The de Havilland Canada Twin Otter (DHC-6) is a Canadian aviation success story. In the mid-1950s de Havilland Canada began to evolve a twin-engine STOL aircraft concept to follow on the success of the DHC-3 Otter. Once suitable engines were developed, (the 500hp Pratt and Whitney turboprop from United Aircraft of Canada) the concept became feasible. The two turboprops offered 50% more power with just 35% of the weight of the Otter’s single radial engine.
The Twin Otter was designed as a bush plane but also filled an important niche as a small commuter airliner. With the de...Read More
The Tiger Moth was designed in England by Geoffrey De Havilland and first flew on October 26, 1931 as the final development in a long and successful line of light ‘Moth’ biplanes. By 1939 more than 1,000 Tiger Moths had been produced in Britain. At the outbreak of World War II it was the fully aerobatic basic pilot trainer for the Royal Air Force. Subsequently it became an integral part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan teaching young Canadians, Britons, Australians, New Zealanders and others how to fly.
9,231 Tiger Moths were built between 1931 and 1945 of which...Read More
First flown in September 1943, the de Havilland Vampire was the first jet fighter to enter service with the Royal Air Force just after the Second World War. It is of all-metal construction except for the forward portion of the fuselage housing the pilot's pressurized cockpit, which is made of wood. Power came from a 3,100 lb. thrust de Havilland Goblin 2 jet engine.
The Vampire was chosen as the first jet fighter for the RCAF in 1948 with some 85 Vampires assembled in Toronto at the deHavilland factory from parts and assemblies sent by the parent company in England. One regular...Read More
The Douglas DC-3 first flew on December 17, 1935. Powered by Pratt & Whitney engines, it has robust all metal construction, except for fabric-covered control surfaces. Crewed by two pilots, it can carry 24 passengers.
Civil DC-3s delivered to the US airlines before the Second World War played a most important part in the development of reliable national air routes. By the end of the War, nearly 11,000 had been built in the USA and a further 2,000 or so were built under license in Russia as the Li-2.
Very large numbers survived the war. Operators all over the...Read More
The Hawker Hurricane was designed in Britain in 1934 by Sydney Camm at Hawker Aircraft Ltd. The first prototype was flown in 1935 and the first Hurricane delivered to the RAF in 1937. The aircraft featured a single wing design with retractable landing gear, a first for the RAF, and a steel frame with a series of wooden formers and stringers covered in fabric. During the Battle of Britain 709 Hurricanes, along with 372 Spitfires, successfully defended Britain against Luftwaffe attacks.
In total, more than 14500 Hurricanes were built, and flew...Read More
The original Link Trainer was built in 1929 by Alfred Link, a nickelodeon and organ builder. In Canada, Link trainers were built by the Link Manufacturing Corporation in Gananque, Quebec. The Link was moved by electronically actuated pneumatic bellows that controlled the flight characteristics through a system of cam operated air valves. An instructor’s table had controls where they could change inputs such as winds speed and direction, air turbulence and cockpit instrument function. A mechanical pen would plot the track flown on graph paper as a record of accuracy in instrument flying....Read More
The F-101B Voodoo (designated CF-101B in the RCAF) was built by McDonnell Aircraft Corporation of St. Louis, Missouri in 1957 as a follow on to its earlier F-88 model. It was powered by two axial flow Pratt & Whitney J57 turbojet engines with afterburners. In the interceptor role, a fire-control radar is operated by the navigator in the rear cockpit, with either manual or data-link control. The Voodoo was used during the Vietnam War to fly reconnaissance and combat missions.
The Royal Canadian Air Force maintained a stockpile of AIR-2A Genie unguided nuclear air-to-air rockets...Read More
On April 4, 1949 Canada joined NATO and committed itself to supporting the aerial defense of Western Europe. In August 1949 a manufacturing agreement was signed between North America Aviation (NAA) and Canadair of Montreal to build the Sabre in Canada.
North American Aviation first flew the Sabre in October 1947. Canadair built 1,815 Sabres of which 1,183 served in the RCAF. The first six Canadian examples were designated the Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mark 1. These were identical to the NAA F-86A-5 and were powered by the 5,200-pound thrust General Electric J47-GE-13 engines. The first...Read More
The Harvard is arguably one of the best pilot training aircraft ever produced. The original version, the NA-26 first flew in 1935. The RCAF took delivery of its first one in the summer of 1939 and operated them continuously until May 1965.
During World War II, the RCAF used this aircraft as an advanced trainer as the Harvard had more power, a retractable undercarriage, and variable pitch propeller, thus more speed. All these features helped prepared the trainee pilots trained on Tiger Moths, Fawns or Cornells for faster combat aircraft like the Hurricane and Spitfire.
One of the most unusual designs in our collection is the Quickie 2. It gets its unique name because it was supposed to be quick to build and because it was so fast in the air. This is a home built aircraft designed by Burt Rutan, famous for his VariEze, the round the world Voyager design as well as Space Ship One, the first privately built and flown craft to fly into space.
The Quickie 2 is a twin seat plane with a 64 HP Revmaster, which is an improved Volkswagen Beetle engine especially beefed-up to ensure reliability. It has a canard wing, which means the main wings are...Read More