Warbirds and Airshows
By David D Jackson

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Warbird and Aviation Museums of the Pacific Northwest
Canadian Museum of Flight - Langley, BC
May 30, 2012



The Canadian Museum of Flight of all the museums I visited is the one I had the most fun at and enjoyed the most.  This was in spite of the obvious fact after arriving and visiting for a little while that it does not have the huge financial backing that some of the others have I visited in Oregon and Washington in the US.  What this museum has that many of the others don't have is character and a personality and created no doubt many volunteers that work hard to keep this little gem going.  This is a Museum of true aviation enthusiasts!

While it had many aircraft displays both inside and outside, there were three in particular that I have focused on below due to their originality and rarity.

Since my visit the Canadian Museum of Flight has received from Conair a former Firecat fire bomber (CS2F Tracker) for display.


This DC-3 belonging to the museum is located at the entrance to the airport.


The museum and display hangar.


The museum book store had a large selection of used books it was selling for a dollar each and I was able to find several rare and out of print aviation books for my collection.

I
A Fleet Finch which is one of many aircraft on display inside the hangar.


This Westland Lysander is cut away on one side for visitors to look at the internal structure.  Note the many other displays in the background.


This aircraft appears to be fully restored internally so one can see how it was put together.


Note the fuel tank is between the pilot and rear gunner.


Wing attachment points.


The pilot's instrument panel looks to be complete.


Right next to the Lysander display is the nose section of a of a Bristol Bolingbroke.  This was the Canadian version of the Bristol Blenheim Mk IV and 676 were built by Fairchild in Montreal during WWII.  This was also a most interesting and informative display even though it was not an entire aircraft.


Bomb Aimer-Navigator position.


Looking over the shoulder of the pilot with the Navigator in the lower right.


Note the compass just to the left of the control column.


This photo gives a better view of the navigator.  Note that in at least this restoration there is no seat back for the navigator although it looks like there is a door at the right of the photo which would close and provide some back support. 


A Canadair Tudor.


This particular Twin Beech was designated a 3NMT in the RCAF.


A de Havilland Vampire on outside display.


Information at this S-55 did not denote the RCAF designation for it.  This is actually a former USAF H-19 that was used for civilian service in Canada.  The paint scheme that is on it represents how (15) S-55s were painted to service and supply the Mid Canada Radar Line.


CF-104.  Due to the confined space in the outside display I could not get a photo of the entire aircraft.

Handley-Page Hampden:  Seeing this aircraft was probably worth the cost of the entire trip.  The Director of the Museum gave me a quick tour of the hangar and the outside displays and when we got to this aircraft, I had to ask him what it was because I had never seen one before.  This is because there are no others in North America with one on-going restoration of a Hampden in the UK.  He told me the left wing had fallen off due to heavy snow over the winter and it was under repair.  He also told me that due to the work on the aircraft I would not be able to get close to the aircraft and not to cross the yellow warning tape.  Then he left and went back inside and left me alone.  Bad move on his part!!


Below are over 20 photos the Hampden.  I have tried to capture essential features of the aircraft.


Due to the restricted space in the outside display area a photo of the entire aircraft is not feasible.  Here we can see the upper and lower rear gunners' positions.  The orange and white caution cone underneath is the location of the lower guns.


Note that the bomb bay is open and the caution cone is on one of the two machine guns.


Standing in the bomb bay and looking back here is what the upper rear gunner's position looked like with its two .303 Lewis guns.  Note much of a defense against the fighters of the era.


The lower rear defense of two more Lewis guns.


Still standing in the bomb bay and looking up and forward one can see the pilot's seat, with the safety belts hanging down and the control wheel.


A closer look at the Hampden's control wheel.


The throttle quadrant.


Another photo of the pilot's station with the armor plate.


In this view we a looking up and toward the back of the aircraft at the pilot's seat.  Not that it was all open space between the bottom of his seat and the bomb bay.

 


The rear fuselage of the Hampden.


To set the record straight.  I never did actually "cross" the warning tape.  I was able to walk around it! 


The forward nose and the left wing covered by plastic to cover the work being done to repair the wing.  The nose would I assume be the station for a Navigator-Bomb Aimer.


Standing in the bomb bay and looking forward to the Navigator-Bomb Aimer's position.


This magnification of the earlier photo shows a fixed forward firing machine gun.  I did not notice this until I was editing the photos.


Time and the elements have taken their toll on the airframe.


Looking towards the rear of the Hampden's bomb bay.


This is a busy area under the plastic.  Due to cost issues the wing was rebuilt using wood rather than metal.  The wing was put back on in late 2012.


To get try and get a photo of the entire aircraft I had to go back out in the parking lot.


The Avro CF-100 Canuck (Clunk) could only really be photographed from outside the fence to get the entire aircraft in the photo.


Arlington Naval Air Museum   Boeing Future of Flight Center   Canadian Museum of Flight   Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum   Flying Heritage Museum   Fort Lewis Museum   Historic Flight Museum  Heritage Flight Museum   McChord AFB Museum   Museum of Flight   Museum of Flight Restoration Center   Tillamook Air Museum
 

 


 
Home  Indiana Museums    Indiana Tanks on Outside Display   The Beginning    Revisions   First Flight of P-38F Glacier Girl  
USS Theodore Roosevelt    WWII Aircraft Manufacturing Sites    Gateguards
 2007 Airshows   2008 Airshows  22009 Airshows   2010 Airshows    2011 Airshows    2012 Airshows   2013 Airshows   2014 Airshows    2015 Airshows  2016 Airshows  
Aviation Museums of the Pacific Northwest
   Display Helicopter Locations   CAL FIRE   PV-2 Harpoon Photos     F6F Hellcat Photos
   Warbird Sightings   WWII US Air-Air Victories   Guest Photos    Indiana Warbirds   Featured Photos  Other Items   Links

Historic Sites   Historic Forts   Historic Texas Independence Sites   Pre-Historic Sites   Historic Manhattan Project Sites   GM Heritage Center


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