A Handley Page Hampden story.
Have you ever wondered about the story behind the aircraft in the Museum’s collection? This summer, a group of visitors provided some details of the wartime operations of one of the Museum’s rare aircraft – the Handley Page Hampden.
The father of some of the visitors was a crewmember on the Hampden flying out of bases in England during World War 2. They had gathered family members from Canada and the USA at the Museum to see the very type of aircraft that Grampa flew in. He was an Air Gunner, described as;
Air Gunner – The role was to defend the bomber using the aircraft’s machine guns. In the early stages of the war, usually an enlisted man, he could hold any rank but was most often a sergeant, although some air gunners were commissioned officers. An Air Gunner wore a single-winged aircrew brevet with a wreath containing the letters AG on his tunic, above his left breast pocket denoting his trade specialization.

Flight Sergeant Lorne Sharp with his Air Gunner brevet
 For more on this fascinating story, go to;
September 2016 Update:

After a busy summer at the Museum, September shows the construction of the Sopwith Pup replicas still making rapid progress. The first Pup is substantially complete with final work on the engine and cowls under way. The second Pup has had many of the fuselage components added and has now had the wings fitted for the vital fit and clearance check of components before the fabric covering is started.

The four wings and the upper wing center-section have been trial-fitted
to the fuselage before being dismantled to start the fabric-covering process.


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

Chilliwack Flight Fest 2016

Chilliwack, a progressive community in the Fraser Valley well east of Vancouver, celebrated its 25th airshow this year. Well done, Chilliwack! The Museum was again invited to attend and provided the Harvard II trainer to join the lineup of flying aircraft. In addition the Sopwith Camel replica was on display adjacent to the Museum's sales tent. Alongside was the A Nation Soars display with two Nieuport replica fighters on show.
The warm and windy conditions were a challenge to the flight crews and ground crews alike. The sales tent was firmly anchored with concrete blocks and ropes to metal stakes. Dismantling the Camel display in the strong wind was a tricky process to make sure it didn't take to the air without a pilot on board!
The Sopwith Camel alongside the two Nieuport fighters.
Jim, a long-time Museum volunteer, gives scale to the 2,000 hp engine
and the 13-foot propellor on the Chance Vought Corsair.
The Lockheed P-38, flown by Bud Granley, takes off framed
by the dramatic Chilliwack mountainscape.


Tribute to Doug

The Museum has paid a tribute to long-time member Doug Moan who passed away last year. The Harvard II trainer, that Doug spent many hours helping to keep airworthy, now has a fitting tribute near the cockpit - representing his famous hat and his name. Doug is with us on every flight!


T-33 Restoration

Steady progress is being made on returning our ex-RCAF Silver Star (T-33)  to near factory-new condition.
You will need your sunglasses to view the condition of the aircraft this summer...
The nose gleams.
This shot of work in progress on the fuselage...
...shows the contrast of the finished job. Work on the wings is  now under way.
Need a summer project? Give Ron a hand with this amazing project.
Call the Museum at 604-532-0035.

Abbotsford Airshow 2016

The Abbotsford Airshow is over for another year. As usual, the Museum participated in the flying activities and the ground display. One of the newly-built Sopwith Camels was on display in public for the first time away from the Museum.
The Museum's Harvard and SE5A were in the flying display. In addition, the Harvard joined another local Harvard and a current RCAF Harvard 2 in demonstration flying as a Heritage Flight in tribute to the 75th anniversary of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan that trained over 130,000 aircrew in WW2.

The Museum Harvard tucks its wheels away as a Skyraider, Spitfire, Mustang and Bearcat taxi out.
The Museum's Harvard II in the company of the latest RCAF Harvard 2 over the Fraser Valley.
Harvard flyby - flown by Museum members George and Bill.
(photo credit Mike Luedey)
Perfect line astern formation.
The Harvard 2 flown by Lt. Col Smith leads the Harvard 4 and Harvard II.
(photo credit Mike Luedey)
Museum member, Mike Luedey, is an expert aviation photographer and conducts tours
of the flight line for serious photographers early in the day during the airshow.


Boundary Bay Airshow 2016

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 in World War 2.
The Airshow was a delight for those enthusiasts who enjoy the RR (Roaring Radials) sound, with 20 examples of these engines powering aircraft in flight displays.
The Museum aircraft were the 'show openers' with the Harvard II...
(photo credit Sheldon Boles)
...and the SE5A.
(photo credit Ron Kelman)
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 Nakajima Oscar and Lockheed P-38
from the Erickson Aircraft Collection of Oregon...
...together with a B-17G and a Chance-Vought Corsair.
Keen photographers from the Crescent Beach Photography Club added these images;
Demonstrating the variation in RCAF logos, these Harvards were part of the largest
gathering of these classics in Western Canada in recent times.

(photo credit Sheldon Boles)
How do you get the sun to shine on the underside of a Harvard?
Turn it upside down! Drew Watson from Alberta demonstrates its aerobatic qualities.

(photo credit Sheldon Boles)

Mike Langford's Boundary Bay-based Harvard 4 was the last one delivered to the RCAF in 1953.
(photo credit Ron Kelman)
Formation aerobatics were performed by the father-son team, Bud and Ross Granley.
(photo credit Geoff Hayes)



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.
The SE5A drops over the lush scenery of the Fraser Valley as it approaches Langley Airport... 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?

T-33 Restoration.

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;
Lockheed T-33 in the Collection section.
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
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;


Open House. 

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
Avro CF-100
Sikorsky S-55
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.

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.

About Don:

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.


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.