Boundary Bay Airshow
The Museum again participated at the annual Boundary Bay Airshow on 23 July. Two of the Museum's fleet represented the Museum in the opening event - the SE5A replica and the Harvard II. In the Heritage Hangar the Museum's Sopwith Camel replica and sales booth provided additional coverage of the Museum's activities.
Boundary Bay Airport celebrates 75 years of operation this year. The airport was a major contributor to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan on the West Coast.
The Airshow was a delight for those enthusiasts who delight in the RR (Roaring Radials) sound, with 20 examples of these engines powering aircraft in flight displays.
The Museum's SE5A flanked by two of the Harvards.
The Museum's Harvard in company with six other Harvards that paid tribute to
the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.
Brothers, David and Drew Watson from Alberta proved that the Harvard still has plenty of spirit left.
Rare visitors to these skies were the Oscar and Lockheed P-38 from
the Erickson Aircraft Collection of Oregon...
...together with a B-17G and a Chance-Vought Corsair.
It's a flyer!
The Museum's SE5A replica returned to the air on 12 July after a lengthy refit and modification program. The engine and electrical systems have been upgraded to give the aircraft independence from the need for a 'prop swinger' in its previous configuration. In the capable hands of General Manager, Mike Sattler, taxi and high-speed handling checks were conducted. After a complete check of the aircraft, all systems were declared 'Go' and Mike took the SE5A into the air, conducting handling checks and takeoff and landings. A post-flight inspection declared, "No snags, no leaks" and it won't be long before it takes to the air again.
For more on the history of the aircraft, see;
Mike ready to launch the SE5A into the wild blue yonder.
The name pays tribute to long-time Museum member "Gogi" Goguillot.
The SE5A entering its element.
A dramatic skyscape frames the aircraft.
The SE5A drops over the lush scenery of the Fraser Valley as it approaches Langley Airport...
...to a flawless, classic three-pointer landing.
Museum members welcome Mike after the successful test flight.
The SE5A shares the ramp with a visiting Nieuport fighter from Vimy Flight.
How often do you get a reminder of aviation from 100 years ago at the same airport?
One of the many ongoing projects at the Museum is to keep our display aircraft in good shape. Even if we believe they are not going airborne any time soon, they still need regular attention to their condition. The Canadair-built CL-30 Silver Star (Lockheed T-33) is undergoing a refresher at present. The aluminum exterior skin is being polished and the RCAF operational markings renewed. Then the whole aircraft will be clear coated to preserve the finish. On the agenda is the addition of the tip tanks - large capacity fuel tanks to extend the range of the aircraft. These are presently in storage as their size prevents them being fitted at the T-33's present location on the airside area of the Museum hangar. A further exciting possibility is the moving of the aircraft to the location of the new Museum facility on the south side of Langley airport accessible from the Fraser Highway.
Museum volunteer, Ron, has the restoration project underway. Would you like to help?
Time, muscle power, attention to detail and a good pair of sunglasses are the requirements.
Of course, if none of the above are practical, a donation to the project would be very acceptable.
Call the Museum at 604-532-0035.
For more on this historic trainer, see;
Around the Museum work continues on a number of projects. The Harvard has had an electronics upgrade with the fitting of a new transponder. Now it gets an exterior cleanup with removal of outdated radio and navigation antennas.
Bruce and Dave remove surplus antenna and fit blanking plates to the rear fuselage.
The movie industry continue to be a good customer of the Museum by renting special items not
readily found elsewhere. Do you have a need for some specialty items for a presentation?
Do you need props for props? Call us.
The 1960s-era airport tug is loaded and is on its way to a movie shoot - including a vintage driver!
Is it time to entertain the grandkids? Come visit us and be entertained and educated. Even things to keep the littlest ones happy - -
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 www.facebook.com/groups/1682903768639218/
For information on how to donate to help Vimy Flight succeed, go to:
June 2016 Update:
Here we are in June and the rollout of the first Sopwith Pup is nearing. How are the construction crews coping with the stress of the deadline? They are hurrying in a very constrained manner in keeping with the principles of aviation. Every construction step is double checked before the next process is started. A Government-approved inspector keeps his eye on the project to ensure safety goals are reached. The combined talent of the crews is probably in the hundreds-of-years category - much more than that of the original Sopwith factory, it is assumed.
The many talents of the Museum volunteers are surfacing - saddlemaker, signwriter, upholsterer, avionics technician, licenced aircraft engineer, machinist, auto mechanic and not a few antique aircraft buffs. Throw in a few pilots and you have a mix of skills that cannot be equalled.
