SNOWED IN?  CHECK OUT THESE POPULAR POSTS ON OUR WEBSITE!

SNOWED IN? CHECK OUT THESE POPULAR POSTS ON OUR WEBSITE!

Are you snowed in like we are at the Museum?  Why not have a closer look at some of our most popular posts?  Click on the blue print to link up with the posts themselves.  When you discover one that is especially meaningful to you, comment on it, telling us why you like it!  And while you’re here? Like and share this!  And then ? Sign up to have our posts delivered right to your inbox on the day they’re posted! First up, the first in a new series for us, Introducing Al Wilson, Cartoonist.  He worked at the Totem Times for part of his career, and his cartoons are enjoyed by many of our readers!  We publish two of his cartoons each month.       Next, From Our Main Gallery - Japanese Paper Balloon Bombs.  This was written by one of our volunteers, Gary, who works in the Gift Shop on Tuesday mornings.  Gary loves to be at the Museum and is writing a series of “From Our Main Gallery” pieces for us.  Another popular one he wrote is about medals.  We received some good responses to this one as it helped folks identify some medals they had!  Thanks for all your work, Gary!     Our readers love to learn about what’s going on in the Heritage Air Park and the work our volunteers are doing in Hangar 268, located there.  The progress made on the Dakota Maintenance was a hit!  And Keith did an amazing job organizing the aircraft technical maintenance manuals, work appreciated by base personnel as well.           The...
FROM OUR MAIN GALLERY ~ AIRCRAFT NOSE ART

FROM OUR MAIN GALLERY ~ AIRCRAFT NOSE ART

The topic today is aircraft nose art. Because the story is so large I have split the story into several parts, the first being the beginnings of the art and the contributions made by the Walt Disney company. When I started my research into aircraft nose art I thought its origins were in the Second World War, in fact to my surprise the first examples began in the first world. Even more surprising was that the first examples showed up on French trucks. Different  squadrons began to individualize their aircraft to  recognize men or companies that had either sponsored or bought an individual aircraft. Artwork began with overall paint schemes rather than single pieces on the nose of the plane. The most well know of these is the squadron led by Manfred Von Richthofen , otherwise know as the Red Baron. He permitted each pilot to paint his plane any colour or scheme that he desired, resulting in a guady array of paint shemes. Another well known paint scheme was on the planes belonging to the american Top Hatters commanded by Eddie Richenbacker. His squadron had their squadron motif on the fuselage. Very few planes had art on their nose but the were a few as seen below.   It is in post World War One France that Walt Disney was introduced to these cartoons and caricatures. He was like all young men at the time, trying to get into fight. Luckily for us, he was too young. He found a way by joining the American Red Cross. He was in France just after the armistice and stayed for...

NOW IN OUR LIBRARY ~ THE MILITARY HISTORY OF CANADA

Admittedly, the topic of the military history of Canada is very broad.  Of course, our Library has a focus on the Air Force, and in seeking out books to share with you, I discovered that we have a variety of approaches to the topic.  Here are a few I found: A Military History of Canada ~ written by Desmond Morton, the author tells the reader that, “this is a country that has been shaped, divided, and transformed by war.  There is no greater influence in our history.  War has developed our industries, realigned our political factions, altered the roles of Canadian women, and changed Canada’s status in the world. From the shrewd tactics of Canada’s First Nations to our troubled involvement in Somalia, from the Plains of Abraham to the deserts of Iraq, Morton examines our centuries-old relationship to war and its consequences.  This edition (4th) brings the story of our military up to Canada’s role in the 1999 NATO action in Kosovo.”   The book includes the evolution of our Royal Canadian Air Force.  One of the photos included is of a Canadian pilot in a Hurricane fighter, “workhorse of both RAF and RCAF fighter squadrons overseas…”       Spencer Dunmore is the author of Above and Beyond ~ The focus of this volume is on the Canadians’ War in the Air, 1939 - 45.  ” From the first skirmishes over Europe in September 1939, Canadian airmen served in almost every theatre of the Second World War, from bases in Britain and Europe, North Africa, and Southeast Asia.  And in the months and years that followed, with the slaughter mounting...
COMOX HERITAGE AIRCRAFT & VEHICLE TECHNICAL LIBRARY HAS A NEW HOME!

COMOX HERITAGE AIRCRAFT & VEHICLE TECHNICAL LIBRARY HAS A NEW HOME!

Comox Heritage Aircraft and Vehicle  Technical Library has a New Home:  After years of having our technical manuals for both our aircraft and ground vehicles, stored in boxes, filing cabinets, sea containers and lockers, they have finally found a new home. The team has taken over part of the upstairs storage area in building 268.  The storage area was empty of unused items and cleaned up. The team tracked down all the manuals and got them sorted, labeled and put on shelving. With the manuals all in one place, the team can now use them to repair the aircraft and ground vehicles and procure the parts needed for repairs. To help the team we have colour coded the manuals a different colours for each aircraft and vehicle. This will also assist in keeping the books in order as it will be easier for the team to return them to there proper place and order. One other advantage of our new library for the team and personnel at the main library will be able to find the info on our aircraft and vehicles for people who are researching and writing articles.  A number of people have asked for info and diagrams, which we can now provide much easier when they are doing their research. The difficult part on working on old aircraft and vehicles is that often they were never worked on by our volunteers, either due to the age of the displayed item or the luck of the draw in military postings that decide what you work on over a career.  What gives us the ability to overcome the...

FROM OUR LIBRARY ~ SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR CHRISTMAS EVE ~ THE SHEPHERD

  One of our volunteers, Mel, brought this book to my attention, along with a link to the CBC Radio Recording.  The book is titled The Shepherd, written by Frederick Forsyth. “It is Christmas Eve, 1957.  Flying home, on leave from Germany, he is alone in the cockpit of the Vampire.  Sixty-six minutes of flying time, with the descent and landing ~ destination Lakenheath.  No problem, all routine procedures.   Then out over the North Sea, the fog begins to close in.  Radio contact ceases and the compass goes haywire.  Suddenly, out of the mist appears a World War II Bomber.  It is flying just below the Vampire, as if trying to make contact…” While you might like to find a copy of the book for your personal reading pleasure, you might also enjoy listening to the recording on this link to CBC Radio, read by Alan...
DAKOTA MAINTENANCE ~ AND THE WORK GOES ON…

DAKOTA MAINTENANCE ~ AND THE WORK GOES ON…

Trying to look after museum aircraft that are decades old presents many problems.  Lack of money, time and volunteers must balance with the needs of aircraft on display that in some cases were built in the 1930s and the 1950s and parts are almost impossible to source.  Being kept outdoors in the Comox valley means being hit with high winter winds and rains, occasional snow, and in summer high UV (ultra violet rays) attacking the finish. Safety of visitors viewing the aircraft is always first and foremost.  If it isn’t safe then it must be made safe or removed from public access.  After safety we has set a goal of what we call a “20 foot” view.  That is to say from 20 or more feet it must look acceptable and represent the aircraft as close as we can to how it looked when it was still flying in the RCAF.  That keeps the ability of the volunteers to look after them realistic.  To try and make them more accurate would be beyond our ability in most cases. An example of what we do is the controls on our Dakota (Dak).  Originally covered in fabric, which doesn’t last long out of doors in Comox.  We decided that as some Dak aircraft had metal coverings instead of fabric on the rudder, elevator and ailerons we would replace the failing fabric of our Dak with metal.  This would last the life of the aircraft needing only paint every few years instead of fabric and dope (a type of paint for fabric) every 3 or 4 years.  Here is the process in...

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