Trainee Aircraft Mechanics

Along with a world-wide shortage of pilots, there is a growing need for thousands of aircraft mechanics and operations specialists. Aviation colleges in Richmond and Abbotsford, BC are part of the solution to this problem. Some of the current graduating Aerospace class at BCIT in Richmond have been spending their spare time as volunteers at the Museum. They are learning the age-old technique of fabric covering of aircraft components. What does this matter in these days of aluminum alloys, composite structures and advanced electronics? In fact, there are still a significant number of older aircraft that still need care and repair to their delicate fabric covering. Imagine the Museum aircraft with no-one to replace the outer skin - the Harvard, Tiger Moth, Waco INF and AQC, the Fleet Finch and Canuck, the SE5a and the Sopwith Pup would all be grounded. Just a minute, that is the whole flying fleet at the Museum! So we are very appreciative of these young men who keep old skills alive.
First the elevator (horizontal tail control surface) has to have all the old fabric removed and any dope or adhesive carefully cleaned off the metal structure. Any areas affected by corrosion are treated or repaired. Then the structure is primed and painted. Sharp edges are covered with adhesive tape. Only then can the fabric replacement start. The synthetic cloth is attached with special adhesives and a hot iron is applied to each area in a special sequence to shrink it in place. Rib stitching between the upper and lower surface is then carried out to ensure the fabric is held firmly in place. Multiple layers of finish are applied to keep the fabric taut, prevent damage from UV rays and to give the correct colour for the era. If this sounds complicated, consider the original process. The fabric was Irish Linen or cotton covered with Nitrate and Butyrate dopes. These chemicals were very challenging to use and are now banned as hazardous materials! 
BCIT students (L to R) James Shen, Jordon Visona and Ryan Klutt work on the elevator of the Museum's Beech 18. The Beech has retired from flying, but is maintained in ready-to-fly display condition.
Ryan tweaks the string line to ensure an accurate line for the stitching. Yes, stitching. Long needles pass between the upper and lower surfaces taking a special cord that holds the fabric securely in place.
James shows enjoyment at the precision job of attaching the fabric covering.
Jordon assists in the alignment of the fabric attachment stitching.
(Photo credits: Anne Fessenden)


In the Hangar

With the advent of the fall weather, lawn mowing and painting are replaced by inside tasks. Cataloging of the Museum's extensive photographic collection, updating and condensing the data base, repairing plumbing leaks and keeping the batteries charged on ground equipment are all tasks that the volunteers tackle. Tour guides keep chatting to the hosts of school children who marvel at the collection of aircraft and artifacts.
The 'techie' group are already at work on the flying collection in anticipation of the 2019 airshows. Each of the flyers need an annual inspection and recertification before taking to the air again in the spring. Wings and wheels, fins and fuel, clocks and props all receive an eagle eye to ensure they are up to the job.
Elementary math says that seven into one won't go. At the Museum we achieve just that!
The dedication of the volunteers is outstanding. Here, Jim curls himself into the
inner spaces of the Waco Cabin to retrieve an article dropped by a passenger.
What are spare parts doing strewn over the hangar floor? They are removed so that
the inner working of each aircraft can be examined, adjusted, repaired or replaced.
The restoration of the de Havilland Tiger Moth is progressing steadily. The sliding canopy
has been removed, overhauled and refitted. The upper wing centre-section mounting struts
(known as cabane struts) have been fitted in preparation for mounting the fuel tank and wings. 
A display cabinet has been made by students at Lord Tweedsmuir's carpentry shop.
Good skills for them, good display for us. It will house a display of Wardair memorabilia.
Were you associated with Wardair? Give us a call.

Out of the Hangar

The maintenance of the flying fleet at the Museum includes running the engines to check the performance, functioning of fuel and ignition systems and operation of the propeller mechanism. Advantage is taken of a break in the weather to bring the radial engines to life with a bark from the engine and a puff from the  exhaust to protest the enforced idleness in the hangar.
The Waco AQC-6 coughs to life.
The Harvard protests being awoken in mid winter.

Remembrance Day 2018

The Museum participated in flyovers in the Fraser Valley.

