Fall 2023
Now that the summer rush is over, Museum members get back to other activities.
 The Harvard is stripped down to bare essentials for an inspection.
Bill stands by his handywork - the fitting out of the fuselage of the J3C65.
Interior paint is followed by the fitting of the controls.
An aircraft is not finished until the instruments are installed.
Here the Cub instrument panel is prepared for service.
And here is one of the original instruments that has been recertified as serviceable.
Note the Cub label!
This Franklin 4-cylinder engine was an optional engine for the Cub. It is being prepared for display.
But let's not forget the jet-set! The Museum's CF-100 veteran jet fighter had suffered deterioration
to its lower rudder from the elements. Skilled sheet metal specialists prepard a new skin.
Summer 2023 
Museum crews spend a lot of  time carrying out activities that are not obvious to the casual observer. Our flight-worthy aircraft are maintained to the same standards as private and commercial aircraft.
This includes an annual inspection of the whole aircraft followed by test flights and training flights.
The Museum's SE5a gets the engine run by Geoff Guest after an inspection.
And what can go wrong with a non-flying display aircraft? Age can weary its replica bones.
This shows the rework of the 130 hp Clerget 9-cylinder rotary engine
with some parts made by a 3D printer.
Spring 2023
What do volunteers at the Museum do on these cool, rainy spring days? They keep busy with all the usual Museum volunteer activities, such as conducting tours of professional engineers, Air Cadets and our senior's groups. Some get involved in messing with aircraft - flyable types and static display models.
The Sopwith Pup has its engine run, with the Museum's SE5a in the background.
In the workshop the repair to the complex CF-100 rudder is progressing steadily.

In the hangar the Sopwith Camel wing centre-section gets some attention. The replica,
built to original plans, but not of airworthy material, has had the structure reinforced.
 Here the centre-section is shown being covered with new fabric.
 And now for the finishing touches - Chris and Dave prepare for the coats of finish
to protect it from the elements.
For more on the Camel, go to:
Reorganizing the Hangar display
Recently the hangar was emptied for a private function. Have you ever wondered how all those aircraft are arranged in the limited space? Very carefully is the short answer. Most of the vintage aircraft are of the 'wood and fabric' variety and are very fragile. Many of them are flight-worthy and any damage means an inspection and repair program up to the highest aviation standards. Handling the aircraft, both in removal from the hangar and the subsequent replacement in the hangar is the result of careful planning and gentle handling. No big tractors or power towbars for this collection!
While the aircraft were outside, maintenance was accomplished on the Waco AQC and the Fleet Finch.
The Fleet Finch (left) and the Waco AQC were tied down in the fresh air.
A plan for bringing the flock back into shelter was developed by the President and accomplished with lots of discussion, "Wouldn't this look better over here....?" Gradually, the hangar was refilled with aircraft, the movable displays relocated strategically and signage put in place. Well done team!
The Waco AQC is gently moved back into the hangar.
The Hangar team after the job was done. Many thanks to
Ed, Adriaan, Jim, Alf, Mike, Bruce2, Bill, Dave, Bruce3, Tim and President Bruce1.
Volunteer Activities
Not all of the Museum's aircraft are wood and fabric. One classic aircraft on display in the courtyard is the Canadian designed and built Avro CF-100. Living outside is not kind to metal aircraft and the lower rudder of the CF-1oo has deteriorated due to its magnesium skin. The Museum's technical crew have removed the rudder and it is now being restored!
Read more about the CF-100 in the Collection section...
The CF-100 lower rudder after removal. Watch this space for progress!
Robert is making progress by fashioning a new skin of 0.032 inch aluminum.
Canadians in Flight
Ready for take-off on its return trip, the second edition of Canadians in Flight once again celebrates the people, planes and technologies that have allowed Canada’s reputation for innovation to soar. Since the early days of flight, Canadians have made global advances in the fields of aviation and aeronautics, with some contributions remaining the foundation for ongoing advancement in these fields.
One of Canada’s first female bush pilots, Toronto-born Violet (Vi) Milstead (1919-2014) earned her private pilot’s licence in 1939, followed by her commercial licence and instructor’s rating, and taught at Toronto’s Barker Field. During the Second World War, she joined Britain’s Air Transport Auxiliary, ferrying military aircraft – everything from single-engined fighters to large multi-engined bombers – between the factories and frontline squadrons. After the war, she married and moved to Sudbury, instructing and flying as a bush pilot.
The de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver made its first flight on August 16, 1947, and by the time production ended in 1968, the company had produced 1,692 of the bush planes, delivered to 62 countries. With its short take-off and landing capability, flexibility to be fitted with wheels, floats or skis, and ability to carry up to nine passengers or bulk cargo, the Beaver is considered the best bush plane ever built.
The Engineering Centennial Board named it one of Canada’s top ten engineering achievements of the 20th century. Pilots around the world can thank Canadian flight-simulator technology for their highly specialized training.
Former Royal Canadian Air Force officer Kenneth Patrick (1915-2002) brought the technology to Canada through CAE Inc. (then Canadian Aviation Electronics Ltd.) – the company he founded in 1947. CAE built its first flight simulator in the early 1950s and by the early 1980s had developed a flight simulator so realistic that it was no longer necessary for all flight training to be completed on an actual aircraft.
Born in Saint John, New Brunswick, pioneering aeronautical engineer Wallace Rupert Turnbull (1870-1954) built Canada’s first wind tunnel in 1902 and spent the next decade researching aircraft stability and airfoils and experimenting with lift devices, internal combustion engines, turbines and hydroplanes. His most notable achievement, the variable pitch propeller, allowed pilots to adjust the pitch, or angle, of the propeller blades in flight, improving the efficiency of the propeller and the aircraft. His influence can still be seen on modern propeller-driven aircraft.
Born in Weston, Ontario, Dr. Wilbur Rounding Franks (1901-86) was conducting cancer research at the University of Toronto in 1939 when he joined Dr. Frederick Banting’s aviation medicine research team to study the life-threatening risks of highspeed aerial manoeuvres due to strong gravitational (G) forces. Franks developed – and personally tested – a rubber flying suit lined with water-filled pockets that created enough hydrostatic pressure to counter the G-forces. During the Second World War, it became the world’s first anti-gravity suit used in combat.
Volunteer Saturday
August 20 was off to a good start with the Conair Firecat getting a scrub to clean off accumulated green matter that comes with living in a rain forest. The crew scrubbed for a couple of hours before the job was completed. The weather was spectacular for such a mission!
September 17 followed on with some outdoor work in late summer weather.
The Harvard gets treatment to remove atmospheric debris. This was followed by
running the engine to keep it in good condition. Unfortunately, this resulted in some
residual oil from the exhaust undoing some of the good work!
Mel and Adriaan concentrate on the Lockheed T-33.
Close up of the 'before and after' work by the polishing crew.
The 2022 Airshow season was filled with post-Covid activity...
Boundary Bay Airshow
The Museum was in attendance at the Boundary Bay Airshow on Saturday, 16 July. The morning showers gave way to great airshow weather and a crowd of spectators. The Museum had three aircraft on display - the Fleet Canuck and the SE5a were flown in early in the day. The Sopwith Camel replica was assembled on site. The sales booth did a brisk business with plenty of souvenirs, T-shirts and coffee mugs available. 
The WWI Camel fighter has two machine guns just in front of the pilot. But it also has a propellor in front of the pilot. How did the pilot avoid shooting the propellor off the aircraft when he fired the guns? This was a lively topic for our volunteers to answer!
Check out the Camel at:
The Camel being assembled by the crew.
The CMF sales tent crew swings into action.

