Welcome to the Canadian Museum of Flight

New display at the Museum

There is a tail to be told in the hangar. How many aircraft tails can you spot?
A new aircraft is now on display - a model of an RCMP de Havilland Beaver aircraft just as it flew the coast in the 1970s.
Read more in our Press section:
 

The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP)

During World War 2, Canada was a major contributor in training aircrew for the battles around the world. The plan was known as the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP). This year, 2020, is the 80th anniversary of the Plan being put into action.
 
To remember and honour this massive war effort, the Canadian Museum of Flight has a special display in the hangar. Come and visit the Museum.
 
One of the aircraft used to train fighter pilots was the Hawker Hurricane, shown in this RCAF photo;
 
See more in our Aviation History section;
 

The Museum closure is a thing of the past!

Yes, we are open from Friday, 26 June!
Phone Brenda at 604-532-0035 to book your visit.
Open 10 to 4, Tuesday to Saturday, by pre-booked time slots.
Our facility is ideal for family outings during these challenging times, as we have ample space
and large outdoor areas.
 
To assist in an orderly flow of visitors, appropriate aviation directional signage has been installed;
 
 
Watch out for the 'Hold Short' signs. No, you won't conflict with an aircraft taking off, but you may come in
closer-than-desired distance of our other visitors. Thanks for your cooperation!

 

Update 16 June:
The museum is gearing-up for its re-opening. The gift shop is in the process of being renovated in accordance with the social-distancing protocol.
The hangar is, likewise, being re-organized. Our visitors will be able to get a better view of all the aircraft when the one-way circle tour is in place. As part of this process, several volunteers moved the aircraft in the hangar to give better access to the collection. This is a time-consuming process with the length and wingspan of each type taken into consideration. Will the upper wing of the SE5a conflict with the aileron of the Waco AQC? Will the propeller of the Waco INF protrude into the walkway? Will the engineers be able to take the Sopwith Pup out for engine runs when maintenance is finished? So many questions!
The Waco AQC cabin biplane looks out longingly and wonders when it will be up in the blue again.
 
The SE5a tries on roller skates so that it can be moved with precision within the hangar.
 

The Canadian Museum of Flight has closed its doors to the general public.

The Museum takes this step in alignment with government guidance in response to the Covid-19 challenge. We will continue to play our part in our shared efforts to protect the health of Canadians, as the situation dictates.
We do very much look forward to again welcoming all our visitors and supporters back to our facility as soon as practical. Like everyone else, we will need to wait and see when that will be!
 

Changes at the Museum

While everything is quiet on the public face of the Museum, other essential activities continue behind the scenes. The Museum was able to get a favorable lease on an older facility to be used for storing artifacts that may be of use in the future. This will be used to consolidate three other storage facilities and save precious funds in these difficult days with no revenue being generated from visits by the public. 
 
This veteran barn will house artifacts that may be used in the future.
 
This collection of propellers, both wooden and metal, will be used to
showcase the advances in aviation technology.
 
 Once again a small group of dedicated volunteers gave up their leisure time to come to the aid of the Museum in a time of need. Thank you to all who donated time or equipment to make it all happen!
 

Looking to the future - 

Plans are afoot for the Museum to re-open when the time comes. Be prepared to bring those locked-down youngsters to the Museum to learn of aviation and in particular BC's long aviation history.
Prior to 2019BC (of course, this means Before Covid :) the term 'distancing' was almost unheard of. However, formation-qualified pilots have been practicing this for 100 years. Flying in tight formation means extensive training and frequent practice. Can you imagine what it would take to have sufficient  confidence to allow another pilot to snuggle up to your aircraft at 200 km/h?
Here are some examples of distancing:
Troop-carrying Douglas C-47s in WW2 colors.
(Phot credit: www.warhistoryonline.com)
 
The Museum's Harvard II in formation with the Waco AQC.
 
The Historic Flight Foundation DC-3 in formation with a Langley-based Harvard 4.
 
 
A current RCAF trainer, the Harvard 2, in formation with a vintage Harvard II and a Harvard 4.
 
So the next time someone mentions 'physical distancing' then remember that this term for formation flying has been in use for a long time. Canada's own RCAF Snowbirds are the highly regarded professional formation flyers!
 
 
The RCAF Snowbirds in action at Abbotsford, 2019.
 