The Fleet Finch is warmed up by pilot, Bill Findlay. The classic design with a
Kinner 5-cylinder radial engine and the wooden propeller are evident.
The 1940 Finch moves out for the flight...
...and soars into the sunny sky.
The Museum's Sopwith Pup also gets airborne for the Remembrance Day event.
(Photo credits: D. Cardy)



Into The Wild. The Museum's 2018 fundraising event

On 15 September the Museum held a fundraising event at the hangar in Langley. Volunteers moved the display aircraft outside and tied them down securely with the promise of the usual fall wind and rain. Floors were scrubbed, tables and chairs set up and a giant mural of an Arctic Air DC-3 in a hangar was secured to the hangar door. Tables for reception, auction items and food service were arranged. By 5pm guests were arriving and checking out the items on auction. At 6pm the food was served - delicious salmon and beef from Chef Simon of 5 Star Catering. By 7pm the auction was underway with spirited bidding on many items with DJ and auctioneer, Scott Barratt, keeping the momentum going.

Guests were met in true northern bushpilot style by Bruce, who spent many years in the north.
He is wearing the traditional northern garb of fur-lined parka and genuine mukluks.
The Bakker family, dressed in True North style, take their seats
on packing cases and oil drums...
...and await the mouth-watering treats from Simon of 5 Star Catering.
Special guest Peggy Hobbs regaled the audience with stories of working in the hospital at Alert Bay
with Dr. Jack Pickup. Dr. Pickup's Waco biplane is owned and flown by the Museum.
Veteran pilot, Captain Ed Bray, told of his adventures flying the de Havilland Beaver and
the Avro Anson on the Arctic coast through to the Boeing 737.
The evening was concluded with a hangar dance. Long-time Museum members
Linda and Dave Beales take a trip down memory lane.
(Photo credit: Tania Ryan)


Fall 2018 update

The Museum’s participation in the airshow scene is coming to an end as summer wanes. Important events that the Museum sales and flight crew attended were at Pitt Meadows, Boundary Bay, Abbotsford and Chilliwack. Hundreds of thousands saw the Museum’s participation – either in person or through the social media. Check it out on YouTube.

What has been going on at the Museum, you may ask? The staff and volunteers take time out of their busy summer schedule to keep things happening. Did you know that a crew of volunteers have patiently sanded and painted the picnic tables and walkway rails – and taken time to water the planter boxes? Another group have worked in the blazing sun to keep the classic DC-3 in top shape. Others have painstakingly sorted photographs, books and memorabilia and logged it all into the Museum’s inventory. Others have used their skills to overhaul the equipment in the adjacent café to meet health regulations. Of course, having airworthy aircraft is a challenge all of its own. The aircraft must be maintained to full airworthiness standards as though they were in daily use at a flight school, and the pilots must pass the medical and technical standards to keep the old birds flying.

Do you want to be part of this activity? Casual volunteering for airshows or events may suit you better within your work schedule. Want to see an airshow from the inside out? Next summer plan on joining the crew as they prepare the sales stock, pack it in vehicles and set up the sales booth. And then get to talk to a very interesting group of spectators. After all, they are at an airshow because they are interested in aviation. Some are veterans of decades in the industry with stories to share, while the three-year-olds are taking their first ‘flight’ in the Museum’s toy aircraft. Come and join us!

Abbotsford Airshow 2018

Friday was busy with setting up the sales booth and ferrying the aircraft to Abbotsford Airport. The three Museum aircraft participated in the flying displays on Saturday and Sunday.

The Sopwith Camel sits near the Sales Booth.
(Photo credit: Tania Ryan)
Gift Shop Manager, Brenda, keeps up a smile regardless of the heat and dust at the Sales Booth location.
Many of the next-generation pilots took their first 'flight' in the Museum's biplane.
The Fleet Finch, SE5a and the Sopwith Pup keep company with their more modern brethren.
This includes the RCAF CF-18 fighter seen here as backdrop to the WW1 SE5a.
Museum members Bill and George fly in the airshow in a Harvard 4 and Beech Staggerwing
demonstrating the diverse interests and experience of Museum volunteers.



Boundary Bay Airshow 2018

The annual airshow at Boundary Bay - to the southeast of Vancouver International Airport - was a great success. Not only was the weather excellent, but the participation by international organizations and the public was first class.

The Museum flew three of its collection from Langley to the airshow - the 1940 Fleet Finch biplane, the 1955 Fleet Canuck trainer and its recently built Sopwith Pup replica. The Museum's sales crew were kept busy with selling aviation memorabilia.