The Sopwith Camel is a perfect backdrop for budding aviators.

Abbotsford Airshow

The Museum was once again a participant at the Abbotsford Airshow, 5 - 7 August. The 'Sold Out' signs and scorching weather brought back memories of past airshows. The Museum sales tent did a roaring business throughout. The Museum's flying collection was represented by the Fleet Canuck and the SE5a. On display was the non-flying Sopwith Camel - and a replica all-metal biplane for photo ops.
 Sheila and Brenda ensure the sales tent is set up before the onslaught of buyers.
The 'green machine' was a favorite for photo ops for young and older...
The Museum's Sopwith Camel on display with contrasting generations of fighters in the background -
the RCAF Hornet simulator (right) and the F-35 from the Netherlands (left).
 The Airshow crew who endured heat, thirst and noise can still make a smile
as all displays are packed away.

Chilliwack Flight Fest

Tucked away in the eastern end of the Fraser Valley is the progressive airport at Chilliwack. Just one runway to serve this community, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in enthusiasm. On the 21st of August the airport again presented its Flight Fest. A widely varying collection of aircraft - from the U.S. and Canada - showed off their sleek shapes.
The Museum participated with a sales tent and a flying demonstration with the SE5a.
The Museum's World War I replica of the SE5a.
Pilot, Al French awaits his turn to demonstrate the SE5a.

Out in the cold...

Recently, an event necessitated the removal of some of the fleet that were snugly housed in the hangar. Here they are with brave smiles on their faces, waiting for their turn to come inside again.
The Waco AQC-6 in the chill December air.
The SE5a keeps company with the Museum's Harvard II on the rainy ramp.
Some things in life are not fair! The Fleet Finch stays indoors while its hangar-mates move out.
(Photo credits: Robert Gillcash)


Around the hangar...