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;
For information on the replica Pup construction and engine, go to;
As June draws to a close, the pace continues for the Pup builders. The fuselage of the second aircraft is in the hangar getting its preliminary fit-out for the firewall and engine. Meanwhile, the first Pup has had its wings clipped to give more space for its sibling. Work will continue on finishing the engine installation.
Al prepares the fuselage frame to take the firewall. Just as its name suggests, the stainless steel
firewall is a standard piece of aircraft construction between the engine and the rest of the structure.
Kevin checks that the machine gun will be adequate for dispatching enemy aircraft.
So what happens when a plane is ready for its first flight? Does the test pilot just hope that everything will work out Ok? Or does he sweat it out the night before and make sure his parachute is ready? None of the above, fortunately. Since the early days of flight, the process of getting an aircraft ready for test flying has been well established. The process of computing the weight and balance of an aircraft is detailed in technical manuals. Here is the first step - the weighing of the aircraft.
Pup No. 1 is placed on scales to determine the weight at each of the landing gear. Calculations are
done to ensure that the aircraft is in balance and neither too nose-heavy nor too tail-heavy.
17 June, 2016 Update;
The long-awaited day has arrived for the unveiling of the first Sopwith Pup constructed by the Canadian Museum of Flight to celebrate the Battle of Vimy Ridge 99 years ago. Sunny skies and a light breeze made it an unforgettable day.
The Pup awaits its rollout to the waiting crowd in its colours of Flight Sub-Lieutenant Fall.
Flight Sergeant Alex Knopp represents the Air Cadets of 746 Squadron
who spent many hours on the construction program.
Museum volunteers Alex, Ray, Peter and Phil wait for the signal to roll the Pup out into the sunshine.
Sound Ventures President, Tim Joyce, addresses dignitaries and guests at the
unveiling while the breeze spreads the Canada and BC flags.
Museum Vice-President Dave Arnold and Langley Airport personality George Miller address the group.
Museum volunteers roll the Pup out into the sunshine for the
first time to the accompanyment of the Pipers.
Michael and Nancy of South Fraser Pipes and Drums piped the Pup out of Hangar 3.
The flypast of the two Nieuport aircraft of Vimy Flight is made against the backdrop of the Golden Ears.
One of the two Nieuport replicas that will accompany the Sopwith Pups to Vimy. The roundels
on the upper wing are the French version - accurate for this period of the war when the aircraft
were ordered in a hurry from France and only the side markings were specified for the factory!
The Pup has its feathers! The tail structures and all four wings were fitted today.
Team Leader, Ray, poses with the vertical stabilizer after the horizontal stab. and elevator were fitted.
The completed tail end showing its classic Sopwith shape.
Sam catches a quiet minute to do the final lettering.
The move is on - the Pup is moved from its assembly position to the final assembly line.
The cheerleaders move into place to cheer the workers on - Annette and Bernada.
The lower left wing goes into place...
...followed quickly by the lower right.
The upper left is swung into place. How many men does it take to put on a wing?
Phil, Kevin, Roy, Wayne, Jim, Ray, Al and Peter make up the crew.
Bolts, camera, action - the upper right wing is secured.
The Pup is resting quietly after all the action, finally having a feeling of completeness.
Sam the Signwriter uses WW1 techniques to authentically recreate
the original logo for the aircraft flown by Flight Sub-Lieutenant Joe Fall of Vancouver Island.
Above, Gord gets his exercise by connecting the hardware to the upper-wing centre section.
Now the details are filled in.
But what is this? A different name on the other side? What is going on here?
For the whole truth see our Aviation History section and scroll to the bottom of the story; canadianflight.org/content/gc-joseph-fall
The engine has been installed and the detailed work of hooking up all the connections is under way.
For details on the engine see;
The spun-aluminum cowl is being fitted.
The cockpit fitout is nearing completion.
Work continued over the weekend with more milestones met. All four wings and the wing centre-section are ready to fly. As well;
The fuselage has its UV protection completed and is now in the rather modern RCAF low-visibility grey colour - but not for much longer. The fuselage is inverted to allow fitting of the landing gear.
The rest of the Museum's flying fleet await the arrival of the litter of Pups.
Al prepares the axle to receive the wheel, while Bernada lends a helping hand.
Wheels down and locked! Al, Bill and Phil confirm all the hardware is in place.
The engine mount is, of course, a temporary measure...
The landing-gear crew dodge splatters of the olive paint that Roy is meticuouly applying.