So why was the volunteer near the deadly propellor in the photo on the Home page? This Finch biplane has no built-in electrical system. That was too much of a luxury for the RCAF in 1940! So each time it goes flying the engine has to be started by a trained volunteer swinging the propeller until the engine roars into life. Special training - and steady nerves - are required for this task. But with a rigid protocol of calls and hand signals the engine can be started safely. 

A huge Canso flying boat was on display. This WW2 aircraft, based in Victoria, BC, was a common sight in these skies at one time. From the US came a trio of interesting warbirds from the Erickson Collection - a Corsair, a Bf 109 and a Grumman Hellcat. Amazing displays of aerobatics and skydiving filled the program for several hours.

The Sopwith Pup was on display near the sales booth when it was not flying.
The airshow is very much a family affair.
One of the Misty Blues skydivers prepares to land at the opening of the airshow.
The Museum's Fleet Canuck is foreground to a formation aerobatic routine by
Yellow Thunder with two Harvard aircraft.
(Photo credit: Tania Ryan)



Pops and Props 2018

Blue skies and a happy crowd made this an event worth repeating. Watch for it next year on Father's Day.

Pops and Props was very much a family event.

Family time at the Museum with the Tutor.
A happy visitor at Props and Pops.



Pitt Meadows Fly-in

On 2 June, 2018 the Museum participated in a fly-in at Pitt Meadows Airport.

The Museum's Sopwith Pup and Fleet Finch act as guardians to the CMF sales tent.
The Museum's Fleet Canuck returns to Pitt Meadows in the same colours
that were worn by the Aero Club of BC's training aircraft in the 1960s.
Langley was well represented by the Fraser Blues demonstration team, and...
...a group of Langley pilots who demonstrated the amazing short takeoff and landing
qualities of their aircraft.
The all-important ingredient to every Museum event - the staff and volunteers who
enthusiastically gave up their free time to participate in the event at Pitt Meadows.



In the Hangar

Technical projects continue steadily in and around the hangar. The restoration of the Museum's DH82C Tiger Moth has taken a step forward with the completion of the repairs to the forward fuselage and the application of the yellow finish. Of course, underneath the standard Air Force trainer colour are layers of finish and UV protection that are all sprayed on with painstaking precision.

The Tiger Moth forward fuselage has the plywood structure covered in fabric
that is then sprayed with multiple layers of special finish.


Another ongoing project is to get both Sopwith Pups ready for the air. Earlier engine difficulties have been solved by replacing the engines with the widely-used Lycoming engine. The engines have been dismantled and reconditioned to give a long trouble-free life in Museum service.
Parts for this Lycoming O-235 for the Sopwith Pup have been inspected and repainted.
Do you know what the engines that power the Museum's aircraft look like? Come and see the engine displays in the hangar and courtyard. The displays show the inline, Vee, radial and flat cylinder configuration of various manufacturers.
Everyone has heard of a Piper Cub - right? This display engine is the Continental A-65 that
powered (and still powers) the iconic aircraft. Did you know that 200 Piper Cubs were built in Ontario?
 And what about the engines in the flying, or soon to be flying, fleet? Yes, they have to be maintained and cared for as well. Annual inspections, engine runs and test flights are all part of being ready for the airshow season.
The Museum's 1930 Waco INF (left) and 1940 Fleet Finch outside in the spring sunshine for engine runs.

Annual General Meeting 2018

The Museum held its Annual General Meeting on 12 May in the hangar. Earlier in the day, volunteers moved aircraft outside into the sunshine and arranged tables and chairs. By 5.30pm guests were arriving for the 6pm compimentary light dinner. By the time of the meeting about 60 Members and friends of the Museum were gathered. After presentations by the President and the General Manager a volunteer award was made. The recipient was Sam Beljanski. Sam has been an enthusiastic volunteer who participated in the construction of the two Sopwith Pup aircraft and then travelled to France for the Vimy commemoration in 2017.
The elections for Directors for the Museum Board were then held. The successful candidates were Rick Church, Rebecca Darnell, and Matt Offer who were re-elected to the Board. Newly elected to the Board were Al French and Tania Ryan.