Early winter 2021.
Museum projects are quietly continuing with the dedicated group of volunteers.
The de Havilland Tiger Moth restoration is progressing with the engine cowl being trial fitted to ensure it will enclose the Gipsy Major engine snugly when the time comes.
The engine cowl of the Tiger Moth.
On the other side of the hangar the Cub is continuing to progress closer to flight. In the spring the work on the wings was completed and they were fitted to the fuselage on a trial basis. Long ago it was found to be a good idea to trial-fit the wings to the aircraft before the fabric covering was installed!
The structurally-complete wings were fitted to the Cub.
So, how do the mechanics know that they haven't forgotten some essential component deep inside the wings? Detailed parts manuals are still available, even for aircraft manufactured in the 1940s.
Parts manual for the wing of the Cub.
The delivery of a rare British 6-cylinder engine was accomplished in the past week. The engine, a
de Havilland Gipsy Queen, is the descendant of the 4-cylinder Gipsy Major in the Museum's Tiger Moth. 
The Museum's new aquisition - a de Havilland Gipsy Queen.
The de Havilland Gipsy Queen is a British six-cylinder aero engine of 9 litres (550 cu in) capacity that was first run in 1936 by the de Havilland Engine Company. It was developed from the de Havilland Gipsy Six for military aircraft use. Produced between 1936 and 1950, around 5000 Gipsy Queen engines were built.
The engine was used in numerous British aircraft and in an Italian Air Force trainer. This intermediate trainer, the Fiat G.46, was the first new model produced by Fiat after WW II and was test flown in 1947. Argentina received 70 aircraft of the G.46-2B model powered by the 250 hp de Havilland Gipsy Queen Srs.30, the first being delivered in 1949, the last in 1951. The Museum’s example is believed to be a  model built under licence by Fiat.
For technical details, see;

Around the hangar...

Fall 2021. As the seasons change the Museum volunteers keep busy with long-term projects. The restoration of the Piper J3 Cub is progressing well. The wings are structurally complete and covering with approved fabric material will start shortly.
The sheet metal on the nose cowl that encloses the engine is a challenge that is being met head on by our team.
Ed, Bill and Bob reconstruct the complex three-dimensional curves of the nose cowl of the Cub.
And how is this decrepid specimen supposed to help the Cub soar to new heights?
Experts will dismantle the engine, test every part and re-assemble.
And speaking of engines... An ancient engine (a Velie M5) is being restored for display. Cleaning processes have allowed very tired components to look as good as new again - - 
The Velie master rod, counterweight and connecting rods after cleanup.
 For more on this engine, see;


We are open Wednesday to Sunday, by pre-booked time slots.

Phone 604-532-0035 to book your visit.
The Museum is now open on Sundays. The revised hours are:
  • Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Sunday from noon to 5:00 p.m.

Our facility is ideal for family outings during these challenging times, as we have ample space and large outdoor areas. 

Around the hangar...

Summer 2021. How do Museum volunteers pass their time in a summer with no airshows to attend? They keep busy with projects that get most attention in the gloomy winter days.
For the Museum's de Havilland Tiger Moth, it is a matter of a major upgrade to the electrical system to give it battery power and a starting system to do away with the specialist skill of swinging the propellor to start the engine.
The Tiger Moth's updated instrument panel.
The Museum's Sopwith Pup replica is getting some annual maintenance in the engine room...
The Piper Cub under restoration is shown off by Bob, Troy and Bill.
And they wonder, "Will this still fit?"
 Another project is to present a Velie engine for display. It's Ok if you say, "A what?" Unless you were active in the light plane world in the 1920s or '30s you may not have heard of it!
The Velie M5 is a 5-cylinder radial engine from the 1920s.
For more on the story of this engine, see the Restoration section of this website;

TCA 810, Anatomy of a Disaster

The Museum has received a book review (thanks to Jack Schofield of Coast Dog Press) by a retired airline pilot who was very much involved in this aviation scene. Read on...

Rien van Tilborg’s  TCA810, ANATOMY OF A DISASTER, is a book which, had it been written as a courtroom drama, could proudly take its place along classics like Twelve Angry Men, Witness for the Prosecution, or its eponymous Anatomy of a Murder.
The painstaking process of assiduously assembling the evidence constitutes the spine of this work, and the author’s persistence and dedication to elucidate his subject shines from every page.
Reading it, one is struck by the elegance with which the author documents the events, whether it be by the clarity of the numerous specially created graphs, or the penetrating insights accompanying his discussions of the effects of icing, the relative primitiveness of the navigation systems and radar of the day, altimeter discrepancies, conflicting traffic, unexpected wind forces, and the possibly false engine fire warning which prompted the crew to feather the engine and return to Vancouver.
This work would have been impressive enough simply as a meticulous reconstruction of the events contributing to the crash, but the author expands his theme enormously by presenting it as a human tragedy which concerned so many lives.
I was particularly moved by the story of one of the victims, Major Philip Edwin Gower, MC, plus another passenger who would have missed the flight if it wasn’t for someone’s last minute cancellation, because the two no-shows who had reservations on this flight were me and my friend Larry.
As newly promoted RCN sub-lieutenants, we had taken advantage of the RCAF’s policy to allow armed forces personnel to travel on a standby basis on air force flights, which is how we had successfully hitch-hiked from Shearwater, NS, to Vancouver on leave.
Hoping to return the same way, we remained in touch with the RCAF Air Movements Unit which controlled the seating, but when they informed us that no space was available on Eastbound flights in the foreseeable future, we reluctantly made reservations on TCA flight 810 for the 9th of December, 1956
Though a C119 Boxcar which was loading for Trenton that afternoon at the Air Force base at Sea Island was reported as full, we decided against the odds to stand by.
Our parents drove us to the AMU where we waited as long as we could, but just as we collected our baggage to drive to the South Terminal to board the TCA flight, our names were called.
Rejoicing about saving the fare, we didn’t know the enormity of our luck until the following day.
In spite of my admittedly special interest in this story, my recommendation of this book stands on its literary merit, its particularly handsome design, and the author’s integrity in his examination of every possible scrap of evidence which amply justifies those twenty years of toil devoted to its execution.
See other great aviation books at:

