November e-Newsletter

News from Hangar Flight Museum


Message from the Executive Director

Brian Desjardins


The past month has been filled with activities and unforgettable experiences. I had one of the most surreal experiences of my career as I stood on the corner of McKnight and McCall and saw Hawker Hurricane 5389 coming down McKnight Blvd. It was midnight and all of the volunteers and staff had excited faces with smiles even though we were freezing cold. You could feel the passion in the air. It was almost an out of body experience having the majestic Hurricane return to Calgary and seeing it all happen late at night in the dark. 

I'd like to thank our volunteers who have been working tirelessly over the last month on many projects including the arrival of the Hurricane. I'm looking forward to thanking you in person with our upcoming Volunteer Christmas Party. 

I'm also thankful for our strong board of directors who provide their support to the Museum. Our partnerships with The City, Airport Authority and other partners have been and will continue to be invaluable especially as we pursue the replacement of our tent hangar and future expansions. Later in this newsletter you can read about how to start supporting these projects. Our success relies heavily on your contribution. 

We are looking forward to the future as we finish cleaning up the west side of the mezzanine to open it up to new exhibits and improving the visitor experience. In 2020, I'm looking forward to working with staff on the development of new exhibits such as Women in Aviation. I'd like to thank the staff for all of their hard work in creating a very successful year thus far. 

I'm proud and excited to announce the official start of the CF-100 Canuck restoration that began this week. When we have updates on this project you will certainly hear from us through our social media channels and newsletter.

Upwards and onwards!





Hurricane Thank You

Arrival of 5389

There are so many wonderful people to thank for the restoration and arrival of Hawker Hurricane 5389. The restoration of this aircraft happened because of the time and dedication of the board and volunteers of the Calgary Mosquito Aircraft Society and The City of Calgary. 

When we talk about the successful unveiling events we're very grateful to Gordon Hill and his family for attending and for giving their personal attachment to the aircraft through stories and personal experiences to all of us who were able to attend. We'd also like to thank Mayor Nenshi for taking the time to speak at our unveiling ceremony. We had a wonderful trio of speakers at our weekend launch events: Richard de Boer, Clark Seaborn and Dr. Teri Bryant. YYC Airport Authority was our event sponsor for the arrival gala and we're very grateful for their support. Thank you to everyone who attended and volunteered their time to make the arrival events a success. 

Our volunteers gifted many hours throughout the past few weeks to get everything ready and to share their knowledge during the events. Each of you made a difference to the visitors' experiences. 

Thank you! 






Movie Night Schedule

December 12, 7:00pm

We host Movie Nights the second Thursday of each month from October through to May. Each movie begins at 7:00pm. Supported by the donations of attendees. 

Kitty Hawk (115 Minutes) 

This is a documentary about the struggles of the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, to build and fly the first powered airplane in the world. Neil Armstrong and John Glen provide the voices of Orville and Wilber respectively. 







#GivingTuesday CanadaHelps Pledge

Ends December 2

The Hawker Hurricane is back in Calgary and the CF-100 Canuck was just transported to Wetaskiwin for restoration. You may be asking - what's next? 

Our Tent Hangar was constructed about twelve years ago as a temporary structure to house and protect our larger aircraft that used to sit on our front lawn. It has served us very well, but we are getting geared up for a large fundraising campaign to replace this structure with a new one that will continue to protect these aircraft for years to come. At this stage we are investigating a few different types of buildings and evaluating what would best suit our needs. 

As this fundraising process is likely to be a multi-year campaign, we're excited to get the ball rolling and begin raising funds. That's why we're excited that the #GivingTuesday contest from CanadaHelps is back for another year. One lucky charity will win $5,000! To be entered to win, we just need people like you to pledge to volunteer, donate, raise awareness or fundraise for The Hangar Flight Museum. It's easy and quick to write in your pledge online: 



In the coming months we will have more information about our plans for a new building and will share this information as we can. For the moment, we will set aside any donations earmarked for the new building toward that project. If you'd prefer, we're also happy to accept general donations that can be directed to wherever we need it most.

Thank you very much for your generous support.  




Collections Corner - Why are there so many rules when I go to a museum?

Cassandra Cummings, Collections Manager

Sometimes when we go to a museum, there seems like there are a lot of rules! No food or drink, don’t go over there, don’t touch that, don’t take photos…

The primary purpose of a museum is to share artifacts and knowledge with the public, preserve history for future generations, and interpret objects. We want to be able to give as much access as possible, but also while balancing preservation for future generations, and keeping objects and artifacts safe- especially since some of these items are very rare.