Westland Lysander

Have you heard of the special aircraft that flew across the English Channel in World War 2? In August 1941 a new squadron, No. 138 (Special Duties), was formed to undertake missions for the Special Operations Executive to maintain clandestine contact with the French Resistance. The Lysander could insert and remove agents from the continent or retrieve Allied aircrew who had been shot down over occupied territory and had evaded capture.
Have you visited the Lysander at the Museum?
This is the 'front office' of the Museum's Lysander.
For more on the Lysander story, see:
Is the Lysander just another of the old painted-up wrecks from WW2? Not on your life! There are several flightworthy Lysanders including two in Canada. What is the story on flying one of these classic machines?
Read the whole fascinating story at the Vintage Wings of Canada website:


Spring skies

The Museum's grand old Douglas DC-3 is glittering in the spring sky. Refurbishment work over the winter includes recovering the flight controls with new fabric. Typical of aircraft of this era, the all-metal DC-3 has fabric covered ailerons, elevators and rudder. The elements are hard on these surfaces and a time-consuming project is under way to keep the old flyer in top condition.

 For more on this historic aircraft, see;


Family Day at the Museum

Family Day, 12 February, was our most successful yet. There were over 800 guests and the Museum made $2,500 in donations and gift-shop/concession sales. The weather was sunny, but cold. Fortunately, the snow held off until after dark.
The Snowbird and Starfighter photo ops are always popular.
The Junior Jet-Club members enjoyed the event.
Since Valentine's Day was so close, the Beechcraft Expeditor became the Beechcraft "Love Expeditor"
where our guests could drop their love wishes to Cupid into the airmail bag.
The Love Expeditor departed Valentine's Eve. Destination: Cupid's Cloud (Runway XOX)!
Another popular gag was "Guess the number of jelly beans in the candy jar." "Laura" guessed 601.
The jar contained 610 beans. Laura won the beans and a year's Family Membership to the museum.

 SE5A on display in Vancouver

The Museum's SE5A is on display in downtown Vancouver. The aircraft was taken to the Westin Bayshore for the media grand opening of HJU:Z Lounge on Thursday, November 16th. The name is a phonetic representation of the surname Hughes, as in Howard Hughes, the eccentric tycoon and aviation pioneer who stayed in the landmark hotel for six months in 1972. Hughes was besotted with the harbour seaplane ops which he could clearly see from his suite.
We wish HJU:Z the greatest success!
In April of 2017 the SE5A was shipped to France and flew in the Vimy Ridge Memorial remembrance. For a little aircraft it sure gets around. And yes, it is a flying replica of the WW1 aircraft. Come to the Museum in Langley and see more!
Where else in Canada, but Vancouver, could you have
flowers blooming just a few weeks before Christmas?
The Museum volunteer team with Manager, Dave Arnold, second from right.
The aviation experience level is probably hundreds of years...
The SE5A tucked away safely in a corner of the entrance to the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver.
 For more on the Museum's SE5A have a look at;


Remembrance Day

The Museum participated in the Remembrance Day services by flying one of the Sopwith Pup replicas that were so carefully constructed in the last two years. Pilot, Bill Findlay, braved the wintery skies and flew over Delta, South Surrey and Langley.

The Museum's Sopwith Pup in flight from Langley.



Pups for Pups

The fund-raising event benefited the Langley Animal Protection Society and the Museum. Here is a sample of the activities - -



Air Canada

Air Canada news release:

“On September 1, 1937, Air Canada (then Trans Canada Air Lines) took wing with a Vancouver-Seattle flight. The plane, a Lockheed L10A, weighed a little more than half of what a single engine on our biggest Boeing 777 does. In our first full year, we flew 2,086 customers, not even two per cent of the number we now carry on a moderately busy day. Our company has grown exponentially over its 80 years, and so many generations of dedicated employees have taken Air Canada from strength to strength to industry-leading innovations in safety, passenger comfortable and efficiency. This includes being the first airline to install aircraft deicing nozzles, the first to make its North America-Europe flights non-smoking (followed by a total smoking ban), and the first to use a computerized reservations system.”

A restored Lockheed 10A.
This type initiated the first flight for Trans Canada Air Lines 
80 years ago.
The flight was between Vancouver and Seattle.
Another classic Lockheed flown by Trans Canada is in the Museum's collection awaiting restoration - the Lockheed Lodestar. For more on this aircraft, see;
Other aircraft in the TCA/AC livery from Lockheed were the;
Lockheed Super Constellation...
... and the Lockheed L1011 Tristar.
(Photo credits: Air Canada)

Canadian Geographic Society presentation

The Canadian Geographic Society was one of the major players at the Vimy Ridge Centennial Commemoration. On 23 August they sponsored a seminar for Vancouver-area history teachers at the Museum. They had huge 9m x 12m maps laid out on the hangar floor while they did a small scale tour of the battlefields. Museum docent, Matt Offer, then conducted a tour of the museum after which the teachers enjoyed a hands on tour of our two Sopwith Pups. The two Pups then went for a ten minute local flight to show off the airplanes.

