Sunday, March 31, 2019

Advancements In Aerial Innovation

Today I feature three planes, decades apart. I start with the Douglas DC-3. The DC program has roots going back to 1933, with both military and civilian variants. The DC-3 was taking up the bulk of passenger service by 1939, and in fact these can still be found in operation all over the world today. This one spent thirty eight years in Canadian service, built in 1942 and ultimately donated to the museum in 1983.

Beneath one of its wings is this much newer and smaller plane. The Epervier X-01 is the finished work of 12 mechanical engineering students at the University of Sherbrooke. It dates to 2008.

This is the Bombardier Challenger 604, a unique plane built as an experimental prototype. First flown in 1979, the plane has had modifications for experimental purposes and has been part of the collection here since 2006.

One last view of it. Tomorrow is the Yellow theme day for City Daily Photo, so I'll pick up with the series the day after that, though I do have one artifact from here that features in my post. It can be seen in the background of one of the shots above.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Small And Larger Planes

This is a Noorduyn Norseman VI, a Canadian designed workhorse of a plane well suited to northern climates. It dates to 1943.

The De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver is a mainstay of Canadian bush planes, reliable and adaptable for taking off and landing on water, land, or snow. This one dates to 1947.

The Stinson SR Reliant is this one. First manufactured in 1933, it fits the purpose of bush flying quite well.

A display had a model of an airship. The R-100 was one of two dirigibles built as part of a concept for travel across the British empire. The R-100 successfully made a trans-Atlantic crossing to Montreal in 1930 with 44 crew and passengers. Its partner, the R-101, met a bad end in northern France later that year while starting out on a trip to India, crashing and bursting into flame. Of the 54 aboard, only 6 survived. The idea of a fleet of British airships ended with it.

More planes. Overhead is an ornithoper, the Snowbird, a human powered craft made by University of Toronto graduate students and flown in 2010 at Tottenham, Ontario. It was a flight of only nineteen seconds, but it made headlines around the world for proving that human power could fly in and of itself. The ultra light craft now has its home here. Below it is a Cessna 150, which is used for short talks during the day, with chairs set up around it.

Across from them is a set of engines mounted into the wall displays.

Here we have a look back at the Cessna.

Moving on to something bigger. This is the Boeing 247D. A passenger plane introduced in 1933, the 247 showed the direction that passenger planes were to take. This is one of only four complete models left in existence.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Opening Up The North

Bush flying is another section inside the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, and quite fitting given how for decades in Canada, bush and sea planes have been essential for getting into remote areas of this vast country. What we have below is a Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker. Its reliability and range made it a popular choice among bush pilots from the 1920s to the 1950s. This particular one was made in Delaware, used in Texas, Alaska, and California, and entered the Museum's collection in 1964. It is the only Pacemaker preserved in a museum today.

The Curtiss Seagull is something entirely different, a flying boat with roots going back to 1919 as a variant of a First World War trainer. Seagulls were used for commercial and private flight as a water based plane, and this particular one has a distinguished history, involved in surveying work of the Amazon in 1925-25.

A Ford 3-ton truck can be seen here in the foreground, built in 1925. Beyond it is another bush plane.

The plane in question is a Junkers W 34 f/fi. Hugo Junkers of Germany had made all metal aircraft for his country during the First World War, and turned to civilian aircraft afterwards. This was one of the models the company made for various countries, and this particular plane saw service in the Canadian north from 1932 onwards- for thirty years until being donated to the Museum in 1962. Quite a tough, reliable plane for a land that can be harsh.

I leave off for today with a wider view of some of the bush planes.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Spitfire And Lancaster

The Spitfire caught the imagination of the public throughout World War Two. Along with the Hurricane, this fighter was a mainstay of the Battle of Britain and a common sight among Allied air assets from multiple countries, including Canada. This particular one saw service with RCAF squadrons during the war.

Here we have a proper view of the plane I've been showing you bits and pieces of for the last few posts. The Lancaster is described as the backbone of Bomber Command. Canadian factories were among those who built the Lancaster Mk. X for Allied air forces, and Lancasters were part of the RCAF throughout the war and afterwards. If I had to pick a single favourite plane in the collection here, it would be this one.

A model of the Lancaster is down at the edge of the path.

From the painted additions indicating bombing runs, this one saw its share of action.

I leave off with this shot from beneath the Lancaster. We move into some civilian aircraft tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

109 And Hurricane

This is the Heinkel He 162 Volksjager, positioned beneath the other wing of the Lancaster. This jet powered plane was a wood and metal fighter, quickly designed and built, but the program was initiated late in the war and never saw much combat action. This one was captured in Germany at war's end, exhibited in Hyde Park, and sent to Canada, ultimately ending up in the collection of the Aviation Museum.

This is the Messerschmitt Bf 109, the primary fighter in the Luftwaffe during the Second World War, one of the best of its time. This one crash landed near Murmansk, Russia, in 1942, and was acquired by the Museum in the 1990s.

Here we have one of the great Allied fighter planes of the war, a Hawker Hurricane XII. The Hurricane design started in 1934 and would see several variants built over time. They were somewhat outclassed by the 109, but really what won the day was the skill of the pilot. By the end of the Battle of Britain, it was young Allied pilots in Hurricanes and Spitfires who prevailed, and in fact the Hurricane was responsible for the bulk of downed enemy aircraft in that particular fight. This one was built in Canada and used in training and defensive patrol duties during the war.

A statue stands nearby of George Frederick "Buzz" Beurling, a highly decorated Canadian fighter pilot who served with the RAF and the RCAF during the war. He was called the Falcon of Malta for his extraordinary exploits there in 1942 in bringing down Axis aircraft.