 

 

Camel on location

No, it's not the dromedary style - and definitely not the 1950s cigarette brand - but the Museum's replica of a WW1 Sopwith Camel that travelled to Abbotsford Airport recently. As part of a BCIT (British Columbia Institute of Technology) event the Camel was needed as a backdrop. Our volunteers took the Camel to the airport in its trailer, assembled it in a hangar then went for refreshments. After the event, the Camel was packed safely in its trailer to await its next outing.

The Museum's Sopwith Camel during its Abbotsford outing.
Does your organization need a unique centrepiece for an event? Call the Museum.
For more on the Camel, see:
 

Family Day 2020

The Museum has been active in promoting Family Day at the Museum since 2015. This year, the combination of good publicity and good weather made it a special event for many youngsters and their parents, grandparents and other family members. Attendance was over the 1,000 mark again this year. There was a courtyard full of real planes to look at and climb in. Inside the hangar were a selection of classic planes in ready-to-fly condition and an opportunity to try skills at paper airplane flying. On the hangar apron was a viewing platform to observe airport activity. This included seeing the startup of some of the Museum aircraft - within the safety of a security fence - with the usual roar and smoke.

 

 
(Photo credit: All from Langley Advance Times)
 
The Province of British Columbia has provided the Canadian Museum of Flight a grant in
support of our free, community Family Day event. To learn more visit:

  

Remembrance Day 2019

The Museum participated in Remembrance Day commemorations in the Langley area at about 11 am.
The Museum's SE5a took off just before 11am following a Harvard flown by Museum member, Bill Findlay. The two aircraft overflew the cenotaph at Langley City, Murrayville and Aldergrove to remember those who gave their lives in the fight for freedom.
The Harvard starts up at Langley.
 
The Harvard and the SE5a prepare to takeoff just before 11am.

 

Signs of the time...

Why are Museum volunteers collecting display signs on a baggage cart?
 
To find out more go to our Press page;

 

The Museum in Vancouver

So, what was the Museum doing so far from home without an airport in sight. Well, yes, there was a water airport just over the balcony on the Vancouver waterfront.

The vintage British Sopwith Camel and a British Range Rover wrapped in the
Union Jack may be a clue to the event!
To find out more go to our Press page;

 

Chilliwack Flight Fest 2019

Did you go to the Flight Fest this year? The Museum crew did.
To find out more go to our Press page;
 

Abbotsford Airshow 2019

The Museum participated in the annual Abbotsford Airshow - a scant 10-minute flight east of Langley, even in our classic biplanes. The Museum's sales team was very active with sales of toys, T-shirts, mugs and memberships. Museum aircraft flew on Saturday and Sunday to showcase the Museum's active air fleet of classic aircraft - the Waco AQC-6, Fleet Canuck, SE5a and Sopwith Pup were in the display flying along with a Beech Staggerwing and a Waco UPF-7.
 
To find out more go to our Press page;

 

Boundary Bay Airshow 2019

The Museum participated in the airshow at Boundary Bay on Saturday, July 20. The Museum's flagship Waco AQC, the Fleet Canuck and the Sopwith Pup all flew to Boundary Bay in the morning to go on display alongside the WW2 heritage hangar. The weather was perfect with sunshine and a light breeze. Flying displays from biplanes to jet fighters kept the audience trained to the sky. Events concluded with an immaculate display of precision flying by the RCAF Snowbirds.
The Museum's display booth was surrounded by Museum aircraft and volunteers who talked the visitors through the Museum's activities and skills at maintaining and flying classic aircraft.
 
The Museum's sales team was headed up by Master Organizer, Brenda.
 
Gord and Phil keep the Sopwith Pup company in front of the heritage hangar.
 
WW2 P-40 and P-47 fighters exchange glances with the current RCAF CF-18.
 
The Snowbirds trace a graceful arc through the summer sky.
 

The Big Chill 2019

Saturday July 13th, 2019 at the Museum was the scene of the latest 'The Big Chill.'
One of the Museum pilots explained his pre-flight walkaround on the Canuck; pilots and maintainers spoke at the “Ask the Pilot” panel; some of the vintage aircraft started up in front of the crowd and did flybys; there were games, and ice-cream treats for all.
 

 

 

The Harvard in Canada turns 80!

With thanks to the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association for this banner.
 

The Harvard has had a long and nostalgic history in Canada. The first two aircraft from the factory in California were flown up the West Coast to RCAF Station Sea Island in Vancouver, arriving on July 20, 1939. Few Canadians had seen such a modern aircraft at this time. The previous generation of training aircraft were wood and fabric biplanes.