Vancouver-area teachers gather at the Museum in front of a WW1 replica Sopwith Pup.
The giant floor map used by the Canadian Geographic Society to tell of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
Gord carries out a meticulous pre-flight inspection before the flight.
The two Pups taxi out at Langley surrounded by their sleeker, modern bretheren.
The Pups approach the airport with  the mountains to the north providing a grand backdrop.
The Pups climb away from the airport.
An enemy pilot's nightmare - a glance over the shoulder showing a Pup about to attack!
 (Photo credits: Grace Yan)


The Big Chill

This event on Saturday, 29 July was a day out for aircraft fans - and ice-cream lovers!

The program started with the ageless aviation event of a fabric-covered biplane being started by hand in front of the crowd. The cry of 'Contact' was followed by the mellow rumble of the Finch's 5-cylinder Kinner radial. A more modern touch was provided by the press-button start of the Museum's Sopwith Pup replica that proceded to take to the skies for a flypast. Then there was the smoke and roar of the Harvard's 600-hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine as it filled the hangar with freshly-burnt aviation oil.

Have you ever wondered what pilots look at when they do their pre-flight ritual? It was all explained by instructor David McIntosh with a young 'student pilot' in tow. 

The crowd was able to shelter from the scorching sun in seating in the hangar while watching the events - and taste the delicious ice-cream treats - thanks Carla.


Boundary Bay Airshow 2017

The Museum was, once again, a participant in the Boundary Bay Airshow. Two of its flying collection were included in the flypasts along with many other classic and modern aircraft. The newly restored Fleet Canuck was attending its first airshow, as was the new-build Sowith Pup replica. The grey skies and occasional sprinkle did not damp the spirits of the large audience.

An early start by Museum volunteers had the sales booth up and running by show time.
This magnificently restored Consolidated PBY Canso from Victoria, BC was on display.
The aircraft, built in Quebec in 1943, paid tribute to the wartime service of
RCAF Flight Lieutenant Edward Scott.
A rare visitor to Canadian skies was this Douglas SBD dive bomber
from the Erickson Aircraft Collection in Oregon.
The Museum's Fleet Canuck performs at the airshow, along with its partner...
... the Sopwith Pup that was a visitor at the Vimy commemoration in France this year. 


Gleaming in the sun

As reported earlier, the Museum's classic DC-3 airliner is now sitting adjacent to Fraser Highway. Work is underway to keep it in showcase condition - a challenge considering the weather and the feathered friends who visit often.
The DC-3's shiny exterior and fresh paint record its heritage with BC's airlines.
Thanks to Peter and Alf for their dedication in the hot sun.

If you are tired of watching the plants grow at your favourite coffee shop,
come join us as a volunteer and bring some aviation history back to life.


The Pup flies over the mountains.

 The label by the censor of, "somewhere over France," does not apply to these shots of the Pup in the local mountains to the north of Langley Airport.

The CMF Pup 'Betty/Phyllis' flies near the Golden Ears...
...and over Stave Lake.
(Photo credit: Ann Fessenden)


Museum at Langley Aero Club Fly-in

The Museum was well represented by some of its classic aircraft on Saturday, 17 June at Langley Regional Airport. The Pup, after arriving from Abbotsford, joined its fellow flyers on display.

The Sopwith Pup on display was joined by...
...the newly-restored Fleet Canuck, and...
...the 1930 Waco INF.
The Museum aircraft were in the good company
of this colourful Langley resident - a Beech 17 Staggerwing.
(Photo credit: Ann Fessenden)



Sopwith Pup returns to Langley

The Museum's Pup 'Betty/Phyllis' flew into Langley on Saturday, 17 June from Abbotsford. Since leaving in a dismantled state on March 11, the Pup has traveled 17,000km to Lille, France for the Vimy commemoration and back to Langley. Of course, this little machine could not have done it without the cooperation of many friends, especially the RCAF transport squadron.

