14 October 2012

A Tour of Canadian Aviation History: The Canada Aviation and Space Museum

Canada's rich aerospace history is on full display at this popular national museum, nestled in northeast Ottawa, Ontario on the site of the former Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Station Rockcliffe.  The museum, the result of the 1964 consolidation of the National Aviation Museum, the Canadian War Museum aviation collection, and the RCAF Museum, moved into its present, distinctively triangular hangar in 1988.  A second storage hangar, located next to the main museum building, opened in 2006 and allows the Museum's entire collection to be housed indoors.  While most visitors only tour the Main Hangar, aviation buffs can pay a little extra to take one of the twice-daily, small group guided tours of the Reserve Hangar.  
Please enjoy this photo-tour of the main and storage hangars of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, taken during a 14 October 2012 visit:
The main entrance to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum,
Ottawa, Ontario, 14 October 2012.

The crest of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF)

The first thing visitors see upon entering the museum is the Canadair CT-114 Tutor jet trainer suspended from the ceiling.

The Tutor is painted in the colours of the RCAF's Snowbirds aerial acrobatic team.

Views inside the Museum's main hangar building.

A Douglas DC-3. This aircraft was built in 1942 for a civil order, expropriated for service with the US Air Force until 1945, and then sold to Trans-Canada Air Lines as the company's first DC-9. In 1948, the aircraft was sold to the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and flew until 1983, when it was donated by the company to the Museum.

This Lockheed L-10A Electra was built in 1937 for Trans-Canada Air Lines and served with the RCAF during the Second World War.  It was subsequently owned by a number of individuals and companies in Canada and the US until 1968, when it was acquired by Air Canada, restored, and presented to the Museum.

A Supermarine Spitfire L.F. Mk IX fighter, built in 1944.

A Westland Lysander III short takeoff and landing aircraft used for reconnaissance and observation.  This aircraft was rebuilt by the RCAF as a Centennial project in 1967, using parts from three Lysanders.  It was presented to the Museum in 1968. 

A Second World War-era Avro 683 Lancaster X four-engined heavy bomber.

The Museum's Lancaster bomber was shipped to No. 425 Aloutte Squadron, RCAF, in 1945 but arrived too late to participate in operations.  After a spell in long-term storage, the aircraft was reactivated in 1952 and served with No. 404 Maritime Patrol Squadron, RCAF, out of Greenwood, Nova Scotia.  Restored by the RCAF in 1964, the aircraft was donated to the Museum that year. 

A North American Aviation P-51D Mustang IV fighter.

The Museum's trainer aircraft display.  The aircraft in the foreground is a deHavilland D.H.82C2 Menasco Moth (c.1941); the aircraft perched on the pedestal behind is a Fairchild PT-26B Cornell III (c.1942).

A North American Aviation Harvard II trainer (c.1940).

A Heinkel He-162A-1 Volksjäger, conceived, designed, and built in only 90 days as a last-ditch German attempt to stave off defeat in 1945. The plane was built out of non-strategic materials and could be assembled by semi-skilled labour.
A Hispano HA-1112-MIL Buchón, a Spanish-built version of the German Messerschmitt Bf 109G fighter, built in 1950.
A deHavilland D.H.100 Vampire 3 fighter jet, built in 1948 and in service with the RCAF until 1956.
An Avro CanadaCF-100 Mk.5D two-seat, all-weather bomber interceptor.  This aircraft was built in 1958.

The CF-100 is the only Canadian-designed fighter to enter mass production, with 692 being built between 1950 and 1958.  This aircraft served for 21 years with various air force units and was transferred to the Museum by the Canadian Forces in 1979. 
A view of the Museum's fighter aircraft display.
Fighter jets of the 1950s in the chronologically-arranged display at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.
A Canadair Sabre 6 (F-86), built in 1955 and painted in the colours of No. 444 “Cobra”Squadron.

A Canadair T-33AN Silver Star 3 jet trainer, built in 1957 and in service with the RCAF until 1964.
A Lockheed CF-104A Starfighter, high-altitude supersonic interceptor.  Built in 1957, this aircraft served with the United States Air Force until 1958, was then placed in storage, and transferred to the RCAF in 1963.  In service with the RCAF until 1968, this Starfighter was transferred to the Museum in 1968.  Canadian CF-104s served in Europe during the Cold War, with the Canadian Forces retiring the type in 1986.

A McDonnell CF-101B Voodoo all-weather supersonic fighter, designed for ground attack, photographic reconnaissance, all-weather interception and training.  Five Canadian squadrons operated CF-101s in an air defence role as part of the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD), with the fleet being retired from Canadian Forces service in 1984.

