Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

Located just off the property of the Hamilton Airport is the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.  It has a pretty extensive collection of Canadian Aircraft and as such is a pretty good summary of Canadian Aviation History.
 Given it's proximity and good relations to its neighbor to the south, Canada uses many American aircraft.  This is a CF-104 Starfighter which is acting as a gate guardian.  The F-104 was designed by Kelly Johnson as part of his Skunk Works.  It has basically been described as a missile with wings.  It was first conceived in 1952, prototypes were ordered in 1953 and first flown in 1954.  A total of 2,759 were built around the world.
 Canada ordered them in 1959 to replace their aging F-86 Sabre Fleet.  A total of 200 were built by Canadair under license.  They remained in service until the mid 80's.  Over the years, the F-104 set a number of aviation records and was a remarkable aircraft.
 Even though I've posted this flag before, it is the flag of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
 Because it was a member of the British Commonwealth, Canada also shares a military heritage with the British.  During World War II, they basically used the same uniforms.  This would have been depicting a Lancaster pilot.
 A Canadian Pilot's Hat.
 This would be depicting a paratrooper from the 1st Canadian Parachute Batallion which was formed in 1942.  They participated in the Normandy landings and the airborne crossing of the Rhine. They served with distinction.
 I think this is an F-86 Pilot's uniform.  It looks very similar to the American version.
 The Avro Arrow was to be a Canadian designed and produced interceptor.  It had it's first flight in 1958 and was abruptly cancelled in 1959.  One of the reasons cited for its cancellation was it's cost.  It would have been a pretty expensive plane to produce.  The other reason cited was that missiles were coming into being.
 The Canadians tried to sell it to the US and Britain but there were no takers.  It probably would have been an excellent aircraft too.
 As I said up there, part of the Canadian Military heritage is British military heritage.  During World War II, the Canadians flew many of the same planes as the British did.  The above aircraft is the Hawker Hurricane and was considered as the British workhorse of the war.  Canadians were part of the Battle of Britain and other famous British stands during the War.
 Part of the Canadair CT-114 Tutor which was used as a training aircraft.  I took this picture to show dual official languages of Canada.
 Some of the tail art.
 A British Vampire Fighter.  It was one of the first jets in service.
 A B-25 Mitchell Bomber.
 The cockpit of a C-47 Dakota.
 The nose of the Dakota.
 A fullsized mockup of the bomb that was used by the Dambusters in World War II.  I think that there were Canadian pilots that participated in that as well.
 Another picture of the Dakota.
 The main reason I wanted to go to the Museum was to see the Lancaster bomber.  Unfortunately, they had it torn to pieces and were doing work on it.  This is the aircraft that was used in the Dambusters raid.
 The Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck.  This was the first fighter to be designed and built in Canada.  Development started in 1946 and the plane first flew in 1950.   Canadian forces continued to operate the aircraft until the 1980's.
 Another view of the Tutor.
 An F-86 Sabre.  Pretty much the same as the American version.
 A CF-5 Freedom Fighter.  This was also produced under license by Canadair.
 Another view of the Dakota.
 I'm not sure what plane this was.
 The Catalina Patrol Aircraft except that the Canadians call it a Canso.
 The Supermarine Spitfire.
 Another view of the Catalina.
 Another view of the Lancaster.
 A Stearman plane in American markings.  I thought this was kind of odd amongst all the Maple Leaves.
 A Model of the Canadian Aircraft Carrier Bonaventure.  She served from 1957 to 1970 as the third and last Canadian Aircraft Carrier.  Originally, she started life as the HMS Powerful in 1943 and was launched in 1945 but work was suspended until she was bought by Canada.  She was most used for peaceful purposes but did participate in the Cuban Missile Crisis.
 Not a warplane but still a plane.
 Another angle of the Bonventure.  She was mostly used in an ASW role.
 The CF-101 Voodoo on the left and a CF-104 on the right.
 A Caribou.
 Not sure what plane this was.
 The Candadian Air Force insignia after the 1950's.
 Another view of the Spitfire.
 A firetruck.
And one more shot of the CF-104 before leaving.

I'll have to admit that this was a pretty cool museum.  I never realized the Canadian contribution to World War II until a few years ago.

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