Donation of old aviation photographs

If you are cleaning out historical items please consider donating them to your local museum or historical society. If the items relate to the history of aviation in BC please consider the Canadian Museum of Flight in Langley, BC or the BC Aviation Museum in North Saanich, BC.

To help us understand our aviation history more completely we would appreciate hearing from those in the know on such matters.

This is CF-AZY, a Lockheed 10A in the colors of Canadian Airways. The company operated
two of these on Vancouver-Seattle in 1936 until they were passed on to TCA.

This is the same aircraft, now in TCA colors. It went to the RCAF in 1939.
And who are these maintenance people? Apparently at the same TCA location as above.
 Here's most of the same group. Who are they? When did they work here?
Is your father/uncle/grandpa here? Do tell.

 TCA 810 Anatomy of a Disaster

On a stormy winter night in 1956 an airliner went missing in the Cascade Mountains near the Fraser Valley. Author Rien van Tilborg spent many years researching this disaster and has just published a detailed account.

To order your copy contact:
Rien van Tilborg
Price: $39.00 (CAD) + shipping

Around the hangar...

Museums keep old stuff - right? But what do they do with all the stuff? Sometimes they restore antique items so that the younger generation can see what was in use in past generations. Sometimes there is a waiting list and old items that are stored look like scrap to the unitiated. But it just may be hidden treasure waiting to see the daylight again. 
Our Museum is no exception. What if we received a request for information on a bush plane of the 1930s? What aircraft type and model? A Fairchild 82? Let's check our records. Yes, we have a set of blueprints that cover the Fairchild models 51, 71 and 82. Do people even know any more how blueprints got their name? It is because they were BLUE prints! Like this;
A Fairchild blueprint dated Jan 16 1931 covering the Fairchild Model FC-2 and 71.
These precious prints will be used to restore one of these classic aircraft to original conditon.
A Fairchild 82B, CF-AXM, of MacKenzie Air Service in the Yukon.
And what if someone wanted to donate a small aircraft engine from the 1930s? Shoud it be retained for display - or go to the scrap merchant? So, the Franklin 4AC-150 is stored carefully so that, after restoration, it can go on display alongside it contemporaries, the Lycoming O-145 and the Continental A-65. These engines powered a generation of light aircraft in the 1940s that gave a boost to post-WW2 flying. Piper Cubs, Taylorcraft and Champion were household names in the pleasure flying world.
The Franklin 4AC-150 of the 1930s. Its 40 hp propelled many a Piper Cub into the air.
 And speaking of Piper Cubs, what is happening with the Museum's Cub? We are pleased to report that the restoration of the Cub has been progressing steadily over the winter. One wing has been restored and the second wing has its structure almost complete. Then just the covering and painting to go...
The Piper Cub wing is nearing completion.
For more about the Museum's Piper Cub, see;
 And what else is on the horizon? The Museum has a de Havilland Gipsy Moth in long-term storage and this is being assessed for return to flying condition. What needs to be done to make this happen? Actually, just about everything will need to be dismantled, examined, repaired, replaced, renewed or reconditioned. Get the picture? Old aircraft were typically made of wood with joints fixed with casein glue. This glue is long beyond its 'best before' date and is no longer structurally sound. Every joint needs to be carefully taken apart, examined and reglued with a modern adhesive.
The wooden structure of the elevators from the de Havilland Gipsy Moth.
For more about the Museum's Gipsy Moth, see;

 Restoration news

Restoration of the Museum's DH.82 Tiger Moth is progressing steadily. The paint shop of one of our volunteers has been busy this fall. The four wings are in the process of final painting. Multiple coats of special finish are required before the final color is applied (naturally called 'Tiger Moth yellow'). To give the aircraft an authentic finish the air force 'buzz number' is applied to the underside of lower wings.
Why this peculiar name? Perhaps it was because of the need of some student pilots to 'buzz' their parent's farm, or the home of a special friend. The number could be speedily sent to the Commanding Officer of the air base.
The 'buzz number' is painstakingly masked out onto the yellow wing...
...and when the masking is removed the spectacular result is shown. Thank you, Ray!

