Vimy Flight

Don't forget to check out the new Vimy Flight website

Vimy Flight

In the Museum hangar there is steady progress on the construction of the second Sopwith Pup replica for the Vimy Flight celebrations in 2017.
November 2016 Update:
Steady progress is being made on Pup No. 1 being made ready for flight.
Phil checks the Pup for level attitude before the aircraft is weighed.
And, yes, it passed with flying colours.
Bruce keeps his head down as he installs avionic equipment.
Not far behind in the construction process is Pup No. 2.
Wayne applies the reinforcing tape to the trailing edge with the water-born, user-friendly adhesive...
...while Bill uses the hot iron to shrink tape onto the curved surface on the inner end of the wing.
Peter and Bill appear to be offering their thanks to the deities of the air.
But, actually they are checking the fit of the felt underlay on the leading edge of the third wing.
Alf applies the UV-protection layer to the wing centre-section...
...while Bill studies the underside of the lower wing prior to adding the aileron fairing.
Two wings are in the finishing stage, with only two more to go!
Meanwhile, detail work continues on getting Pup No. 1 ready for its first flight...
Sam carries the lower engine cowl for Pup No. 1.
Ray stands back to admire the handiwork of Team Sopwith in fitting the engine cowl.
The engine side cowls are fitted showing the streamline appearance for the first time.
How long now until, "Fuel, Action, Camera"?
Vimy Flight Team lead and pilot, Allan Snowie, takes Sopwith Pup #1 out for a Remembrance Day taxi test and to pose "Betty" for the CBC camera. It is her first public appearance on the runway and she is getting ready to take to the skies soon.
Minutes 11 through 14 on this newscast....

CBC crew document the Pup in action.
The Pup glides to a stop after another test run.
(Photo credits Ann Fessenden)
On the 10th of November a milestone event occurred - for the first time the engine in Pup No. 1 was run after installation in the aircraft. The wings were attached, the aircraft rolled out of the hangar and fueled. After last minute checks the starter was cranked and the engine burst into life. After a number of shut downs and inspections it was time to make motion. Pilot, Allan, took the aircraft for a short taxi near the Museum. Then it was a shutdown and discussion over some minor items. The braking was good but the aircraft did not turn as smoothly as desired. After adjustment of the linkages and a shot of grease in the strut, it was time for another test run. This time, Manager Mike repeated the taxi test with significant improvement.
A Pup as a monoplane? No, the process of fitting all four wings is under way.
The Pup outside in running condition...
... and with the engine running.
Now it is time to get under way. The Pup taxis near the Museum to test the steering and braking system.
So why is the Manager napping under the tail? Actually, he is supervising the
adjustments to the tailwheel steering system to make it more responsive.
Work on the fabric covering of wings and tail components for Pup No. 2 is well under way.
Air Cadets Chris, Felix and Rohan attach the reinforcing tapes to one wing.

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.

Museum General Manager, Mike Sattler, signs the document to accept the Stearman into the collection.

The day started with Manager, Mike giving the aircraft a little TLC.
After the signing there was time for reminiscing. David recalls that he learnt to fly
on this aircraft under his fathers instruction and did his first solo flight at age 16!
David with Dave Beales share memories - "Remember when the winds were gusting to 40 knots...."
Recalling the past; Arnie Olsen, Dave Beales, David Seller, Werner Griesbeck.
In front is Dispatcher, Dorothy Thorp.
For more on the story of Art Seller and Skyways, see;


Dan McGowan obituary

The Museum is sad to hear of the passing of Dan, a long-time friend of the Museum. For more see;




The coffee shop adjacent to the Museum is open for business!
It is under the same management as the famous Chilliwack Airport coffee shop.
It is open from 8am to 3 pm from Tuesday to Saturday. Standby for an expansion of hours.
The Museum - and all of Langley - give a hearty welcome to the Airport Coffee Shop.
Remember their famous slogan;
"I Fly For Pie!"
More on their website;
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;

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, wears a fitting tribute near the cockpit - representing his famous hat and his name. Doug is with us on every flight!

For more about Doug, see;


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 Mk. 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 Mk. 4 and Harvard Mk. 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 Mk. 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 Mk. 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?

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 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.