Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum
There were many exciting and informative displays, and the location was great. It was a nice touch when I arrived to find there was free parking for show visitors.
The expo was held at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at the Hamilton Munro International Airport in Mount Hope, Ontario.
There was plenty to see at the show, and it was a great family day for everyone. Show visitors could visit the Warplane Heritage Museum, as well as browse the many static displays and booths inside the building, and then go outside on the tarmac to view even more displays and aircraft.
Lockheed Canadair CF-104 Starfighter
Arriving at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, you can’t miss the famous CF-104 Starfigher Landmark serving as a beacon to aviation enthusiasts. A retired Lockheed Canadair CF-104 Starfighter is vertically mounted to welcome all visitors. The Canadian built CF-104 was one of the most successful jet fighter aircraft to serve with Canada’s Air Force. The CF-104 Starfighter is a CF-104D model, and it was used as a trainer. It is a two-seat fighter jet.
In 1959, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) ordered 200 of the CF-104′s, and the first was built in Canada in 1961. In total, Canadair built 340 of these fighter aircraft in Canada. The CF-104 was in active service from 1961 until 1986 when it was eventually retired. The CF-104 was used by the RCAF for various roles including fighter, strikes, and photo reconnaissance.
At the Aviation Expo, show visitors could experience aviation first hand. Visitors could arrange an airplane ride. The Brampton Flight Centre offered airplane rides in Cessna 172′s. The Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association (CHAA) was promoting rides in an authentic war bird!
Experience the thrill of flying in a World War II training aircraft. Imagine a ride in the backseat of an authentic HARVARD, or a front seat of a Tiger Moth. In addition, CHAA now offers backseat rides in the recently restored YALE.
Helicopter Rides at the Canadian Aviation Expo
National Helicopters provided show visitors with the chance to fly in a Helicopter. It was enjoyable to just watch the Helicopters take-off and land. Imagine the excitement of being a passenger as the Helicopter took flight and gave an aerial tour of the Hamilton Munro International Airport and surrounding area.
Hang Glider Simulator
Instinct Windsports provided a truly interactive display. They had a full-scale Hang Glider Simulator setup, and they were providing free simulator rides for show visitors. Young and old could experience the feel, fun, and excitement of hang gliding. This was a great display, and it was very popular. The Hang Glider Simulator was a show favourite for many. It was great to see the expression on the faces of hang glider riders as they experience hang gliding for their first time.
I spoke with Mark Dowsett of Instinct Windsports and he explained the many benefits of Hang Gliding. The price is certainly attractive, as complete hang gliding training can be completed for under $1,000. Mark explained this is the least expensive form of aviation and a great way to Learn to Fly!
There were many other great exhibits at the Canadian Aviation Expo. On hand were many flight training schools with complete flight training information and brochures. I spoke with most exhibitors at the show, and there were many products and information available for aviation enthusiasts. If you are learning to fly, or if you are already an experienced pilot, you were certain to enjoy the show.
The show included many historical aircraft that are a major part of Canada’s Aviation History.
Boeing PT-27 Stearman
There were many classic airplanes at the show, including some fantastic and memorable bi-planes. Boeing PT-27 Stearmans were manufactured during the 1930′s and 40′s, and were designed as a primary flight trainer aircraft.
In total, 8,500 Stearmans were built. No other bi-plane was ever built in this large a quantity.
A special modified model of the Stearman with enclosed cockpit was designed for Canadian aviation. The cold winter temperatures of Canada required the enclosed cockpit to allow flight training year round. An open cockpit would not be suitable during the freezing Canadian winters. Even with the enclosed cockpit, the Stearman was still not ideally suited for the harsh Canadian weather, and the Stearman was quickly replaced with other aircraft better suited for the winter.
The Boeing PT-27 Stearman has a 220 hp engine with a top speed of 124 m.p.h. The Stearman was used as part of the Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS).
Vickers Supermarine Spitfire L.F. Mark XVIe
The Spitfire is always a favourite at any air show or aviation event. The Spitfire is well known as a Fighter and Fighter Bomber. It had an incredible top speed of 405 m.p.h., and could carry a bomb weighing up to 1,000 lbs.
Spitfires were relied on by the RCAF during World War II. This model of Spitfire was built in 1945 in England by Vickers-Armstrong. It’s a clipped-wing design that was ideal for low altitude combat as a fighter or fighter bomber.
RCAF Spitfire Squadrons were used to provide air cover for the D-Day Landings in Normandy in June 1944, and they supported the advance of allied troops across Northwest Europe, and into Germany during 1944 and 1945.
One of the busiest indoor exhibits was one of the largest aircraft on display. It was the Avro Lancaster Heavy Bomber. Show visitors were amazed by the history of this massive aircraft and there were knowledgeable staff on hand to explain and discuss this massive war plane.
The Avro Lancaster has a top speed of 275 m.p.h. and includes eight Browning 0.303 inch machine guns within three powered turrets.
The CWH Lancaster was an RCAF Maritime Patrol Aircraft. Thousands of Canadians worked at the Victory Aircraft factory in Malton (Toronto), and this local factory produced 400 Lancaster Aircraft.
In total, more than 7,300 Lancasters were built in Canada and Britain.
Sadly, there are only two Lancaster Aircraft still flying today!
The Canadian Aviation Expo 2010 was great. There were many more exciting exhibits with everything for the aviation enthusiast. I look forward to the Canadian Aviation Expo in 2011.