Stearman on display

The Museum's Stearman is now on display in the hangar. How could we get one more aircraft into the already crowded hangar? Come and see for yourself.
The Museum would like to give special thanks to the mechanic, Marti Howse, who did most of the work. Without him, and the coordination of Kevin Maher, the work would not have been completed in such a professional and timely manner.
 The story of the Museum having this aircraft is told here:
The story of the company that owned the Stearman is here:

 Anniversary of first Trans-Canada flight

DH.9A G-CYAJ was registered on 19 July 1920.

October 17 marked one hundred years to the day that the first trans-Canada flight took place. In a letter to the Victoria Times-Colonist, Colonel John L. Orr (Ret’d) points out that a British-built Airco DH.9A biplane took off from Shearwater, Nova Scotia (Newfoundland was not yet part of Canada) and touched down in Richmond, British Columbia’s Minoru Park at 11:25 on October 17, 1920, completing the epic coast-to-coast flight. The flight continued to Esquimalt, a suburb of Victoria, arriving on Oct. 21.
According to Orr, the flight was organized by the Canadian Air Board, a federal government department that lasted from 1919 to 1922. It was formed to develop and promote both civil and military aviation in the post-First World War era.
“As for the Air Board’s objective of stimulating interest in aviation in Canada, the flight proved to be successful,” wrote Orr. “While the path was neither straight nor smooth, the trans-Canada flight firmly established aviation, both civil and military, in the Canadian psyche.”
The Airco DH.9A was a single-engine light bomber that saw service in Britain’s Royal Air Force toward the end of the First World War. The first aircraft out of the factory, the DH-9 were powered by the in-line Siddeley Puma six-cylinder engine, which proved to be unreliable and not powerful enough. The 12-cylinder Liberty engine, of American origin, powered the DH-9A.

(Thanks to Canadian Owners and Pilots for the heads-up on this event.)

Retirement of the Boeing 767 from Air Canada

Boeing 767 C-FCAE of Air Canada.
The Boeing 767 era ends
On June 2, Air Canada operated its last Boeing 767, one of 48 aircraft that proved to be workhorses for almost 40 years, on AC439 from Montreal to Toronto.
The first of the 767s was delivered in 1982 (fin 601) and another 23 were added to the Air Canada fleet after the merger with Canadian Airlines in 2001. The wide body 767s also flew to destinations in Europe and the Caribbean with Air Canada Rouge.
• Air Canada Boeing 767 fin 682 (C-FCAE) registered over 138,000 flying hours before it was retired on Aug. 1, 2019, making it the world leader in terms of flying hours for the fleet type.
• The 767 was the first aircraft to receive 120-minute ETOPS (extended twin-engine operations) approval in 1985, meaning it could operate two hours away from the nearest airport, making oceanic crossings more efficient. This was increased to 180 minutes in 1988.
• The longest scheduled non-stop flight by an Air Canada 767 was Toronto to Tokyo, which lasted 13 hours and 45 minutes and covered 10,324 kilometres.


The Museum keeps a number of older classic aircraft in flying condition. At times, these aircraft need to be rebuilt. Two such aircraft under restoration at present are the DH.82 Tiger Moth and the Boeing-Stearman A75N1. Milestones were reached recently with both of these aircraft progressing to the point that they were back on their own landing gear again.
The 1941 de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth with its landing gear attached.
The 1940 Stearman back on its 'feet' again.

de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver

A new addition to the Museum collection arrived in August, 2020. The Beaver is the iconic Canadian bushplane. Unfortunately, it is not a full-size aircraft, but fortunately it is a magnificent model of a Beaver in full dress of the RCMP. What could be more Canadian - a Canadian designed and built aircraft flown by the country's national police agency and on display at the Canadian Museum of Flight?
The 1/8 scale model was donated by builder, Taylor Sapergia who re-assembled the aircraft at the Museum. It is in the 1972 paint scheme of the original aircraft, registered CF-MPR.
The float-equipped Beaver on display.
The intricate details of the float structure are faithfully reproduced.
Thank you, Taylor!


Around the hangar - rust removal

 What is one of the Museum's constant companions with its collection of old parts? Corrosion! It is obvious that in collecting/storing/restoring/displaying artifacts of significance to the Museum there will be many objects that are not in their original pristine condition. So what are some of the trade secrets when the Museum receives a donation that has lain on a hillside, or in a barn or backyard for many a day? First, there is the general cleanup of exterior deposits of dirt, droppings and debris. Once down to the bare metal the item is examined to identify the material and determine the appropriate cleanup process.
Light aluminum alloys, typical of aircraft structures, are fragile and need to be cleaned up with care. Strong corrosive substances such as paint strippers are to be avoided. Techniques, such as blasting with glass beads, is usually sufficient to remove paint and light corrosion.
For heavy-duty steel structures (rare on aircraft) a course of sand blasting may be the right thing to do. For lightweight aircraft structure this would do far more damage than good. An alternate process for ferrous metals (iron-based materials) is an interesting technique borrowed from the car restoration community. This is a molasses-bath process that removes the rust without damaging the underlying structure. As it is an immersion process, all interior parts of the metal are exposed to the cleaning action, not just the visible exterior as with some cleaning methods.
Molasses for cleaning? A molasses mixture of about 10:1 water-molasses is used. The water and molasses mixture when left exposed to air ferments and produces, amongst other things, Acetic Acid. This reacts with the oxygen in the rust and when the iron oxide (rust) is all reduced, the process stops. The steel or iron is not affected, but the surface of the metal is now virtually in original condition and subject to immediate attack by oxygen in the air and will begin to rust, so must be protected. The benefit of using molasses is that it dissolves that rock-hard rust that even wire brushes can't touch and carborundum cloth can't reach.
The reduction gear from a 1930s Bristol Mercury engine after many years at a crash site.
After two weeks in a molasses bath the gear is rinsed off and wiped clean. An amazing transformation!

