Western Canada Aviation Museum

Western Canada Aviation Museum

The Western Canada Aviation Museum is a museum in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It is the second largest aviation museum in Canada. The collection is housed in an original Trans-Canada Air Lines (today operating as Air Canada) hangar dating from the 1930s.


Incorporated in 1974, the Western Canada Aviation Museum has grown into an award-winning heritage institution dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Canada's aviation history.Ogden 1986, p. 26.]

The aircraft on display reflect the history of aviation development in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Canada and include examples ranging from bush planes to transport, military, private and commercial aircraft.


A fully enclosed flight deck to watch the landings and takeoffs at Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport is one of the other attractions. The collection is housed in an original Trans-Canada Air Lines aircraft hangar and includes a recreated terminal departure centre and several one-of-a-kind aircraft such as Canada's first helicopter, the CL-84 "Tilt-wing," Avrocar "flying saucer" (full-scale movie model), historic military jets, bush planes and commercial aircraft.

pecific display aircraft

* Canada's first helicopter (built by the Froebe brothers in Homewood, Manitoba);
* The most complete Vickers Viscount in the world (which flew out of the hangar that now houses the Museum);
* A replica of CF-ARM, the Junkers Ju 52/lM that flew out of the Brandon Avenue base of Canadian Airways Ltd. Known as the "Flying Boxcar," this ungainly plane was the largest single-engine aircraft operated in North America.
* The Avrocar (aircraft) - A replica of the flying saucer that was built by a secret contract between the American military and Avro Canada during the Cold War years.
* A CF-101 Voodoo fighter jet with training simulator
* A Canadair F-86 Sabre
* In 2005, the Museum acquired a very significant Tiger Moth (designated a Canadian Heritage aircraft by the federal government)Fact|date=July 2007 and the only Fokker Super Universal aircraft left in the world.Fact|date=July 2007

The Museum also houses an exhibit on Canadian Women in Aviation, flight simulators, a Black Brant Rocket (built in Manitoba by Bristol Aerospace) and other aviation memorabilia, such as a collection of first airmail covers (i.e. envelopes, including one signed by Charles Lindbergh and Orville Wright).Ogden 1986, p. 27.]

Children's exhibits

The Western Canada Aviation Museum offers a unique mix of history and science. Enter through "Gate 1" - the original Trans Canada Airlines (now Air Canada) passenger terminal - and step back in time to let pioneer aviators of the north take the visitor on an inspirational journey through time! A visit will be filled with tales from the sky, great ideas (and not so great ideas) in flight, and a true appreciation for the adventuring spirit. Children's exhibits include flight simulators and an extensive "Skyways Discovery Zone," an interactive discovery exhibit - a place where students can interact with the exhibits that demonstrate gravity and other aspects of flight. There are cockpits to climb into, engines to explore and many buttons and levers to push and pull... and an indoor runway perfect for paper airplanes.

Archives and Library

The comprehensive aviation reference library housed at the Museum is one of the largest in the country, with holdings of books, magazines, technical manuals and drawings, as well as some 40,000 photographs, films and audiotapes, many of which can not be found anywhere else.

One of the most treasured items in the archives is a rare, five-minute film of Amelia Earhart embarking on her solo, trans-Atlantic flight from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, on 21 May 1932.

The library is open to the public on an appointment basis and photos, films and audiotapes are loaned or copied on request. It is a valuable resource for researchers, writers, historians and filmmakers – locally, nationally and internationally.

Recovery and restoration

The Museum has an active Restoration Department and has returned many bent and twisted aircraft to full display condition. The dedicated team of volunteers completed a full-scale replica of a Canadian Vickers Vedette Mark V (CF-MAG) aircraft in May 2002.

Current projects include the restoration of a Bellanca Aircruiser, Fairchild Super 71, Waco and Harvard.

The Museum has also championed the recovery of several aircraft, including the notorious "Ghost of Charron Lake" - a Fokker Standard Universal that has taken more than 30 years to locate and is currently in a phased recovery/retrieval before it begins its restoration.




* Hunt, Leslie. "Veteran and Vintage Aircraft". New York: Taplinger Publishing Co., Inc., 1971. ISBN 0-8008-7948-1.
* Ogden,Bob. "Great Aircraft Collections of the World". New York: Gallery Books, 1986. ISBN 1-85627-012-2.

External links

* [http://www.wcam.mb.ca/index.html WCAM website]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.