The first generation Harvard 1 with fabric-covered fuselage,
rounded tail and Wright Cyclone engine.
 
Cadet pilots transitioned to the Harvard after flying the Tiger Moth or Fleet Finch.
The experience had its challenges!
 
To find out more about the Harvard go to our Collection page;
 

Why was the Cat scrubbed?

To find out more go to our Press page;
Here's a hint - the Museum's Firecat restored to pristine condition;
Read more about the Firecat at;
 

Father's Day at the Museum

Whatever is a Boat-tail Auburn doing at a Flight Museum?
 
How many volunteers does it take to make a successful event? LOTS!!
Here are some of the 30 volunteers and staff who gave the day to Fathers.
(Photo credit: Tania Ryan)
 
Read more of what happened on Father's Day in the Press Section:

 

Airshow time!

Oh no! What is going on? A disaster in the making? A WW2 Kamikaze attack?
An aerial message board? This is local airshow pilot, Jon Mrazek, showing off the paces of his
1950s Harvard with airshow smoke on at the Pitt Meadows Airport Day.
See more in the Press section;
 
 The Museum’s 1937 Waco Cabin (Big Red) is back in the air again! Pilots Bill Findlay and Vic Bentley completed a very successful and enjoyable test flight on Thursday. Bill reports that the Waco ran very well and that it is so nice to finally have it back flying after its four year hiatus from flight operations. Volunteers completed several maintenance items during that time period including fixing a fuel tank leak that also involved major fabric repair work. The Waco Cabin, along with the Fleet Canuck and Sopwith Pup, will be seen flying on Saturday, June 1st, at the Pitt Meadows Airport Airshow. Come on out and see this magnificent aircraft in action!
Bill gets a farewell from Museum Manager, Dave Arnold.
 
Bill guides the classic Waco near the Fraser River.

 

Around the Hangar

With summer and the airshow season approaching there is lots of activity at the Museum. Painting and tidying-up, winter damage to the DC-3 being repaired and aircraft being prepared for flight.
 
See more in the Press section;

 

Museum AGM

The Museum held its Annual General Meeting on May 4th. The Meeting was held in the Museum Hangar with good attendance. The annual Volunteer of the Year award was presented to the Bruce and Judy Scott team who do excellent work greeting our visitors at the front desk.
The Board of Directors are now Tania Ryan - President, Al French - Vice President,
Bruce Friesen - Secretary, Phil Lipscombe - Treasurer, Rebecca Darnell, Matt Offer, 
Bruce Webster, Peter Graham,  and Jim Sloat.

   

Museum Events

 
Keep Father's Day, Sunday, June 16th free on your calendar for a special Museum event. Plans are being developed for Pops, Props and Hops on Father's Day. Wouldn't it be a great surprise to bring Dad (and the rest of the family, too) to see some action among the Flying Collection at the Museum. Yes, our Museum actually flies some of their precious collection, unlike a great many other museums.
What will we see in the air? Will it be the 1937 Waco Cabin biplane? Will it be a 1940 Fleet Finch biplane, or a Sopwith Pup biplane replica? Don't be surprised to see a replica of a WW1 SE5a fighter, or a much more modern Fleet Canuck post-WW2 trainer.
Plans are afoot for refreshments and tours of the Museum's collection.
Father's Day Fun for the Whole Family Featuring....
- Museum tours and vintage airplane flyovers
- Pierre Carkid design-a-tie for dad craft table
- Mini Golf Putting Contest - The winner wins a ride in one of our vintage airplanes
- Beer Garden for Dad
- Lots of hot dogs and "Pop"corn....and much more!
Dads get in free with one paid admission
 
 
The Museum's Waco AQC-6 over the Fraser Valley mountains.
(Photo credit: M. Luedey)
 

Saturday, July 13th. Keep this date available for a family outing at the Museum. See what a pilot does during his pre-flight walk around. Hear some of our mightiest airplanes start-up and take-off. Complimentary ice-cream treats for all. Admission by donation.

 

The Museum's Stearman biplane takes to the air

On March 27 the Stearman biplane, donated by the Seller family in 2016, took to the air again. It will be remembered at an upcoming event at Abbotsford for Conair, who are celebrating their 50th anniversary. This company's roots go back to the 1950s at Langley with the Skyway Air Service fleet of aircraft.