Rules at museums are to help protect these objects, but can also be to protect visitors too.

As a Collections Manager, I have to think of the best ways to protect our objects, because I am caring for them on behalf of the public- now and in the future. Part of this means thinking of all of the ways damage can happen and how to prevent that. This can include light damage and fading from sunlight or flash photography, damage from touching or improper handling which can cause stains or breakage, incorrect temperature and humidity levels, monitoring for pests, and knowing about how materials work together.

It can be very tempting to touch objects, trying to connect with them in a more personal way, or wanting to feel a texture. It is important not to touch objects (unless it says you can specifically!) for a few reasons:

  • Oils that naturally exist on our fingers can be damaging to objects and leave prints, especially on metals
    • An extreme example of this would be a coin in circulation- think of how dirty, stained or corroded a coin can get from everyday handling!
  • For more sensitive materials, objects can rip, stain, or even break into many tiny pieces. Unfortunately there have been several tears and scratches on some of our planes, including very recently on the Anson.



  • You might think “It’s only once, it won’t hurt!” but you’re usually not the only person who thinks that!
  • Artifacts from the past may contain materials that are harmful or damaging when touched including lead or preservatives that we no longer use
  • Objects may not be as structurally sound as they look



Image Via Twitter @Abbynewk @MarDixon
Even if you can’t touch objects (even if there’s not a sign or rope, it’s best not to!), focus on everything you CAN do!
Please DO:

  • Get up close and personal to take a look at all of the details! We’ve removed as many barriers as possible so you can get up close, take it all in, and take great photos with as few obstacles as possible. Just try to resist touching which can cause accidental damage including marks, tears, and punctures
    • Admire the restoration work on the recently returned Hawker Hurricane! More than 23,000 hours went into the restoration
  • Use the ladders to peek into the cockpits
  • Take photos! We love when visitors take photos. If you use social media, share them using the hashtag #hangarmuseum or tag us in them!
  • Take photos in the cut outs or sitting in air plane seats
  • Try out the virtual reality experiences on the Oculus Rift and learn about aviation in a different way
  • Learn more by reading the exhibits, and interacting with digital components
  • Keep an eye out on our website and in our newsletter for open plane days and special events
  • Follow and interact with us on social media

Hopefully this helps explain some of the museum rules you’ve been curious about. We hope you enjoy your visits to museums, and thank you for following any rules or guidelines, and helping to preserve artifacts for the future!

If you think you might have an object or records that might find a good home at The Hangar Flight Museum, I would love to hear from you. Since I do often need to do a lot of research, I would encourage you to please send an email instead of dropping by with your item. Unfortunately, I’m not always here and can’t always make these important decisions on the spot!  Please send an email to  with a brief description and photo or two if possible. I would love to discuss your objects and stories with you! 

Please note that any potential donations should be related to western Canadian aviation, and Calgary if at all possible. At this time we are also unable to accept donations of books, magazines, or models, as we do already have an extensive collection of these items. Thank you so much for considering The Hangar Flight Museum.





United Space School Applications 

Due January 6, 2020

If you've been a member with us for a few years or more, this will be a very familiar program to you - we've been happily participating for about 20 years. I want to take a minute to talk about just how big this opportunity is for a high school student. Looking forward at trying to choose a University degree and predicting what career might suit you well, how would a student possibly gauge the space industry? There are very few opportunities for students to get involved in astrophysics or medicine or space law. There are even fewer opportunities to learn about the work-life balance for someone working in this sector. 

This all-expenses paid experience as the Western Canadian delegate provides the chosen student with all of those experiences. They get to work collaboratively with others their age, consult with experts, are billeted with people who work in the industry, and represent their country in this international program. 

We are asking for your help. Even though this is an amazing program, we frequently get ten or fewer applicants each year. This means that students who would really benefit from attending Space School are not even hearing about the program. Please help us spread the word. 





Hurricane Merchandise

See what's new

In anticipation of the Hawker Hurricane returning to Calgary we had some custom items made for our shop! This commemorative book was made to showcase the history of 5389 and its restoration. 



This mug and tshirt were made in a blueprint style to show off the design of the Hurricane. Did you know: Canadian made Hurricanes did not have a spinner? The picture on the front of the commemorative book is accurate to 5389. 



We also have some of a limited run of Hawker Hurricane collectors coins made by Beaverworks Mint. Only 2000 of these were ever made and each coin is numbered. These beautiful coins come in lovely packaging and are $250 each. They would make a stellar gift this holiday season. 





403-250-3752 - 4629 McCall Way NE Calgary, AB T2E 8A5








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