New display signs at Museum

The afternoon of Saturday, October 5 was a busy one for some of the Museum crew. An arrangement had been made to swap some surplus aircraft parts for new signage at the Museum. The signs were made in the USA and brought by trailer. After unloading the signs, the trailer was packed with various components from the Grumman Avenger flown by Conair many years ago. Finally, the Museum can retire some of the signage that has seen too many years in the sun and rain in the courtyard.
The signage crew ready for action. The Museum crew (left) assisted Don and team
in the unloading/loading process.
The signs were designed and produced in-house by Don's company, Aerodesign Services, of Michigan. With a solid concrete base, the signs are expected to be able to withstand the west-coast winter winds. The aluminum posts are designed with a 'lightening holes' motif to mimic the technique used in aircraft construction to reduce weight.


The Camel in Vancouver

The Museum's Sopwith Camel replica took a trip to downtown Vancouver on 26 September. This was a promotion in conjunction with the visit by the RAF Red Arrows formation team. Also on display were a selection of British Range Rover SUVs and British products.
There was good public interest in the Camel, with many wondering, "Was it really that small?"
The British-designed Sopwith Camel in good company with the Range Rover at Jack Poole Plaza.
The petite Camel was dwarfed by the downtown architecture.

Chilliwack Flight Fest 2019

The Museum participated in the Flight Fest on August 25 with a sales team and aircraft display. The sales crew had an early start to get the Museum's trailer, packed with material, on the road. Other volunteers took to the highway to support the effort. Sales at airshows are part of the constant effort to keep the Museum going strong.
Four of the Museum's operational aircraft cruised the Fraser Valley to Chilliwack - the Waco AQC-6, Fleet Canuck, SE5a and Sopwith Pup. The aircraft were parked close to the fence allowing visitors to get a close up view and talk to Museum members.
The Museum's fleet on location at Chilliwack.
Of course flying vintage aircraft is not without its glitches...
A  technical problem being overcome just before departure.
The Ops crew pose for a memory shot of the last airshow of the season.
Gord, Al, Jim, Vic and Bill posing beside the Sopwith Pup 'Happy.'
Sometimes pilots are asked, "What is it like to fly one of these old machines?"
This is the pilot's view from the SE5a while cruising down the Fraser Valley.
The bump on the cowl to the left is a machine gun, the circular object is the gun sight,
the central black object is the upper gun mount. Oh yes, there are also lots of wires
and struts that hold the upper wing to the airframe.
Visibility for landing is... well, we could say it is a challenge!
Fortunately, we don't have to look out for red Fokker Triplanes...


Around the hangar

Summer is a busy time for families to reconnect, but our dedicated group of volunteers still manage to keep projects on the front burner at the Museum. Here's a sample;
The Fleet Finch is readied for a flight. An excited passenger gives a 'thumbs up' before pilot,
Bill and prop-swinger, Dave set the time machine in motion.
Maintaining our outdoor fleet takes a lot of work. After a major effort in scrubbing the Firecat,
stage 2 is in progress. Fine grit is used, followed by machine polishing.
Oh, the aching muscles! Can you help with arm power? Call the Museum.
(Photo credit: Alan Palmer)
Sopwith Pup #1 - 'Betty/Phyllis' - has had its new engine fitted. Avionics technician, Bruce,
makes all the right connections to get it ready for flight again.
Meanwhile, Pup #1 - 'Happy' - gets its rigging tweaked to correct a tendency to fly slightly
one wing low. Rigging of biplanes is done 'by the book' but sometimes the books are
sparse on details. Here, Bill straddles the plank, while Al fits locking wire.
The restoration of the DH.82C Tiger Moth is progressing steadily. The four wings have been
trial-fitted to ensure the multitude of wires, fittings, nuts and bolts are all accounted for.
Once this is done, the wings will be removed and painted. Experience has shown this is the only way
to treat a restoration of this magnitude! Ray, Bill, Dave and Alf are shown as the work progresses.
A model of another de Havilland product, the Mosquito, supervises from on high.