All the external finishes are user-friendly and so can be applied in the hangar without special measures.
Do you remember the previous entry under 'Lord of the Rings'? Well, here is part 2 of the story.
After the rings were glued in place, the finish was applied to the surface, then the roundels painted.
But closer to flight time there comes a time when the flight controls have to be connected inside the wing.
The beautiful finish is marred by cutting out some of the circles for access to the controls - and to allow the inspector to verify that everything is ready for flight. A small panel with spring clips will
cover the holes to keep the aerodynamic shape - and to keep the starlings from nesting!
Here's the latest from the Pup kennel (a.k.a CMF Hangar);
Work on the fuselage is well under way with fabric covering complete and the UV-protective covering
being applied. The final wing - #4 - has had the four UV layers applied and is awaiting its distinctive camouflage color.
Kevin, Ray, Bill and Air Cadet Alex, prepare the fuselage side for the reinforcing tapes.
The fuselage is rotated in the fixture to bring the top upright for application of the
finishing tapes. Jim, Air Cadets Terry and Felix, with Bill and Sam make it all happen.
Felix applies the UV-protective layer by brush to give good saturation to
the fabric before the next layers are sprayed on.
Bill lays out the final fuselage covering and within a few hours it goes from a rumpled state....
...to a ballroom beauty under the careful eye of Jim handling the calibrated iron.
The leather cockpit surround is complete and ready for installation.
Kevin and Sam mark out the roundels for the lower surface of wing #3...
...and in no time the artwork is coming to life.
Wing No. 3 has the first coat of finish applied by brush to ensure good penetration of the fibres.
In the background are the two completed wings, with prep work on No. 4 started.
Kevin, a graduate of the BCIT program for aircraft mechanics, applies the pneumatic
gun to fasten the tubular rivets that hold the fabric to the structure on wing No. 4.
Lord of the Rings - or what? How do the mechanics work on the interior
of a fabric wing? There are no easy, hinged inspection panels as on a metal wing.
Instead, plastic reinforcing circles are glued onto the lower wing fabric during construction.
These can be cut out as required at a later date without affecting the structural integrity
of the fabric covering. The aluminum fitting is the tie-down structure to
prevent the aircraft from flying away on a windy day without the pilot.
The undercarriage for the Pup is being manufactured with the wheels
showing the classic streamline fairings of the original.
Ray applies the heat - to the fabric (as well as to the construction crew!)
- in the first stage of covering the rear fuselage.
At last! The faithfully recreated logo of the Sopwith company now adorns the vertical tail of the Pup.
No computer graphics and vinyl lettering for this classic - all authentically created by volunteer Sam.
The roundels on the upper wings have been started....
...and indeed have been completed on one wing by Sam!
Meanwhile, the painstaking work of fitting out the cockpit continues.
The wiring is complete and the instrument panel is being prepared.
The authentic goat-hide cockpit surround is being manufactured from scratch by Jeff.
Even to the correct details for the lacing of the edges.
Hey kids, do you want to see the secret construction plans for the Pup?
Don't tell anyone that you saw this...
Did you know that most sunny days at the Museum are an Open House? That is, the canopies and doors of many of our exhibits are open for closer inspection. Here's a sample;
Canadair CT-114 Tutor
Even the entrance to the Hangar is an 'Open House' - engine nacelles off a Douglas DC-10 jetliner.
Enter the Hangar for more displays - through a jet engine nacelle.
The interior of a modern jet engine greets visitors to the Hangar after passing through the nacelle.
Artwork by Virginia Ivanicki, who also created the artwork in the Museum's Lancaster display.
See how they run...
We are one of the few museums in the country that is fortunate to have operational aircraft. Here is what it takes to keep them in running condition;
The Firecat, a retired Conair water bomber, is kept in operational condition (although, at present, not airworthy) by running the engines and operating the electrical and hydraulic systems. Standby for some night-time engine runs - did you know the exhaust pipes can be seen glowing cherry red at night?
The Firecat seen recently at Langley with its engines running.
Dave spins the prop on the Waco INF - will it start?
Yes, it started first blade! Bill taxies the 1930s vintage aircraft amongst the grass at Langley.
The SE5A gets a spring warm-up to be ready to fly escort with the Sopwith Pup.
2016 Annual General Meeting
The Canadian Museum of Flight Annual General Meeting was held in the Museum Hangar in Langley on Saturday, 30 April 2016. About 55 Members and guests enjoyed refreshments before the business meeting started at 7 pm.
