in Kuorevesi. They were assembled in Tampere. After the Vihuri series most of the work consisted of repairing Vampire jet planes.
A serial manufacturing order for the Finnish basic training aircraft Tuuli III was expected, but the Air Force bought Swedish Saab Safires instead. Plans for licensed manufacture of the English Gnat fighter were wrecked just before the deal could be closed. The administrative board of Valmet Oy decided in December 1957 to end the plane industry completely if no new orders were placed by the following February.
Veljekset Karhumäki Oy flies in Finland and abroad
Maintenance and repair work for the Air Force and private customers was still done at the Karhumäki factory, but there was very little work. The strong point of Veljekset Karhumäki Oy in the 1950s was flying: flying members of the public, route and charter flights, flight training, aerial photography and prospecting flights.
In the beginning of the decade, Veljekset Karhumäki Oy had a hydroplane station in Helsinki. Regular flights between Helsinki and Joensuu were begun. The route was subsequently extended to Jyväskylä, Vaasa and Sundsvall. Tampere was also added to the route plan.
Foreign routes took passengers and cargo to Stockholm, London, Rome, Madrid, Israel and Egypt. Because the company was now flying abroad, the name Karhumäki Airways was adopted.
Finland's first helicopter is assembled in Kuorevesi
The electrical company Imatran Voima Oy needed a helicopter for checking power lines and decided to buy a helicopter from Ostermans Aero Ab in 1951. The delivery was delayed by two years because of the Korean War. A Bell 47D-1 type helicopter was assembled at the Veljekset Karhumäki Oy factory in Kuorevesi. Esko Kukkonen, B.Sc., who worked at Karhumäki, became Finland's first helicopter engineer.