Saturday, October 05, 2013

The Areospace Museum

We visited the Aerospace Museum of Calgary today. It has been a long time that I wanted to do it. I have always been a fan of flying, planes and spacecrafts although I never liked flying in a passenger plane! When I finished high school for awhile I had this plan to join the air force but then shortly after I realised that it was not the place for me. Today I should be thankful that I never got in. I wouldn't be here otherwise. F. F. once suggested to go and learn to flight. It sounds a bit scary to me now. With the news of this small planes crashing at least once a month, I don't think it would be a good idea to do that. There is one air strip at the west side of Calgary when driving eastbound, I guess before getting to Callaway Park. I have seen small planes going up but I still think it's dangerous to do that. We'll see. 
Anyways we went there and there was this gentleman, an old guy in his late 60s, I would say, a volunteer, who joined us and took us step by step. His hearing was really good and I was surprised by his vast knowledge. He told us that he had join the Air Force some 30 years ago. He was not a pilot but a technical guy because he knew everything, may be almost everything about plane engines. 
I thought that he might have been participated in the WWII but he said he was only 13 when the war ended or may be 13 when the war started! He was too young to participate. And when he talked about the Korean War I though he would say that he participated but he could only be 5 to 7 years older and still not old enough. The museum is small and does not have much to offer but for a small city like Calgary, it is enough. Poor lighting prevented us from to have a good photo of a few of the models. As well the limited space didn't let me to have nice photos of the planes but that's OK. I guess they could use a better arrangement but then the cost to provide light and heat would go up. One thing which caught my eye was a ejecting seat and that immediately reminded me of that scene in the movie story of Francis Gary Powers
The museum also has a gift shop like all the other museums in Canada and if you are a fan you can get nice things with reasonable prices. I have always been a fan of pins so I got myself a few nice ones including one for the abandoned project of CF-105 Arrow which requires another post. While we were there we saw the staff moving a few tables in and then the old gentleman told us that people would have their wedding here, something that surprised me a bit. Overall it was not something significant but I should have expected more. The admission is reasonable and although the website says you would require 2 hours to see everything, we finished it in 1 hour in total. There was a couple of guys who came in when we were going to the second hanger and when we finished it they left. It might not be very interesting to many but by just paying a few more I got a year membership so if I have another chance, I will go for another visit with the hope that I can take better photos. 
(Photo: Avro Lancaster is the most famous British plane, participated in the WWII. The bomb crew sits in the nose and I guess checks everything before realising them. There should be someone to operate the machine gun above him and then the pilot in little further back. According to the information available on the net, a Lancaster had between 7 and 8 crew on every mission!)

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