This original Skyway Stearman was imported in 1960 to train pilots for spray operations.
Read more at:
 
Update to Stearman news. This from the Senior Manager at the Museum;

This is a quick note to let you know about an accident with our Stearman. As the aircraft was landing at Abbotsford Airport, it suffered a ground loop. A ground loop is described as an uncontrolled horizontal rotation of an aircraft while landing, taking off, or taxiing.

Both pilots were unhurt, but the Stearman suffered significant damage. Someone on social media reported that the plane caught fire - this is NOT true. Plans are underway to repair the aircraft.

 
     FAMILY DAY on February 18th at the Museum was an outstanding success!
In spite of the gloomy weather and chill breeze an amazing 1,200 people crowded the Museum from 10am to 4pm. Staff and volunteers kept everything 'right side up' and fed and watered the crowd (actually it was hot chocolate). Young and old enjoyed seeing the inside of jet planes, a light transport plane and the Sikorsky helicopter. Photographs, coloring and a Jelly Bean Challenge provided fun for the family. The Museum's fully restored Fleet Canuck flew from in front of the Museum and did some passes in front of the crowd to show off what Museum volunteers can accomplish with restoring old aircraft. (A big Thank You to the Langley Air Traffic Controllers who managed to fit in the flypasts amongst their regular traffic). Is it too soon to mark Family Day 2020 on your calendar? 
 

The Boeing 747 is 50 years old.

Most non-aviation buffs know of two aircraft - the Piper Cub and the Boeing 747. The first flight of the Boeing 747 took place at Everett, WA on 9 February, 1969 - 50 years ago.
For more, see our Press section:
 

Trainee Aircraft Mechanics

What do trainee mechanics do in their spare time? They add to their skills with hands-on projects at the Museum. The fabric covering of older aircraft is not just a decoration - it is an essential component of the structural integrity of the aircraft. See the work in progress in the Press section;

 

Around the Hangar

Just because the holiday season is approaching, does that mean that the volunteers at the hangar are relaxing and taking it easy? No way, the pace continues for many projects including preparing the aircraft for the next flying season. See more at the Press section;
 

Remembrance Day

The Museum was active on Remembrance Day. Flyovers of Murrayville, Langley, White Rock and Delta were undertaken with two of the Museum's active fleet. The Fleet Finch biplane and the WWI replica Sopwith Pup, also a biplane, took to the air just before 11 am for this flying event. As well, the Museum's Sopwith Camel was on display at the Murrayville Cemetary commemoration of the ending of WWI.

 
The Fleet Finch, flown by veteran Museum member, Bill Findlay, returns after the flypasts.
More photos at the Press section;
 

The Harvard is 80

The Museum's Harvard II on approach to the Langley airport.
 

The aircraft we recognize as the Harvard was a development of North American Aviation’s entry into the training aircraft field. There were several iterations that were fixed-gear training aircraft. Some of these were operated by the RCAF under the designation NA-64 Yale.

The first flight of what we know today as the Harvard bore the designation NA-49 and first flew on Sept. 28, 1938. That is just over 80 years ago. That it is still flying today in large numbers is remarkable.

The designation Harvard by the British was in recognition of the US university. The US armed forces usually gave model numbers, in this case AT-6.  Later, the name ‘Texan’ was used in recognition of the location of the factory.

The Museum’s Harvard II was built in Montreal by Noorduyn in 1941 and served with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Canadian Navy.

Want to learn more? Check out our Collection section;
And our TechTalk file for lots of details;
 

Boundary Bay Airport

Two of the Museum's aircraft flew to Boundary Bay airport on Sunday, 16 September for flyovers at the annual Air Cadets parade to remember the Battle of Britain. While the Cadets stood on parade the Sopwith Pup and the SE5a did a commemorative flypast. Although the day dawned with heavy clouds and showers, the weather cleared for a few hours with enough time for the two fragile biplanes to make an appearance. They were in good company with a Harvard 4, Sea King helicopter and Aurora patrol aicraft waiting in the holding pattern for their displays.

 

2018 Runway Party

This year's event - styled 'Into the Wild' - a tribute to pioneer bush pilots, was held on 15 September at the Museum's hangar in Langley. 

The hangar was cleared of our fleet of 'flyers' that were firmly tied down outside. Volunteers transformed the interior into a nostalgic scene from an earlier era with a giant mural of a DC-3 in its hangar.

(Photo credit: Tania Ryan)

This auction is an important part of the Museum’s annual fund-raising effort. Without such events the Museum would wither and, perhaps, die. We are indebted to all who support our event. Tell your friends and neighbours how important it is for them to come and join us at our events.  

