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George Schembri
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Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum Visit 2021 – And getting schooled in a Harvard.

September 10, 2021 · in Aviation · · 16 · 2K

Got to visit the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum again and was able to book a 20 minute flight in one of their aircraft and this year it was the North American , which was quite a thrill.

I actually got the fly it around for a few minutes amongst the clouds flying at about 3500 ft above sea level. I had to return for another flight this year as things were opened up about a couple of months ago - just about the same time I decided to take a 3 month work contract. (bad timing on my part).

Having Fridays off, I had to wait for a Friday that had good weather which coincided with my wife working - funny how she wants to visit the beaches whenever we had Friday off together.

Got to sit in a few cockpits this year as restriction have lifted for the most part. The CF-100 still had all the control cabling connected and you were encouraged to check out the controls and press a few buttons.

It was amazing how much room was in the CF-114 Tutor, especially considering the overall size of the aircraft.

Also got to climb into a partially restored Fleet Fort.

The Chipmunk and the Stearman were also out flying today while the Lancaster and Mitchel were scheduled to fly on the weekend.

Now the tough part - I need to decide to build either the 1/72 scale or the 1/48 scale model of the aircraft to mark the achievement.

More photos post last year in my previous posts.

Link to their website and the full collection of aircraft:

Reader reactions:
6  Awesome

19 additional images. Click to enlarge.

16 responses

  1. The 1/48 Monogram is the only kit that gets close to a T-6, and the Revell release of it as a racer (in red plastic) has the canopy and the exhaust to do a Harvard II. No other kit in any scale has that.

    • Checking my kits Tom (@tcinla), I do have the 1/48th Revell 85-5251 which is the 2011 release which has the exhaust with lots of rivets but the canopy has the extra overhead frame crosspieces. My Modelcraft 48-010B is the Ocidental kit (Italeri/Heller) with the exhaust but minimal rivet detail but the correct canopy pieces.

      I am leaning toward the 1/72 build just because of size right now, choosing between the Hobby Boss 80-233 Quick build or the Testors 663 SNJ (Engraved insignia) and neither 1/72 has the exhaust or canopy.

  2. I've been to the museum several times. Always amazed at the number of planes they have in flying condition.

    Never got to fly the Harvard, but assuming I can scrap up the cash (home repair season sucks) it is something on my bucket list.

    • I hear ya Dan (@dbdlee), you need to buy a years membership to buy the flight, adds up quickly. Considering the year they've had, the museum sure needs the bookings.
      I had an excellent pilot take me up, same pilot from last years Tiger Moth flight. Gentleman of a flyer and he was happy to show me some impressive moves in the air.

  3. Nice pics George, a ride as well as viewing classic planes! Doesn't get any better than that.

  4. Great reportage George and good photos. Good luck on your model build. Nothing like inspiration With the real thing to get Going on that.
    I’m contemplating a ride on the one at Sonoma airport !
    That or the stearman some day.
    My dad secondary trainer before jets was the Harvard, early 50 ies.

  5. Nice! I learned basic aircraft mechanics misusing and abusing SNJ's at Aviation H. S. in New York. Never flew in one though.

  6. You had a wonderful time there, my friend! This is a truly great museum and, as Dan mentioned, it is great that they keep so many planes in flying condition!
    Thanks for sharing those fantastic pics!

  7. Wow, what a fantastic place to be, George @georgeswork
    Having the chance to fly in a Harvard must be wonderful.
    Thanks for giving us the impression of this museum.

  8. Your best bet in 1/48 would be the Occidental/Modelcraft Harvard. There really is no easy way to make a T-6 Texan rear canopy into a Harvard canopy - the Texan is shorter, has a straight lower edge, and is designed to flip up and slide forward (ala the Dauntless), while the Harvard canopy is fixed, longer, has a curved lower edge, and an extra frame.

    In 1/72, the Special Hobby 1/72 Harvard Mk. II/IIA/IIB “The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan” gives you a stock T-6 Texan, plus additional parts to convert into a true Harvard ! Best of both worlds.

    4 attached images. Click to enlarge.

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