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Aircraft of the BCATP
Aircraft in the Collection

The Cessna Crane is a military adaptation of the Cessna T-50, a commercial aircraft that was developed as a five-seat, light transport and first flown in 1939. The Crane began service as an advanced, twin-engined trainer with the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941.

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The British built Airspeed Oxford and Avro Anson Mk I were the first twin-engined trainers available for service with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in Canada at the beginning of the Second World War. The American built Cessna Crane was originally intended to serve only a minor role (an initial 140 were ordered in 1940) until the Canadian built Avro Ansons were available in greater numbers, but a total of 820 saw service with the RCAF. The Anson was a heavier aircraft and the Crane provided twin-engined complexity with economy of operation and went on to become one of the most important aircraft used by the BCATP. Cranes continued to serve with the RCAF until 1947, after which many were purchased by private individuals and companies.

The aircraft was primarily used to train pilots who, after receiving their initial training, were to learn to fly multi-engined aircraft and eventually to become bomber pilots. Cranes were used as the primary equipment at six Service Flying Training Schools including No. 3 (Calgary) and No. 15 (Claresholm).

Nicknamed the "Bamboo Bomber" because of its largely wood construction, the Crane had a reputation as a stable and reliable aircraft. Although not an ideal training aircraft because of its poor single-engined performance and load-carrying capability, it performed its duties satisfactorily.

Our Cessna Crane carries serial #3760-60462.

In 1952 and 1953 the aircraft was registered to E.A. Mahood of Westview, BC, and carried the civilian designation CF-HGM. It was donated to the Society by the Drake family of Lundbreck, Alberta in 2000.

The aircraft is displayed in the condition it was acquired and awaits restoration.

[ photo courtesy Maynard Norby ]

Bomber Command Museum of Canada