President, Bruce Bakker declared that the requirements for a quorum had been met. He welcomed members to the AGM and spoke of the many changes to the organization in the last year. One of these was the retirement of long-time General Manager, Terry Brunner and his replacement with Mike Sattler. Another challenge was the construction to flying status of the Sopwith Pups for the Battle of Vimy Ridge celebrations in 2017.
President Bakker presented the Financial Report and summarized the Museum’s financial position as similar to last year. However, he repeated the notice from the Treasurer that the Museum relies heavily on the Gaming Grant and the fund-raising Gala to continue operations. Other opportunities will be studied.
Mike Sattler, General Manager, presented his report that included a note of thanks to the many volunteers. He noted the presence of Her Honour, the Lieutenant Governor of BC at Member’s Day last year. He spoke of new iniatives planned, including night-time engine runs. He would like to see events in collaboration with museums at Victoria and Comox.
Director, Vic Bentley, gave the Director’s report on Museum operations. He spoke of the wide range of work carried out by Museum volunteers at the hangar and at airshows. Mention was made of the work on the Pup project and the rebuild of the Tiger Moth. The Museum also produces some publications in-house that are available at the Gift Shop.
Dave Arnold, Vice-President, briefed the meeting on the construction of the two Sopwith Pup replicas for the Vimy celebrations in 2017. He said that there were tight deadlines for the handover of the aircraft on June 18. The aircraft will be flown to and from France by the RCAF. On the return journey they would visit many communities across the country in remembrance of the history of Canada in WW1.
The meeting concluded with the election of Directors to the Museum Board. The President advised the members of the election process. He advised that there were five positions open – some for one year and some for two years – and there were six candidates. After the election the President announced the successful candidates; Rick Church, Rebecca Darnell, George Miller, Matt Offer and Sandi Sideroff.
Museum aircraft wait patiently in the sunshine for the AGM to proceed.
Members enjoy refreshments and cameraderie before the AGM.
St. George's Day at Fort Langley.
The Canadian Museum of Flight was once again invited to have a sales booth at the Langley Area Mostly British Motoring Club (L.A.M.B.) in historic Fort Langley. The event on 24 April was on a cool, showery day in contrast to the sunshine in the past weeks. However, this did not keep many enthusiasts from enjoying the classic cars on display. The lawn in front of the Fort Langley Community Hall was packed with the best of British – Morgans, Triumphs, MGs, Jaguars – not to mention a few from the stables of Aston Martin, Bentley and Rolls-Royce. Even two examples of the Nash Metropolitan in full touring configuration were in attendance. Museum volunteers were able to sell Museum merchandise and share stories of classic cars and aircraft with the attendees.
The Union Jack rules at Fort Langley on St. Georges Day.
The passing of our friend, Doug Moan
It is with our deepest sorrow that we here at the Canadian Museum of Flight announce the untimely passing of long-time volunteer, Doug Moan. Doug was a major force amongst the volunteer ranks, starting in the early days of the Museum when it was located at the Crescent Beach site. His aircraft maintenance skills were legendary. Doug's "maintenance fingerprints" are all over just about every piece of equipment in the Museum, especially the fleet of flying aircraft. Flight Operations will miss his unswerving dedication to keeping the aircraft running. Doug wrote the book on how to prop-start the Museum's non-electric aircraft such as the Fleet Finch, Tiger Moth, Waco INF and SE5a. He and his wife Arline, have spent many decades volunteering their time and energy to ensure the success of the Museum. And for this, the Museum members, volunteers, and staff are so very grateful. A memorial to honour our friend Doug will be held in early January. We will update when we know more.
- Doug Moan and the Tiger Moth – Hope Airport, BC
- Doug Moan “propping” the Fleet Finch – Langley, BC
- Doug Moan and the Museum Flight Ops gang at the 2004 Abbotsford Airshow (l. to r. - Cal Booth, George Kirbyson, George Serviss, Dave Beales, Bill Findlay, Bryan Carr, Steve Serviss, Doug Moan, Bob Fowles).
A Celebration of Life for Doug Moan was held at the CMF hangar on
Saturday, January 9 2016 at 2pm. with a flypast at 2:30
Farewell to Don Nikkel
Received from Bill Findlay:
There was a very good turnout of locals to give Don a good send off. We took three aircraft out of the Museum and then set up tables and some chairs, with good catering by the Hangar Cafe people. There was a mic setup and Dan Holliday emceed the event. The pilots briefed at 1350 and then started engines at 1415 – George Miller, Guy Miller, George Kirbyson, and me. I had Ray Fessenden in my back seat – his first ever formation flight.