Another view of the CF-101B Voodoo.  This aircraft was manufactured in 1959 and transferred from the United States Air Force to the Canadian Forces in 1971 as part of a batch intended to replace earlier Voodoos in Canadian service. It served with No. 409 Squadron at Comox, British Columbia from 1972 to 1980, and then with No. 416 Squadron at Chatham, New Brunswick from 1980 to 1984, after which it was transferred to the Museum.

A Canadair CF-116 (CF-5A) Freedom Fighter.  This US-designed lightweight fighter was built by Canadair in Montreal in 1970, delivered to the Canadian Armed Forces, and placed in storage until 1979.  After active service in various locations across Canada, the aircraft was again placed in storage in 1995 and transferred to the Museum in 1997.  It is painted in the mock Warsaw Pact 'agressor' livery used in its final training exercises.  
A McDonnell Douglas CF-188B Hornet (F/A-18B) in the foreground and the cockpit and nose section of an Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow. 

CF-188B: This two-seat fighter aircraft was one of 40 acquired by the Canadian Forces from 1982 to 1988, along with 98 single-seat versions.  The CF-188 replaced three fleets of fighter aircraft in CF service (CF-101 Voodoo, CF-104 Starfighter, and CF-5 Freedom Fighter).  This aircraft was the first CF-188 delivered to Canada in 1982 and was donated to the Museum in 2001.    
A Canadair CL-84-1 Dynavert, an experimental tilt-wing aircraft, four of which were built between 1964 and 1972.  This, the third prototype aircraft, first flew in September 1972.  With no market interest, the Dynavert project was abandoned in 1974, and this aircraft donated to the Museum in 1984. 

The Museum's display of helicopters.

A Piasecki HUP-3 utility helicopter in Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) colours.  This helicopter was built in 1954, served with the US Army, and was transferred to the RCN in 1964.  It was purchased by the Canadian War Museum in 1965 and restored in 1981-82. 
A Sikorsky S-55 HO4S-3 helicopter built in 1955 for the RCN. The S-55 was used primarily for search and rescue duties, as well as testing the Beartrap system developed by the RCN for landing large helicopters on smaller warships at sea.  This helicopter was donated to the Museum in 1970.

Boeing Vertol CH-113 Labrador search and rescue helicopter.  This Labrador was the first one acquired by the Canadian Forces in 1963 and the last one retired in 2004, after which it was donated to the Museum.   
The Museum's naval aviation display.

A Second World War-era Fairey Swordfish II used for training and torpedo bombing.  The history of this aircraft is unknown, as it languished on a farm in Tilsonburg, Ontario for many years before being purchased for the Museum in 1965. 

A RCN Hawker Sea Fury F.B.11 naval fighter-bomber, one of 74 such aircraft that served with the RCN on shore and aboard the aircraft carrier HMCS Magnificent between 1948 and 1956.  This aircraft was built in 1948 and served with No. 883 Squadron (later VF 871) at HMCS Shearwater in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.   
A McDonnell F2H-3 Banshee naval fighter, which replaced the RCN's Hawker Sea Fury as its first and only jet fighter.  Between 1955 and 1958, the RCN acquired 39 Banshees, which operated from shore bases and from the aircraft carrier HMCS Bonaventure after 1957.  The Banshee fleet was not replaced following its retirement in 1962, and this aircraft was donated to the Museum in 1965.
A de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver floatplane.  The Canadian-designed Beaver was designed in response to the demands of bush pilots, with 1,692 Beavers being manufactured between 1947 and 1968.  This particular Beaver is the prototype, built in 1947.  It served for 32 years as a bush plane in Western Canada, and was purchased by the Museum in 1980.
A Noorduyn Norseman VI, a rugged utility aircraft designed in 1935 and which saw extensive use in the Second World War by Canadian and US forces.  This aircraft was built in 1943 and used to train radio operators in Montreal during the Second World War, after which it served as a communications, search-and-rescue, and transportation aircraft across Canada. In 1950, it served with No. 121 Communications and Rescue Flight.  This Norseman VI was acquired by the Museum in 1964.

A display of historic Trans-Canada Air Lines / Air Canada travel posters in the Museum's commercial aviation collection.

A Canadair Challenger business jet, the third prototype of the original design, built in 1979.  In 1981-82, this aircraft was fitted with new engines and winglets to become the prototype of the second production version, the Challenger 601.  In 1993-94, the aircraft was converted for use as a prototype for the third production version, the longer-range Challenger 604.  Its final role was as a flying test bed for fly-by-wire technology between 1999 and 2004, and was donated to the Museum by Bombardier in 2005.