The Pup 'Betty/Phyllis' touches down at Langley.
The smile says it all! Pilot, Al French, shows his delight with the flight.
The exclusive band of brothers, all veterans of the Vimy commemoration, pose in front of the Pup.
The Pup rests in front of the Museum ready for a busy summer of display flying.
(Photo credit: D. Cardy)
The flags are flying, so come and visit us at the Museum.


The aircraft involved in the Vimy Remembrance are now back home

Through the generosity of the RCAF, the Museum aircraft involved at Vimy in April are now back in BC. A CC-130 flew the three dismantled aircraft back to Abbotsford Airport on 2 June. A team from the Museum - Directors, the Manager and volunteers - gathered to unload the aircraft and store them in a hangar.
The SE5A is removed from the CC-130...
...followed by Pup 'Betty/Phyllis'.
The RCAF Hercules crew pose with the Museum crew after the unloading was complete.
This week, the first of the aircraft was assembled at Abbotsford for its flight back to Langley.
The crew begin the assembly process on Pup No. 1 - Wayne, Sam and Al.
On the wettest day of the week, the vital parts are kept dry.
The Pup is substantially complete - thanks to Ray, Sam, Wayne, Jim and Al.


Letter from the Township of Langley

The Mayor of the Township of Langley, Jack Froese, has sent the Museum a letter of appreciation for its contribution to the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge.

View the letter;

2017 Museum Annual General Meeting

The Museum held its 2017 AGM on 6 May at the Hangar in Langley, BC. A light meal was served followed by the business meeting. 

President, Bruce Bakker, addresses the gathering.
Volunteer, Ray Fessenden, receives his award from Manager, Mike Sattler,
in recognition of his dedication in overseeing the construction of the Sopwith Pup aircraft.
The audience watch a video of the SE5 in action at Vimy.
The video was prepared by Museum volunteer Al French.
(Photo credits: Mike Luedey)
There was discussion on the new Museum Constitution and Bylaws in conformance with the requirements of the Societies Act of B.C.
The election of Board Members resulted in Bruce Friesen, David McIntosh and Bruce Webster being added to the Board. Bruce Bakker, Dave Arnold and Allan Snowie were re-elected to the Board. They join current members, Matt Offer, Rick Church and Rebecca Darnell to complete the CMF Board of Directors .

Relocation of storage containers.

To assist the Museum with its critical shortage of storage space, some of the shipping containers were rearranged for better access and more efficient utilization.

An existing container was relocated a few metres...
...while a third container used to store mundane articles,
such as tables and chairs, was brought within the perimeter fence.
All this done under the cheery, precision guidance of Dick of Bear Cranes.
The company has been a good friend to the Museum for over 20 years.

Flypast at the Vimy Memorial

 The Museum and Vimy Flight participated in a flight to remember the aircarft that participated in the opening of the Canadian National Vimy Monument in July 1936.
The Vimy Monument as viewed from the Museum's SE5A.
Museum and Vimy Flight aircraft fly over the Vimy Monument
recreating the flight at the opening of the Monument in 1936.
The 'squadron' of replica aircraft that were on hand for the Vimy commemoration.
The Pup that Museum volunteers built is on the right.
In the spirit of the time, visitors pose with the Museum's Pup in the colours of Sub-Lt. Fall.
Not far from everyone's mind was the memory of those who gave their lives in 1917.

Museum crew in action at Vimy

Museum Team Lead, Ray, with Alisdair and Pup 'Happy'.
The colour scheme honours pilot, Lt-Cdr Lloyd Breadner, of Ontario.
Museum pilot, Al, with technician Phil and the SE5A 'Gogi'.
The markings honour pilot, Captain Donald MacLaren, of Ottawa.
Museum technicians, Jim and Sam, with Pup 'Betty/Phyllis'.
The colour scheme honours the pilot, Flt-Cdr Joseph Fall, of Vancouver Island.
CMF pilot, Al French, (center) with the Museum's SE5A at Lens Airport.
For additional information see Vimy Flight;
and their Facebook page;

April 9, 2017: Unveiling of "Victory At Vimy Ridge"