After T/O on rwy 01, we joined up in Diamond over Fort Langley and then returned (rwy 19) in Finger Left with George K. doing the Missing Man pull in his Pitts. I was on the right wing and, three seconds after George “popped”, I broke to the right and stayed low. George K. and I then carried out a quick Knife Edge/Banana single ship pass with break to landing. During this time, the Millers were on a downwind to the east and timed their low level 360 with smoke just as I was about to land. They did the 360 and broke to land on 19. I was in the air for maybe eleven minutes. As George Miller said afterwards, “It’s so nice to fly with guys who know what they’re doing and when to do it.”
I think that we put on a really good show for the large crowd standing outside on a beautiful, sunny afternoon. Back inside the hangar, we (the pilots) were called up front to be introduced to those gathered there. Several people spoke at the open mike time. I eventually stepped up to the mic to give a short talk on how much the Museum’s staff and volunteers appreciated our association with Don Nikkel over the last twenty years or so. I commented on Don’s involvement with every operating engine that the Museum has and how he had donated his skills working on engines and cylinders on every one of our flying aircraft.
Don was involved with aviation for 60+ years. He learnt to fly as a teenager and then worked as an aircraft mechanic for the rest of his life. He passed away Friday, November 13, 2015.
He joined the RCAF in the 1950s and worked on many of their big aircraft equipped with powerful piston engines. Later, he went to work for Canadian Pacific Airlines, at first working on piston-powered transports and then on the first generation of jet transports. He then joined Valley Aero in Langley and put his experience to work in the general aviation scene. Do you have a problem with a balky magneto or a leaky carburettor? Just ask Don. Need the cylinders on your Continental O-200 refurbished? Don is the man.
Don and his wife flew light aircraft extensively throughout North America adding to his knowledge of the operational side of aircraft maintenance.
Don was a true friend of the Canadian Museum of Flight, frequently helping to solve problems with some vintage engine that few people had experience with. Occasionally, he would let everyone know in no uncertain terms what he thought of some of the old engines, but he never failed to do his best and get the engine returned to service. The Museum will miss his talents – and his friendly wave and blast of the horn as he drove the fuel tanker past our gate.
Member's Day 2015
Member’s Day 2015 will be remembered by a refreshing new format, an honoured guest, a great history lesson and the unveiling of two new aircraft.
Saturday, 17 October, marked the first visit by Her Honour, The Honourable Judith Guichon, OBC, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, to the Museum. Her Honour has been Patron to the Canadian Museum of Flight since 2014. Her predecessor, The Honourable Steven Point, was also Patron of the Museum.
Her Honour's arrival started with General Manager, Mike Sattler, welcoming Her Honour and introducing her to the Board Members. Director, Matt Offer, then escorted Her Honour around the Museum displays. She was then escorted by her Aide-de-Camp, Captain Taius Yoo, to the Hangar to meet the assembled Members.
Her Honour, The Honourable Judith Guichon with
Museum President, Bruce Bakker (left),
Museum Vice-President, Dave Arnold (centre) and the
Executive Producer of Sound Ventures, Tim Joyce (right).
MC, Bill Findlay, introduced the head table, followed by a talk by the Sound Ventures Executive Producer, Tim Joyce, on the goals of the 'A Nation Soars' project. Then Her Honour addressed the Members. She recalled her connection to aviation starting with marrying a bush pilot and of using light aircraft in the family business.
The Guest Speaker, Mike Fall, kept everyone entertained by the description of his family’s history on Vancouver Island. His father, Joseph Fall, after failing to join the Army in WW1, successfully joined the Navy and, in August of 1915, began service in the Royal Naval Air Service as a pilot. He had a distinguished career and went on to become one of Canada's highest scoring pilot aces of WW1, downing 36 enemy aircraft. His military career continued between the two World Wars and he finished up with the rank of Group Captain in Manitoba at the end of WW2. He returned to Vancouver Island where he operated a successful dairy farm.
For the full presentation go to the Museum's Aviation History section of this website;
Museum General Manager, Mike Sattler (left), Guest Speaker, Mike Fall, with President Bakker.
Mike Fall presented Museum President, Bruce Bakker, with his father’s flying helmet and gloves to go on display at the Museum – a noble deed to part with family treasures.
On display were the two Sopwith Pup replicas that have recently arrived from the factory in Missouri. Museum members will be busy this winter getting them in flying shape.
Engineer-in-charge of the Pup program, Ray Fessenden, explains details of
the construction while the pilot waits impatiently.
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.