Abbotsford Airshow 2019

The Museum was active at the Abbotsford Airshow. Now we are back home at Langley Airport. Come and visit our displays and Gift Shop.
Scenes at Abbotsford Airshow:
Look for the colorful Museum trailer.
The Waco AQC-6 cabin biplane rests as the sun sets.
One of the Museum's Pup aircraft bears the name, 'Happy' and this
de Havilland Vampire seems to share the same sentiment.
The RCAF Snowbirds fly in line-abreast formation. Wouldn't you have a sore neck
if you had to fly at 400 km/h while looking out the side window?
Does this giant Airbus A400M transport really have pretzels for propellers?
The Aeroshell team of North American T-6s participated regardless of the gloomy weather.


Around the Hangar

So what exactly do the Tuesday volunteers do for the day - apart from drinking coffee and eating TimBits? On a bright summer's day they make the most of the weather and carry out many and varied tasks. The flowers in the picnic area are watered, the books in the Library are catalogued and tour groups are guided around the Museum and regaled with stories from the past. Museum structures are repaired and logos repainted. This week the aircraft in the hangar were rearranged so that the engine can be fitted to one of the Sopwith Pups.
Another group got water tanks and boots and brushes organized and spent the warm afternoon scrubbing the Firecat. Winter in the coastal rainforest, where the Museum is located, guarantees that moss will take hold. So a Scrub the Cat day was planned. Water tanks and pumps (thanks Langley Airport), long-handled brushes, safety ladders and a keen group of volunteers soon had the offending flora removed and the aircraft back in fine shape.
Al and Brent put muscle into removing unwanted flora from the Firecat.
What about looking after the junior jet pilots of the future? Yes, one of our experienced volunteers rebuilt the mechanism and structure to get the future generation of pilots enthused about the future of a flying career!
Thanks, Ray, for making the next generation of pilots happy!

Cloverdale Market Days

Were you at Cloverdale Market Day on June 22? The Museum was - at the invitation of the Canadian Legion the Museum had its Sopwith Camel replica on display. Lots of people puzzled over the replica of a front line fighter from 100 years ago. Was it really so small - yes! Why was there a hole in the top wing? To allow the pilot better visibility ahead and above. And why did the machine guns not shoot the propeller off? You are going to have to come and visit us at the Museum to learn that one!
The Museum's Sopwith Camel replica on display at Cloverdale.


Father's Day 2019 at the Museum

The glorious early summer weather continued for Father's Day. The set-up crew arrived early and cleared aircraft out of the hangar then set up tables, chairs and games. Coffee pots and snacks were arranged. Museum aircraft were artistically  arranged on the adjacent hangar taxiway. These were soon joined by more aircraft and classic vehicles from the Heaps family collection. Once the gates were opened at 10:00 am the visitors started to flow in. Once the event was under way adult-only fluids started to flow in the Beer Garden organized by Shaun Heaps.
The taxiway adjacent to the Museum is filled with classic planes and cars.
Everything is ready according to the 'Before Takeoff' checklist.
Junior jet pilots get their introduction to the Canadair Tutor jet trainer.
CMF Manager, Dave Arnold and Director, Bruce Webster make a presentation to
the Rumbold Group in appreciation of their sponsorship of the Waco AQC-6 in the background.
The Museum's Sopwith Pup makes a flyby to demonstrate the diverse aircraft flown by the Museum.
The Waco cabin biplane gets ready to fly. Bill Findlay completes his preflight checks while
copilot Sasha Pihl observes. Sasha and his father drove from Kelowna especially to ride
in the classic 1937 aircraft. You could do the same! Check out the Sponsor Aircraft tab on this website.

Pitt Meadows Airport Day

 June 1st was Pitt Meadows Airport Day and the Museum took three of its flying collection to the event. Flawless weather and a good crowd made the show a success for our staff and volunteers in the sales booth. As well, the three aircraft, the Waco Cabin biplane, the Fleet Canuck and the Sopwith Pup all participated in the flying display. This demonstrated the dedication of the Museum ground and flight crew in keeping these classics in action in front of the spectators. Other events included aerobatics, formation flying and the finale with a L-29 jet trainer.
On display for the first time was the Museum's Camel trailer in its new colors. No, not because we have a dromedary on staff! But the Museum does have a replica of the First World War Sopwith Camel biplane fighter. It is easily dismantled and erected for display. The trailer that houses the aircraft has been refurbished this spring with spectacular graphics. A big thanks to the Wrap Guys and to Tania Ryan and Mike Luedey for the images.
Ed shows the scale of the Camel trailer graphic from Wrap Guys.
The Museum's 1937 Waco AQC biplane arrives at Pitt Meadows - its first airshow in four years.
The other members of the Museum's flying circus - Fleet Canuck and Sopwith Pup.
A face that only Mrs. Piper could admire - a Piper J-3 Cub similar to one being restored at the Museum.