The Museum's display of Canada's astronauts and human space flight program.

The Canada Aviation and Space Museum Reserve Hangar

A de Havilland Canada DHC-1B2 Chipmunk 2 trainer.  This aircraft was built in 1956 and served with the RCAF until 1971.  It was transferred to the Museum in 1972.

A French-designed SPAD VII fighter from the First World War.  This aircraft was built in the UK in 1917, was transferred to the US in 1918 and, following a series of owners and rebuilds, was displayed and flown at the United States Air Force Museum in 1964–65.  It was purchased by the Museum in 1965.
Lockheed L-12A Electra Junior airliner, built in 1937 for the Department of Transport and donated to the Museum in 1963.
A Waco VKS-7 Standard Cabin biplane (c. 1942).

A view of the inside of the Museum's Reserve Hangar.
A Grumman CP-121 Tracker anti-submarine patrol aircraft (c. 1960) framed by the engines of a de Havilland Canada DHC-7. 

A Lockheed L-1329 Jetstar 6, built in 1961 for the Department of Transport and used to carry government officials and foreign dignitaries.  The Museum obtained the aircraft in 1986.  A total of 204 Jetstars were built by Lockheed.
The nose of a de Havilland Canada DHC-7 (Dash 7) short takeoff and landing airliner.  The late-1970s oil crisis and 1981 economic recession undercut the Dash 7's market potential and production was stopped after 113 aircraft had been completed.  This, the prototype aircraft, was built in 1975 and served 13 years as an experimental, demonstration, and corporate transport aircraft for de Havilland Canada until being transferred to the Museum in 1988.

A Douglas DC-9-32 twin-engined airliner.  The DC-9 was the first twinjet airliner to be operated in Canada, with Air Canada becoming the first non-US airline to operate the type in 1966.  Air Canada operated a fleet of 50 DC-9s, serving short-haul North American destinations from 1966 to 2002.
The tail of the Museum's DC-9-32 featuring Air Canada's distinctive livery from the 1960s to the early 1990s.  This aircraft, built in 1968, flew 81,558 hours and made 72,464 takeoffs and landings over its career, more than any other Air Canada DC-9.  The aircraft was donated to the Museum in 2002 following the completion of Air Canada's final DC-9 flight.  
A British-designed Vickers 757 Viscount in the colours of Trans-Canada Air Lines.  Built between 1948 and 1964, the Viscount was the first production airliner using turboprop engines and served with nearly 50 airlines worldwide.  Trans-Canada Air Lines / Air Canada flew 51 Viscounts between 1955 and 1969.
This Viscount was built in the UK in 1957 and was the 27th of the type delivered to Trans-Canada Air Lines.  Operated by Trans-Canada Air Lines for 12 years, the aircraft flew more than 27,000 hours before being retired in November 1969 and thereafter donated to the Museum.
A de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter short takeoff and landing utility and commuter aircraft that can be fitted with tires, skis, or floats.  This aircraft was the prototype Twin Otter, built in 1964, and was used by de Havilland Canada as a test and experimental aircraft until being donated to the Museum in 1981.  
A de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter utility aircraft.  Developed in response to demands for a larger version of the DHC-2 Beaver, 450 Otters were built and served in the RCAF, United States Army, United States Navy, nine other air forces, and civil operators in 36 countries.  This particular aircraft was built in 1960 and served with the RCAF before being acquired by the Museum in 1983.
A view of part of the Reserve Hangar's collection.  The Vickers Viscount is in the foreground, with a Canadair CP-107 Argus maritime patrol aircraft behind the de Havilland Otter. 

The unrestored Canadair CP-107 Argus maritime patrol aircraft in the Museum's Reserve Hangar.  The Argus was based on the Bristol Britannia airliner, featuring a new, unpressurised fuselage and new piston engines that increased the aircraft's low-altitude range and provided for more space for weapons and electronic equipment.  A total of 33 Mk I and Mk II Argus aircraft were built by Canadair for the RCAF between 1957 and 1960, with the aircraft being retired from service in 1982.  This aircraft was the final Argus built in 1960 and operated with No. 415 Squadron at Greenwood, Nova Scotia until 1978 and at Canadian Forces Base Summerside, P.E.I. until 1982.  It was transferred to the Museum in 1982 and is the largest aircraft in the collection.


1 comment:

  1. I vould like to zank you for zuch a delightvul vizit thru ze museum. danking you.