More in our Press section:

  

 Chilliwack Flight Fest

This year the usually balmy weather in the eastern Fraser Valley was in revolt. After weeks of hot weather, smoky skies and scorching temperatures a weather disturbance caused low clouds, drizzle and cool temperatures. The three aircraft in the Museum's flying display stayed safely in the hangar in Langley. However, the sales team gathered at Chilliwack, erected the sales booth and the Camel display aircraft and put on a brave face in the adverse conditions. Sales were satisfactory, but lower than expectations, of course.

 

 Abbotsford Airshow

Museum members Bill, Jim, Bob, Gordon and Dave prep the aircraft for demonstration flying.
 
More on our Press page;

 

 Boundary Bay Airshow

The annual Boundary Bay Airshow 2018 took place on 21 July at Boundary Bay Airport, south of Vancouver, BC.
The Museum was represented by its sales booth manned by volunteers as well as three of its flying collection.
 
 
Why is this Museum volunteer standing dangerously close to the propellor?
More at:
 

 Pops and Props 2018

Did you make it to the Pops and Props event on Father's Day?
 
Splendid weather and a great crowd! More in the Press section;
 

Fly-in at Pitt Meadows Airport

On Saturday, 2 June the Museum participated in the Fly-in at Pitt Meadows airport. Great weather and the spectacular backdrop of the mountains around Pitt Lake combined to give visitors a wonderful family outing. The first event of the year for the Museum sales crew and flying fleet went like clockwork. Three of the flying collection were on hand to show off the Museum's unique ability in Western Canada to provide a live, flying glimpse into aviation's past. 
Read more at;
 

Family Day at the Canadian Museum of Flight

Why was this cup on the wing of the Snowbird Tutor jet?
See more at:

www.canadianflight.org/content/press

 

Biplane in Vancouver

 
What is one of the Museum's biplanes doing in the heart of downtown Vancouver? Check it out on the Press page;
  

 More on the Fleet Canuck story

 This week the Canuck was re-united with its donor - Hank Koehler. Hank bought the aircraft in poor condition and donated it to the Museum. It has been a long-time restoration effort by Museum volunteers. As recorded earlier, the Canuck is flying again. Now the donor and aircraft have been re-united. As more flight time is accumulated, Museum members will be able to fly in the Canuck and hopefully Hank will be one of the first.

 
Hank (left) with pilot, Bill Findlay, as they left on a short tour of the airport.
 
Bill and Hank shown with the Canuck.
 
Read more in the Press section.

 

 

The Pups and SE5 return to Langley

The Museum's overseas contingent is now back at Langley Regional Airport.

The Pup taxies up to the Museum at Langley.
(Photo credit: D. Cardy)
 
Read more on the Press page;
 
 

Update from Vimy

The years of preparation for the commemoration at Vimy have paid off with Museum participation in a flypast to echo the flypast when the Vimy Memorial was unveiled. King Edward VIII unveiled the monument on 26 July 1936 in the presence of French President Albert Lebrun and a crowd of over 50,000 people.
 
The Museum's SE5A flies near the Vimy Memorial.
 
For more pictures see the Museum Press page;
 
 

Victory at Vimy Ridge

On Sunday, April 9 the Museum held a Vimy commemoration featuring the unveiling of
"Victory at Vimy Ridge" by Doby Dobrostanski. 
See more at:
 
Check out our Aviation History section for an updated coverage of Group Captain Joseph Fall;
 
During the runup to the commemoration at the Vimy Monument there was lots of action by the Museum team and Vimy Flight. Check out this Facebook site;

  

Around the Museum

Why is this helicopter smiling?
For more on the story, see our Press page;
 
 
Do you have aircraft maintenance or other technical skills? We would love to hear from you. See;

 

The Canadian Museum of Flight is one of the few places in the world to see a reconstruction of a WW2 Handley Page Hampden light bomber. One of these rare aircraft is being restored at the Royal Air Force Museum at Cosford, UK. See a link on our website at;
 
 
Have you checked out our Aviation History section? There are details of the people and the aircraft that made history in BC. See;
 
This WW2 photo shows Langley personality, Art Seller, with his Hawker Typhoon.
 

 The Canadian Museum of Flight is open Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 4pm
 

 
Partial funding of displays at the Museum provided by the Township of Langley through their Community Grants program.
 
 

 

 
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