In celebration of the April 9th Vimy flyover in France, the Museum held its own Vimy commemoration featuring the unveiling of “Victory at Vimy Ridge” by BC artist, Doby Dobrostanski.
Victory at Vimy Ridge” depicts the Museum’s own “Betty” in her wartime element, 100 years ago. Doby’s interpretation of the event is amazing, showing elements of the ground and air battle.
Three generations of the Fall family were present for the unveiling of the canvas.
A limited number of prints were available for purchase. Some of the proceeds from the sale of the prints will be donated by the artist to the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 232, and the Canadian Museum of Flight.
Carla addressing the Fall family and guests at the unveiling of the painting.
Sub-Lt. Joes Fall's son, Mike, addressing the group about the life of his father.
The Fall family unveil the canvas showing the Sopwith Pup in action in WW1.
The artist, Doby Dobrostanski, stands with his masterpiece of
Joe Fall's Sopwith in action over the trenches.
The painting details the air war, the carnage on the ground and the
Canadian monument to the Battle at Vimy Ridge.
For more on the artist from Gillies Bay, on Texada Island, in southwest BC see;


Museum Pup in France

The second Sopwith Pup built by the Museum is on display for the Vimy commemoration.
(Photo credit: Bob Barrett from Sound Ventures)



Low-flying DC-3

The Museum's DC-3 took to the air twice on a soggy spring day in March. To assist the airport with future plans, the aircraft was moved to the new site of the Museum, to the west of the north-south runway adjacent to Fraser Highway. This entailed lifting the aircraft (weighing in at 17,500 lbs) over a hangar, towing it down the taxiway, then again lifting it over a road into position.
Here's what the move looked like;
The DC-3 is lifted from its previous location near 216 St.
The DC-3 being towed past the Museum.
The second lift being made over the airport service road 
to its final destination adjacent to the new Museum location.

 A big "Thank You" to Maxum Cranes and Ivan for lifting our very special DC-3 with care and professionalism.  



2017 Gala

The Museum held its annual fundraising gala in Langley on 4 March, 2017. Held at the classic Murrayville Heritage Hall, the event was supported by over 100 guests. These included Museum members, business leaders, civic officials and MP John Aldag.
The Gala was titled ‘Springtime in Paris’ to fit with the theme of the Museum aircraft travelling to France for the Battle of Vimy Ridge celebrations in April.
The guest of honour was the Patron of the Museum, BC Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Judith Guichon. Her Honour welcomed the guests and spoke to many of the attendees. After the meal, Her Honour and her Aide-de-Camp, Captain Taius Yoo, excused themselves from the Gala.
Bidding got under way for a number of items including an actual wooden aircraft propeller, a bomber jacket and tickets to Vimy for the celebration and to Ottawa for the Canada Day celebrations. The Mystery Bag draw, a gorgeous ring, was donated by Key Largo Jewellers. Numerous other items were available in the silent auction. The event was kept on track by MC – and auctioneer – for the evening, Scott Barratt, from Creative DJ Services.
Her Honour, Judith Guichon, welcomes Gala guests.
Her Honour with Jasper and the symbolic red poppy.
Her Honour Judith Giuchon, MP John Aldag, Rebecca Darnell and Captain Taius Yoo.
 The Museum would like to recognize the following Gala Sponsors:

Pretty Estates Resort                                 Fraser Blues Formation Flying Team
Chinook Helicopters                               Harbour Air Seaplanes
Air Canada                                                  
Forbidden Vancouver Tours
Backyard Vineyards                                Allan Snowie
Fitness Unlimited Health Club           
Jade Fine Foods
Shoppers Drug Mart                               Lee Hall Epicure Consultant
George Kirbyson                                      Carla Deminchuk
Langley Golf and Banquet Centre     
Von euw BREW                                        
Key Largo Jewelry
Koch Greenhouses                                  David Valentine




The coffee shop adjacent to the Museum is open for business!
Operating hours are from 8am to 4pm from Tuesday to Saturday.
It is under the same management as the famous Chilliwack Airport coffee shop,
that is now closed - sadly for many aviators and local customers.
The Museum - and all of Langley - give a hearty welcome to the Airport Coffee Shop.
Remember their famous slogan;
"I Fly For Pie!"
 So pick a suitable flying day, crank up the Cessna (or the Chevy) and fly in to Langley for a real treat!
While they are getting settled in the new location the selection of pies will be limited.
Check them out on Facebook or call at 604 532-0136.

Museum artifact cooperation

The Museum continues its efforts to cooperate with other museums by trading items that are surplus to the Museum's needs. Although we had a Frazer-Nash gun turret from a Lancaster, there was not much chance of us gaining a Lancaster to go with the turret. The solution was to send our turret to Windsor, Ontario to be fitted to the Lancaster being restored at the Canadian Historical Aircraft Association.