Spring Training Camp

As the Museum prepares for the summer flying season there are lots of activities going on under the glorious spring skies. Brenda has ordered the latest in aviation memorabilia for the summer. The engine for one of the Sopwith Pups is nearing completion from a strip and rebuild program by Ray, that will see both Pups airworthy soon. Annual inspections for the Fleet Canuck, Waco AQC cabin biplane and the Fleet Finch are complete. During a hangar reorganization, time was made for Bill to run the Kinner engine of the Waco INF open-cockpit biplane. Damage to the wingtip and aileron of the Museum's Douglas DC-3 caused by the extreme winds in December is being repaired by Peter and Ed. Hangar display lighting has been upgraded by Wayne and John. Picnic tables have been repainted by John #2. Museum volunteers keep the place humming!
The overhauled Lycoming O-235 nears completion before being fitted to the Sopwith Pup.
The Waco INF blows smoke rings to protest its long absence from the flight line.
The Museum's flagship, the Waco AQC-6 cabin biplane, gets some fresh air
before the start of the flying season.

The Stearman flies

The Museum's 1940 Stearman took to the air once more on March 27. It has been maintained in airworthy condition since being donated to the Museum in 2016, but has not had air under its wheels - until now! Training Pilot, Kevin Maher and Museum pilot, Bill Findlay took advantage of the cloudless sky and headed out. Bill has extensive experience on older, tailwheel aircraft, but each aircraft has its peculiarities and secrets that need to be explored in the company of a qualified pilot. Kevin has considerable experience with the Stearman, including rebuilding his own machine.
Pilots Kevin and Bill carry out prefight checks before engine start.
After a thorough discussion of the Stearman's ground and flight handling it was time to suit up and fly. Suit up? Yes, this is not space flight, but flying an open cockpit biplane in March is a tad draughty. Flying suits, helmet and goggles are a good way to prepare for the 10C/90 mph breeze that penetrates every corner of the cockpit. No - a cockpit heater is not provided!
The trusty 220 hp Continental 7-cylinder radial engine fired up to its customary rumble. Then it was time to practice taxiing in the narrow confines of Langley's taxiways. An engine runup confirmed all was ready to go and the aircraft soared into the sky.
The Stearman soars to the throaty roar of its Continental radial engine.
Only at Langley! The Stearman heads north with the snowy peaks of the Golden Ears ahead.
(Photo credit: D. Cardy)
One of the characteristics of tailwheel aircraft is their tendency to take matters into their own hands and become 'squirly' just after landing. This is accentuated if the wind is blowing at an angle to the runway as the aircraft is perfectly designed to act as a weather vane and point into the wind. They can also react rapidly to a sideways drift on touchdown. Both of these characteristics require rapid and precise control inputs from the pilot. So the pilots headed over to Delta Air Park, where its grass runway provided no other air traffic and an opportunity to explore what air force cadets experienced in the 1940s. Soon it was back to Langley, with the crosswind still making for a challenge, with a flawless approach and landing. 
The Stearman touches down in a brisk crosswind. A test of the nimble-footed pilot!
For more on the Stearman story, see:


The Boeing 747 is 50 years old.

EDN Network: Jessica MacNeil - February 09, 2018
The increasing popularity of air travel motivated Boeing to create the largest civilian plane in the
world in the late 1960s. The result was the Boeing 747 jumbo jet, which made its first test flight on
February 9, 1969.
Named the “City of Everett” for the city it was built in, the first 747 was piloted by Jack Waddell,
who flew with co-pilot Brien Wygle and flight engineer Jess Wallick. It took flight at 164 mph, circled
the airport at 2000 feet then climbed to 15,500 where tests were performed. After about an hour in
the air, it returned to Paine Field.
Further testing revealed the JT9D engines were underpowered for the plane's weight and size,
which caused delayed deliveries in the early 1970s, but the Boeing 747 was certified by the FAA on
December 30, 1969.
In 1966, Pan American Airway ordered 23 passenger and two freight jumbo jets for $550 million,
and Boeing got to work. The company built the largest building in the world by volume in Everett,
WA to construct the 747. Electrical engineer Malcolm Stamper was tasked with leading a team of
over 50,000 people to develop and build the 747, which they did in less than 3 years.
The design required 4.5 million parts, used 75,000 engineering drawings, and built on the highbypass
engine technology that had been developed for the C-5A gigantic military transport plane.
The original 747 had a 195-foot, 8-inch wing span and a swept-wing design that set the wings at 37
degrees for high cruising speeds over long distances. The nearly 232-foot plane had a 225-foot
fuselage and a tail as tall as a six-story building. It weighed in at 735,000 pounds, twice the previous
Boeing 707 model.
Different 747 models have been modified to serve as Shuttle Carrier Aircraft for NASA, Air Force
One, and the Dreamlifter, which transported large composite structures, like fuselage sections of the
787 Dreamliner, to Everett, WA and other facilities for final assembly.
Boeing delivered the 1500th 747 to Lufthansa in Germany in 2014, and has produced 1540 planes as
of November 2017, but The Wall Street Journal reported the company has considered ending
production due to declining orders.


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 Klatt 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


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.