For more on this story, see;

Around the Museum 

The Museum hangar is now restocked with the usual fleet.
Robert admires his handiwork in the refurbishment of the Struchen helicopter.
More information on the Struchen at;
The locally-built Struchen helicopter is now on display at Science World in Vancouver.
The Rotary Wing Restoration Team pose with their latest work. Robert, Alf and Peter
are the team who refurbished the Struchen (rear) and Bensen (front).
Actually, they will restore anything that flies or wheels its way!

Vimy Flight

Don't forget to check out the Vimy Flight website

Vimy Flight

March 2017 Update:
 The seven Vimy Flight aircraft have arrived at the Lille Airport in France via RCAF C-17 transport.
The Pups are unloaded in France from the C-17 for transport to Lens airport...
...followed by the Nieuports.
Update from the Snowie family;
The past few days of managing the biplanes have been extremely busy - an already big job made more difficult by awful weather (cold rain in 20 mph winds with higher gusts). However unwelcoming the elements, the opposite is true of the French, who could not be more friendly and helpful. They are making all the difference. Folks from the airfield in Lens, where the planes will be based, arranged for transport trucks, hangars and anything else needed to position the aircraft. Some Lille airport staff came in on their weekend off to escort us through the tight airport security so we could access the 4 Nieuports which are hangared there until suitable flying weather arrives (the high winds are forecast for at least another week!). The winds were so high we could not taxi, or even walk, the Nieuports (which were flown over here with wings on) to the hangar - we had to strap them on to the flatbed trucks (which were really there to transport the wings-off Sopwith Pups and the SE5 to Lens airport) and drive them over. The good news was that by the time the Nieuports were sorted out, the rain had stopped and we did not have to tarp the wingless aircraft for the 20 mile highway trip - tarps were proving impossible to handle in the winds as it was.
At Comox AFB, on Vancouver Island, the Nieuports were loaded onto the C-17 first...
...followed by the Pups.
The Pups securely located in the giant cargo hold for their trip to the Vimy celebration.

Note: for earlier progress reports, see Collection: Sopwith Pup Replica -


The Skyways Stearman.

The Stearman biplane originally flown by Skyways has been added to the Museum collection. Another yellow biplane for the Museum? Yes, this aircraft, built as a Boeing-Stearman A75N1 in 1942, is one of the most historically significant aircraft to come into the Museum's collection. It was flown by Skyways founder, Art Seller, from Langley for many years. It has been in storage by the family with only brief periods of activity in recent years.
David Seller, son of Skyways founder, Art Seller, donated the aircraft to the Museum at a signing ceremony on 3 November, 2016. Accompanying him were several people who were associated with the original Skyways staff. 
David Seller (R) is presented with a Lifetime Family Membership
on 9 November by Museum President, Bruce Bakker.
For more on the story of Art Seller and Skyways, see;

For the history of the Stearman aircraft, go to;


A Nation Soars:

The Canadian Museum of Flight, in association with Sound Ventures and The Royal Canadian Geographic Society, are participating in the First World War commemorative project Wings of Courage, and Flight Path of Heroes as part of the 'A Nation Soars' program. The CMF is tasked with building, then flying, two replica Sopwith Pup biplanes. After completion of the first Pup the two planes were formally gifted to the CMF to become part of a permanent exhibit.

As part of this program, two replica Nieuport fighters will team up with the Museum aircraft as Vimy Flight. More at
For information on how to donate to help Vimy Flight succeed, go to:

Note: for earlier progress reports, see Collection: Sopwith Pup Replica -

Would you like to learn more about the Sopwith Aviation Company? Look here;

Did you know that the original Sopwith Pup had a ROTARY engine? This is different from the RADIAL engine that is still in use today. Learn more at;



The Official announcement of The CMF participating in A Nation Soars.

The Canadian Museum of Flight, in association with Sound Ventures and The Royal Canadian Geographic Society, will be participating in the First World War commemorative project Wings of Courage, and Flight Path of Heroes as part of the 'A Nation Soars' program. The CMF is tasked with building, then flying, two replica Sopwith Pup biplanes.  Once completed, the two planes are to be formally gifted to the CMF to become part of a permanent exhibit.